On a rugby field, you often hear players shout “next job, next job”. Whether they have scored or conceded a try, the message is to focus on the here and now. Do all the little tasks and the scoreline hopefully takes care of itself.
That is very much the approach I take with MND. If you look too far ahead, of what position I will be in two or three years’ time, then it can become overwhelming. Similarly, it does not help to look back on things I can no longer do or what has been taken away. The crucial balance is to focus on what you can control. Focus on the next job. What’s the next battle? Take those small wins, whether it is taking a few steps by yourself or butting the heads of a few scientists together, and hopefully you build enough momentum to win the game.
I hope this Telegraph documentary gives you some insight into the challenges of living with MND, how it has changed my day to day life but why it has not changed my outlook.
I also hope it makes clear that I am not doing this on my own. Far from it. Much like my playing days I feel like a small cog in a big machine that has grown up around me from my chiropractor/miracle worker Donald Francis to the tireless support of Jill Douglas. And of course, there is my immediate family, who give me so much strength every day.
Sometimes I feel embarrassed to receive all the attention that I have done because I am not doing it by myself. It is a team effort, I am just the not so handsome face of it. Also I would like to make clear that this was never just about curing my disease. This was about the wider fight for all those thousands of people who do not have the support network that I am fortunate enough to possess.
Now on to my next job.
Doddie Weir documentary credits