Hi, I am Dawn Melanie Clay, commonly known as “Dawn Melanie” or just “DM”. Yes, I DO workout. And yes, I AM a personal trainer. But, neither of these defines who I am. These tidbits simply have enabled me to make the best “lemonade” on the west side of the Mississippi River.
Let me detail how I (metaphorically) continue to make lemonade out of life’s lemons given to me. At age 25, I noticed symptoms of a later diagnosed chronic illness, Multiple Sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease with symptoms ranging from numbness to paralysis and blindness. Although each is scary, the humbling experience has been greater for me. I am not invincible. Life lessons learned: 1) Asking for help is acceptable; 2) Supportive family and friends are invaluable.
Over the past 13 years, I have been blind, deaf and “dumb”. I could not feel my tongue which rendered speech and eating a challenge. Rarely did I have 2 or more described simultaneous problems, so I always remain positive that life may not be “perfect”, but it does go on. Although I lost vision in my right eye, I still had a perfectly good left one. It was the same with my right ear. The left one functioned fine. I couldn’t get around not being able to lift right foot… to drive, and my husband was working out of town, but my mom was my loving chauffer – getting me to the gym, etc.
“But you look so good.” Great, but I have my down days too. Today is yet another day afforded to me by GOD, who is so good. 3 years ago I could not drive, but 2 years later I was able to drive my late husband to his chemotherapy treatments. I miss him but I continue to move on as I promised to “Be strong in the Lord” [Eph 6:10]
And that’s why I started physical training &competing 10 years ago. I very purposely avoid MS triggers such as heat & stress. I no longer bike 100K each Sunday, but weight train to be a viable competitor in the Fitness, Figure & Physique arena. July 2008 I had a MS exacerbation precluding my walking across the competition stage or anywhere without noticeable difficulty. I am so proud to share that I proved MultipleSclerosiscan’t beat me. I returned to the stage July 2012 WITH my walking cane… and WON. The cheers of the crowd resonate in my ears… DM is back! *smile*
I am honored to be part of World Women Global Council where the goal is to Empower, Enlighten and Evolve and I can say my journey has taught me that I will never let you GIVE UP!
WWGC is the communities of global women where I will share the challenges, struggles and yes triumphs…we are powered by Global Impact and Local Action….