The hotter the battle, the sweeter the victory. — Bob Marley

Lisa A. McCombs
2 min readSep 21, 2022
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

I have always wanted to learn chess. It’s such a wonderful depiction of literary culture. Lords and Ladies play chess. It’s a sophisticated game of strategy.

And there are so many pretty chess boards out there. I can just imagine one collecting dust on one of my living room antiques.

My son tried to teach me the game, but quickly tired of my inability to grasp the combat mentality required to battle my opponent.

Winning is all about a desire to overcome. I preach this too often to concede to losing. Chess, as does life, requires a plan.

MS vs. Chess

  • LEARN THE MOVES: Begin each morning placing one foot at a time on the floor, being ever watchful of gravitational pull and balance.
  • OPEN WITH A PAWN: Test the waters and determine early what kind of a day this will be.
  • GET THE KNIGHTS AND BISHOPS OUT: Stretch arms overhead while inhaling deeply. Close your eyes and exhale slowly. Repeat as needed.
  • WATCH YOUR BACK: Don’t get too excited. Move into the day calmly and cautiously, being mindful of potential obstacles along the way.
  • “CASTLE” EARLY: Make the first move. When exhibiting this move in chess, the king and the rook move together, leaving the king with a companion (a cane, significant other, wheelchair, rollator, etc.)
  • LOSE PIECES WISELY: Know “when to hold’em and know when to fold’em”. — Kenny Rogers. Only you know your limitations.

My writing coach stresses taking tiny steps toward completion and she’s right. With careful thought and consistent/persistent action, we can realize our goals.

I might never learn the game of chess, but I know too well the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis.



Lisa, Lady With the Cane