Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Little Engine That Can!

The last thing I ever wanted to do was focus on my body – it was my enemy – an entity to be tolerated. I walked with a limp, felt tired all the time and I had, unknowingly, internalized the teasing and taunting voices of my peers – 'easy out' 'we don't want HER on our team' ' what's the matter with her? Look at those funny shoes!' But just like the ugly duckling, I am now a beautiful swan. Spaulding Rehab helped me to begin the process of reconnecting with my body, and through the grace of God, I learned at the age of 53, how to love myself – just as I was – with polio shoes and a brace. And a little over a year ago now, Janine Hightower, a dear friend and personal trainer, helped me to believe that my body was capable of more. She would often quote Henry Ford – 'whether you think you can or think you can't – you're right!' I remember how, after our first session, I could barely move feeling muscles I did not even know existed. I wondered if I was doing the right thing and wanted to just quit at times. But something kept moving me forward. That Divine force fuels me on each training run as Janine and I challenge my body to do more than it did the week before. I celebrate the transformation and every step on this amazing journey. I also listen to the wisdom of my body, treating it with tender loving care as I train it to run 26.2 miles. “Believe and your belief will create the fact.” - William James
And today, once again, after a brief morning shower, we had perfect running conditions -- time for a Tempo Run Janine told we warmed up walking for five minutes and then ran for another five minutes -- I thought we were going at a pretty good pace and Janine told me it was now time for the tempo run....without giving any thought to how fast I was pushing my body, I kept pace with this beautiful angel whom God sent to me to know that I can transcend the physical and focus on the Spirit. It was so funny because as we were running, she told me that when she first started running she used to imagine that she had a belt around her waist and was just being pulled along; I had this image of her being my trainer and I was a dog and had a leash and she was just pulling me along and I effortlessly kept pace! And what a pace - how about 11:40 for the first mile; 12:40 for the second mile and 12:00 for the third mile. My heart rate averaged 165 for the 41+ minutes of running...I am a 54 year old woman whose maximum heart rate is supposed to be 170 -- in other words, I am in damn good shape for a woman my age...for a woman at any age I might add. And Janine pushed me to a sprint at the end at which point my heart rate went up to 173 and I could still once again, we proved that I AM the little engine that can THANKS BE TO GOD!

1 comment:

Worth-Waiting-For said...

Wow, children can be so insensitive. And, it's such an important lesson that the words of children can leave a lasting impact for years to come. I am so happy for you that you were able to drown out the negativity of their words that continued to play out in your mind for so long. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...