9:00 am I've been experiencing butterflies and knots in my stomach before every run and every work out with my personal trainer. Now she is phenomenal and an angel and we have an incredible relationship so why should I feel this way? Today, I got to the heart of the matter. These feelings which I am feeling even as I type this are how I felt in gym class or any time there was a physical challenge of any kind. I held these feelings in so tightly not wanting to show how hurt I felt as kids taunted and teased and as I battled against a body which had once been ravaged by disease. Once the brace came off, I still walked with a limp, had limited physical abilities and hated my deformed body. There was no one there to guide me through this maze and haze of emotion and I was trying to survive both at school and on the home front. It's not the truth to say no one was there - for the One who has always been there was there for me helping me to find my strengths in my intellectual abilities and finding ways to protect the gem of myself which I buried deep inside of me until it was safe to let it shine. She was guiding, guarding and protecting me and preparing me for this day.
Excavating the Athlete Within
Sweeping away the cobwebs of fear
A beautiful diamond shine
Healthy, whole overflowing with love
The kingdom of heaven now mine.
Gratitude reigns for each life lesson learned
Every struggle and challenge I face
No trauma too great to now be transformed
Through God's tender Love and Her Grace.
Knowing God's Love in the core of my heart
Feeling God replaces the knot
The decades not lost - it was all meant to be
To bring me to this very spot.
Beliefs from the past - unworthy unfit
An outcast with no right to live
Are now blown away with God's gentle breath
With God I have learned to forgive.
My heart opens wide with God I stand strong
I'm running as part of the pack
Healthy and whole, overflowing with love
Moving forward, no time to look back.
What powerful healing experiences at the Hyannis Half Marathon as Ric of the L Street Running Club told me that he would like to run with me and to have Tim "Derv" write in his blog that any time I need someone to pace a half marathon, he would be happy to. As I release and transform the painful memories of polio, I shift my consciousness and move to a whole new level of health and fitness. I realize that the ambivalence I felt about playing full out (I know some of you may be saying what is she talking about? She is going to run the Boston Marathon but it's internal processes and feelings that I am referring to) is related to these early memories. It is/was easier to retreat into a safe comfort zone of I can't run that fast, I can't challenge myself like that; after the Marathon I am not gonna need a personal trainer rather than experience the pain of being incapacitated,of being different, of being 'behind' and then -- daring to move on and achieve a whole new level of fitness.
Today, for the first time since I hired Janine, I embraced the experience. I released the resistance and the old beliefs that I secretly harbored deep inside (so deep I had no idea that they were causing the knots in my stomach and the butterflies). I shared with her the aha moment I had before she arrived and I felt an amazing transformation during today's session. She said that we had not done hill training in awhile so let's go for it. She said I could set the pace as we ran to the hill - NOT - she manages to set a really good pace and I now embrace the challenge and know that with her loving guidance, we can train this body and bring it to new heights and there is no need to settle for anything less. I also have been watching The Biggest Loser and find that it really inspires me. So today, I released the resistance and placed my body in Janine's skilled and loving hands. Up the hill we went at her pace - oh my God - it was hard work as my heart race climbed into the 170-175 zone by the 8th hill. She talks with me and challenges me and guides me and knows exactly what to say as I push and test farther than I ever have in my entire life. As my heart rate climbed and I felt myself pushing, I said, 'help me get through this Janine' and she knew exactly what words I needed to hear - you already did 7 of these, you can do it, you can do it. Of course we had cut 6 seconds off of our longest time so we were going at a really fast pace. And dare I say this? IT WAS FUN! Having my daughter Ruth Anne there adds to the energy and support and she and Janine have a fabulous relationship. Without a doubt this was my best training session - ever! She is like a labor coach - and this journey is like being pregnant and we are giving birth to a marathon runner!
I am learning about my body and how to take exquisite care of it. I am learning that I can push and challenge and it is all about me and what I need to do to do better, run faster and more efficiently and become more fit. I no longer need to be concerned with what anyone else is doing and I release the feelings of being behind - this is truly MY race of life. Janine taught me that the actual time it takes to go up the hill doesn't matter; it is getting the heart rate into an uncomfortable zone for brief periods of time that helps to condition the cardiovascular system and ultimately make me stronger and more fit. I've learned that I can tolerate the discomfort because the ultimate goal is to become as finely tuned as I can - to allow this body to become the sacred space which holds my beautiful Spirit.
To learn more about Janine Hightower and Boston Homebodies, log onto www.bostonhomebodies.com
For customized poetry and my book of inspirational poetry, go to www.newworldgreetings.com and experience a whole new world.
To make a donation to Spaulding Rehab's Team McManus, go to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus
God bless and see you at the finish line,