Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting Ready Mind, Body and Spirit

Twenty one miles - check; over $9,000 fund raising - check; hill training and speed drills - check; intensive cardio training - check - and now it's time for the taper and the countdown. It's strange to realize that two weeks from Saturday we will be picking up our numbers to wear for the 113th Boston Marathon. There still seems to be a surreal quality to this whole journey. I've been reading WBZ's Boston Marathon blog about countdown to the Boston Marathon and am delighted to see that the novice runners of Team McManus are ready as ready can be. We've done everything possible to prepare for this challenge and now it is time to focus on resting the body and gearing up the mind and Spirit. I see the signs for the Marathon with photos of Team Hoyt in the city. In the window of Marathon Sports, the mannequins are donning official Boston Marathon gear. I received the schedule for the Boston Red Sox in the mail today from our Toyota dealership.

In years past, these signs of Spring and the city coming to life would be lost on me. From 1996 until last year, I was suffering with symptoms of post polio syndrome. I dreaded the warmer weather and athletes coming to town - it was a painful reminder of what had been lost in my life. But no more - since last year when I cheered on Ernst Van Dyke turning the corner onto Beacon Street to now being poised and ready to take my place at the start of the 113th Boston Marathon, joy and gratitude flow through me. I feel excitement, nervousness, anticipation, the need to rest, the need to visualize and get myself primed for April 20th and I feel overwhelming gratitude for the miracle of healing that has happened in my life. What a blessing to be able to share this journey with so many and to touch lives and to be touched by the amazing people who I meet along the way.

Here's to Spring, here's to poetry in the Spring (you must go to www.newworldgreetings.com and order a copy of my book of inspirational poetry as well as enter a New World of Greeting Cards for all of your holidays and occasions this spring and summer) and here's to everyone's health and joy on April 20th, 2009!

If you would like to make a donation to Team McManus, be sure to visit www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus. You can also check out my You Tube video which describes my journey of transformation.

God bless and see you at the finish line!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Boston Marathon Training Moments - The Best Of ....

Yesterday was our last long run before running the Boston Marathon on 4/20/2009. Twenty one miles - we ditched iPods in preparation for the big day. What were we going to talk about? My daughter who always bring light and laughter to life suggested we take a look back - that was the year that was - and talk about our Boston Marathon Training Moments - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I just want to comment on yesterday's training run before we take a look back. The day started out as cloudy and cool. Since it is the end of March, we decided to layer with a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a jacket. I also brought hat and gloves to ensure my comfort. We arrived at Marathon Sports to join our team trainer, Domenick D'Amico and the running club. He told us that 21 miles would take us to the gates at Wellesley College and then we turn around and run the same route we had been running for the past several weeks.

In the spirit of trying to get everything organized the night before, I made my husband's coffee in the coffee maker. Big mistake! He couldn't drink the coffee - yes it was that bad - and by the time we got to Waban, he was power walking. Highly unusual so I got concerned. He said that he was feeling sluggish and that his body was telling him to take it easy. I suggested that perhaps it was because he did not have his morning coffee. So in he went to Starbucks and after drinking a large cup of coffee, he was back to his old self. Ahhh the things you learn on a training run.

The sun broke out and by the time we got to Wellesley it became quite warm so we were stripping off layers of clothing. There were runners coming in from Hopkinton to Boston College who knew me by name. I recognized a few of the runners, but there was a mystery runner who I can't place who was cheering me on, and knew me by name. I wondered if perhaps he was an angel. Because of all of the charity runners, there was water and gatorade available on the course. I used more gel than I had on previous runs which cut down my need for clementines and pretzels (although I plan to bring 2-3 clementines and a bag of pretzels on Marathon Monday) and Tom and Ruth Anne were able to use gu and gatorade so they'll just need to bring a bag of pretzels each - eliminating the need for a backpack on Marathon Monday.When we arrived at the Reservoir at Cleveland Circle, a stiff wind kicked up and we had to don the layers we had shed - a good lesson for Marathon Monday - do not throw our clothing into the street - we may need it for later in the day. We practiced our pacing for fueling and by the time we arrived back at Marathon Sports we knew with complete certainty that Team McManus is ready for Marathon Monday. Today we drove out to Hopkinton and back tracing the Marathon route. We had run from Natick to the finish line and needed to get a visual of the route from Hopkinton to Natick as we mentally prepare for the Marathon.

And so - here is a look back at Team McManus' Boston Marathon Training Moments - the good the bad and the ugly

On calculating distance for training runs:

When we first set out on this journey, we had no idea how far or how long it would take us to run from point A to point B. This resulted in fertile ground for conflict --
Like when we were running a new route by the river on the same day as the Boston Heart Walk - I screamed to my husband who had plotted the route and began to cry 'Where is the f**ing bridge?'He told me that from here on out, it was my job to plot the training runs - ugh - but we all got back on track and plotted out our runs together
Quotable quotes: "We've only been out here for ten minutes?" - Ruth Anne "I don't think we can make it up that hill before we're supposed to stop" - Mary And I was the most obsessive compulsive person you would ever to not want to meet when it came to time and distance.
I would make us track the miles using our trip odometer in the car over and over again - hey what did I know? I had never run or trained for a marathon before.

On meltdowns:

When we first started running more than an hour, somebody would have a meltdown at 1:10 - you could set your watch to it. We would start swearing at each other - my personal favorite? We were going around the Chestnut Hill reservoir and Ruth Anne's iPod had run out of batteries. She was NOT a happy camper and I stood at the top of the hill screaming "F** this - I quit. I cannot take your attitude for another minute." The cars started honking at us and people stopped at the bottom of the hill and looked up and stared at us.

On bodily functions:

Being a first time marathoner at the ages of 55 & 57 (my husband is the elder statesman) makes for some very interesting challenges. Without going into too much graphic detail, I did, on several occasions, feel the need for Depends. When my daughter fell into a snowbank I laughed so hard that I pee'd myself. She was not hurt and it was one of those falls where her arms and legs were flailing because she could not get up. On our way to our favorite rest stop - Peet's Coffee in Newton Center, I announced out loud that I thought I was going to need Depends on Marathon Monday.
And then there was the time when the velcro on my bra strap just gave way - coincidentally, this was during the training run by the river. As we were about to go into our umpteenth meltdown for the day, I could feel the velcro on my running bra just let go. My daughter who was running behind me started howling to see this white thing come out of my running shirt. And then I laughed so hard, I peed myself. There is my husband down the road a little way yelling at us to quit fooling around and finish our training run....ahhh sweet memories!

And who could EVER forget us losing each other around - emphasize the word a-round Jamaica Pond. Tom had stopped at the car to fill up the water bottles and get some snacks. He had his iPod on really loudly. I was in the zone and ran by him. I saw him looking for me in the opposite direction and yelled to him that I was over here - I felt so great and the weather was wonderful that I did not want to interrupt my rhythm. Finally, my daughter who had been going at her own pace came running up to me - where were you she asked? (well duh, we're going around in a circle) Dad is worried sick about you. He thought that since you had to go to the bathroom (and the bathrooms were not open yet) that you went off the trail and went to pee in the woods). We finally all caught up with one another and laughed so hard.

Those are some of the highlights of 2008-2009 in the life of Team McManus - of course there is the Tufts 10K, the Tough Ten Mile Turkey Trot, The Hyannis Half - and so many wonderful, cherished memories for us.Through it all, we kept our sense of humor; worked it out (as Randy would say on American Idol - dawg - you worked it out) and now we are poised and ready to board the bus for the ride to Hopkinton, MA and to have the time of our lives on April 20, 2009.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Twenty Three Days - 21 Mile Long Run and an Early Start

I have read comments on Twitter, Just Finish and runners' blogs that we all cannot believe that it is only 23 days until the start of the 113th Boston Marathon. A mixture of excitement and nervousness seem to be the prevailing emotions as well as the sense of reality that we are all going to be part of an amazing tradition - The Boston Marathon on Patriots Day 2009. This year two Americans have a shot at winning the race. How blessed am I to be a part of this event? The sense of this reality is reinforced by receiving our numbers, and then the bib number pick up card and for me and for Team McManus - confirmation that we have an early start at 9 am with mobility impaired runners.

While I pride myself on my miraculous recovery from post polio syndrome, I want to acknowledge and honor that in the context of the Boston Marathon, I deserve special consideration because of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome. There is no need for me to stand for two hours prior to the start of the Marathon and lose precious energy; there is no need for me to read through the booklet and feel a knot in my stomach as I read that even at a 15 min/mile pace (which is my plan) the that it is time to reopen the roads and course infrastructure will all begin to be closed and cease operation. Runners on the course after this time accept the condition they will be on their own. The BAA will have a team of cyclists in the rear of the pack to assist runners who are at or slower than 15-minute per mile pace. There is no need for me to revisit those feelings of trying to keep up and be a part of the pack knowing full well that it is a miracle I am out there running to begin with and I just need to run my own race. I have been in enough road races now where the water tables were taken up before I got there, where people commented "well someone has to be in the back of the pack" and crossing the finish line dead last and I have had the blessed opportunity to do this with great grace and dignity. I have been blessed by Tim "Derv" Doiron's comments in his blog about the tremendous courage it takes to be out on a course longer than anyone else and to brave the New England elements. And now, I bathe in God's grace that Team McManus receives an early start. I am so grateful to our team trainer, Domenick and for the support from the B.A.A.

As the sun sets on this Friday, I reflect and give thanks for so many blessings in my life. One more long run tomorrow and then the all important taper. I relish in every moment now of this amazing journey wanting to remember it all! Thank You God, thank you Team McManus and thank you to everyone who has helped us on the Road to the Boston Marathon.

You can still donate to Team McManus by visiting www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus

To purchase the book of inspirational poetry which inspired my body to heal and which is a gift I would love to share with you, visit www.newworldgreetings.com. Remember, I donate 20% to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.

Spring is a time to celebrate - Easter, Passover, birthdays, Mothers Day, graduations and more - go to www.newworldgreetings.com for creations you won't find in any store.

See you at the finish line
God bless

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Finding Strength and Releasing Old Beliefs

We live in a Universe with a law of opposites so how could I find my strength if at times I did not feel weak; how could I find my courage if at times I did not feel afraid. There are 26.2 days left until the Boston Marathon. I received an email from the BAA telling me so so it must be true -lol. Everything is set to go yet this morning as I did my core strengthening exercises and stretched, I could feel the little gremlins of doubt and fear creep in. I gave them some air time and want to share them with you because who among us, has not had these voices tug at our minds and hearts.

What do you think you're doing? You were diagnosed with post polio syndrome - what's gonna happen to your body by doing this intense training. You're gonna drop again just like a stone - your body can't take this. You should just go back into the background - who do you think you are being a shining star like this and having your own business and being a published poet and all? Nobody wants to hear about you. Self praise stinks and on and on and I'm sure you get the idea. I believe that anyone who has faced a major physical challenge becomes afraid that the cancer or whatever the challenge was will return or the body can't withstand the physical challenge or we're not worthy of healing and wholeness.

Here are my affirmations to address these old beliefs:
I am a child of God and it is my birth right to be healthy, joyous, whole and free.
I silence the voices of abuse, lack, limitation, neglect and draw the strength of God and all the resources of this beautiful Universe to me. I fill myself up and then allow the waters of love, light, joy, triumph and courage to flow out to touch and uplift others. I open my heart to take in God's love. I renew faith in my body that it will do whatever it needs to do whenever it needs to do it - providing I take exquisite care of it. I can relax and trust my body knowing that I am an extension of God's wondrous Love. To be extremely fair to myself on this amazing journey, I am experiencing sensations in my body that I have never experienced before - muscle and nerve growth, tightness, soreness all different sensations which come from expansion and physical challenge. I came from a place of fear and worry about my body - well with over 20 surgeries it was only natural to wonder, what next? But you know what? When I ask the question, what next? The answers are quite different now -- what's next is of course the Boston Marathon in 26.2 days and then I want to resume strength training with Janine, my personal trainer, learn how to dance, do the Disney Half Marathon just for fun; do fun runs and I want to live up to the adage 'you're not getting older, you're getting better!' I release the old beliefs and make space for God's love deep within my soul feeling the energy pulsate throughout my entire Being.

If you would like to purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry which helped me to inspire my body to heal and find peace, joy, love and light in the world, log onto www.newworldgreetings.com

Spring is a time for celebration - celebrate all the special occasions in your life with customized poetry - www.newworldgreetings.com

You can donate to Team McManus by visiting www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus. Watch the You Tube Video which takes you from the crisis of post polio syndrome to transformation.

See you at the finish line! God bless

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Healing Miracle

I was supposed to do a 3 mile gentle run outside today; when I woke up the temps were, with the wind chill, 14 degrees. It was a sign for me that I should do cross training. Since I was still a little sore from our 20 mile run on Saturday, it made a lot of sense. My trainer was emphatic about taking it easy this week in preparation for our longest run yet - so I figured that 5 miles on the bike was equivalent to 3 miles outside. A part of me wanted to peddle as fast as I could and then I remembered - it's done. The cardiovascular training, the hill training, the speed drills, the intense pushing and challenging myself - it's all done and this body is primed and ready to go. Gentle runs, one more long run and then the all important taper....

I am so blessed to have met Diana Cullum-Dugan at the Women in Business Luncheon I attended last week. As it turns out, she worked with my personal trainer, Janine Hightower at Boston Medical Center - yes it is a small world. Diana is going to do a yoga session for the Race for Rehab team to help us prepare spiritually for our 26 mile journey (as she calls it). {If any of you are in the Boston area and are interested in experiencing an amazing yoga instructor and nutritionist all rolled into one, you can email her are dianacullumdugan@rcn.com}. I am incorporating more yoga and breathing into my stretching routine allowing God's energy to flow down to my toes and then I draw up God's energy from the earth below; I feel God's love and light flowing through me giving me all the energy, strength, courage and determination I need to run 26.2 miles.

Today I picked up the letter stating that I had been diagnosed with post polio syndrome from Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio to enable Team McManus to have an early start. I found myself feeling extremely tense driving out to Framingham and to counter this feeling, I visualized Marathon Day. Seeing signs for the towns we'll pass along the way was extremely supportive to my visualization - Wellesley, Natick & Framingham. I thought of the towns we will run through - Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley, Natick, Newton, Brookline and then home to Boston! I realize that I am so blessed to have made this miraculous recovery from a diagnosis which is a progressive neurological disease. With all of the fund raising and all of the training, this is the first moment I have had to reflect and fully appreciate this miracle. I drink in God's love as the nectar far greater than any Power Gel to continue to allow my body to heal. I am enjoying each and every moment as the anticipation of Spring is in the air and Team McManus will burst forth in our glory as the gun is fired to signal the start of the 113th Boston Marathon.

To be inspired by my gift of poetry, you can purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" through my website at www.newworldgreetings.com or wherever books are sold.

Spring and summer is the time for so many holidays and celebrations - be sure to order your customized poetry at www.newworldgreetings.com

Have you checked out www.divatoolbox.com yet? It's overflowing with information, inspiration and ideas and I am a featured author.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ode to Training for the Boston Marathon 2009

Ode to Marathon Training - March 22, 2009

Blisters, black toes, aches and pains
A change in my routine
Long training runs, the hills, the sprints
Keep running clothes fresh and clean.
Carbo load and plan each meal
Power gels and gatorade
No matter what the weather
No time to be afraid.
Humid – hot or freezing cold
Snow against the face
Wind or sun or raining
Those running shoes I must lace.
What mile is this how long we been out
Check heart rate drink H20
Meltdowns joys and triumphs
Only a few more weeks to go.
Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart
This year has been the best
Found myself and made new friends
I feel incredibly blessed.

If you would like me to create customized poetry for you, go to www.newworldgreetings.com and check out my samples. You can also order my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World". I donate 20% to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting a Head Start

This is gonna be a long post so sit back, pour yourself a cup of hot tea and read on to be inspired and to feel how God's grace unfolds in my life:

No one ever suggested to this polio survivor to get a head start when playing tag, or hide and seek or having to run and participate in gym class. I learned however, how to hold my head up high and maintain my dignity despite the ridicule and teasing and the feeling that I wasn't good enough and had to somehow try to catch up. I always felt God at my core - otherwise I could not face these situations and maintain my sanity and my drive to do well in school. During this past year of training, keeping up is an issue that I have had to wrestle and come to peace with. In most of our road races, I finished 'last'; in Hyannis, I did not know we had an option for an early start until we arrived and so we experienced comments such as 'well someone has to be in the last of the pack' and I would just stay focused, dig in and know that I was running my own race. My daughter had the grace to observe that when someone looks at me, you wouldn't know that I had polio and had been diagnosed with post polio syndrome. While I have made remarkable strides in overcoming this challenge, realistically speaking, it took its toll and I cannot run fast for long periods of time. When I shared my anxiety with our team trainer, Dom at a fund raiser for a mutual friend also running the Marathon, he asked me if I had talked with anyone about getting an early start. He email'ed the BAA and lo and behold, because of my diagnosis, I am eligible to start, along with my husband and daughter, with the mobility impaired. Now when I first signed on for this, I had asked someone in the BAA about being eligible as a mobility impaired runner and at that time we thought I did not meet the criteria. Divine Timing and Divine Intervention is everything. I would not have had the opportunity to address what I needed to address to grow into the endurance athlete I am today if I would have known that we would have gotten an early start and so it is to the total grace. Rather than having to wait two hours to cross the starting line, we will be out on the course running with the pack and I will be able to enjoy Marathon Monday knowing that I at last have a head start! It is also going to make a tremendous difference in terms of the fatigue factor - getting there and getting started will enable me to take full advantage of my peak energy time.

Please know that I was fully prepared to push myself and start with the pack and somehow finish the course in six hours. Dom believes that we may even finish in under six hours because he said we will be so well rested from our taper and the energy of the crowd carries you along in a way that you can't even imagine. He said it doesn't matter - I am to run my own race and to have the experience of a lifetime. And now I will be able to because for the first time in my life I am on a level playing field.

It's a wonderful time to share with you the first poem I wrote in February 2007 as I sat in a leg brace and used a cane contemplating my future - I had no idea when I wrote this that I would be sitting here one month away from running the Boston Marathon --

Running the Race:
Early summer 1959 my kindergarten year
Everyone around me filled with nervous fear
Despite the Salk vaccine hope polio would disappear
The polio virus crept right up and knocked me in the rear.
Dancing all around the gym feeling free just like a bird
I dropped to the ground just like a stone and noone said a word.
The pain it was so searing-the diagnosis even worse
"It's polio" the doctor said...he was abrupt and terse.
Called one of the 'lucky ones' I had a 'mild case'
But with the other athletes I could never keep their pace.
Miss Holly physical therapist, curly hair and a warm, broad smile
It tempered the pain of being apart - to walk I'd take awhile.
I always wore those 'special' shoes the kids they poked and teased
With no support and much abuse with childhood I wasn't pleased.
But put nose to the grindstone and learned all that I could
I couldn't kick a ball but my grades were always good.
Years went by and no more thought to polio did I give
I accepted the limp and everything else and decided my life I would live.
But symptoms of weakness and muscle pain did grow
I kept a stoic face hoping no one else would know.
Life no longer was my own I struggled through each day
Suffered in silence, isolated from friends-trying to keep depression at bay.
And with the grace of glorious God my world it opened wide
I discovered there was a Post Polio team and they were on my side.
Using wheelchair to travel, set limits on what I could do,
Resulted in joy to realize I could live life anew.
Celebrated my body- creaks, groans and need for a brace
While in my mind I focused on winning a 10K race.
Sought out paths for healing and my spirit flew free
For the first time in life, I could truly be me.
The chains are gone and possibilities abound
I'm a tree with my roots planted firmly in ground.
I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
So much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.

I am so grateful to Dom and the response by the BAA and to all the incredible people I have met along the way whose wisdom, support, love, insight and advice have brought me to this point - poised and ready to take on the challenge of a lifetime.

To purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, log onto my website at www.newworldgreetings.com and for customized poetry where it's more than a card it's a gift from the heart, give me a call or contact me via my website.

We are almost to our fund raising goal but if you are inspired to make a donation, you can do so by visiting www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus. You can also watch my You Tube video - from crisis to transformation.

See you at the finish line and God bless!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm Baack or Ask and Ye Shall Receive

As you can tell from the last post, my energy had dipped and I was feeling the sense of everything winding down and just wanting Marathon Monday to arrive. Nothing like a Women in Business Connection networking luncheon to get the fire in the belly going again. I realized the enormity of the challenge I have taken on and as the women embraced me (literally and figuratively), I felt renewed and refreshed. Janet Powers, creator of Diva Toolbox told me she wants to promote my book on her website as well as our donation website. Her fabulous website is www.divatoolbox.com. I connected with a yoga instructor and realized that I missed doing yoga on a regular basis. We are going to explore organizing a yoga class for the Race for Rehab Team to have a group session prior to running the Marathon. I also got a lot of great ideas for my business www.newworldgreetings.com, customized poetry for all occasions.

It's time to think big, expand, live life to the full and release those fears to make space to receive all that I need from the Universe to continue on this journey of transformation. I'm so blessed to have this gift of poetry in my soul which helps me and so many to heal through my book of inspirational poetry. Giving back to help other polio survivors through donating 20% of the sales to Spaulding's Polio Fund adds to the joy. I'd been asking God about how I can expand and increase both book sales and my business. Today, I received many answers and am so grateful. I feel empowered again and want to stay connected to the Source to remember that I am a child of God. I was reminded today of the power of forgiveness in today's Daily Word - through forgiveness I let the love of God move through me and release energy that was bound up in anger. Runner Insight www.runnerinsight.com posted a wonderful blog today about gratitude and reframing the concept of money. Another wonderful opportunity to grow and to shift consciousness on a deeper level about my relationship to money.

Ask and ye shall receive - and the gifts I received today were the gifts of love, support, friendship, validation, positive energy and camaraderie which fuel me as I inch ever more closely to the starting line of the Boston Marathon. I am overflowing with gratitude for the beautiful people I meet along this journey and the opportunity to bless and be blessed.

See you at the finish line! God bless

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thirty Three Days & Counting or The Waning Days of Training

They say the final stretch of anything can often be the hardest to get through - I can attest to that! On Saturday night we were so incredibly blessed to have a marvelous turn out for our benefit concert. We are so close to our fund raising goal - only $332.80 left and we know people are sending in donations. We are certain that we will exceed our fund raising goal of $9,000. The concert was magical and we are so grateful to everyone who made it a success. As I look back on what we have accomplished in the past year - going from running 30 seconds to running 20 miles; hosting two benefit concerts; running several road races and meeting incredible people along the way I know it is a result of incredible faith, courage, determination and overwhelming love and support from so many sources - the most incredible Source of all being our Loving Creator.

Today, my daughter and I went out and ran 3 times around the reservoir - about a 3 mile run and we ran it in 38 minutes. That's about a 13 minute mile pace. I did not want to run today but once I got out there something happened and I knew we had to give it our all.They say that in the waning days of training, it is a time of great challenge - you just want the starting gun to go off! This is a journey of the mind as well as the body and my mind can take me to magical places as well as the memories of how polio affected my life. I know that I am going to finish what I set out to do - to raise money for Spaulding Rehab and to cross the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon. Along the way, the fears, doubts and feelings of being a polio survivor have emerged. I am, thanks be to God, able to place these feelings where they belong rather than project them onto the fear of the future or if they begin to creep in, can realize their source.

It was indeed, a very sad day, when I collapsed in the gym and my life was interrupted and changed forever by the polio virus but I learned life's lessons of overcoming challenges at a very early age and discovering that God is with me to guide my footsteps and give me the strength that I need to carry on. And then, in December 2006, my life once again was interrupted - this time by post polio syndrome and life since then has never been the same. It has been phenomenal - overflowing with blessings, triumphs, tribulations, trepdiations, and more growth than I ever dreamed was imaginable in one lifetime.

This time in thirty three days as the sun moves lower in the sky, we will have crossed the finish line of the 113th running of the Boston Marathon and I give thanks to God for this amazing journey.

To purchase my book of inspirational poetry which helped to inspire my body to heal and to enter a new world of greeting cards, visit www.newwworldgreetings.com

To help us exceed our fund raising goal, make a donation to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus. No donation is too small - it adds up really fast!

God bless and see you at the finish line

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Dream, Healing and Expressions of Gratitude

Last night I dreamed that I returned to see Dr. Darren Rosenberg at the International Rehab Center for Polio. I was in a running bra and shorts. He asked me about my solid abs and asked me what that was all about and I told him I was going to run the Boston Marathon. He said, 'you're going to run the Boston Marathon?' and then he began to take out every imaginable instrument to measure leg length, leg strength, joint flexibility and strength and tested me every which way. After the exam he declared, "well, I see absolutely no evidence of post polio syndrome."

I had a dream several months ago about the surgeon, Dr. Donald Reilly who performed a femur osteotomy on my left leg to correct a deformity from polio and to try to avert a total knee replacement when I was 40 years old. He 'guaranteed' the osteoarthritic knee for 10 years. I was supposed to have surgery but when I came out of the recovery room, I realized that there was no incision. He stood in the corner of the recovery room in his starched white coat with his hands over his characteristic pot belly and said, 'you don't need surgery. Your knees are fine. You'll make it through the marathon.'

Just as my unconscious had predicted me running through the gift of poetry although I was in a brace and using a cane , these dreams reassure me that despite all that has happened to my body, it is more than ready to undertake the challenge of the Boston Marathon. My past does not predict my future; I am able to create positive outcomes in my life through constant connection with God and incredibly hard work.

So it is time to express gratitude to the amazing healing angels that have been brought into my life beginning with Dr. Moskowitz, my first polio doctor; Miss Holly, my first physical therapist; Dr. Reilly who saw me through multiple orthopedic surgeries and Eric, physical therapist at the Brigham who worked with Dr. Reilly; The entire staff at the International Rehab Center for Polio - Anna Rubin who was so loving and supportive during my first phone call, Dr. Rosenberg, Carol B whose last name I can't spell or pronounce but who helped me reclaim my voice, my breath and my ability to swallow, Kerry Blossfeld - the physical therapist and Laura Ryan, the Occupational Therapist who listened as I cried and shared my worst fears and burdens with her; Allison Poole physical therapist at Spaulding downtown with whom I worked for 6 months in intensive outpatient rehab - what can I say? Your positivity, support, encouragement and wonderful sense of humor helped me to transform from weak, and deconditioned to the endurance athlete I am today. (I may not be fast, but I sure am strong and steady). Janine Hightower, www.bostonhomebodies.com - a personal trainer who is so exceptional - your skill, support, toughness, tenderness and belief that with God all things ARE possible have brought me out of a leg brace and to the starting line of the Boston Marathon.Janice Wesley - energy healer, friend, Yoda - thank you - simply thank you for bringing me ever closer to God and in taking my hand to move forward as a light bearer.

I am so grateful for my beautiful family whose love and support through this process has been the fuel to keep me on the road to the Boston Marathon. I am also incredibly grateful for the community of runners I have met on www.justfinish.com and for the friends I have made through Twitter who embrace my journey and encourage me to keep on keeping on, and to all the runners I have met at the many events I have been blessed to participate in.

To purchase my book of inspirational poetry which helps to support Spaulding Rehab's polio fund and to enter a new world of greeting cards, log onto www.newworldgreetings.com.

To donate to Team McManus on their road to the Boston Marathon, log onto www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus.

God bless & see you at the finish line,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Twenty Miles

One year ago, when we first took our training outdoors, I would run for 30 seconds and then walk for 4.5 minutes. Early on, my trainer Janine took me up a hill and told me - you better get used to it. I remember my heart rate would go up to 163 just from a simple jog. And here I sit after being out in the freezing cold - starting out at 10 am 16 degrees including wind chill for over six hours and having run and power walked T-W-E-N-T-Y M-I-L-E-S!!!!

When my alarm went off at 7 am, I could hear the wind and feel the chill but it was sunny so I knew my husband and I had to get out there for our 20 mile long run. Ruth Anne had done her 19 miler on Saturday because she knew she had class today and we could not run tomorrow because it is the day of our BIG benefit concert to put us over the top of our fund raising goal. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning thinking about the concert; the head of the tech department at Brookline High School had not gotten a sound person yet. I also knew that Ball In The House, our professional a cappella group needed to plug in their own sound system. As I began to obsess over this, I suddenly decided to let go and let God claiming that God would take care of everything and everything would work out exactly as it should. I of course visited the scenario of needing to cancel the concert and realized that we do live in a Universe of contrasts; if I don't experience the darkness, how can I experience the grace and glory of the light. I also had an amazing AHA moment in the wee hours of the morning - I allowed everything to fall onto my shoulders, feeling responsible and then being blamed if anything went wrong. Well, I realized that I am surrounded by caring and loving people including my beautiful family and extending to a community of loving, supportive friends who are going to make sure that everything goes smoothly. And so, I drifted back to peaceful sleep releasing all of my cares to God.

When I awoke this morning, there was a voicemail from the head of the tech dept. As it turned out, we did not need a sound person because Ball In The House does their own sound from the stage and yes, there are two towers on the side of the stage where they can plug in their sound system. God made sure we did not have to pay for a sound person we did not need (and we were going to have to go with a professional sound person due to some scheduling conflicts with the high school students and staff). That having been resolved, time to focus on the run for the day.

I saw the temperature and decided to just ignore it. The cold is the arch enemy of a person who suffered from post polio syndrome but I am a new me in a new world and so, it was time to prepare for the run. Our event coordinator had suggested we start the run at 10 or 10:30 to simulate Marathon Monday. I had my toast, juice, water and then oatmeal and then before we left at 9:45, ate a banana and half a bagel with more water as I will in the Athlete's Village on Marathon Monday.

We got to Marathon Sports around 10 am. We decided to do a long warm up since it was freezing outside and then decided we needed to do more power walking than running. These last several weeks we have done intensive training - a half marathon, followed by a 19 mile long run within the week and speed drills and hill training. We had done a 15 minute mile for 15 miles last Saturday and done cross training on the bike as well as speed drills on the track. If we were going to survive 20 miles in the cold, we had to pace ourselves.

And so we were grateful for the sunshine and asked God to please change the direction of the wind; God listened and changed the direction of the wind so we had headwinds both coming and going. I'm so glad God has a sense of humor. This was a training run in every sense of the word as we went farther than we ever have before and braved the cold longer than we ever have before. I truly believe that there is a Divine Order and the weather is going to be 48 degrees tomorrow and even warmer on Sunday. But we were meant to test and challenge ourselves and do our training run today in preparation for the 26.2 mile run five weeks from Monday.

I now sit having a cup of tea after a great dinner from Bertucci's of eggplant parmesan and pasta. It's funny how I get these cravings after a long run. See, I told you, this IS like being pregnant - lol. I decided to take two advil tonight. I have not used Advil since last April when our training began to 'intensify' - ha - I had no idea what intensify meant .:) Time to rest up for our next adventure - An Evening of A cappella Music to benefit Spaulding Rehab's Team McManus.

I am so blessed and so grateful for the magic and miracles in my life and for the outpouring of love and support from so many communities.

To purchase my book of inspirational poetry and to explore a new world of greeting cards, customized poetry for all occasions, visit my website at www.newworldgreetings.com. I donate 20% of the proceeds of the sale of my book to Spaulding Rehab's polio fund.

To donate to Team McManus on the Road to the Boston Marathon and to learn more about my healing journey, log onto www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus.

God bless and see you at the finish line!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's One More Mile Among Friends?

Tomorrow is a big day - a 20 mile run. We've run 19 miles for two weeks so what's another mile among friends?

Yesterday, it was rainy and windy and although I had told my personal trainer I would do hills this week, I could not bear another training run in wind and rain. I took myself to the indoor track at BU and decided I would find a way to challenge myself. Part of me wanted to just mosey around the track to get in my 3 miles. I understand that during these waning days of training, it is easy to feel fatigue and feel complacent and it would have been fine if I would have chosen to just get in the 3 miles. Instead, something burned within me to turn it on. After all, we have only two more weeks after this of intense training and I thought of Janine's words, don't hold back now. I want to be in peak psychological and physical shape for Marathon Monday.

As I warmed up, I debated whether to do sprints or tempo run and ended up combining the two. I did a five minute walking warm up and then a 10 minute run and then......I sprinted and tempo'ed (is that even a verb?) and watched my time and my heart rate and when it was all over, I had finished in 40:36! As I have said repeatedly throughout my blog, it's not the time - it's the attitude, it's the feeling of personal triumph, it's giving myself a great cardio workout (average heart rate was 163 for 40 minutes - amazing for a 55 year old woman - that is out of my target heart rate), it's creating a lifestyle and a path to health and fitness that I had never known before. It's releasing the negative thoughts and beliefs from the past on so many levels and allowing myself to emerge as an athlete running with and for God.

Tonight I shall stretch and hydrate and carbo load. I will get everything ready for fueling on our 20 mile run tomorrow. I shall pray and visualize and give thanks to God for this amazing journey and that I am truly living in a new world.

To purchase my book of inspirational poetry and to explore a new world of greeting cards, visit my website at www.newworldgreetings.com.

To make a donation to Team McManus on the Road to the Boston Marathon, visit www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus

God bless and see you at the finish line,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cross Training, Three Weeks to Go and an AHA Moment

As the snow, sleet and ice poured down from the skies, I realized I needed to cross train on the bike. God always sends training plans and since we did our long run on Saturday and will be doing a long run on Friday, it was probably for the best that I had the opportunity to cross train with only one day of rest after a long run. With the realizationthat there is only 3 weeks of intensive training left, I decided to do my usual 5 minute warm up and then kick my butt to see how quickly I could do 8 miles. I beat last week's time of 30 minutes by 1:04 finishing at 28:56. I listened to the theme song from Rocky, The Music & The Mirror from A Chorus Line, This Is The Moment from Jekyll & Hyde and really listened closely to the words. Rocky's theme song talks about getting strong now; going long now - oh yeah! I sweated, visualized running the Marathon, cried with joy with the visualization of Team McManus coming over the hill into Kenmore Square and then crossing the finish line and focused on my own strength which comes from the Divine Source.

I began this journey a little over a year ago when the words fell out of my mouth, "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab". We are now just six weeks shy of Marathon Monday, and this Saturday is our last major fund raiser. I can feel the culmination of intensive training and fund raising as though I am at the top of Heartbreak Hill ready to make my descent to Cleveland Circle. There are times when I feel a knot tighten in my stomach and fear tries to take over. This morning I had another AHA moment as I felt to my core, after feeling fear and doubt, feelings of not being worthy of this journey. What a blessing that I have the strength and courage to feel how I felt when I experienced the crippling effects of polio; to experience feelings of humiliation, rejection, abuse from my parents and grandmother of every imaginable kind and to now emerge triumphant and overflowing with joy and gratitude, and to fall in love with myself and to feel so proud of myself for my courage, faith, determination and perseverance against all odds.

I get to choose - I get to choose how I feel about myself and what I choose to believe about myself. Do I allow the voices of the past to dominate my thoughts and feelings or do I allow myself to align with Source Energy to experience healing, compassion, love, Energy flowing through me, excitement, passion, joy, abundance, trusting that all is well and truly in Divine Order and knowing that I am connected with God. Do I choose to be a victim or do I allow myself to feel the Power of being aligned with our Loving God? I get to choose my thoughts and feelings so why not choose beauty, breath, love, grace, joy, certainty and the knowledge that the kingdom of God is truly within me....To run 26.2 miles, I choose to stay positive and in gratitude and aligned with God and release all those beliefs and thoughts and feelings which no longer serve me.

To purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry and support Spaulding Rehab's polio fund, and to learn more about how you can order customized poetry for any and all occasions, visit my website at www.newworldgreetings.com.

To support Team McManus' run for Boston Marathon visit www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus

God bless and see you at the finish line!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In God I Trust - Release & Heal

After last Thursday's meeting with the BAA for charity runners, one phrase stood out in my mind "there is a time limit - we close down after 6 hours." Mind you, there was a wealth of information given out over two hours - some of it helpful, some of it more anxiety producing than settling but my mind landed on a six hour time limit.I was blessed to meet Tim from the Just Finish community and met some of his fellow charity runners. Race for Rehab sat together as a team and I could feel the excitement build. I just assumed that the concern about running over six hours, could be easily addressed - it was but not in the way I had anticipated.

When I met with my energy healer,Janice on Friday, she reassured me that they are not going to close down the course in six hours; there are runners who come through at all times. {I had already email'ed our event coordinator and have her ask the BAA what if.....} Janice and I did a lot of work on releasing and detoxifying beliefs and releasing events which no longer serve my authentic self. The beliefs come from the image I held of myself as a polio survivor and as a survivor of childhood abuse. I created space inside of me in order to receive all the love, light, healing, joy and abundance from the Universe. I was ready for a great training run on Saturday and I felt refreshed and renewed - blessed by the encounter with Janice and God.

Yesterday's training run was amazing. I decided to fuel per the schedule of the BAA. First water stop at 2 miles and then 1 mile thereafter with water and gatorade. Since I don't do gatorade, I decided to use my gel pack beginning at 1 hour and then supplementing with clementines and pretzels. We decided to run around Jamaica Pond since there was still a lot of snow and ice on the ground; we also revamped the miles since we have to run this Friday rather than Saturday (we're having a benefit concert on Saturday) and to do two long runs in one week this close to the Marathon did not make sense. The weather was amazing - sunny, a little breezy at times and temps in the 50's. I unzipped my running pants and ran in a short sleeve running shirt. No hats,no gloves, no jackets, no scarf! We decided to run for four hours and see how many miles we could get in. Ruth Anne of Team McManus cannot run on Friday so she decided to do her 19 miles and then do runs during the week. I listened to my iPod and in the middle of our run I heard God say, 'you're gonna run it in 6 hours...claim it for yourself'. We ran 15 miles at a 15:20 min/mile pace and I ran almost the entire way. There are no major hills in this run but there are small hills and downhills throughout the run and after we ran for 2 hours, we picked up speed - just as we will after we hit the half marathon mark on Marathon Monday.

Last night, one of our Race for Rehab's teammates had a fund raiser. Our event coordinator sat with us and we talked about the amazing day, training runs and then she said she had gotten my email. She said she could ask the BAA what if I don't finish in six hours, what happens with the champion chip, etc but after all, when I signed on for this, I said that I would run it in six hours. My stomach initially clutched; what was I thinking? How could I run this in six hours and then I remembered - God told me to claim it and not worry about the how's - let it happen.

Today, I experienced low energy. I decided to clean house and do some laundry - always therapeutic for me (besides with all of this training and fund raising, I could not remember the last time I cleaned or changed linens). It's a beautiful Spring day - perfect for cleansing. Fear gripped my soul - what if our event coordinator emails the BAA and they disqualify me? What if......and then I decided to release all of this - I AM going to run the Boston Marathon; I AM going to run it in six hours and if I do not run it in six hours, God will provide - in God I trust! I email'ed our event coordinator and told her she need not follow up with the BAA - I am going to run the Boston Marathon in six hours.

Janice told me on Friday that there is a lot of strength in being able to experience weakness and vulnerability and to share this with others. She gave me tools to be able to become a conscious creator and release feeling victimized or punished by circumstances of life. She told me that it is time for me to receive; that my life was out of balance because I always gave so much and would not allow myself to receive believing I was not worthy to receive. It is now time to receive love, support, joy, camaraderie, being part of a team, God's light and healing and to strengthen myself mind, body and spirit as I prepare for the run of a lifetime.

To learn more about how poetry helped inspire my body to heal, the company that was born out of the crisis of post polio syndrome, and to order a copy of my book of inspirational poetry (I donate 20% of the proceeds to Spaulding Rehab) go to www.newworldgreetings.com.

To donate to Team McManus, you can go to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus

God bless and see you at the finish line,

Friday, March 6, 2009

Breaking Free & Rebirth - Hill Training Part II

Breaking Free
Tiny buds on the trees - a warm March sun
Snow and ice on the ground - winter not yet done.
Each beat of my heart senses end to the night
From darkness/despair my soul now takes flight.
Running free on the hill embracing the day
Memories of braces and canes all melt away.
So grateful to God for the healing inside
The warmth of the sun pries my heart open wide.

The frigid temperatures yielded to 29 degrees yesterday morning but the sun was warm allowing Ruth Anne and I to head outside with our personal trainer, Janine for Hill Training Part II. Since I knew we were going to do intensive cardio training, we ate breakfast almost an hour earlier and had only one piece of toast instead of two. For long runs, we need the fueling but for a short, intense cardio work out, less fuel is more. Janine was radiant when she arrived and we were so grateful that we could train outside. She was going to demonstrate to us how much fitness we had gained in just one week.

We warmed up with our 5 minute walk and then a 5 minute jog - I could easily keep pace with her this week as we did our warm up run and then the moment of truth. Drop the water belts in the snow and on your mark, get set, go - I made it up the hill with relative ease on the first run with my heart rate going up to 170. I even felt like jogging down which I could not do after the first hill the week before. And so off we went pushing and pushing allowing my heart rate to get up to 176 and doing the hill in about 1:06 - 10 seconds off the previous week. By the fifth time up the hill I was feeling a little nauseous but nothing like last week When I felt uneasy after our first run the week before. I also know that the cross training on the bike boosted my fitness level.

While we recovered from the runs up the hill and on the jog home, we talked about life and laughter and what's happening in our lives beyond training for the Marathon (yes, Virginia, there is life beyond Marathon training). Janine shared with us that she is now doing personal training via Skype for one of her clients who moved to Paris! Boston Homebodies goes international. Her client was unable to find a trainer in Paris and asked if she could continue to work with Janine using Skype. Ruth Anne talked about the opportunity for a summer internship and plans to transfer to Cal State and I talked about book signings, events, customized poetry and my process of transformation.

Janine had been listening to NPR and heard someone say that they loved their depression. Why? because the deeper you go into the dark, the closer you get to the light. That is so true! I have been going deep into the dark night of my soul - polio, childhood abuse, and growing up learning utter deprivation, lack and limitation as a human being - BUT my Spirit could not be touched and tarnished by any of these experiences and I am learning to break free of the myths and untruths that I learned growing up. At times it is a tortuous process but God has sent me so many angels to help in the process of rebirth and transformation. And what a beautiful sign we received yesterday as we saw the bright, deep blue sky, felt the warmth of the sun and saw signs of rebirth in the tiny buds on the trees.

To purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" log onto www.newworldgreetings.com. And while you are there, check out the wonderful customized poetry I can create just for you!

To donate to Team McManus, go to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus and check out my You Tube video. I guarantee you will be inspired.

Janine Hightower is available for personal training via Skype as well as in your own home in the greater Boston area. Be sure to visit her website at www.bostonhomebodies.com.

God bless and see you at the finish line -

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Flexibility (and Strength) Keys to Training

With wind chills in single digit numbers and a foot of snow on the ground, what's a marathoner in training supposed to do? God along with the ever present voice of my personal trainer, Janine, helped me to develop an awesome cross training plan yesterday. My original plan was to do speed drills on the bike. After a 5 minute warm up, I felt inspired to do a tempo run - to see how long it would take me to do 8 miles on the bike. I knew that it usually took me 40 minutes - and then a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down - I cranked up the old iPod and put on music with a strong steady beat and then watched the miles go by - I was finished in 30 minutes! My peak heart rate was 160 and my average heart rate was around 148 - a great cardio work out in the warmth and safety of my own home. I was soaked to the skin and felt detoxified and refreshed after this work out.

With the sweat, I shed old beliefs of being weak or unable to push myself. After all, in just a few weeks I am going to be running the Boston Marathon - 26.2 miles. I am clearing out the negative beliefs and focusing on fine tuning both my physical and mental game. There is no room for fear at this phase of the journey and I am so grateful to God that I am finding the mental strength to challenge and release the fears; to cry healing tears and sweat and push and to know that I can meet every challenge with God's help.

I am so grateful for this amazing journey and for the companions who I have been blessed to find along journey's way. I am blessed to have the love, support and camaraderie of my family. I am blessed to have met so many people I never would have met had I not answered God's call in February 2008. I am blessed to know with utter faith and confidence that I am ready to run the 113th running of the Boston Marathon.

For more information about my book of inspirational poetry which helped to inspire my body to heal and my wonderful customized poetry business, go to www.newworldgreetings.com
For more information about my healing journey and to make a donation to Team McManus, go to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus

See you at the finish line!
God bless,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Four Weeks - Four More Long Runs & A Benefit Concert

When I woke up yesterday morning to the alarm clock at 7 am, I had absolutely no desire to get up and run 19 miles. On Sunday, we ran the Hyannis Half Marathon and on Thursday, my trainer, Janine had kicked our butts eight times up the hill. Our cat, Alex, had created a crash in the middle of the night to which I awoke with a start and then tried to settle myself down after my adrenaline was pumping (miraculously the fishbowl of shells which he knocked into the sink did not shatter or break so he was not injured). But no excuses - I knew that after yesterday, we had only four more long training runs until we taper as we are moving ever so close to the start of the Boston Marathon.

On days that I run, I drink no decaf coffee (I gave up caffeinated coffee a year ago) because it can be dehydrating so I had water, juice and began my pre-running ritual of having one piece of toast, stretching, having oatmeal and another piece of toast and more water. I had filled up all of the water bottles for the fuel belt and prepared baggies of pretzels. The other two members of Team McManus awoke and we got prepared for the day. I told myself that despite feeling tired, I would get through this training run.

We arrived at Marathon Sports at 8:30 am where a Saucony representative had created a festive atmosphere. The Spaulding Rehab team trainer, Domenick D'Amico was there and he was helping us to plan out our 19 mile run (which was 18.6 miles with a lot of hills). He is a gentle spirit who has run 17 marathons including 9 Boston Marathons. A few other runners congratulated us on our successful Hyannis run. To our surprise, there was a raffle drawing and Ruth Anne and I won Saucony t-shirts. By 8:50 we were on our way.

The sun was shining and it was 39 degrees but there was a stiff headwind. I knew I needed to harness all of my psychological strength to finish this training run. I invited God to join me on this training run and asked God for help at different points when I was feeling tired and sore. She was right there with me every step of the way. I had my iPod and listened to shuffle songs. We took a nice and easy pace and I dismissed all thoughts of how long this was going to take us. We had done an amazing 15:38 minute mile at the Hyannis Half Marathon race and the important thing was to got those miles into our legs and to run safe and healthy. I made sure that I drank a lot of water, used my gel and had pretzels to replace salt and to add carbs for fuel. Team McManus was in a great rhythm. Ruth Anne power walked; she is amazing at finding a pace that matches our running pace; Tom kept a steady running pace and I alternated between power walking and running. At the end of our training run, as we reached Cleveland Circle, I decided to bring it way down and walk. Tom ran ahead to order our post training run pizza at Cafe Nicholas. The training run took 5 hours and 15 minutes - but who cares? Despite feeling tired and still recovering from Sunday's Half Marathon, WE DID IT! We came home and took hot showers; Ruth Anne and I watched Friends on DVD and then our tradition - American Idol Rewind. We had Thai food from Trader Joe's for dinner and went to bed at 9 pm. I got 12 hours of sleep and awoke this morning feeling sore but blissful knowing that we only have four more long runs on the weekends - and a benefit concert.

On March 14th, we have been blessed to create An Evening of A Cappella Music at Brookline High School. We have all been busy with ticket sales and I have been extremely busy with promotions. What a blessing to connect with a Boston Globe reporter who is a Brookline High School mom (Dr. Bob Weintraub, headmaster, referred me to her). My PR student is preparing a press release to send out this week and most importantly, regardless of what may be right now in terms of ticket sales, we are visualizing a sold out house. I visualize a reunion of my twins' classmates and teachers from Brookline High School. I visualize my colleagues from the VA coming out for the evening and it being an evening overflowing with magic. We are blessed to have two wonderful raffle prizes - a Tiffany's bracelet and a WERS gift basket. We have certificates from Boloco to sell. It's going to be a marvelous night for a community to come together for an incredible cause and to celebrate a miracle of healing.

Amidst training for the Marathon and creating a benefit concert, I am busy with book promotion and creating customized poetry for my clients as well as expanding my client base. I know that God is bathing me with Her love and strength and I move forward in total joy giving thanks for the blessings which overflow in my life.

To learn more about my wonderful book of inspirational poetry and customized poetry, log onto www.newworldgreetings.com
To donate to Team McManus, go to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus
If you are in the greater Boston area, please join us for an Evening of A Cappella Music at www.firstgiving.com/ballinthehouse