No - I did not misspell cents - I found a penny and a nickel on our last training run today. The nickel was right outside of Marathon Sports on Beacon Street - the magical place where I began this transformation from polio survivor to athlete. We ran from there to Hereford Street and not wanting to a. extend our time or b. cross the finish line before next Monday, we turned around to run back out Commonwealth Avenue to Beacon Street.
On our return trip, I thought I saw a penny and picked it up but it turned out to be an old piece of gum round, flat, and without my glasses (it's too uncomfortable to run with glasses and I can see well enough without them thanks be to God and a good cataract surgery outcome) it looked like a penny. Ahhh...don't be deceived is what God was telling me. And a little further down the street, there was a shiny penny. So six cents I noticed -- hmmm - let me check the dates to see if they have any significance. 1994-2001 - wow that's seven years and I know seven is a mystical number - cool. And then it hit me - Six Sense - Sixth sense - God is telling me relinquish these fears that are emerging as I experience a case of pre race nerves and just trust. I heard Obi Wan Kenobi say to Luke Skywalker, "Trust the Force Luke" and know that when I use 'the Force' and follow my intuition and trust in God, all is well and in Divine Order.
My case of nerves last night manifested as me focusing on road closures - yup - that's right - of all things one can fret about a week before a Marathon - me I was afraid I was going to miss the bus out to Hopkinton. Now of course, our events coordinator is amazing and she sent out an email with meticulous details about Marathon logistics. If there were going to be road closures, would she tell us that we could drive or get dropped off at Spaulding where the bus leaves at 6:30 am? Of course not but the fear drove me and I decided to check in to just make sure that we would be able to get there by car. Even after I received email confirmation from the Vice President of Development that Storrow Drive is open and there are no road closures at that time in the morning, I was searching the internet for the list of road closures. I observed myself behaving in this maniacal fashion - and finally, in my exhaustion, I turned it over to God. When I shared my case of pre race nerves with our wonderful Spaulding trainer, Domenick D'Amico, he reassured me that at that time the only street we cannot go down is Boylston Street.
Where did I learn this behavior of control and fear...now it's one thing to be prepared and make sure that all our ducks are in a row - I have a bag packed with gels/gu, hats and gloves which I am praying we are not going to need - the hats and gloves that is - I know we'll need the gels and gu; and at the suggestion of Domenick, 3 trash bags to keep us warm up to the starting line. That is behavior which brings me a sense of comfort and joy and excitement and anticipation. The controlling, obsessive thoughts bring only grief. I am so blessed to be surrounded by love and support. My daughter and husband hold up a mirror to me and I am able to laugh at my behaviors.
But I also want to continue to honor and cherish myself in spite of these behaviors. I dropped like a stone (as it says in my poem "Running the Race") and my life was forever changed. Polio and then post polio syndrome were my greatest challenges and greatest blessings and I continue to heal the fears and sense of uncertainty that accompanied the polio and all that followed in a chaotic childhood. And each time I conquer a sense of fear, the depth of love that replaces it is truly magical and mystical; I also learn to deepen my faith and capacity to trust in the goodness and love of God and a wonderful Universe where magic and miracles happen. After all, I'm living proof of that! And God has sent me/us so many incredible signs from money found to the weather (how many times have we said, boy were we lucky to get in our training run - just to keep us on our toes God just had to throw in torrential rain and snow and ice and wind chills but you know what I think? I think God did that so that we would feel such ease on Marathon Monday when there is going to be perfect weather for a run).
As I run through each town along the 26.2 mile route from Hopkinton to Boston, I leave behind a part of my old self and as I cross the finish line, I begin another journey of wonderful adventures continuing to transform and grow in peace, faith, joy, love and overflowing happiness.
It's Marathon Monday, it's my day to shine
with husband and daughter poised at starting line.
I know I can do this - there's no way to fail
tethered to God through this race I can sail.
For over a year, we've trained from our heart
Mind, body, spirit - we're ready to start.
We know the course and we know the terrain
We're primed for the challenge - we know they'll be pain.
The glory's far greater than what we may face
We're living examples of God's shining Grace.
Shake out all the nerves - there's nothing to fear
Let in all the love from the crowds as they cheer.
With prayers and angels our feet feel so light
Joy overflowing the finish in sight.
We conquered the course fueled by love in our heart
The race had been won blessed by God from the start.
For more of my wonderful poetry, log onto www.newworldgreetings.com. Purchase a book of my inspirational poetry and donate to a good cause - 20% of the proceeds is donated to Spaulding Rehab's polio fund. Be sure to order your customized poetry for weddings, graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays, anniversaries and all the celebrations that Spring and Summer hold.
Be sure to donate to Team McManus by going to www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus
God bless and yes Virginia there is a Patriot's Day - see you at the finish line!