Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Chocolate Covered Grand Canyon Quarter Peaceful Coexistence with Post Polio

Okay so you think, huh? Has this woman lost her mind? Why is she writing about a chocolate covered Grand Canyon quarter and furthermore what is a chocolate covered Grand Canyon Quarter. Well those of you who have followed my blog know that God has been sending me signs on this amazing journey. After my husband Tom and I did our 3.6 mile run,as I was about to get into our car, I noticed a quarter on the sidewalk. When I picked it up it was slimy and brown but the scent of chocolate let me know right away that God was not sending me poop. I was holding a cup of water which was almost finished so I plopped the quarter into the water. When I got home I scrubbed it clean and it revealed that it was a quarter from Arizona and it had a beautiful rendering of the Grand Canyon.

God was definitely sending me a message - life is meant to be sweet, abundant and expansive. It is so easy to retreat and contract into a world of fear and to be deceived by appearances. God was saying to me that I must move forward and that any appearance of limitation or lack must be replaced with a breathtaking expansive view of God's wonders.

Yesterday, a reporter who is interested in doing a story about polio and post polio syndrome email'ed me to ask me if I still had symptoms of post polio. I had to think about it because I feel that I have been victorious over post polio and feel that I have made a full recovery. But yes, I do have symptoms of post polio syndrome. I experience cold intolerance, muscle spasms, tremors, fatigue and difficulty swallowing. I have to take exquisite care of myself and lead a balanced life. I know when I am out of balance because my symptoms will worsen. I also have an imbalance of muscle strength which becomes readily apparent when I am doing strength training exercises. But the symptoms are mild, transient and manageable because I have learned how to peacefully co-exist with the symptoms.

I had done 3 very intense 'challenge' runs and the day after the 3rd one I felt awful. I was dizzy, nauseous, felt weak, tired and had a feeling of general malaise. I realized that I had pushed myself too hard. When I met with my personal trainer, Janine, we talked about balance and we talked about a definition of health and fitness. Do I even want to increase my speed in running? Am I still trying to prove that I am just like everyone else and can do what everyone else does? Well - I am not like everyone else and I am not like anyone else. I am unique. I really love and cherish myself just as God created me and just as life forces have shaped me. I am so grateful for how well I feel - and I know that this feeling of well being is a result of allowing myself to transform from feeling less than, feeling out of step with everyone else, listening to the voices of taunting and teasing and a distorted body image. I had labeled my quirky body with its tremors and imbalances as bad; something I needed to overcome and change or hide and be embarrassed about. But that first poem that poured out of me in February 2007 taught me otherwise.

So now, after running the Boston Marathon, I have come full circle and I am getting reacquainted with my body - hello body, it's nice to meet you again. You are so special and I love you. You are the sacred temple which holds my sacred self. I love you with all of the scars from all of the surgeries; I love you with your tremors; I love you when you can't adjust to the temperature outside and I either sweat a lot or I shiver; I love the challenge of strength training because there is an imbalance in muscle strength; I love you and I am going to keep you as healthy and safe as I can on this journey. We are going to have fun together and I am going to honor and respect when you tell me we've been challenged but not go beyond that point. We're gonna have fun next Sunday at the Corrib Pub Run.

It's been a year since that first road race. I remember the exhilaration of crossing the finish line. After 40 minutes I stopped to walk because I had not yet run over 40 minutes continuously and then resumed running crossing the finish line holding hands with my husband. I am so excited to run the race again - to relax and enjoy and to know that just showing up, running with heart, feeling God's joy and blessing and giving thanks for the blessings in my life is a personal best. Ah yes - life is meant to be sweet, abundant and expansive taking in God's breathtaking view of Love, Joy, Faith, Healing, Freedom, Space and to fill that space with God's Love for myself and the world.

To purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry which helped me to heal mind, body and spirit and go on to cross the finish line of he 113th Boston Marathon, go to

Father's Day, weddings, graduations and more - Come to New world Greeting Cards for a poem you can't find in the store.

For those of you in the Boston area, be sure to join us on June 24th at 7 pm at Marathon Sports Brookline (Mile 23 of the Boston Marathon) for Poetry in Motion.;Poetry_In_Motion

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