Thursday, May 28, 2009

From Panic to Peace -- Patience & Trust

Today was my first assessment since last October with my beloved personal trainer, Janine Hightower. My cardiovascular health and fitness is outstanding; everything about my health and fitness is outstanding. I need to resume upper body strength training which was abandoned during my long training runs. I have a whole new program now; one which will enable me to maintain and improve my health and fitness. Janine is a remarkable teacher - she is patient and knowledgeable and attends to the whole person - not just the exercise regimen. As we were finishing up our session, my cell phone rang - it was my son calling. I turned off the ringer and felt that solar plexus clutch. Will there ever come a time when I see his number flash on my phone and I won't go into panic mode? I ask God for help with this. He was fine; just wanted me to know he had gotten mail I sent to him about two weeks ago and thanked me for the letter I had written to him. He is busy, thriving, helping others and taking as good care of himself as any 21 year old man does. Time to let go and let God.

But the panic feeling remained. I felt lost and terribly out of sorts. I was trying to figure out what was going on. I prayed and also decided I needed to channel the panic so I took out all the trash and recycling, fixed some lunch and realized that my brain had not yet wrapped itself around the fact that I ran the Boston Marathon and now, I get to just enjoy health and fitness. There is no more struggle. Sure there is challenging myself but I have always had to fight to overcome physical challenges - and went from intensive rehab to intensive training for a Marathon and now....

My new training program is awesome - Saturday is a challenging run; Sunday is a rest day; Monday is upper body strength training; Tuesday is gentle run; Wednesday is lower body strength training; Thursday is intense biking (which I love) and Friday is pilates. It took me awhile to get this plan organized and to get out my old strength training sheets and remind myself of the exercises. Today for the assessment I did 21 push ups. I had done 27 at the last assessment but that was before training for a Marathon took hold. I re instituted upper body strength training and did 30 minutes on the bike.

So I began to feel a sense of peace overtake me and then the phone rang - it was a blinded veteran who had commissioned me to write a poem for the 40th Anniversary of the Blind Rehab Center at West Haven. In an email, I had mentioned that I was considering going down for the anniversary; he told me that I would be going down for the anniversary and he was paying for my hotel room. Now all of you out there who may be reading this - please get your minds out of the gutter - he was paying for the hotel room for my husband and me. He wanted me to be the one to read the poem I had written because, even though he could make it into large text, he would still struggle with being able to read the poem. He said that nobody would be able to do the poem justice except for me.

In my blog, I have not written much about my work as a social worker at the VA. I shared how I was burned out but I did not share with you the utter joy I felt when I first went to work as the Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator in 1988. I could combine my social work skills with my PR and marketing skills and I was in heaven. My twins were well cared for at the day care center near my office and through outreach and marketing efforts, I had built up the roster of blinded veterans from 60 to well over 600. There were political issues that resulted in the position being taken away from me but it was all part of God's plan. It is the total grace that I return to the Blind Center on this incredible occasion to share my gift of poetry. And my husband and I are gonna get to play at an outdoor convention center, Mountain Ridge, in Wallingford, Connecticut after the morning festivities. It will be a mini retreat without computers, cell phones, email and it will also be a way to celebrate a place that does so much to help restore the dignity and independence of our nation's veterans.

So with patience and trust that all is well and in Divine Order I step forward in faith to take these next steps on life's journey. Fund raising for Team McManus officially closes on May 31st. There's no new event to train for - I'll be doing some 5K's and the Tufts 10K but that's about it. I never know where the road will lead and that's the excitement and wonder and thrill of it all. I know that God is my safety net and everything is unfolding just as it should. I can be impatient at times - and I can look at what has not yet happened rather than experience the exhilaration, joy and gratitude for all that HAS happened. It's time now to have a mind set of miracles and grace and peace and love and joy overflowing in my life. And with God, whatever challenges or struggles that may present themselves, they are but a blip on the radar screen of life or as Carrie Underwood says, that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand....

It's a new day, a new starting line - have a great run
With my love and joy,

To read the poem I wrote for the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Blind Rehabilitation Center at the West Haven VA, go to:

Father's Day is June 21st and that's right around the bend
Visit to see a one of a kind poem you can send~!

To order a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" which helped me to heal mind,body and spirit and go on to finish the 113th Boston Marathon go to I donate 20% to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.

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