Thursday, August 26, 2010
Keeping the Pace
I had two turtles as pets when I was a little girl. I loved them so. And now, I see turtles when I run around the reservoir reminding me that slow and steady wins the race every time - although more importantly - there is no race - it's about keeping the pace. This past week, my dear friend Kate Loving Shenk talked about turtles in her Daily Prayer for Healing blog; Joan Adams posted a You Tube video on Facebook which you must watch about turtles. I am training to run the Tufts Health Plan 10K after a year hiatus. I am running with a dear friend who didn't know whether or not she'd be ready to run it, but she has registered for the race and she has hit her treadmill with a vengeance. I am so honored that she agreed to run with me.
The echoes of 'easy out' can still come to the fore when I am training for a road race. I get anxious about time and speed. I have the feeling of being left behind trying to keep up with my leg brace. I am registering for races where I know that time and speed do not matter. Showing up, running with heart and being a shining example of how the spirit triumphs over obstacles is what is important in these 'races'. I am so blessed with so many people opening their arms to embrace me and my journey - a far cry from the days of being taunted and teased for being different.
My interview on Exceptional Women will be airing sometime in the first two weeks of September. It was an incredible experience to sit across the table from Candy O'Terry and be called a 'backyard hero.' We have the interview with Jordan Rich on my website in which I launch my 2nd book of inspirational poetry, "Set Sail for a New World:Healing a Life Through the Gift of Poetry" but it's not about selling books; it's about sharing the journey and inspiring others with a message of hope and possibility. I will be speaking at the East Hartford Rotary Club on September 22nd. They have extended such warmth and hospitality to me and will be sharing my journey on their website. I know that it is my energy and passion about sharing my journey which has drawn these experiences into my life but I am in awe and wonder and feel so grateful that, at last, I am able to fulfil my life's purpose. When I look at the people in my life now, there is beautiful synergy as we bless each other's lives and work together for the highest good.
I am so blessed to have my husband, Tom as my training partner. He encourages me, paces me, and lets me know that running and running in road races is about the journey, not the destination and that it is crucial that I run my own race - keeping the pace. I love how we do our runs together but he also has the opportunity to run at his own pace (a lot faster than mine - smile). There is such a thrill for me to watch him cross the finish line after a well run race. It's about keeping healthy and fit; happy and whole and doing things which nourish us mind, body and spirit. After 32 years of marriage, we are so blessed to be keeping a wonderful pace as we head toward the big 6-0.
For those of you new to my blog, here is the first poem I wrote in February 2007 as I began to emerge from the dark night of the soul:
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 no one 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 noone 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.
In addition to writing books of inspirational poetry, I write original poetry for every occasion. Visit New World Greeting Cards to learn more about why you need not spend hours looking for a card that comes close to what you want to say when, at New World Greeting Cards, I help you to express the sentiments in your heart. And remember, when you purchase my books of inspirational poetry, 20% of book proceeds are donated to Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment!
Visit MaryMcManus.com to read poetic reflections on the Road to the Boston Marathon and see photos from Marathon Monday. Be sure to check out my News and Events page and I would love to see you at one of my upcoming events.