Monday, November 15, 2010

Every Step is a Victory:Body & Soul Work

This morning after posting the results of my 6 mile run on Daily Mile, my dear friend Doug Welch aka @reallynotarunnr said, "Just remember, every step is a victory." I told him I knew and I am so incredibly grateful for the healing happening in my life. I do not take ANYTHING for granted and I am so incredibly grateful for how the running community celebrates my running a sub 15 minute mile and how my runs have gotten so strong. It's not about the actual time because as Doug said, every step is a victory. It's about feeling free in my body; feeling strong and having the confidence to run and run at a pace I did not think was possible after having run the Boston Marathon when I experienced a relapse of post polio symptoms.

I had a very strange experience Friday night into Saturday morning. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling searing pain in my left leg. I was in one of those twilight states. My knee locked and unlocked and I know I have some cartilage hangin' out in my knee. I visualize growing new cartilage and keeping my knee joints well lubricated. But this pain was different than the pain of a knee locking; this was as I said a searing pain and I felt as though my leg was on fire. I sent loving, healing energy to my leg and I observed the pain. It was in me but I did not allow it or fear to take over.

On the ride to Falmouth on Saturday, I kept sending healing energy to my left leg. I was not alarmed that I might not be able to run. I just kept observing the pain and creating a space around it. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, something magical happens when I cross the Cape Cod Canal and once I felt the warm sunshine and breathed the Cape air, I could feel the pain begin to dissipate. As I said, Tom and I had an amazing 4 mile run. When we got back to the hotel, since the weather was glorious, we decided to forego a swim in the indoor heated pool for being outside. I journaled and I had an AHA moment. I was experiencing phantom pain from polio. I was able to release it through running and by not locking into the pain. The fact that I used the word searing was the tipping point for me. In my first poem, "Running the Race" I talked about how the pain it was so searing, the diagnosis even's polio the doctor said, he was abrupt and terse.

The memory of Miss Holly, my physical therapist when I was 5, working on my left leg returned and once again the intense pain of recovering from the initial polio virus was transformed by the treatment. The Sister Kenny method which physical therapists used to help patients recover from paralytic polio involved "using hot packs to reduce muscle spasms and the pain they caused. (Although a polio patient lost motor nerves, their sensory nerves were not affected, and they were frequently in extreme pain. Imagine having a leg cramp for several weeks.) She also moved the patient's extremities as if guiding them through physical therapy. Although the patient couldn't work the muscles themselves, the motion helped."

So yes, Doug, every step is indeed a victory and I am doing the body and soul work to free myself from the shackles of polio and post polio syndrome and all that went along with it. I am so grateful to have the love and support of so many wonderful friends and I am blessed beyond words to have a life and running partner in my husband. To have found Eric at the Charles River Run 5K is to have found an earth angel whose skill and heart have helped me to do the work I need to do to be free in mind, body and spirit!

God bless, be well and live like you were dyin'
From my heart to yours with love and gratitude,

p.s. For a smile - here is the summary of my Daily Mile workouts last week:

28 Total Miles
6.83 Total Time
1 Lbs Burned
7 Total Workouts
102.30 TVs Powered
1.47 Gas Saved
28.63 Donuts Burned


Douglas Welch said...

Awesome! I am so glad that you are able to find these areas of embedded pain, figure it out and then and release. It is so important to be able to get to the root of your pain be it physical or emotional and just let it go. This is one of the things I have a lot of trouble talking about (one of these days when we have time for a LONG talk). But whenever people ask me how or why I run, I always refer to a coaster that I have that says "Running is Cheaper than Therapy!" Running has become MY therapy (the most effective therapy I've ever been through, btw) and I don't think I could LIVE without it, let alone live like I'm dying. Have I even told you how much I appreciate that you sign-off from your blog that way? I love it!

Ashley said...


So glad that Eric helps you so much. 28 miles is awesome for the week! You are doing so well! Doug is right. Time is just a number. You accomplishments live on forever! Keep it up!