The miracle is I had the courage to start." - John Bingham
Three weeks from tomorrow - my inaugural event in two years - The Brookline Symphony Orchestra 5k Fun Run and it's easy to say oh it's just a 5K and it's just a fun run but I don't believe in the word "just". For me it's huge that I am participating in a 5K event again. The paralytic polio virus that I contracted at the age of 5 left my body with structural and neuromuscular issues that I've been dealing with for decades or rather not dealing with for decades would be more to the point. Add in a layer of trauma - severe trauma for 9 years - and it's a recipe for breakdown and disease which happened with the diagnosis of post polio syndrome seven years ago.
During these past seven years, I've had this amazing healing odyssey of ups and downs but at no point in this odyssey did I feel as hopeful, as steady and as strong as I do now.
It would have been easy for me to quit two years ago and say this is as good as it's gonna get. I'll practice yoga 5 or 6 times a week. I will hunker down and wait for winter to pass. While I was grateful for the functioning I had and the blessings in my life, my body and my life were constricted and contracted.
It takes courage to begin again over and over and over again. And it takes courage to start from the beginning with training for a 5K. Of course it was a lot easier than when I first started training for the 2009 Boston Marathon when my heart rate went over 170 with a walk/run and I had the endurance of 5 minutes at a time. I celebrated when I was able to walk/run for 30 minutes.
I can't look at where I was when I left running two years ago but rather feel grateful and happy that I have been able to begin again and be where I am right now. I am able to get stronger, and experience softness and grace and ease in my movements although at times I feel like a newborn colt finding my legs and finding my way in this wonderful new structure. I'm excited that I'll be outdoors as the seasons change this year and if it gets too harsh in winter, I'll use my recumbent stationary bike for cross training. But I am a hearty soul and delighted that I have balance in my health and fitness routine.
And when I cross the finish line on September 29th, I will know in my heart that the miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start - yet again and this time, I have a feeling that I am going to be able to maintain momentum, strength, grace and ease.
The Chaser from the soon to be released A Celebration of Life. My books of inspirational poetry are available on Amazon
Energy of fear
bristling and bubbling
trying to hold me down
hold me back
as it stalls
pools in back of knees
where he once brought to my knees
but no need to struggle
to wrest free from fear
just let it be
harnessing my healing power
sending life force
more forceful than fear
chi the chaser
no longer chased by ghosts from a traumatic past
free to run!