Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Miracle of My Life

“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”― John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

The holiday season is a time for bearing witness to miracles. It doesn't matter what your religious preference or beliefs are. There is something magical and mystical about being able to experience and celebrate the light during the darkest and coldest time of the year. This time of year is also a time to focus on gratitude and thanks giving.

In about six weeks, I celebrate the miracle of my life and turning 60 years old on Christmas Day.

Did you know that many believe that the reason that Tiny Tim's affliction was polio?

And like Tiny Tim for so much of my life, I was crippled! I was crippled by the ravages of paralytic polio and trauma. I had grown a body that was trying to protect itself and a body that had developed compensatory patterns as a result of wearing a heavy metal leg brace for 3 years, being in a cast on my other leg for 6 weeks, 3 years after coming out of the leg brace, over 25 surgeries and experiencing brutality at the hands of family members.

I had no idea that I would ever not be crippled by my past. Seven years ago I too, like Tiny Tim, came perilously close to death. My family rallied around me to support me but the healing path was mine alone to choose.

Deep inside of me I knew that while much of what the team at the International Center for Polio and Post Polio was suggesting was critical in my recovery, there was one piece of advice I could not follow -- "If you use it, you will lose it." I had a burning deep inside of me to get moving.

Last night my husband Tom and I went on our run. It was cold and dark (although thank goodness for Marathon Sports for outfitting us with winter gear complete with a headlamp) and I certainly did not run my fastest pace - 3.25 miles with a just sub 16 minute/mile pace but I was out there in the evening doing 3.25 miles!

Tom said to me, "What happened? How did all of this happen?" I had run the Boston Marathon yes and oh how I needed to get out there and shed my image as someone who was powerless and crippled and disabled. And I kept searching and searching and working so hard to find my way back home to my body.

We also talked about how hard I have worked and how I have to work so hard each and every day to find balance, listen to what my body needs, work in the Aquatics Therapy Program at Spaulding to build strength in a body that never knew strength and ease and I talked about how different everything is now in my body and in my life.

And today, I needed to take a few moments and give pause and thanks to the miracle that is my life!

Moving Forward from A Celebration of Life available on Amazon

Tethered and tied up to what once was
decades ago
staples, sutures
scar tissue
tenderly released
my form reappears

now training for a 5K
training mind
moving mindfully
retraining body

a surprising bounce in my step
a lightness in my heart
awesome creation
how is this possible?

A beacon of light for others
of what IS possible
once defeated
now defying the odds

trusting in this miracle
moving forward.

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