Monday, March 24, 2014

Countdown to Boston-Moving On

It's not easy to move one.

I had to learn how to move on after contracting paralytic polio at the age of 5.

After 9 years of unrelenting childhood trauma, I had to find a way to move on with my life. One month after my father committed suicide, I arrived as a freshman at Boston University in 1971.

After being diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006, I wasn't sure how I would ever be able to move on with my life but I ended up running the 2009 Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner.

Three years ago, after my nephew's suicide in March, I wasn't sure how I would be able to move on. I thought I would never return to running and thought for sure that at that time, all that I had endured would finally win. But my Spirit wouldn't let that happen and I was able to move on.

And most recently there was 4/15/13....

One more long run and then taper time for those training for Boston 2014. For me, I have one more support crew for Spaulding Rehab's last long run next Saturday, one more fundraiser, Greg Gordon's Boston Marathon Fundraiser, "Singing Boston Strong: An Evening of A Cappella to Benefit Spaulding Rehab", BAA Packet Stuffing and our L Street Pre Marathon Meeting.

On the 11 month anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, I could feel emotions begin to thaw and flow just like the lakes, ponds, and reservoirs are doing here in New England. The time of busy-ness is winding down for me. It's time to allow healing to happen and move on.

As we countdown to Boston, I realized that I needed a new bodywork practitioner who could bring me to a place of deeper relaxation and healing through massage and bodywork. My previous practitioner and I were out of sync. I realized that the dynamics in our relationship were not healthy. I knew this time of healing was too important in my life to settle for anything less than what I needed to continue to heal especially as we approach the anniversary of 4/15/13.

I was so blessed to find my way to Sollievo Massage and Bodywork in Cambridge. My new therapist, Joseph Brescia, LMT is a trained mental health practitioner and has over 20 years of experience as a massage therapist. He incorporates several modalities into the 90 minute session and I feel a renewed sense of healing, hope and possibility as I take my healing journey to the next level.

I notice that traumatic memories from my past that still need healing are surfacing in my body in the wake of 4/15/13 but they are also being released to create space and freedom for me to fully live. I notice the physical sensations from that day coming to the surface. They seem to have a mind of their own but in truth it is the energy from experiencing the bombings, then needing to evacuate and all that was experienced absorbed in my body that is working its way through me. I continue to experience a deep sense of gratitude for how blessed we were to be spared so much that day.

And my heart is open and filled with gratitude for the blessings and the healing that have come out of the tragic events of last year's Boston Marathon. I had gone into the day with high hopes that perhaps this was the year Ernst van Dyk would win his 10th Boston. I had wonderful expectations for celebrating my 2009 Boston Marathon run with several of my Race for Rehab teammates regaling them as they entered the ballroom as I was once regaled. While none of that would happen and instead we were faced with a day filled with tragedy, I have been blessed to rekindle connections with people I had lost touch with since 2009, deepen friendships with people in my life, move on from relationships that were rife with struggle and old patterns, and connect with new friends through a common bond of love and healing. There is unconditional love and acceptance and listening with compassion.

On Friday evening, Team McManus, made a decision that we are not going to return to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel this year to be with Spaulding Rehab and the Race for Rehab Team. We knew that given the size of the team and the emotional frenzy that is sure to accompany this year's marathon, that being there would not give us an opportunity to heal and move on. I could feel my nervous system ignite when I thought about being back in the Suite at the Mandarin. I realized that I needed to make peace with what was and to allow all of the emotions to wash through me.

We will be outside in Brookline on Marathon Monday not far from where we live beaming love and smiles for all of our friends who will lace up their shoes and are running Boston 2014 as they move on from 4/15/13.

Saturday evening, I attended a fund raiser for Katie Eastman of Team Miles4Smiles. It was as much a group therapy session as it was a fund raiser. One of the beautiful people I met as a result of 4/15/13 is Elizabeth Comeau. Today she writes about moving on in her blog Day 28: The Spot.

Yesterday, my friend Tina Perry Karas' was interviewed on WBZ. Tina is one of the friend's I reconnected with by renewing my membership with L Street after the bombings realizing how important it is to stay connected with those who matter most to us. We have known each other since 2010 when I was a speaker at the L Street Pre Marathon Meeting to inspire the runners. In 2011, she was kind enough to videotape my impromptu speech at the behest of Club President "Mac" to fill in while Greg Meyer made his way to the Club.

WGBH news posted this article this morning with the theme One Year Later: At Site of Marathon Bombing, Gearing up for Another One. It features, Jon Masters a new friend I met through Elizabeth and my beloved Marathon Sports family.

And here's how two Boston Marathon bombing survivors are moving on after their lives were forever changed almost one year ago:

Adrianne Haslet-Davis dances again on the stage at TED.

As we count down to Boston, each one in their own unique way is finding ways to heal and move on. But none of us is moving on alone. We are moving forward as a community whose fabric has been made stronger by the very events that tested its strength. We run together. We heal together. We move on together.

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