It's fun to take a look back to five years ago when we were training for the 2009 Boston Marathon. What a journey. From a wheelchair, leg brace, polio shoes to running shoes, to taking a total leap of faith saying that I, a survivor of paralytic polio and having been diagnosed with post polio syndrome would run the 2009 Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital.
When I contracted paralytic polio in 1959, I was blessed with a physical therapist, Miss Holly, who would read Dr. Seuss to me before every painful physical therapy session. She would have me recite my favorite Dr. Seuss books with her to ease the pain of the treatments. It's really remarkable how years later, after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a "progressive neuromuscular disease" that I would turn to the healing cadence of Dr. Seuss only now I was the one holding the pen.
Writing poetry released my unconscious desire to feel healthy and whole despite physical appearances to the contrary. And when it came time to train for the Boston Marathon, my trusty pen helped me to visualize and harness strength fueling me through those long runs and to also capture my journey.
Here is one of my favorites that I wrote 5 years ago today:
Ode to Marathon Training - March 22, 2009
Blisters, black toes, aches and pains
A change in my routine
Long training runs, the hills, the sprints
Keep running clothes fresh and clean.
Carbo load and plan each meal
Power gels and gatorade
No matter what the weather
No time to be afraid.
Humid – hot or freezing cold
Snow against the face
Wind or sun or raining
Those running shoes I must lace.
What mile is this how long we been out
Check heart rate drink H20
Meltdowns joys and triumphs
Only a few more weeks to go.
Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart
This year has been the best
Found myself and made new friends
I feel incredibly blessed.
One more long run and then taper time. My love and prayers are with all getting ready to run long and show the world what Boston Strong is all about.