Tuesday, May 6, 2014

No Mud - No Lotus

The lotus flower goes through much in its growth before emerging from dirty water to become a beautiful flower. What a wonderful metaphor for our journeys through adversity.

This morning as I drove home from Spaulding Aquatics Therapy class, I passed by Charles River Plaza where, seven and a half years ago, I had an EMG. It was a test that would help to determine the extent of the damage to the nerves in my upper body as a result of contracting paralytic polio when I was 5 years old. It seems like a lifetime ago and in some ways it was!

I am so happy to be here now and grateful for every step of this healing odyssey.

It's almost 7 years since I left the VA with a heavy heart to heal my own life and follow my passion as a poet and a writer. I had no idea what the future held for me; if in fact I would still be alive today at 60 years old because of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscualr disease. I just knew that I was at a crossroads in my life. Would I find my way to the light even though it meant traveling through a lot of murky water and would I blossom and grow as a result of the challenge of not only the diagnosis of post polio syndrome but the effects of 9 years of unrelenting trauma that I experienced as a child?

We don't know how strong we are until strong is the only choice we have.

This past weekend, through Facebook, I met Randy Pierce and Thor Kirleis. It is astonishing what comes out of adversity. The beautiful flower of all that is the best of being human blossoms. Friendship. Community. Trust. Inspiration. Motivation. Hearts and souls singing songs of compassion, kindness, discovering the power of intention. Strength. Courage. Camaraderie. Kinship and brotherhood borne that is far greater than any blood ties. In yesterday's blog I wrote about Randy's quest to catch the Unicorn as he qualified for Boston 2015.

Thor posted his Providence Marathon Race Report today on his blog. Please take the time to read Thor's post and be sure to have tissues handy!

At the beginning of the race report, Thor shares what happened to him during his first 100 mile race:
That night, I had a glimpse into my soul, deep into my core, to see exactly what I was made of. And you know what? I actually liked what I saw. I gave up on myself time after time, but each time I got back up and kept going. I refused to be defeated. I would not quit.

That is how I felt during the Marathon Sports 5 Miler in July 2008; my first 5 mile race ever. It was hot. I was tired and it was a fast field. I believed that I didn't belong in the running community and all of the taunts from childhood came back to haunt me that day. But my husband who was by my side through every hill and every moment of uncertainty wouldn't let me quit. I apologized to him for holding him back and being dead last and even told him to just take off. But he wouldn't. He helped me dig deep and get myself to the finish line that day. My Marathon Sports family waited for us to cross the finish line sounding the air horn and honking the horn on the sweep truck. I knew that I could and would run the 2009 Boston Marathon.

Thor's race report takes you through their journey on the road of the Providence Marathon but it also takes you inside the journey of two bodies and souls tied together with a mission far greater than qualifying for Boston.

Today, Randy's interview on the Talking Information Center show, Mission Possible was posted. Please take the time to listen as Randy talks about his powerful mission to bring a message of achievement through adversity and ability awareness. He makes the distinction between vision and sight. You can lose your sight but we cannot and must not ever lose our vision.

So while the journey can get "ugly" as Thor eloquently expresses in his race report, and when we are in the mud we may wonder if we will ever find our way into the light, without the challenges, we would never be able to blossom into the fullness of our Being.

"The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome."
- Helen Keller

And be sure to join in the #miles4Quinn community!

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