Saturday, May 17, 2014

Springtime Run on Heartbreak Hill - I Am Not What Happened to Me....

I am what I choose to become.

We don't get to choose what happens to us. We can only choose how we respond to what happens to us. How we play the hand we are dealt. Some would say I was dealt a pretty crummy hand; paralytic polio at age 5 and being severely abused from 8 years old until I was 17 years old. My dad's suicide when I was 17 and then my nephew's suicide in 2011; being at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on 4/15/13. I've had 25 surgeries including major reconstruction leg surgery on my "polio" leg.

I was diagnosed in 2006 with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease and gone through a few relapses in these past 7 and a half years.

But my heart is filled with gratitude for the blessings and grace in my life. At times, the journey was filled with uncertainty. I suffered and yes I mean suffered with symptoms of PTSD. I struggled and went down many different roads to finally arrive on my healing path today using Aquatics Therapy at Spaulding Rehab, regular massage sessions at Sollievo which incorporate Zero Balancing into the work and running.

I took a two year running hiatus. The events of 4/15/13 made me realize that I needed and wanted to rejoin the running community. This "comeback" unlike returning to the roads after running the 2009 Boston Marathon, has required patience and releasing expectations of what I should be able to do.

I'm allowing myself to run from the inside out this time.

Today we did 5 miles on Heartbreak Hill. I have been tracking my workouts on Nike. My pace is improving with each run and today, I had negative splits - on Heartbreak Hill.

It was gorgeous with the sunshine, the trees in bloom, the birds singing.

I realized that I had never trained on Heartbreak Hill in Spring or summer because we began our long runs for the 2009 Boston Marathon in the winter. I had to take a running hiatus in 2009 after Boston. In 2010 I was running again but didn't think to use Hearbreak Hill for training and then was on a running hiatus from 2011 to 2013.

But I'm back now and embracing every moment of this journey.

My diagnosis doesn't define me. The trauma I experienced doesn't define me. I feel a renewed sense of healing, hope and possibility in my journey which feels solid and grounded and right and true for me. I honor and care about myself mind, body and Spirit.

It's a lot of hard work to get back into training but I feel a wellspring of joy rise up within me.

In October of 2007, a few months after being discharged from Spaulding Rehab Outpatient therapy, I asked my personal trainer if she thought I could get any stronger. We decided to find out just what this body could do.

I'm exploring and testing my limits all over again because...

I am not what happened to me... I am what I choose to become!

Royal Flush from Seasons of the Soul

One could say I was dealt a hand of crummy cards to play
at first blush I would have to agree
bluffing became my way of life
playing my cards close to my chest
ever vigilant
shifting eyes
do I continue to play or fold?

The stakes were high
I could no longer up the ante
living on the edge
waiting to find freedom only in death
every day a living death
something had to give
new rules
unconditional love
releasing fear by experiencing fear
losing self consciousness
opening my heart.

I bet everything I had
riding on hope, faith and a prayer

“I’m all in”
putting my cards on the table
there it was
a royal flush!

My memoir, Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility is now available on Amazon

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