Monday, July 7, 2014
#mondaymotivation Footstrike - Today I won my race!
When I woke up this morning, I felt tired and sad. July and August are filled with anniversary moments for me. Thank God for meditation.
I have a new meditation mantra: Trust Safety Healing Peace Happiness It's amazing how repeating five words and allowing them to settle into my cells helps me to jump start my day. I watched the feelings of sadness and the energy of helplessness and fear come and go.
And thank God for running!
I felt sluggish as I began my run. I was tapping into what kind of a pace I would choose today. Part of me wanted to take it slow after my amazing training run on Saturday. I could also feel the weight of my past bearing down on me.
I am keenly aware of the depth of the injury to my body as a result of paralytic polio followed by 9 years of unrelenting violence. I am also aware and grateful for the depth of healing that is happening along with the depth of joy, peace, acceptance, love, strength and compassion I can experience in my life.
According to Nike+, I started out at a 16'16"/mile pace. I don't look at my pace as I run but listen to my body. Would I choose to go at a slower pace today or do I feel the need for speed?
As I picked up my pace, I told myself to focus on my foot strike. I remembered John "The Penguin" Bingham's quote:
It was getting warmer and more humid so I didn't know if I was actually picking up the pace or had to work harder to maintain my pace. Nonetheless, I noticed that I was experiencing the feelings of having been bullied, the violence from my father and brother and feeling this need to run faster to not be left behind.
And then I remembered when my personal trainer used to have me set the pace and pass her on our training runs so I could feel what it was like to take the lead as a runner. I remembered the day when she pushed my pace and I ran an 11 minute mile around Jamaica Pond.
Suddenly, in my body, mind and Spirit, I was no longer behind trying to catch up. I was in first place.
I pushed my pace doing a combination of running and race walking. I felt confidence and strength, I felt each foot strike ignite the fire in my soul.
I paid attention to how I was feeling in my body. Nothing hurt. I wasn't overheating. I felt how much courage it took for me to make it through everything I have lived through and continue to face and embrace my challenges.
In my mind's eye, I broke the finisher's tape. While I may experience feelings of helplessness or fear or anniversary reactions; while I may feel waves of sadness wash through me and at times feel frustrated that I retreated from running and the running community in 2011, none of my past holds any power over me. Living with late effects of paralytic polio and healing the wounds of trauma doesn't stop me; it only fuels my journey.
I had no expectations or any idea of what was going to happen during my 3.11 miles around the Reservoir, up the hills and on the roads today. What a wonderful surprise to find myself in first place. Today I won my race! My finisher's medal is my smile and deep sense of satisfaction that despite not feeling well when I woke up this morning, I got myself together and out on the roads and I had a phenomenal run. I did negative splits of -0'43" and -0'.02" finishing with a time of 49:06, taking 20 seconds off of last Wednesday's run.
My memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" is now available on Amazon.
"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.
I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.