Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"One cannot fly into flying...."

Sometimes I get really impatient with myself. Just like I wanted to take off after the runner who said on your left during our training run on Saturday, a part of me wants to be able to run faster, longer, be stronger than where I am now.

And then I pause. I take a deep breath. I realize that there is SO much to be grateful for right here now.

I have four limbs that all work. I have my sight, my vision, my hearing. I am blessed to live in a beautiful neighborhood and have the time, the money and the resources to heal the effects of paralytic polio and violence. I am surrounded by people who love and respect me as I am. I am able to enjoy and appreciate my life.

I realize when I feel impatient about where I am, a part of me wants to deny what happened to me. I become like a dog with a bone growling and wrestling with this imaginary foe.

I'm exactly where I need to be. Otherwise - I wouldn't be here.

And how amazing to be here. I use 5 pound ankle weights during my Aquatics Therapy class on Tuesday morning. This morning I challenged myself with squats by going into deeper water. I had to move back into the more shallow water for upper body strength training. I remember when I couldn't even do a squat without having my back to the wall. I have come so far with balance, strength and endurance since last August when I first started Aquatics Therapy at Spaulding.

And there is no evidence of progression of the late effects of having contracted paralytic polio.

Quite the contrary. I run a 5K distance on Mondays and a 10K distance on Saturdays. I've run in a few races and have the Bill Rodgers 5K in August, the Spectacle Island Run in September and the Tufts 10K in October. What joy I experience when I volunteer or spectate at a race or get to hang out with my runner friends.

I'm finding my way back to myself feeling a sense of peace and acceptance with exactly where I am.

And there are moments when I'm out there running, playing with the waves and swimming in the ocean or taking a few laps in the Spaulding Pool that I'm flying and free.

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.

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