Monday, September 26, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Never tell me the odds...

As I am editing "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," I realize how the odds were stacked against me since I was 5 years old having contracted paralytic polio and enduring unthinkable acts of horror. At age 53 when I was diagnosed with a progressive neuromuscular disease, I was told odds were I'd spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, needing a sleep apnea machine, possibly a feeding tube. The odds of me being able to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life were not in my favor ... that is until I met Ryan J. Means DC and Jeffrey Spratt,MT which is why I like to say - Never tell me the odds.

In some ways my life was like an adventure movie where I had brushes with death at every turn. I've faced evil and violence and would not wish the horrors I experienced on another living soul. Yet now that I am blessed with the grace of healing, I can look back on it all as one wild adventure in which good triumphed over evil and my light, my love, my joy prevail. We can now polish and restore the treasures of my body, my mind and my Soul and make everything factory new restoring everything to my original settings before polio and before trauma.

Saturday Tom and I ran 8.5 miles on our road to the Bermuda Half Marathon. Sunday I did a strength training work out in the pool. Since there is rain in the forecast for the next several days, Tom and I decided to get our 5K run in this morning. It was a cool, clear Autumn New England morning and I loved the sound of my footsteps around the path of the Reservoir. We had a delightful run as I picked up the pace doing negative splits and experienced the dawn of a new day and a new week. We debated about whether or not we were going to watch tonight's Presidential Debate and decided we are going to watch "The Office." We played "The Office" trivial pursuit as we ran and during breakfast googled our answers.

You can see our radiant smiles and the splendor of an Autumn morning in our post run selfie:

It will be ten years in December since the odds were that I'd be withering away in a wheelchair by now but as Han Solo and I like to say - never tell me the odds. Thanks to Jeffrey and the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and my own fiery Spirit and fierce determination I have reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life and beat the odds.

To your health and wellness,

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! 8.5 Miles - Experiencing More and More of Life!

Early on in my work with Jeffrey Spratt, MT, I told him that partnering with him and experiencing the power of positive touch with the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy was adding years to my life. Jeffrey suggested that it's not about just adding years to my life but the quality of those years!

Before I found my way to Jeffrey's table, I had to struggle through my life experiencing a variety of symptoms and repeated injuries unable to get traction on my healing odyssey from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. I didn't understand the manifestation of the symptoms or how to manage my body. The effects of paralytic polio and trauma seemed to manage me.

This past week, with the stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition, I experienced a resurgence of GI symptoms, lower back pain and pain in my SI joint. In the past, these would have snowballed into an infection or an injury that would have sidelined me. With compassionate presence and incredible skill, Jeffrey was able to support me in understanding the source of these symptoms and through emotional and physical release in the session with him, I was able to feel the heal and move forward in my healing journey.

Tom and I set out for our 8.5 mile run this morning. What a blessing to have a cool sunny day with a beautiful blue sky. We had everything mapped out and planned out this week. Last week I hadn't fueled properly the day before and we did not pay attention to our fueling and hydration plan. This week I made sure I ate well yesterday and listened to my body during the run. We enjoyed all the miles, the conversation, the weather, the water sparkling like diamonds on both Reservoirs that we ran around. I had set my Nike+ Running Club to get cheers and was delighted to read all the comments on Facebook after the run while I recovered in an ice bath.

Tom and I continue to visualize how our race will be in Bermuda in January recalling in exquisite detail our wonderful time running the race this past January.

We are so blessed to have so many in our village who share in the joy of our training run each week as we share in the joys of those in our village training for Fall Marathons or those who conquered their second 70.3 like my friend Nicole last weekend and others who are out for runs or bike rides, or racing for great causes.

In December of 2014, after experiencing a serious knee injury, I thought that my running days were over yet I couldn't say goodbye to the sport that is my medicine, my therapy and well, my life. The running community is my village and feeds my soul. We nurture each other and share in these precious weekends together.

8.5 miles in the Bank of Bermuda. I could have easily run another 4.6 miles today and know that I have a wonderful base and a strong foundation to go the 13.1 distance again in January 2017.

Despite or maybe because of now healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma I get to reclaim advantage, reclaim life and experience more and more of life adding life to my years.

To your health and wellness,

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! On Appreciation, Angels and Cinderella

"Where there is kindness there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic!"

During yesterday's morning meditation, I felt as though Jeffrey Spratt, MT's hands are like a magic wand helping me to transform from the survivor of paralytic polio and abuse to the beautiful, vibrant woman I am today.

From my journal, "The stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition is off the charts. I aspirated during dinner the other night. I can feel my body clearing it and I also remember how I would feel like I had a chicken bone stuck in my throat growing up! While I am doing an inventory of my body and see where I need relief., preparing for my treatment with Jeffrey I thought about his one handed massage at the back of my neck and I felt tingles. I'll let him know about my throat and GI issues, SI joint and lower back BUT rather than experience the treatment as relief which is of course amazing in and of itself, I saw and felt his hands as like the magic wand that Cinderella's fairy godmother uses. Everywhere he touches is made factory new and I am transformed ready to go to the Ball of my life and dance and be free regardless of the ugliness or jealousy or venom or sickness that is present. My healing is going to a whole new level now and I deserve to be healed and freed from the shackles of my past and get clarity on the present situation."

My workout day began with a return to the newly renovated pool at Wave Health and Fitness.

While I was grateful for access to the pool at the Westin Hotel, there is no place like my home away from home especially after it's been renovated. Appreciation filled my heart and gratitude swelled with each lap I swam.

As I sat at the Seaport working outside in the glorious sunshine after my workout and before my massage therapy session with Jeffrey I connected with one of my Facebook friends who was having a stressful day. Just then a dandelion seed head came floating by letting us each know that Angels are guiding us helping us to alleviate our stress:

Jeffrey humbly accepted my compliment about his hands being like a magic wand transforming everything he touches. So much magic filled those 90 minutes of healing through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy; the power of positive touch.

He brings compassion, warmth and just the right touch of humor to facilitate healing. Through our partnership of the past year and a half, I can experience the powerful transformation happening inside of me. I am falling in love with my body and know that every symptom that presents itself is a part of my body asking to be healed. Rather than being on the expedition to uncover the trauma, I feel that I am experiencing and exploring the treasure that is me independent of the circumstances of my life past or present. After an intensely emotional yet profoundly healing treatment, Tom and I went out to dinner. As we walked down Beacon Street to our car we found a penny. 1986 - before we had children - a sign that it's okay for us to now take care of ourselves and enjoy our relationship.

Each week, through the power of positive touch, I recover from my 5 day training cycle getting ready to run the Bermuda Half Marathon again in January, and reclaim more and more of my advantage and my life healing all that went before. It's time for me to enjoy the dance of my life!

To your health and wellness,

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Just Imagine!!!

In editing my next book, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," I'm realizing how I harnessed the power of my imagination to create my life today. After receiving the diagnosis of post polio syndrome in December 2006, I harnessed the power of my imagination through my pen, my divining rod for healing and imagined myself winning a 10K race.

I imagined myself running and running free, dancing in the rain without a leg brace, celebrating my life, expressing gratitude in spite of all the pain and suffering I lived through seeing my life as a gift rather than a burden. When I suffered a serious knee injury in December of 2014, I once again took to my imagination to help my body heal and affirmed the type of healer that I was worthy to have partner with me. I asked the question how would I ever reclaim my life and affirmed running free and unencumbered. When Jeffrey said to me in my first session, "What leg are we rehabbing?" he used his powerful intention to heal to imagine my leg was already rehabbed!

I imagined healing hands and healing hearts and was so blessed to meet Dr. Ryan Means and Jeffrey Spratt, MT. As I edit sharing the work I did with Dr. Ryan, I can feel the heal in my body once more. After a fall a few weeks ago, my left knee was swollen and I had pain. In between my massage therapy sessions with Jeffery, I would imagine Dr. Ryan taping me and using his hands and heart to support my body's natural ability to heal.

After a wasp sting, I imagined my thumb factory new as though the sting never happened. In last week's massage therapy session with Jeffrey, he paused to do energy healing over my thumb and hand. We drew from the Force of Divine Love in the Universe to stimulate the healing and within a few days everything was back to normal.

Now here's the thing. Many people have said to me that they don't have that kind of imagination or that I must have some special powers that they don't have. That's just not true. Have you ever seen a commercial on TV for a juicy steak or a delicious dessert or a food you absolutely love? What happens? You can feel the desire to have that food and you might even start salivating AT THE THOUGHT OF HAVING IT!

Research is now documenting the power of the mind in affecting the body. Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, 'You Are the Placebo' is filled with anecdotes about his own healing and the healing of others; and changing the body by thought alone. There have also been examples cited by Dr. Joe and Dr. Bernie Siegel where negative messages about a diagnosis and research on a drug led to the death of patients. It was Dr. Ryan who led me to Dr. Joe Dispenza's work that expounds on the work of Bernie who pioneered the power of the mind/body connection back in the 70's.

Recently Dr. Joe shared this article from Scientific American about the power of the mind to build muscle.

Athletes visualize their races. I love a story Meb shares is 'Run to Overcome.' He visualized his race before he went to sleep the night before the race. He woke up sweaty and exhausted. His body felt as though it had in fact already run the race and his performance was compromised that day.

What do you need to conjure up in your life? It takes intention, attention, focus and action to manifest a positive outcome in your life. I could have easily listened to the naysayers and the doomsdayers in my life beginning with the messages I received being traumatized as a child and then from Western Medicine and even the body workers I worked with before Jeffrey. But rather than set limits I allowed my imagination to run wild and free. Just imagine that!

You'll be able to read all about it in 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance.'

To your health and wellness,

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Endurance and Momentum

In writing, Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," the sequel to Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility available on Amazon I have a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the moments of my healing journey since April of 2015 when I began my partnership with Jeffrey Spratt,MT.

This time one year ago I was getting ready to run my first 8 mile training run since I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon. I wrote about my preparations for that training run in my blog.

I was doing strength training on land twice a week, swimming once a week and running twice a week.

I have upped my training since last year by incorporating the Arc Trainer and Bike into my training regimen trading out a strength training work out for a cardio workout. We are also managing the stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition which takes incredible strength, restraint, patience and faith to navigate the turbulent waters of this challenging situation.

This morning I was sore and stiff and really wanted to blow off my strength training workout. And you know what? The earth wouldn't have ended if I did. Jeffrey has even suggested to me that if I need to take a break and not do a workout on any particular day it would not disrupt my training. I have a fantastic base from having successfully run the Bermuda Half Marathon in January. Weekly massage therapy sessions are, as Jeffrey likes to say, the ultimate training tool that aids in my recovery from the rigors of training and improves my performance. Clearing out the effects of trauma and paralytic polio and the current stress in my life frees me up mind, body and soul to experience my optimal state of health and wellness.

I felt a lot of stress in my SI joint and my lower back. It's counter-intuitive to move when you feel sore and stiff but it's exactly what I needed to flush out the lactic acid from yesterday's run (an active recovery day) and to send a message to my body about endurance and momentum.

While last year I was getting used to the sensations in my body for running longer distances and training for a half marathon, this year I am increasing my work outs while training for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 2017! I find that if I push just a little further than I think I can and if I endure a little more than I perhaps want to, I reap the benefits of continuing to improve my health and fitness leaving the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and the stress in my current life in the dust moving forward on my road to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 2017!

To your health and wellness,

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! 8 Bermudaful Miles

Last week's 8 mile training run was filled with struggles and challenges yet Team McManus felt a sense of triumph after those 8 miles.

When we woke up this morning to another glorious sunny day we decided to head over to South Boston to get in our 8 mile training run for Bermuda Marathon Weekend. The weather is reminiscent of Bermuda in January and while there is nowhere in the world that has the blue waters of Bermuda, the water hugging the coast in South Boston was a radiant blue.

Rather than run our typical out and back course from Castle Island to U Mass, I suggested we park at Carson Beach, run to Castle Island, circle the Castle and then head out to U Mass. It's always important to give your body something new and interesting out on those long runs.

The miles seemed to fly by! There was ease, laughter and joy in this run as we relished a day that was a true gift from the Universe on 9/17 in Boston. We talked about our jobs, our dreams (yes you better believe you still have dreams in your 60's!) and healing. We talked about how, through the work each of us is doing with Jeffrey Spratt,MT we are able to heal the wounds from the past. I noticed how I have greater clarity and insight into what motivates my negative thoughts and behavior and am now able to experience a positive outlook on life having released so much pain and anger through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and the power of positive touch.

I realized there are still some things in my life that reflected my old behavior patterns and on the run was able to get clarity on what I needed to release. Tom and I formulated my exit strategy. There is no time to waste and as Christopher Walken posted on Facebook:
"None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else."

I really had to push through the last mile and wondered what was going on. Tom realized that we had not stuck to our hydration and fueling plan on our run. We were so caught up in how good we felt and the beautiful day that we lost track of our hydration and fueling plan. I cramped up at the end of our run; fortunately it was at the end of our run. Because I have been partnering with Jeffrey for about a year and a half now, I have total confidence in my body's ability to recover from our long runs, even if we mess up a little. This runfie captures the joy of the day:

Tom and I shared a grapefruit and I drank a lot of water. I stretched and we went into the ocean for an ice bath to encourage our bodies to begin their recovery.

We had a fantastic lunch at 75 on Liberty. I had their Salmon BLT with a side salad and we indulged in a dessert following Christopher Walken's advice. We headed over to Wave Health and Fitness to shower (one of the perks of my job working for Jeffrey and Spratt Muscular Therapies - membership at Wave) since we were pretty crusty from the sun, the sea air, headwinds and taking our ice bath in the ocean.

We felt as though we had a wonderful vacation day together. As we pulled into the driveway, for a moment, I was wondering why I was feeling so sore... and then I remembered ... it was because we ran 8 Bermudaful miles together preparing for our return to Bermuda Marathon Weekend in January.

To your health and wellness,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fundraising Friday: Jess Lanzoni and Back on My Feet Boston

Jess Lanzoni at the Tufts 10K with the ladies from Back on My Feet Boston:

"Homelessness can happen to anybody," Jess Lanzoni shared with me when asked about her upcoming marathons in Berlin and Chicago to raise money for Back on My Feet Boston. (BoMF)

Operating in 11 major cities coast-to-coast, Back on My Feet uses running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. Our success is measured not only by the health impact of miles run, but also by how many individuals obtain education, employment and housing.

Back on My Feet recruits members (individuals experiencing homelessness) at homeless and residential facilities around the country and begins with a commitment to run three days a week in the early morning. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Almost 80% of individuals who start the program move into Next Steps.

Three years ago, one of Jess's friends invited her to volunteer and run with the ladies at Rosie's Place. While Jess thought she was going to volunteer and give back, she said that she receives way more than she ever gives by running with these inspiring women. "They will be in my life forever," she says from deep in her heart.

Jess already ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 through pelting rain and driving winds to raise money for Back on My Feet.

She is a woman dedicating her life to social justice and philanthropy. In addition to running with the ladies each week, she is on the Young Professionals Advisory Board to explore program improvement, and creative and effective ways to fund raise.

I asked Jess why two back to back marathons? "I've done back to back marathons before. I'm already trained so it's not a big deal and I am so passionate about supporting Back on My Feet."

And when the miles get tough? Jess thinks of the women she runs with and all they have had to overcome on their journeys. "I'll think about the ladies and their stories and know I can always run a little farther."

Let's help Jess exceed her fund raising goal. Please donate to her Back on My Feet Fundraising Page.

Safe travels Jess! Run strong, happy, healthy and with ease!