Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Transformation Tuesday - The Answer is Running

Eight years ago I had to wear a short leg brace and used a wheelchair at times for mobility.

It was a scary time in my life as my mind, body and Spirit seemed to be withering away. Yet there was a part of me that would not quit and that has not quit over and over and over again. When I got still and asked for Divine Guidance, the answer came back ... running ... a poem about Running the Race.

Here I am in December of 2007 three months after starting work with a personal trainer. I still didn't know why I wrote that poem about running a race and in my mind, focusing on a 10K race...

But in February of 2008, when my personal trainer asked me what my next goals were the answer became clear {from my memoir, "Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" available on Amazon with 50% of royalty payments being donated to The One Fund}:

At my six-month evaluation in February, I had dramatically improved in every area of the assessment. I had come out of my leg brace and I knew that I was on a healing path. Janine asked me what my next health and fitness goals were.
“Well I want to feel free in my body. I want to dance. I want to be able to walk outside and feel unencumbered when I take a walk.”

Janine wrote feverishly and we worked out a plan. She gathered up her belongings and had her hand on the door knob.

“Wait. I have one more goal.”

Janine stopped and turned around.

“I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital. I know they have a Race for Rehab team and I want to do it next year.”

Janine was non-plussed. I don’t know what kept her from turning tail and getting as far away from me as she could. She came back into my house and put down her things. She said that the first thing I would need is a pair of running shoes. She told me that Marathon Sports on Beacon Street would be able to help me. She laid out a cursory training plan and said that we would begin indoors to build up my cardio endurance. As soon as the weather got a little warmer, we’d go outdoors and I would learn how to run.

What had I just done?

Don't Walk -- Run article in the Brookline Tab featuring my first steps on the road to the 2009 Boston Marathon:

Celebrating after my first road race in June 2008, The Corrib Pub 5K Road Race:

I was ready to give up the idea that I would ever be a runner during the hot and humid Marathon Sports 5 Miler in July of 2008 but Tom and my Marathon Sports Family would not let me quit:

My first 10K was the 2008 Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women:

Then it came time to test my mettle and commitment to my journey of transformation as the winter of 2008/2009 brought wind chills and snow storms. I would be undeterred at the Tough Ten Mile Turkey Trot and the Hyannis Half:

When you know Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter are cheering for you, it does make the journey so much sweeter.

The aches, the pains, the blisters; training in the freezing cold and when we couldn't, going 117 times around the BU track was all worth it when I crossed the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and received my medal:

And then I forgot the answer is running and took a detour as I write about in my next book, "Journey Well"

I can't look back at the detours or kick myself for not keeping up with my running. I remember the day I was at South Boston Yoga for a “bodywork session” after having run a 5K sponsored by the Rotary in New Hampshire. It was a very hilly course. The mind games had already begun as he preyed on my vulnerability.

“What did you do to your quad muscles?” he asked me.

“I ran a 5K race,” I told him.

He mocked me with a laugh and proclaimed, “You don’t have to beat yourself up by running. It’s not good for you. All you need to do is practice yoga.”

“I can’t practice yoga here with you.” {Oh if only I listened to myself and the truths I spoke and felt at first blush}. I was referencing the fact that he was the head of his studio, an experienced yogi and well I didn’t belong in a class with a “yogi of his caliber.”

That’s all he needed to hear.

“We are having live cello music this Sunday,” he said seductively as I was paying him for the session.

“Well we are going on a run Sunday morning,” I replied.

“If you’d rather go on a run than come experience my class”….he said coyly.

“Oh no, I’ll be there,” I said….

It was the only choice available to me at the time. I was hurting mind, body and Spirit. I wanted to belong. I didn’t trust in my own power and ability to heal. I believed that if somehow I could shed my polio body from the outside in, I could stop hurting.

Running the 2009 Boston Marathon transformed me mind, body and Spirit. There was no way I could not return to the sport and community that were at the center of my journey of healing and transformation. That voice inside of me that knew all along that the answer is running could not be silenced. On Monday, as I cross the starting line of the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, the answer will once again ring loud and true.

No comments:

Post a Comment