When we last left this intrepid runner, I was following the advice of Billy Mills and I finally broke that 16 min/mile pace on my training run. Last Saturday, Tom and I set out to do our 4 miler. We knew we needed to incorporate hills and a lot of tough hills because two weeks from this Friday, I will be toeing the starting line of the Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 and I've got my sights set on a time of 46:52 or better. So I have the course map with my time written on it on our refrigerator:
You see dear readers, I am no longer running as a survivor of paralytic polio and violence -- I am running because as I recently said in this blog, I was born to run and born to run free. It's just there was a little interruption of oh 5 decades or so that was a hurdle I needed to get over. When I told my muscular therapist who is partnering with me on this next phase of my journey that I am no longer running as a survivor of paralytic polio and violence but as the runner I was always meant to be and that I want to run fast, he commented, "Ah to be swift of foot - like the god Mercury."
What a wonderful image. Coincidentally Mercury and Mercury's Greek counterpart Hermes are both patrons of poets!
Paralytic polio initially took me out of the athletic realm and I didn't have a chance to get back in the game because I was fighting for my survival every night and on weekends with my wildly dysfunctional family.
But now I am fired up and fierce with determination to allow the runner within to fully take form and emerge from the gunk of my past.
Why you may ask ... why is she so obsessed with running and being her personal best? What is she trying to prove and at close to 62 years old - really?
Yes really -- and in truth I have nothing to prove yet I have everything to prove to myself.
During Saturday's training run with Tom and God bless him for running with me rather than doing a brisk walking pace because it is helping my journey of transformation (and more about mirror neurons in another post), we talked about how we were no longer going to live in fear. It's important to be mindful and run from the inside out as I like to call it, but we can no longer behave as though my body is going to get injured or break down again.
Those days are over!!!
I am healing and "every day in every way I am getting better and better" (as Dr. Emile Coue so eloquently stated it).
I have new mantras:
Trust don't test and see if in fact that left knee has full range of motion or that the right IT band discomfort is gone. Just trust and act as if it has already manifested in reality.
Feel the joy in the challenge rather than experiencing a sense of struggle and overcoming. It's a whole new ball game now and as race director Dave McGillvray loves to say, "My game. My rules." Coincidentally he is the race director for the Finish at the 50. He wrote in my book, "The Last Pick," "Set goals not limits."
Focus on the healing not on the wound.
Feel the heal.
Focus on the wave not on the particle.
Love is stronger than fear.
I am an ambitious god.
Tom and I had an amazing run together. I once again ran a sub 16 minute/mile pace and my pace at the 5K mark puts me well within striking distance of my PR for race day.
As I climbed into a post training run ice bath, I had a moment of pause as living in my polio/trauma/injured body briefly surfaced. How can I get in and out of the tub? "Oh yeah," I reminded myself, "I am strong and can do squats and besides we do have a railing in the tub but I am flexible and I move with ease and grace." (more mantras)
The ice bath felt amazing.
And after the ice bath I had this epiphany bathe every cell in my body. I am no longer a victim to my body. From the time I was 5 years old I lived in fear of my body and then I lived in fear of what others would do to my body but NO MORE! Those days are over. I can have my mind and body work together and my mind heals my body. I can love myself well and allow love to be so much stronger than fear.
Today I did cross training in the pool at WaveHealth where I use that time and space for moving meditation and healing as well as gaining strength washing away all the old beliefs.
Two weeks from Friday I'll be testing myself for the first time since last October when I PR'ed the Tufts 10K.
I'll be channeling my inner Wilma Rudolph, Forrest Gump, Seabiscuit, Billy Mills and embody Mercury and Hermes with winged feet to have a phenomenal race day.
15 is the new 16 and I'm going to keep moving forward with my training embodying and embracing the runner I was always meant to be.
Feel the Heal
The Potter’s wheel with loving hands a figure forms brave and true
breaking mold cast by others, Triumphant Spirit shining through.
In likeness of Divine’s image, all excess baggage gently melts away
unbridled freedom, joy fired up whole without fringe or fray.
Rhythmic turnings ever so slowly, tender kindness she feels the heal
Potter pauses work now finished, she leaps from Potter’s wheel.
Color and shape beyond compare magnificent in radiant sun
going the distance helps others to heal fueling her 26.2 mile run.
Transcending transforming no pain can last,
grit and gratitude fill heart and soul
leave doubts and fears in dust of memories past
sights set clearly on finish line goal.
In the distance the Potter’s cheering
that Voice so clear rises above the din
she feels in every fiber of her Being this race is hers to win.
Pacing, persistent and patient in each moment she feels the heal
reminded of her humble true beginnings
blessed by grace on Potter’s wheel.
I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.
In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.
50% of book proceeds from all of my books, available on Amazon are donated to the Arredondo Family Foundation whose mission is to provide a helping hand to those experiencing a tragedy and to provide education on matters relating to military, veterans, military families, and the issue of suicide.
I am working on my new book, Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems which brings togeth