Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Running Chronicles: The Joy of Cross Training



May you know the natural joy of being alive
~Tara Brach


As runners we like love to run and too often forget about the importance of cross training or begrudgingly cross train. I learned the hard way last December, how crucial it is to cross train. It's been almost 6 months and I am now reaping the physical, spiritual and mental rewards of cross training.

I must admit it was hard to get started. Each plank, crunch and sit up; every clam and leg lift seemed to be an effort.

I had to psych myself up to get into the pool and swim laps.

While in the pool at WaveHealth on Monday something shifted within me as I focused on the waves, the skylight and my beautiful surroundings.




I felt gratitude flood my heart. I asked the Universe, "How did I get here? How did I arrive in this moment cross training for running in this 5 star hotel where I only pay $10/visit ... where each week I am blessed to experience muscular therapy with Jeff transcending and transforming all that went before ... how did I get here ... from a leg brace and a wheelchair, a diagnosis of a progressive neuromuscular disease, Spaulding Rehab and Adaptive Sports feeling stuck in my body and that everything was an effort to now..."

I felt ripples of joy throughout every fiber of my Being and had a light bulb moment - There is no more struggle. There is no more effort. I can allow myself to feel challenged and work hard but I can do it without struggle and coming from a place of having experienced paralytic polio and violence. There is no more shadow boxing with my past. I am in fact here now and I have goals and a training plan but it's a plan that begins with the here and now.

I reminded myself of Saturday's ephiphany after our training run that I am no longer a victim of my body nor am I a survivor of my past. I am a creator of my body and my life co-creating with the Divine Intelligence that I consciously experienced when I was paralyzed at the age of 5.

And while I may have experienced a spasm in my left leg or the fragments of miniscus caught in my left knee, I reminded myself that this is all passing through and changing. I moved from effort and fear to joy, confidence and faith. I focused on what I needed to do during my cross training session to continue to create my runner Being. I lost track of time and connected to the mystery, awe and wonder of healing and possibility.

I recalled how I would have a habit of noticing some pain or quirk in my body and then try to trace it and figure out what to do to make it better; instead I just imagine myself with a clean slate allowing the magic of the Universe to support me as I transform into the beautiful Being I was always meant to be.

As I dried off, I smiled to myself realizing what a different experience my cross training session in the pool was on Monday because I experienced the joy rather than the drudgery of cross training. I experienced the natural joy of being alive!

Cheers! To life! Here's to loving ourselves well!

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 together my best poems of the last 8 years and will include my latest poems as I continue to feel the heal and move forward in my life.

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