Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My Running Chronicles: Miracles

I was about to sign off from Facebook last night and begin my meditation when Spirit moved me to take one more glance at my stream. This post appeared:

It was a reminder to me to buy Bernie Siegel's latest book, A Book of Miracles. I was looking for my next uplifting book to read. I'd also submitted my story about co-creating my miracle of healing with Bernie and signed a release several years ago to have my story included in the book. I forgot all about it!

Each of us is a miracle you know and each of us has tremendous capacity to perform and create miracles in our lives.

Dr. Joe Dispenza
has a wonderful definition of a miracle: “The definition of a miracle is that it’s something that happens outside of convention and challenges standing beliefs,” he says. “In order for you to change something in your external environment, you have to get beyond the external environment....The greatest people in history, the ones who pushed the boundaries and pioneered breakthroughs, were thinking greater than the people and circumstances around them. That’s what a miracle is, Joe says – when someone thinks greater than their communities, their emotions, their bodies, and does something that seems impossible." Source: The Aware Show

I met Bernie back in the 1980's when an earth angel nurse, Beth Jordan, brought me a tape of Bernie's lecture to help me heal from a staph infection in my shoulder joint that resulted in the loss of use of my right arm for 6 months. Bernie has been my Chosen Dad and my labor coach through many rebirthings since the 1980's.

After being diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December 2006, I turned to Bernie to help me tap into my inner source for healing. I turned off my analytical mind focusing on my current physical state and tapped into the wisdom of the Divine Mind within me as writing poetry helped me to create a new future for myself; a future of running free, feeling whole, healthy and no longer Being a product of my past circumstances.

Here is that first poem I wrote that began the creation of the miracle of going from a leg brace and a totally deconditioned state to the running of the 2009 Boston Marathon--Please know that when I wrote this poem I was still in a leg brace using a wheelchair at times for mobility; was told that I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and had never run a day in my life:

Running the Race

Early summer 1959 my kindergarten year
everyone around me filled with nervous fear.
Despite the Salk vaccine hope polio would disappear
the polio virus crept right up and knocked me in the rear.

Dancing all around the gym feeling free just like a bird
I dropped to the ground just like a stone and no one said a word.
The pain it was so searing-the diagnosis even worse
"It's polio" the doctor said...he was abrupt and terse.

Called one of the 'lucky ones' I had a 'mild case'
but with the other athletes I could never keep their pace.
Miss Holly physical therapist, curly hair and a warm, broad smile
it tempered the pain of being apart - to walk I'd take awhile.

I always wore those 'special' shoes the kids they poked and teased
with no support and much abuse with childhood I wasn’t pleased.
But put nose to the grindstone and learned all that I could
I couldn't kick a ball but my grades were always good.

Years went by and no more thought to polio did I give
I accepted the limp, everything else and decided my life I would live.
But symptoms of weakness and muscle pain did grow
I kept a stoic face hoping no one else would know.

Life no longer was my own I struggled through each day
suffered in silence, alone and afraid tried to keep depression at bay.
And with the grace of glorious God my world it opened wide
I discovered there was a Post Polio team and they were on my side.

Sought out paths for healing and my spirit flew free
for the first time in life, I could truly be me.
The chains are gone and possibilities abound
I'm a tree with my roots planted firmly in ground.

Using wheelchair to travel, set limits on what I could do
resulted in joy to realize I could live life anew.
Celebrated my body-creaks, groans and need for a brace
while in my mind I focused on winning a 10K race.

I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
so much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.

From "The Aware Show":

This is how miracles happen – people imagine their desired outcome, and infuse it with the emotions they would be having after it happens. You don’t wait for it to happen, you create the emotion yourself to move into a new state of being, to teach your body and your brain emotionally what it would be like. This triggers the same chemical interactions between the neurons in your brain, and your entire body-brain system then thinks that your imagined outcome is what has actually happened.

As I wrote poetry, and continue to write poetry to inspire myself to heal, my thinking becomes greater than my body and I create a miracle of healing and a sense of well being and being well. I write poetry for myself and to send out the vibration of well being to the world.

The Universe sent me everything and everyone I needed to run that race.

In December, I experienced a knee injury. You've heard about the Chinese symbol for crisis right? It symbolizes both danger and opportunity:

At first, I experienced danger and caution and a lot of nay sayers as I briefly returned to Western medicine to have an MRI to find out what was going on and what I needed to heal. I was concerned about a possible ACL tear which at the time I thought would have required surgery. Given the pain I was experiencing, I was worried that something urgent had to be fixed. I now know that I am the placebo and can heal my body using the power of my mind. My doctor told me with great authority that if the knee locked and I couldn't unlock it, I would have to have emergency surgery. My massage therapist at the time shrugged when I told him (after finding out there was no ACL tear) I was going to heal this leg and not have any more surgery. My therapist in Aquatics Therapy at Spaulding told me that I should not even think about running again. The MRI showed that there was no gastroc muscle in my calf; it had atrophied from the polio decades ago. There was a lipoma, torn cartilage, degenerative arthritis, changes consistent with previous surgeries and in layman terms, the knee was a hot mess according to the MRI.

But because I had planted all those seeds early on in my healing odyssey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, The Universe would not let me stay in a state of danger and fear. I realized I needed to take some time off from running (as I had after running the 2009 Boston Marathon) and realized that I was missing an important element of cross training and strength training which resulted in the injury. As soon as I could bear weight and the acute pain subsided, I came off of Motrin and my cane and started core strength training.

Standing at the book launch party of "Journey Well", The Universe sent me Dr. Ryan Means, a chiropractor - yes a chiropractor who explained to me that chiropractic medicine is so much more than an adjustment to the spine. Yes he could help me with my knee.

Being the 'good patient' I continued to walk the path of Western Medicine and saw a physical therapist - for a minute. You can read about the experience in my blog post "Instead of Sweating It - Sweat It Out"

I went to Dr. Ryan's website and discovered he did kinesiotaping which was on the Physical Therapy script. Dr. Ryan had reached out to me on Facebook after meeting me and wanted to get together for coffee to learn more about my journey. I decided to interview him for my blog and after spending time with him, knew that he was heaven sent for this next phase of my healing journey.

It was a blessing to have someone who believed in the body's tremendous capacity for healing, believed in me and my strong will and determination and who asked me a critical question during one of our taping sessions, "Why set limits?"

As I put out the call to the Universe for a new massage therapist, Jeff Spratt, Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC appeared in my life. Just as my personal trainer was totally non plussed when I told her my next goal (after only 6 months of personal training and having never run a day in my life) was to run the 2009 Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital, Jeff was totally non plussed when I told him I wanted to run another marathon.

"What knee are we rehabbing?" he asked me in my first treatment. At the end of my first treatment, he set the intention, "I want you to run unencumbered."

I have grown a new gastroc muscle! I went from race walking to finding my running gait in just a few short months once I let go of my fear feeling Jeff's strength and confidence fan the flames of my faith. The Universe sent me the pool at WaveHealth where Jeff has his muscular therapy practice! I am able to do 70 minutes of lap swimming which is the equivalent of another running day but without impact on my joints as they experience total healing growing new cartilage and cleaning out debris. I strength train in the pool working hip flexors, upper body with weights in the water, quad strengthening with a noodle, squats with weights and then allow myself plenty of time to stretch and relax in the waves at WaveHealth.

Yesterday's training run for the Bermuda Half Marathon was a 5K focusing on speed work. It was hot out. Our run started with a small uphill and I embraced feeling my heart rate rise. When we came to a long downhill I felt myself running swift and with ease which is my new mantra for creating the next miracle in my life. "I run swift. I run with ease. I run a 12 minute mile." I felt unencumbered, free and a sense of unbridled joy as Tom and I ran together!

We finished with 15:10 overall. A negative 42 second split between mile 2 and 3 and another negative 3 second split between mile 2 and 3. Miles 2 and 3 were 14:57 and 14:54. I allowed my thoughts to be greater than my body when the going got a little tough keeping my eye on the prize - the bling at the finish line of the 2016 Bermuda Half Marathon.

I was mindful and stopped for water breaks. I am working on bringing the healing of my thermostat that can cause me to overheat or get really cold into physical manifestation. As I started to overheat, I thought about being in an air conditioned room and having a block of ice on my forehead feeling the cool water dripping down. At that moment, a cool breeze came off the water at the Reservoir.

I am going the distance in creating a total miracle of healing from the effects of paralytic polio and violence. I am deeply grateful for the miracle workers who partner with me on my journey and for the teachers who offer their wisdom and guidance to remind me what I already know to be true. Everyday I give thanks for my husband and running partner Tom who paces me, races me and runs stride by stride, side by side with me believing in me and bearing witness to the miracle of healing every mile of the way.

It's all about belief ... faith ... and surrounding yourself with people who believe in Miracles!

Cheers! To life! Love yourself well and believe in your ability to create miracles of healing...

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.

Be on the lookout for "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems," available soon on Amazon

I am writing "Going the Distance," chronicling this miraculous phase of my healing journey on the road to the Bermuda Half and the Newport Marathon 2016.

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