Saturday, August 29, 2015

My Running Chronicles: A Run, An Ice Bath and a ShakeOut Oh My! A Recap of a Magical Day

Did you ever have one of those perfect 10 days filled with magic and wonder; when you just pause and throw your head back and laugh at the sky and your heart overflows with gratitude and tears flow?

Today was that kind of day.

Tom was supposed to have his massage with Jeffrey Spratt, MT Principal and Owner of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC tomorrow but Jeffrey had a scheduling conflict. He apologized for the inconvenience and me being the empress of enthusiasm said that it was no inconvenience and everything would turn out exactly as it was meant to turn out. I've been wanting to experience a ShakeOut Massage with Jeffrey now that I'm adding miles to my long runs and instituting a rigorous training plan that is new for me. He said we could certainly schedule a ShakeOut after Tom's appointment. Tom and I were planning to go to Wollaston Beach in Quincy for our long run but since we had the appointments with Jeffrey, decided to stay in town and run around Castle Island and Pleasure Bay.

It was a beautiful day on Castle Island with the sun sparkling off of the water. We started off at an easy pace and it always takes a mile or two to warm up. I was fully present and aware of habits in my body that come from past experiences. I was mindful to change them. I thought about the blessing that Jeffrey gave me in our last treatment as he worked on my right leg, "May you run light and swift."

As we ran from Castle Island for 3.5 miles, we realized that we were going to be very close to the point where I tripped and fell a few weeks ago. I wanted to make sure we made it to that point so I could go back and thank the Lifeguard for his kindness. Sure enough at 3.5 miles we were at just that spot! We started to walk over to the pool and the same Lifeguard was on duty. "Be careful," he called out! We paused our run and went over to see him. He told us that he has seen several people trip and fall in that very spot and that he is going to ask the building management to do something about it. I showed him how I had healed up and expressed my heartfelt gratitude for his kindness that day. He is leaving to return to his home country in Bulgaria. He was here as a student for the summer. Had we not done our run today, we would not have had the opportunity to see him again and thank him for his kindness.

There were many moments during my run when I experienced being in the zone running free and unencumbered. Tom was so loving when he said to me, "I want you to know that your running is absolutely perfect just the way it is." I was getting hung up on my pace and he said to just let go of it. Once I did I felt that I was running swift and with ease and most importantly thoroughly enjoying being in the moment, fully present in my body and enjoying a glorious late summer day in my City!

When we finished the run we went into the ocean for an ice bath. Oooh it felt so amazing as energy flowed and I could feel my body begin to recover from the run.

We had our post run oranges and multi grain gluten free seed and nut crackers and headed over to the Seaport area for lunch.

Joe Pace's has an amazing array of sandwiches and Tom and I decided to grab something to go and sit outside. I was absolutely stunned that the man behind the counter was the same man who always took care of me and my dear friend Herb Simmons (the one who introduced me to Bermuda) at the North End Joe Pace's! He greeted us with the same Bon Giorno that he'd greet me with when we went into the store near the VA and I reintroduced myself to him. He asked about the gentleman who used to come in with me and I said he passed. We both said at the same time, "The circle of life." He prepared our sandwiches with such love and care. You could taste it in every bite. I told him that I'm down in the area a lot and that I often stop in for something to go. He said he'd look forward to seeing me again.

Time for treatments! Tom went first and had his 60 minute treatment with Jeffrey and they strategized the best way to get Tom ready for the BAA Half. Then it was my turn for a ShakeOut. While Tom had his treatment I sat in my happy place in the Seaport Plaza Garden. I was exhausted and felt as though I couldn't do another thing. So I just closed my eyes and meditated. I kept reminding myself that my body recovers from long runs with ease. It was a hard sell based on how I was feeling.

"So how did you come up with the ShakeOut?" I asked Jeffrey as his hands breathed new life back into my body.

He explained to me that he was trading with another healer who said that he only wanted Jeffrey to use his compression and that he wanted him to work through his clothes. Jeffrey explained to me how he palpates using deep compression to find out where the "trouble spots" are and to discern the compensatory patterns in the body that are causing the pain and strain. He knows how to work to bring the body back into balance using techniques from Eastern and Western modalities. He developed the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy which works with the body's energy meridians and incorporates the best of the modalities he has been trained in. As they say on American Idol, Jeffrey made the art and science of muscular therapy his own.

The deep compression on my back facilitated the recovery of my respiratory system and the stretching and massage of my legs and feet brought a feeling of lightness and energy flowing. He had me compare my left and right sides after he completed the circuit on my left side and I could feel a noticeable difference in such a short time on the table. He worked on my right side, had me turn over and flushed out my quads and worked the front of my legs finishing with a yummy foot and calf stretch holding both legs at the same time. He moved to my head, did some quick CranioSacral Therapy and a pass of energy healing and in less than 25 minutes, I was energized and renewed feeling as though I had not had a 7 mile run just a few hours before my treatment.

As Tom and I walked back to our car - and yes we got a parking space as soon as we arrived in the Seaport area, another magical moment, I saw a gentleman on crutches with an immobilizer on his leg who I had passed last week on Northern Avenue. As I passed him last week I said, "I wish you fast healing." He replied, "Thank you that is so kind of you." Well there he was standing right in front of us. Tom and I paused and we introduced ourselves. Jack fractured the top of his tibia and had 7 more weeks out of 12 weeks of, in his words, "being in prison." I showed him my scar from reconstructive leg surgery and told him how I got back to running after last December's knee injury. We told him about Jeffrey and suggested that he see him as part of his rehab once he comes out of the immobilizer. He thanked us for our kindness and our suggestion.

It was indeed a most magical day for Team McManus and especially for me to know that my affirmation and intention that I can recover from workouts and long runs with ease can be manifested through my partnering with Jeffrey and incorporating the ShakeOut Massage into my training plan.

I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing odyssey in "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" and continue the journey in "Journey Well." These two inspirational books that will motivate you and move you to tears along with my books of inspirational poetry are available on Amazon.

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