Monday, November 30, 2015

Results - Reclaim Advantage - Reclaim Life

Meet Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC.

It would be easy for me to cut and paste his bio here, but that wouldn't tell you who he is, what he is all about and why Spratt Muscular Therapies is an innovative massage therapy practice where one reclaims advantage and reclaims life and gets results through the power of positive touch. He has assembled an all star team of talented, dedicated and diverse massage therapists who you can get to know as you Meet the Team.

Jeffrey's philosophy about the practice of massage is:

“Massage Therapy at its finest can be life changing and even life saving, and even at its very basic, massage therapy should be momentum changing.”

As a massage therapy professional he received massage from many different practitioners. He noticed his response to the standard approach to massage therapy where there is a superficial getting to know the body and the client is waiting to have different areas addressed by the therapist. Using his experience as a pilot, Jeffrey developed the Spratt Method which involves a systematic check of all the critical areas of the body and going back and attending to those areas that need work to create balance, ease and relief. His signature ShakeOut treatment is a part of every treatment where he is assisting the body's natural ability to heal and encouraging energy to flow.

Jeffrey believes that balance between activity and recovery is crucial to health and well being.

He puts his own body through the rigors of training and recently completed the Spartan Race at Fenway Park:

Jeffrey is a teacher and a mentor to his staff of therapists.

Recently he presented "Your Boston Marathon: Tips for Getting to the Finish Line Healthy and Happy" to the John Hancock Employees Boston Marathon team and his tips have been a beacon for my Bermuda Half Marathon training:

Next week he returns to Harvard Medical's Continuing Education course, Updates in Internal Medicine to present his Rejuvenation Exercises:

Passionate about giving back, and knowing the healing power of positive touch, Jeffrey and the members of the team at Spratt Muscular Therapies go beyond the doors of their treatment rooms to participate in community activities as proud ambassadors of the profession of massage therapy. You'll find Jeffrey and his team donating their time and talent at fund raisers and Jeffrey donates countless gift certificates for raffles for causes near and dear to his heart such as Comfort Zone Camp.

and On-Site Academy:

He is a part of Critical Incident Stress Management Teams in Massachusetts serving those who serve by bringing massage therapy to emergency responders providing health and wellness services. Jeffrey went through extensive intensive training and screening to become a part of these teams:

He is on staff at On-Site Academy where he provides massage therapy to help emergency responders recover from their on the job trauma.

At Spratt Muscular Therapies, Emergency Responders, Veterans, Active Duty Personnel and their spouses, Teachers and VA Employees receive a $25 discount on all treatments of 30 minutes or longer.

I have been to countless massage therapists and body workers throughout my life and especially during these last 9 years of my healing journey after the diagnosis of post polio syndrome. His touch his unparalleled; his compassionate presence and strength combined with using the Spratt Method is for me life saving and for all who have come to the table with his talented team of therapists at Spratt Muscular Therapies, momentum changing at the very least.

You can read the testimonials on the website.

Whether you are looking to take a time out from your busy, hectic life and relax, train for your next big event or recover from your most recent event, needing to heal your life you will get results and have the opportunity to reclaim advantage and reclaim life at Spratt Muscular Therapies. Beginning 12/5 there is more room to reclaim your advantage and reclaim your life as Spratt Muscular Therapies adds a 2nd room to their practice and will be able to provide couples massage
in addition to their full menu of services.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Countdown to Bermuda: 10.5 Miles in the Rain - Nothing Can Stop Me Now

It was raining and we knew we had to deposit 10.5 miles in the Bank of Bermuda as we count down to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. The race is 50 days away but it's only 47 days until race weekend! The weather forecast called for sunny skies today and it is indeed sunny but it could rain on race day and we need to be well trained in all sorts of weather.

Fortunately I had bought new socks and they kept my feet toasty and dry through the first 7 miles or so. I'll be keeping a pair in reserve fresh for race day.

It was sheer will and determination that got me through those 10.5 miles yesterday. My left foot, ankle and shin were hurting. I realized that I had tied my shoe too tight for the weather conditions and stopped to loosen it up. When you get this close to race day, it's easy to start worrying about what if's but I replaced those thoughts of worry with affirmations of my body's tremendous capacity to heal and recover.

Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC's teachings echoed in my ears from his presentation, Your Boston Marathon Training: Tips for Getting to the Finish Line Healthy and Happy. I listened to my body and ran from the inside out. The images and analogies he presented about the way the body builds muscle and then recovers flashed through my mind.

For some reason, my Nike+ did not turn on my playlist so our soundtrack for the run became our conversation and the sound of raindrops falling on our head and in the puddles. The scene was majestic as rain drops bounced in the Reservoir.

Our pants, marathon training jackets and Janji hats held us in good stead. I was stunned to feel the weight of our clothes as we peeled off layers once we got back home.

Instead of an ice bath, I took a warm Epsom Salts bath for recovery after icing my knees and quads and then post bath, elevated my left foot and iced it while doing ankle circles. (Thank you Dr. Ryan for reminding me that it's not just RICE but MICE - Movement, Ice, Compression and Elevation).

We feasted on a delicious post long run meal of farm fresh eggs, chevre on bagels with lox, (compliments of Autumn and Michelle from Diggers Bend Farm), juice and bananas:

I have all the tools I need now to go the distance mind, body and Spirit. I am deeply grateful to my running and life partner, Tom, who runs with me week in and week out at my pace and wholeheartedly supports every step of my training for my first half marathon since 2009. He literally and figuratively cheers me on and tells me how proud he is of me for going the distance.

Each week, with Jeffrey, I get a boost of confidence along with my runner's flush with advanced sports massage therapy that keeps me running long and strong.

After 10.5 miles in the rain, I know in every fiber of my being that nothing can stop me now!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving Thanks for a Rustic Thanksgiving at Diggers Bend Farm

When our son Autumn invited us to his farm for Thanksgiving for a farm to table dinner, we were beside ourselves with excitement. We haven't done a road trip for Thanksgiving in years.

My good friends will tell you I'm not much of a mountain girl; the ocean calls to my soul but I was excited to experience our son's farm and to be together to share Thanksgiving.

I knew we were probably going to hit traffic driving on 90 West on Thanksgiving morning. At first I put on my playlist but then we decided to channel surf and hear the different radio stations as the Boston radio stations faded away in the distance. We played car-aoke and sang along with whatever tunes happened to come on the radio including all Christmas favorites all the time.

When we got bored with that, we decided to play a version of McManus family trivia pursuit reflecting on holidays past as well as reminiscing about our relationship through these past almost 40 years.

We took in the beautiful views from the highway:

and then played when is the traffic going to break. I won because I predicted once we passed I-84 so everyone heading to Connecticut and New York would exit the Mass. Pike.

We chatted with Autumn giving him updates of what towns we were passing through and then returned to the radio. "It's 95.5 Albany playing" you guessed it - "all Christmas favorites all the time."

I could feel my excitement mounting as we wound our way through country roads. Tom and I were joking about us City Slickers heading to the Country for Thanksgiving.

We could not have imagined the beauty, the sights, the sounds, the scents and the fresh air and the joy that our road trip would bring.

Autumn and Michelle went all out in preparing a magnificent farm to table feast for us. We brought a turkey to cook but because of the traffic we knew we wouldn't have time to cook it for our dinner. Fortunately Autumn had prepared a roasted chicken with gravy. We started out with chevre which for those of you who might not know is a cheese made from goat's milk. I could have made a meal out of it. We munched on kale and brussel sprouts as we made stuffing and Michelle made biscuits from scratch. Autumn had picked the squash and potatoes and made a savory butternut squash dish and au gratin potatoes with goat's milk and cheese. He did admit they bought the cheddar cheese to add to the au gratin potatoes. The room was warmed by a wood burning stove. Autumn splits the wood and they have a pile of it by the farm house that was built in the 18th century.

As everything was simmering and biscuits were baking, we went outside to breathe the fresh air and Autumn and Michelle told us more about the history of the farm and farming because Tom and I, as city slickers were clearly lacking in knowledge about how all of this works.

Back inside this rustic home, Bucket, Michelle and Autumn's cat wanted to see if she could sample the Thanksgiving feast as Autumn put the finishing touches on an arugula and another type of lettuce salad with mozzarella cheese made from goat's milk and mashed the squash.

She went from table to Autumn's shoulder and got a bird's eye view of the feast:

We took our time savoring each dish with its unique flavors after serving ourselves family style from the table and then dishing up our gravy from the pot on the wood burning stove.

The turkey continued to cook and would provide us with the necessary Thanksgiving leftovers. Autumn made a turkey gravy that was second to none that I have ever tasted.

After enjoying our meal and being completely satisfied with every dish, we took a walk out onto the farm.

Autumn had suggested we bring boots and I'm glad he did. The first frost and thawing left the field muddy; the kind of mud that would suck your shoes right off of your feet if you weren't careful. We received a tour of the chickens, roosters, Pumpkin the cow and the female goats along with their kids. Hey does that make me a goat grandmother? Well they did have two sets of twins.

We sat around the table having coffee and drinking in the warmth and love of being together for a real old fashioned rustic Thanksgiving.

We carved the turkey, made the gravy and divided up the leftovers. Autumn also sent us home with bagels, chevre, lox, and farm fresh eggs.

It made for one terrific weekend of pre-long run meals and this sumptuous post long run meal after today's 10.5 miler...but that's a story for another day:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Anticipation and Imagination

It takes work to stay focused and keep one's eye on the prize. It's easy to allow fear, worry and doubts to creep in but when we anticipate positive outcomes and harness the power of our imagination to create the outcomes we desire, we can put a blanket on fear, worry and doubt.

Tomorrow I take on 10.5 miles. I am well trained and cross trained and partner each week with the best in the business for advanced sports massage therapy, Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC.

As I consistently take on longer distances each week I focus on that post long run selfie that Tom and I take each week. I reflect on all that I have accomplished and realize that nothing is going to stop me now.

Just as I have had to create new habits with my physical body, I have had to retrain my mind to believing in my body's tremendous capacity to heal and to respond to whatever challenges I put it through as long as I train from the inside out.

I have to harness the power of trust and faith that as long as I am anticipating positive outcomes and feeding myself well in mind, body and soul and train smart, my body won't ever give out on me again. I believe and know that I am healed. To quote Emile Coue, "Every day in every way I am getting better and better."

It's coming up on the anniversary time of my knee injury this time last December. It's the anniversary of when I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in December of 2006.

I allow those images and memories to come and go in my mind and replace them with how strong and able bodied I have become; how I have so many tools at my disposal mind, body and soul to ensure that I go the distance.

I anticipate only positive outcomes. I imagine myself crossing that finish line in Bermuda in 49 days.

Tonight I shall watch my guilty pleasure of West Wing Season 4, meditate, get a great night's sleep and tomorrow - tomorrow - I love ya tomorrow whatever the day may bring we are going the distance of 10.5 miles!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks: What a Difference a Year Makes!

I remember this time last year like it was yesterday. My left knee was brewing an injury. I believed that I would never run more than a 5K again. It was cold and slushy as we ran the Boston Volvo Village 5K. We met some amazing people that day and we raised money for the MS Society. I was pushing myself and I could feel somewhere deep inside of me that I was going to have another wake up call.

When I set out to heal my life after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease 9 years ago, I was not going to fall short of everything I imagined and dreamed about; everything I wrote about in my poetry to reclaim my life and running free and unencumbered and healing everything in the wake of contracting paralytic polio and experiencing childhood domestic violence.

And so the injury came and the Universe put people in my path who would propel me to my destiny.

While I started practicing an attitude of gratitude right after my diagnosis seeing everything that happened in my life as a gift and a blessing, I can feel gratitude overflowing in my heart this Thanksgiving.

If you would have told me that I'd be running 10.5 miles this weekend and training for the Bermuda Half Marathon in January, I would have politely said, "You are nuts."

If you would have told me I'd be back to work I would have said oh that's it - you are really crazy.

But here I am!!!

Communications and Public Relations Director for Spratt Muscular Therapies,LLC and Executive Assistant to Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal. I partner with him each week in 90 minute treatments to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life. We are creating and growing a business and next week we are opening up a second room. The Universe is sending us everything we need to succeed. But you know what? This isn't about success - this is about an innovative massage therapy practice that changes lives. Jeffrey's belief about the power of positive touch is that “Massage Therapy at its finest can be life changing and even life saving, and even at its very basic, massage therapy should be momentum changing.” ~Jeffrey Spratt, MT

The momentum on my healing journey shifted after my first treatment with him on April 19th of this year. My life has been saved, transformed and the healing continues. I am doing complex tasks with power point presentations and scheduling. Creative juices flow as I feel Spirit nudging me with ways to spread the word about Spratt Muscular Therapies. Brain fog, chronic fatigue and self doubts are gone. Chronic pain is a mere memory and I experience strength, confidence and a partnering with the Divine to claim what was my birth right: to live a full, vibrant, vital, joyful, peaceful and happy life.

I have these amazing meetings orchestrated by the Divine and am bringing together all of my skills and talents to help bring healing into other people's lives. We create ripples of kindness, of caring, of easing pain and tension, stress and heartache through the power of positive touch.

I am giving thanks this Thanksgiving for the journey of this past year and for arriving in this moment. What a difference a year makes!

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Countdown to Bermuda: Training from the Inside Out

A powerful take home message from Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies,LLC presentation, "Your Boston Marathon: Tips for Getting to the Finish Line Healthy and Happy" is, "Listen to your body." He expresses it as Mind the Gap:

When Jeffrey was living abroad in Asia, on the subway in Hong Kong a woman in a British accent announced to the passengers as they were exiting the train, “mind the gap.”

The body heals when you create an optimal healing environment and recovers from whatever demands we place on it when we train mindfully and train from the inside out. It is easy to panic as the countdown continues on the road to the Bermuda Half Marathon as I experience sensations I have not known in 6 years! I’m training at a level I didn’t even train at when I trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon. After running 10 miles on Saturday out on the Boston Marathon course I was sore and yesterday in the pool at WaveHealth I listened to what my body was telling me. I knew I did not need to train as intensely as I had with the increased miles. While I still did strength training in the pool and swam laps, I incorporated more stretching and eased up on the pace and intensity of the laps. I could feel soreness in my legs and I did indeed, mind the gap.

This morning we ran our 5K distance in 22 degree weather. We took it slow and easy. As we ran I thought about my goals. My first goal is going the distance - 13.1 miles to be exact in just 51 days.

The Bermuda Marathon Weekend is posting photos as we get closer to race weekend.

After Bermuda, Team McManus will be going to Hyannis and running the Hyannis 10K together in February. From February to July I'm going to work on speed again and train for the Finish at the Fifty at Gillette Stadium and then it will be building up miles again to train for Bermuda 2017.

After this morning's run, my right leg was, what Jeffrey calls, "barking at me." As I mentioned, it's easy to freak out and panic especially since it is the anniversary of my knee injury last year. I remembered all the things that are so different this year in my training most notably my belief system.

Partnering with Jeffrey, I have total confidence in healing and in my body's ability to recover from the demands I am placing on it. I am cross training, meditating and going for weekly sports massage therapy with Jeffrey. Through the power of positive touch, Jeffrey and I continue to partner to heal trauma from the past that can leave one vulnerable to injury, and manage a very stressful situation in my life right now.

After this afternoon's treatment, I have no pain anywhere! I am still sore and I am going to be sore because I am training for a half marathon but it's a good sore of muscles being worked and improving my health and fitness.

It's a whole new world for me working with a massage therapist who believes in educating his clients and motivating them to reclaim their advantage and reclaim their life. I know that as different issues may arise as I push and challenge myself, that through the power of my belief system and the power of positive touch, I can train from the inside out and GO THE DISTANCE with confidence and strength.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks: From Why Me to Try Me

As I was standing underneath the hot shower yesterday, I started wondering..."What is up with this challenging situation that reminds me of several other challenging situations I have been through before?" My mind started wandering to maybe it's karma from a previous lifetime or what am I doing to attract this into my life ... and then the hot water showered grace upon me. I felt Bernie Siegel's presence saying to me, "It's life. Remember what I talk about - say try me instead of why me. Would you want someone else to be going through what you are going through right now? You have the strength to handle anything life sets before you."

Peace and gratitude and yes even a sense of unbridled joy washed over me.

As synchronicity would have it, one of my dear soul mates on Facebook, Stacey Chiew posted this today:

Life is holy shit. God may prefer the term "compost" but it amounts to the same thing. We all have our problems but those problems redirect us and teach us to grow. Our difficulties fertilize our lives. The enlightened individual--and the happy family--knows that possibilities grow out of problems. People who know how to be happy say, "Thank you, God, for the fertilizer," while the unhappy cry out, "Oh God, why us?" - Excerpted from Prescriptions for Living, Bernie Siegel

Shortly after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome 9 years ago next month, I returned to the teachings of Bernie and started writing poetry to heal. I remembered what he said about turning challenges into gifts and this is one of the early poems I wrote:

The Gift of Polio

Thank you God for the gift of polio that brought me so close to you
while paralyzed I saw your face no matter what I’d do
Many wonderful healers you sent them to me at age 5
perseverance and triumph life’s lessons learned
but my Spirit could not yet thrive.

At age 53 the gift was sent to me a second time
having time to sit and feel to heal I started to rhyme.
The second time felt worse than the first
yet your love and wisdom I found
out of pain and weakness and fatigue a remarkable spirit rebound.

Reliving all the trauma of special shoes and such
I discovered remarkable healers who brought a loving touch.
I had no clue I had such strength and the ability to grow
no matter what the outcome deep gratitude I show.

This gift so precious I live a new life gratitude flows from me
my heart and soul are filled with grace each day’s a gift from thee.

More recently I wrote this poem inspired by the work I do in partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC:

Gratitude Tingles

Heart opens in quiet, eyes are closed gratitudes trickle then flow
the basics a home, good food and love awareness begins to grow.
Each beat of my heart reminds me I’m a miracle of life
grace showers constantly upon me relieving alleviating strife.

Goosebumps with each reflection every breath a moment to pause
gratitude tingles feel the warmth relaxing unclenching jaws.
Grateful to now be fully alive so blessed to be kissed awake
appreciation flows in every vein for granted nothing I take.

What joy there is in this journey let Spirit within ever reign
trusting in goodness and kindness erases all fear and pain.
Memory traces from the past pale and fade when connected to Loving Source
gratitude overpowers correcting direction on my life’s course.

In moments of meditation happiness joy and peace
from the depths of my soul a fountain grateful blessings increase.
Lips upturn into beautiful smile from head’s crown to tip of toes
gratitude tingles tickling trail of delight everywhere gratitude goes.

The holidays can be a magical and magnificent time but they can also be a time filled with sadness and heartache. We may not get to choose the circumstances of our lives because life happens but we can certainly choose how to respond to what happens.

I choose gratitude and giving thanks. How about you?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Countdown to Bermuda: Feeling Accomplished

As I went to bed last night feeling sore and tired, I had an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

I thanked my sore and aching muscles and my entire body for doing me proud and going the distance of ten miles.

With each run I feel more and more confidence.

This morning I did my core workout and strength training. I thought about what Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC taught at his presentation, "Your Boston Marathon: Tips For Getting To The Finish Line Healthy and Happy." He talked about what happens in the body when training and how to create an optimal healing environment to run strong, run smart and run happy. I took my post run ice bath yesterday and stretched and rested last night. This morning I iced and stretched before doing my work out. I was able to frame it as an active recovery day.

I used to be afraid of pushing my body too far.

In partnering with Jeffrey, I have rewired my brain and shifted my beliefs and experience the transformation as everything I dreamed about and wrote about in my poetry during these last 9 years comes into physical manifestation. Each week we care for my mind, body and Soul with advanced sports massage therapy and the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy which heals and transforms everything that went before and helps me gain strength with whatever challenges I may be facing in my life.

I know in every fiber of my being I can and am going the distance of 13.1 miles.

It's getting close and I am counting down to Bermuda.

I am feeling accomplished and satisfied and so very happy that I am able to, at last, reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ten Terrific Miles - Learning to Trust My Body - Right on Hereford Left on Boylston

Well it may not be the greatest pleasure in life but it sure was amazing and gratifying to get out there and run TEN terrific miles today. Unlike last week there was no headwind but I didn't want to "just" run around our reservoirs. I needed to get out on the open road and simulate running on a course. We chose a course that is so much more challenging than the run we will be running at the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. We ran from our house to the finish line of the Boston Marathon and back again. There are rolling hills out and back. The weather was glorious today with the sun shining and moderate temperatures. Definitely a gift for November 21st. I remember this time last year we ran in driving snow and a slushy road as we were training to run the Boston Volvo Village 5K on Thanksgiving day.

So much has changed from last year. I have a magnificent muscular therapist in Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC to partner with me; a therapist who believes in possibility and potential and the body's tremendous capacity to heal.

Several years ago I dreamed about running the Bermuda Marathon. It was on my bucket list. I looked at photos and the race website and talked about running it for my 60th birthday. I felt it in every fiber of my being and knew how amazing it would feel to experience running in Bermuda after having traveled there in a leg brace and wheelchair in 2007. And then I let go of the dream. I didn't believe it was possible for me to run long and strong again. Because I didn't believe in the possibility, I found myself surrounded by people who were telling me I couldn't and shouldn't run long again; that I shouldn't run at all.

The dream was dormant but never died. I sat in Ryan J. Means, DC office getting my knee taped after the blessings of a knee injury in December. I remembered how it felt to train for and run the 2009 Boston Marathon. I felt that familiar flutter in my soul and the spark was lit as I looked into Ryan's deep blue eyes and he asked me, "Why are you setting a limit on yourself?"

He gave me all the tools and guidance I needed for a successful training program to once again go the distance. Jeffrey and I partner together each week with advanced sports massage therapy and the Spratt Method. While working out the areas of stress and tension and restoring balance to my body, mind and Soul, he infuses my body with a sense of confidence, trust and strength. It's in the way he handles my body and the way he manages any powerful emotions that surface with a grounded compassionate presence. With each treatment, I am transformed moving beyond events from the past and even current events in my life that have been extremely challenging.

My right IT band got very tight during today's run. I had a lot of strong sensations in many different parts of my body as we ran the longest distance I have run since April 20, 2009. In the past I would have doubted and been fearful that something untoward was happening in my body and that I could be injured again. Since partnering first with Ryan and now with Jeffrey, I know that I have the ability to harness the power of my mind and the Divine power within me to work with my body rather than in opposition and fear to it.

I remembered how Jeffrey lifted my right leg during the treatment putting a gentle fist into my gluts as he stretched and did a range of motion of my right leg. I invoked the memory of how he works on my legs and I could feel the tightness dissipate.

Rather than my thoughts going to, "Oh no something is going to happen" to what can I do to bring ease and comfort to my body in this moment. I was fortunate to hear Jeffrey's presentation to the John Hancock Employees 2016 Boston Marathon team, "Your Boston Marathon: Tips For Getting to the Finish Line Healthy and Happy." So much of what he said stayed with me especially making the distinction between Good Pain and Bad Pain.

During the training run, Tom and I were talking about where I was a year ago. The massage therapist I was working with said to me, "Right now your right leg is leading the dance and your left leg is just going along. I am waiting for your left leg to speak to me."

Well did it ever and while it was painful and I went through a time of incredible uncertainty making my way back to my healing path, what an amazing day today. Ten Terrific Miles. Running along the Boston Marathon route and once again taking that right on Hereford and Left on Boylston. I can trust in my body because I can harness the power of my mind and am partnering with a master muscular therapist. I am going the distance counting down 54 days to Bermuda!

Don't ever let your dreams die!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tomorrow Double Digits!

The last time I ran double digits was in November of 2008 as I trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon. The Sunday after Thanksgiving we ran the Tough Ten Mile Turkey Trot. Was it ever - tough - that is. Mostly hills. I remember it was cold and it started to snow at the end of the race and we finished dead last but none of that mattered. We donated cans as the race entry fee to stock food pantries in the area of the race and we had our finishing time recorded on a popsicle stick.

Tomorrow is a HUGE milestone for me as I move closer to the starting line of the Bermuda Half Marathon in 55 days.

During yesterday's massage with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, Jeffrey did a deep runner's flush. I thought to myself, "Wow I could never give myself that good of a stretch."

I reflected on how great it feels to feel sore again; good sore!

"It seems sometimes that change happens over night," I reflected to Jeffrey, "but I've been working at this since March."

I shared with Jeffrey how the other night, I got up from the toilet seat without giving it a second thought; how I used to have to lean on the sink in order to stand up.

"When I told Ryan (referencing Dr. Ryan J. Means, my chiropractor who helped me get back on my healing path after the December knee injury) I was leaning on the sink, and couldn't do a squat, he told me that we had to work on that. He showed me the proper form for a squat and how to initially use the wall to build strength. He told me one day I would be able to move an inch away from the wall and squat on my own."

I went on to tell Jeffrey that I can squat on my own but that with the intensive training, I use the wall for light support and am also doing squats in the pool free standing with weights.

I started out doing 1 mile back in March and tomorrow I am going to run 10 miles - yes 1-0 miles again. A distance I never thought I would run again after crossing the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon.

Each week until Bermuda will be a milestone until 12.5 miles on 12/26 after which we will taper.

I feel like it's Christmas Eve and I cannot wait to open the gift of another long run tomorrow.

For now I will meditate, rest, remember I can and will go the distance and tomorrow morning read over my runner affirmations.

My body feels good and is responding well to the intense training thanks to regular massage with Jeffrey. I feel strong. I feel confident and I am so excited for double digits. The weather is looking good and so am I!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Where there is kindness..." Heal the World!

there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic!"

I had a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward yesterday and practice a random act of kindness. My heart felt full knowing that the Universe is vast and abundant. I felt gratitude for all that I have in my life and wanted to share it with someone I had briefly met in a moment I know was orchestrated by the Divine.

I can only imagine the ripples that my one small action sent out into the Universe from beginning as a prompting in my heart, to the people who helped me execute the random act of kindness, to the person who received it and then all the people she will tell about her experience.

The Boston Marathon bombings and the recent violence in the world created ripples of terror and fear in the world but those ripples were consumed by the tsunami of kindness and heroism and outpouring of love.

I have borne witness to the darkest side of humanity from the time I was 5 years old but I was also touched by grace and had amazing helpers seen and unseen to get me through.

Let us look to the light. Let us allow our hearts to be broken and then open into the fullness of gratitude and love.

Let us create ripples of kindness and goodness in the world.

And remember - where there is kindness there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic and hope and healing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Having Faith

After having my leg taped by Dr. Ryan Means and receiving a shot of confidence and a boost of faith, I took the first step back on the roads in March after a knee injury that the previous massage therapist I was working with, two physical therapists, a physiatrist and the Aquatics Therapist at Spaulding Rehab said would mark the end of my running career. I saw beyond the appearances of my MRI that showed a deteriorated knee joint with bone spurs, torn cartilage, a fatty lipoma and the list went on. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Oh and lest we forget an atrophied gastroc (calf) muscle from paralytic polio.

I fervently read Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book, You Are the Placebo and watched his videos infusing myself with the power of belief to heal my body through the power of my mind.

I found my way to Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC whose tagline Reclaim Advantage, Reclaim Life combined with his innovative Spratt Method brought results and gave me the traction on my healing journey that I’d been searching for these past 9 years.

“You are very lucky,” my dental hygienist at Brookline Dental Center said to me yesterday as she noticed my front chipped tooth. I’d forgotten that I chipped my tooth in the fall I took while on a training run.

As I sat up to rinse out my mouth I showed her the palm of my hand. “The skin was completely gone yet look at it now. There is not even a scar!”

Joe Dispenza talks about focusing on the wave, not the particle when we want to create change. It is so easy to focus on reacting to what appears to be happening rather than opening our heart and mind to creating what positive outcomes we want to see come into creation. Did you realize that R E A C T I O N and C R E A T I O N have the same letters? To go from reaction to creation you just have to rearrange things a bit and have faith trusting in the process.

One of the things I love about partnering with Jeffrey is that where they may be injury or tightness or dis-ease, he can imagine and use his hands to tap into potential and possibility. He knows on a very deep level that the body, mind, heart and soul have a tremendous capacity for healing when we create the optimal healing environment; he harnesses the power of positive touch to create that environment. I remember saying to Jeffrey in one of my earlier appointments with him while looking deep into his eyes, “We believe the same thing.”
He nodded and I had reaffirmation that I’d found the person I needed to travel with me on these next miles of my healing journey.

I had to take that first step; to get back on the roads despite appearances to the contrary and to trust yet another massage therapist hoping and having faith that Jeffrey would be the one. I went from a state of reaction to my body, to the injury, and struggling with previous body workers to creation reminding myself of what I visualized and wrote about in my poetry tapping into the Universe of infinite possibilities to reveal the beauty and wonder of the whole staircase. This weekend Team McManus will lace up and get out there and run 10 miles and two months from today we toe the line at the Bermuda Half Marathon! The journey back all began with me having faith and taking that first step!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Creating Positive Habits

It takes 21 days to create a positive habit. Getting started and believing you can change are often the hardest parts of getting on the road to success.

I had been programmed from an early age to not be able to trust my body after contracting paralytic polio and then experiencing years of violence at the hands of family members. It was a struggle for me to get traction on my healing journey until I was blessed to find my way first to Ryan J. Means,DC who introduced me to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and then Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC.

My default programming habit had been one of fatigue and anticipating that my body would break down.

It was a constant effort and struggle to make the shift to believing in my body's tremendous capacity to heal everything that went before and to create positive habits that would become an optimal healing environment for myself mind, body and soul.

This morning when my alarm went off at 6:15am and it was still dark outside, my brain is now wired to meditate for 20 minutes, do plank, crunches and clams, have a piece of toast, banana and hydrate and go out the door for a 3.1 mile run.

Oh sure a part of me would have loved to stay snuggled in the blankets but the scale has shifted from weighing heavily on the side of fatigue and pain to one of gratitude and feeling vibrant, whole, healthy and strong motivated by knowing that two months from tomorrow, Team McManus lines up at the start of the Bermuda Half Marathon.

It's funny how the change kind of sneaks up on you. There's not one specific moment when the change happens. It's a cumulative effect of working to create the change and then realizing wow, I've created a change in my body, in my lifestyle through meditation, my strong will and determination, the power of positive touch in partnering with Jeffrey and consistency.

Change is not easy. We get hard wired into believing that things have to be the way they are and then when we believe things have to be the way they are, the hard wiring gets reinforced.

Once we change our beliefs, find amazing people to partner with us and support our desire for change, we can reclaim our advantage, reclaim our lives and create a lifetime of positive habits.