Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Countdown to 2016: Accomplishments and Goals - 2015: The Year I Reclaimed My Advantage and Reclaimed My Life

When 2015 began I was once again facing uncertainty with my body. I was nursing a significant knee injury and had an MRI that revealed bone spurs, torn meniscus, degenerative joint changes, changes from previous surgeries, a lipoma, an atrophied gastroc muscle and indication that the only surgery that was possible would be a total knee replacement at some point in the future. "Here's a script for physical therapy. No running until the summer and cap your distance at a 5K - well okay a 5 miler if you insist."

The physical therapy encounter led me back on my path to self healing and right into the path of Dr. Ryan Means, my beloved chiropractor and dear friend. Armed with reading "You Are the Placebo" by Dr. Joe Dispenza and reminding myself what Dave McGillvray wrote in the copy of his book "The Last Pick" I set goals not limits.

I was going to run the Newport Marathon next October but then at the Finish at the 50 race on 7/3, we met the Bermudians promoting Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Somewhere between hello and good-bye I had a new goal for 2016; something that had been on my bucket list for 3 years to run the Bermuda Marathon only I modified it to the Bermuda Half.

Shortly after firing my physical therapists and previous massage therapist and leaving Spaulding Rehab's Aquatics Therapy classes, I met Jeffrey Spratt, MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC. The Spratt Method, his pioneering method of muscular therapy was a game changer for me. After hearing all the nay sayers tell me why I shouldn't and couldn't possibly run any distance again, Jeffrey asked me in that first treatment, "What leg are we rehabbing?" and told me that he wanted me to run unencumbered. Chronic fatigue, chronic pain and a lack of confidence in my body and not being able to experience a sense of well being melted away with the power of his positive touch! The confidence that he has in his own physicality plus his belief in the body's natural ability to heal is infectious and I took on training for a half marathon; a distance I had not run since I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon.

In March, Dr. Ryan gave me a training plan. I couldn't squat or do crunches or sit ups or hold a plank for very long. With patience, persistence, perseverance and courage, I now plank for 3 minutes; can do 15 squats; use stabilizers to improve balance. I have increased weights and reps with upper and lower body strength training.

After I run and recover from the Bermuda Half, I am going to explore ways to increase core and strength training.

On February 28th, Team McManus toes the starting line for the Hyannis 10K. We haven't been to Camp Hyannis with me running since February 2011.

2015 is also the year that after 9 years of retirement, I returned to work as the Communications and Public Relations Director for Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC.

Team McManus (along with assistance from two of Jeffrey's dear friends) created the website and developed a marketing plan to take Spratt Muscular Therapies to the next level and literally and figuratively put Spratt Muscular Therapies on the map.

It's taper time and this morning I did an easy 3 mile run on the treadmill. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could use the words easy and run in the same sentence. It was icy and slushy outside and with two weeks to go until Bermuda, there was no way I was going to risk training outside.

I've had stellar accomplishments in 2015 and am so excited about my goals for 2016. 2015 was the first year that, despite a very stressful family situation, not only did I NOT have a relapse of post polio symptoms, but I successfully trained for the 2016 Bermuda Half Marathon. I learned how to do squats and have conditioned myself mind, body and spirit to go the distance. 2015 - the year I reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life. 2016 - the year that my life keeps getting better and better.

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