Friday, February 5, 2016
The Joy of Movement - The Thrill of Running - Healing Trauma
We were out on a training run for the Bermuda Half Marathon when a neighbor came power walking up to us. We hadn't seen each other for awhile and she asked me how I was doing. I told her about training for the Bermuda Half Marathon and she asked, "Well are you just warming up? When do you start running?" "This is my running I replied." A conversation about what it means to be a runner followed. She was bemoaning the fact that she could only "power walk now."
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts from experiencing paralytic polio and violence is that I have a deep appreciation for the joy of movement. At a time in life - in my 60's - when many are "slowing down" and aging, I feel as though I am discovering the joy of my body for the first time in my life. While I may not be a "fast" runner, I do enjoy the thrill of running. I love setting goals and achieving them. I love fun runs and being with my running family. I love running for good causes.
Have any of you seen the movie City of Angels with Meg Ryan, Nicholas Cage and Dennis Franz? Dennis Franz foregoes his angel status to experience life in human form. He savors every experience and appreciates food, his family and is absolutely exuberant about the human experience. I feel this wonderful awakening to the wonder, beauty, grace and goodness of life.
From the very first treatment I had with Jeffrey Spratt, MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies he treated me as a runner. "What leg are we rehabbing?" he asked me and worked with my left leg as though it had not been through all it had been through. He didn't care what the MRI showed. As he said goodbye to me he said, "I want you to run unencumbered."
And now every week Jeffrey partners with me to heal the effects of polio and trauma. We are building a new infrastructure moving out the gunk of the past and allowing energy to flow rebuilding severed neuromuscular connections so that I can push and challenge myself in new ways. Rather than feeling as though I am lugging around my body I can live vibrant, healthy, whole.
I am re-reading Peter A. Levine's book, "In An Unspoken Voice:How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness." I am in awe of how I was writing poetry about healing, Peter Levine was creating his most recent book that I somehow found my way to several years ago and Jeffrey was pioneering the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy holding fast the belief that massage therapy at its finest can be life saving and believing with his whole heart and soul that the power of positive touch can relieve suffering and transform lives.
And now this triangle has been brought together in real time...It is not just about my healing. Through my journey others have hope that regardless of horrific life challenges, healing happens and through the power of positive touch, trust, safety, a compassionate presence and finding the courage to release the trauma with all of its horror, there is beauty. There is joy. There is the thrill of running and there is the opportunity to reclaim advantage and reclaim life. I am living proof of the results!