Monday, March 14, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life!: The Joy Is In The Journey



This is the first year that I feel I have been in the rhythm with Springtime. It was always winter and never Christmas to quote CS Lewis from the Chronicles of Narnia as I struggled to get traction on my healing journey and overcome the bitter winter of my childhood. But now, in my life, through partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Aslan is on the move!

Yesterday while Tom had his massage with Jeffrey, I went to my happy place; the Plaza Garden at the Seaport Hotel Boston. It was a surprisingly warm day for mid-March in Boston. The furniture for sitting out is still in storage. But there were signs of Spring returning to Boston:


Sure I would have loved the gardens to be in full bloom, the sun to be late Spring/early Summer warm and relaxing in one of their wonderful wooden lawn chairs but I also loved the time of anticipation. I relished and welcomed the warmth of the sun and reflected on how I am poised to embrace the Springtime of my life. I know that may sound strange because after all, I am 62 years old, but in fact I feel younger than I ever have!

As a survivor of paralytic polio and violence, I used to be afraid and embarrassed to try something new to challenge and test my body. Yes I did run the 2009 Boston Marathon and after a 7 year hiatus, returned to endurance running crossing the finish line of the Bermuda Half Marathon and then the Hyannis 10K. Those were formidable accomplishments for anyone and especially formidable given the fact that in December of 2014 I was told I would not run again and was looking at a total knee replacement within a few years.

I know that it is so important to challenge one's body in new ways to avoid injury and to also stimulate new neuromuscular pathways and challenge different muscles.

How amazing that Jack Fultz, 1976 Boston Marathon champion was speaking about the benefits of using the Cybex Arc Trainer for cross training for runners at a Boston Bulldogs Running Club Wellness Seminar. Coincidentally, Wave Health and Fitness recently purchased the Cybex Arc Trainers for the Club. I've been blessed to receive support and encouragement from the staff at Wave Health as I gain strength, confidence and move beyond the limitations of the effects of polio and violence.

Part of me would love to be farther along in my fitness journey than I am; taking spin classes and mastering workouts on the Arc Trainer. But there is something to relish about the sight of those first buds poking their heads through the dirt and there is something to relish about me starting this next phase of my fitness journey.

Today I forgot my bathing suit but had put my workout clothes in my gym bag in preparation of getting on the Trainer tomorrow. Good thing huh? So while I was a little nervous about trying out new equipment, I had nothing to worry about. Tanya said that she would show me how it works. I brought over the script that Jack Fultz had sent me but we set it aside so I had a chance to feel how my body would respond to the machine. Tanya was patient and encouraging and also helped me to laugh with myself when I realized that I could regulate my speed. I couldn't begin at the recommended settings but once I got warmed up I was able to put them at the settings Jack suggested. I listened keenly to how my body was responding and found myself getting into a rhythm. I was planning on doing 20 minutes but ended up doing 30 minutes. When I got off, my legs felt like jelly. Tanya suggested I immediately stretch!

Next up was the bike! After all, I have to start getting ready for my first spin class. Tanya got the bike set up for me for my height, showed me the controls and off I went for another 30 minutes of a wonderful sweaty cardio workout. I could feel the scar tissue from 5 leg surgeries on my left leg melt as I relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Tanya even gave me free head phones, one of the Club's amenities since I was planning on a swim day and did not have mine. I cranked up my marathon training playlist and smiled both enjoying the moment of nourishing my mind, body and soul with new activities and the anticipation of all that awaits me in my fitness journey.

Tonight I am sore and have muscles that I did not know I had. It's a good sore and a joyful sore, a sore that I am celebrating to realize that every day in every way I reclaim advantage and reclaim life. The joy IS in the journey.

To your health and wellness,
Mary



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