Friday, March 11, 2016

Going the Distance: On Coming Home, Courage, Patience and Persistence

It's that time of year when everyone starts counting down to the Boston Marathon. Less than 40 days to go until April 18th when the Red Sox play ball and thousands and thousands of runners make the journey from Hopkinton to Boston. It happens every year and moves me to reminisce about my journey and my 2009 Boston Marathon run.

By all appearances there is no way I should have been able to run the Boston Marathon. I remember the day I set that goal for myself. From "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility:" (available on Amazon)

At my six-month evaluation in February, I had dramatically improved in every area of the assessment. I had come out of my leg brace and I knew that I was on a healing path. Janine asked me what my next health and fitness goals were.
“Well I want to feel free in my body. I want to dance. I want to be able to walk outside and feel unencumbered when I take a walk.”

Janine wrote feverishly and we worked out a plan. She gathered up her belongings and had her hand on the door knob.

“Wait. I have one more goal.”

Janine stopped and turned around.

“I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital. I know they have a Race for Rehab team and I want to do it next year.”

Janine was non-plussed. I don’t know what kept her from turning tail and getting as far away from me as she could. She came back into my house and put down her things. She said that the first thing I would need is a pair of running shoes. She told me that Marathon Sports on Beacon Street would be able to help me. She laid out a cursory training plan and said that we would begin indoors to build up my cardio endurance. As soon as the weather got a little warmer, we’d go outdoors and I would learn how to run.

What had I just done?

After running the marathon I took the winter off from running. I worked with a physical therapist at Newton Wellesley Hospital Spine Center and by June of 2010 I was ready to run again. I had an incredible run until March of 2011 when my nephew's suicide threw me into a tailspin. Old habits reared their head. I stopped running and it wasn't until the One Run in the wake of 4/15/13 that I was able to find my way back to the roads.

I could not get traction with my healing and in December of 2014, a serious knee injury gave me a wonderful wake up call. My fiery Spirit and my courage would not take what the medical community and even my previous massage therapist were telling me. "Take it easy." "Well if you need a total knee you'll just have to learn to accept that." "What do you expect? You're a polio survivor."

Because of the intentions I had set through the power of my pen, my divining rod for healing as I wrote poems about reclaiming my life and running unencumbered (and my breath caught when I realized I set that intention back in February of 2008) and free the Universe led me to my partners for healing to go the distance in my healing journey.

When my left knee and leg barked at me on last Saturday's four miler, unlike the last time I have been able to manage the discomfort with ice, advil and cross training. Unlike the uncertainty I felt after my knee flared in December of 2014 and I agonized about whether or not I would ever return to the roads, I have total confidence in my training plan to heal this beautiful leg of mine that is vulnerable to injury.

I realize that I was conditioned to pain and prone to injury given the circumstances of my childhood. But now I have the tools I need to "recondition my body to a new mind," as Dr. Joe Dispenza describes the process.

I am deeply grateful that I had such incredible races in Bermuda and Hyannis and so grateful for all the healing I have experienced right now in this moment. This is another opportunity for me to gain strength and confidence in my body's resilience and my remarkable ability to heal. However just like the professional athletes do, I am using this time to build up core strength and cross train and strength train with renewed vigor and commitment.

I need to be kind and compassionate with myself on this journey experiencing deep appreciation for what my physical body has been through. But all the darkness, the evil, the pain and suffering is no match for the light and power of Divine Love.

So thank you to Petey Silveira and New Pathway For Healing's Facebook post to remind me:
Be easy
take your time
you are coming home
to yourself.

To your health and wellness!

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