Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life: Reflections on Strength, Muscles and Moving Forward
I always knew I had strength otherwise I would have "opted out" after contracting paralytic polio and having an out of body experience. I had to have strength in order to survive the childhood I experienced. After being diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006, I had to find the strength to realize I was at a crossroads in my life, find the strength to take a leap of faith and leave my award winning career as a VA social worker three years shy of when I was eligible for retirement and then find the strength to get out of a wheelchair and leg brace and go the distance of 26.2 to run the 2009 Boston Marathon.
After my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11, I had the wind knocked out of me and went way off course on my healing journey. And then there was 4/15/13 that shook us to the core. But I found my strength and realized that was a wake up call to get back on the roads and back on my healing path. It took me two more years of not giving up on finding someone who could partner with me to go the rest of the distance with me on this healing journey.
Interestingly enough, I met Jeffrey Spratt, MT on the two year anniversary of 4/15/13 now almost a year ago. I was recovering from a serious knee injury. It took tremendous strength to walk away from the medical team at Spaulding Rehab and my previous massage therapist but until I let go of what was holding me back from complete healing, I could not find the healers and resources I needed to move forward.
I found Dr. Ryan Means, a healer chiropractor who turned me on to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Candace Pert both of whom were featured in What the bleep do we know? He reminded me to set goals not limits and prescribed exercises that would help me build muscle in addition to strength.
Partnering with Jeffrey has given me a whole new relationship with my body. After returning to endurance running in the Bermuda Half Marathon and the Hyannis 10K and feeling amazing having set and crushed those goals, I knew it was time to give myself new challenges in my fitness journey. As we clear out the trauma and I create a factory new body, conditioning my body to a new mind as Dr. Joe Dispenza so aptly calls it, I am able to build muscle in mind, body and Spirit.
As a survivor of childhood rape and beatings, I was afraid of what I might do if I were really strong. Couple that with having my neuromuscular compromised by the effects of paralytic polio and it was a real challenge for me to well challenge myself in ways that would build muscle, strength and confidence without fear.
Yesterday I worked out on the Arc Trainer and the upright stationery bike. Today in the pool at Wave Health and Fitness I challenged myself by increasing the aquatic weights I was using and continue to swim the butterfly along with the crawl, the breast stroke and back stroke. I am fierce in my off season training and I can feel muscles I haven't felt before. I am building muscle mindfully and with weekly massage therapy with Jeffrey, I am able to steadily build strength and muscle.
What is so remarkable about being able to build muscle is that I was told that I was going to experience a steady decline in my functioning due to muscles atrophying as a result of the late effects of paralytic polio. Before partnering first with Dr. Ryan and then Jeffrey and filling my mind with the teachings of beliefs that I've always known in my heart and soul to be true, beginning with Bernie Siegel, I could not get traction on my journey. When I reflect on the people I worked with before Jeffrey, the contrast startles me with how they worked with the body and how Jeffrey works with the body through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy.
It is exhilarating for me to feel a good sore and to know that even when I feel a not so good sore, Jeffrey and I will work together to fix it and get me back on track.
It's time for me to move forward; out of fear and beyond the terror of my past. It's time for me to build muscles and new neuromuscular connections and to test the limits of what this body can do.
I am deeply blessed and grateful that I now have everything I need...I always had the strength and now I get to feel my muscle and move forward.
To your health and wellness,