Thursday, March 24, 2016
Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Transformation and Throwback Thursday: Look at me look at me look at me now!
As I was meditating and I was feeling creative urges flow through me about today's blog, it was only fitting that the image of The Cat in the Hat came to mind. As I recovered from paralytic polio in 1959, my wise earth angel physical therapist, Miss Holly read Dr. Seuss to me in the waiting room before bringing me in for the grueling regimen of physical therapy to help me walk again and regain use of my body after collapsing from polio. To distract me from the pain of those sessions, she would have me recite Dr. Seuss back to her in tandem with her.
Here I am in December of 2007 after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease but slowly finding a healing path through writing poetry and partnering with a personal trainer. One picture is worth a thousand words:
These photos capture the beginning of my running career - a feature in the Brookline Tab and my first 5K, the Corrib Pub Run in June of 2008:
On April 20, 2009 I am coming down Commonwealth Avenue toward the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon:
And then it was an up and down and all around the Mulberry Bush course on my healing journey....until I partnered with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving/life changing Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. I started working with Jeffrey on 4/19/15.
My heart overflows with gratitude for where I am today in my healing - my health and wellness journey.
Even a year ago I was unable to do:
Squats - and now I do 25 with a little support at the wall
Push ups - I can do 5. A year ago I didn't even have the ability to propriocept bending my arms to go down for a push up. They are not very deep yet but just the fact I can do a little means a whole lot!
Spreading toes on my left foot - I used the method Dr. Joe Dispenza's described for how survivors of a stroke with a paralyzed arm regained movement through the use of mirror neurons. I love the feeling of spreading my toes wide on my left foot and the connection going down the outside of my leg to my foot getting stronger and stronger. I can also straighten out the big toe on my left foot.
I can get off of the floor with ease - I have upper body strength and feel an incredible lightness of being in my body. It's fun to go down on the floor using one arm and being able to get up without a struggle.
Swimming - oh my gosh a year ago I was still at Spaulding Rehab Aquatics Therapy program. I am so grateful for the foundation I built while I was there and it definitely served its purpose. I still use some of the exercises I learned there for my strength training portion of my pool workout. I am so blessed to have the beauty and spaciousness of the pool at Wave Health and Fitness. I can do all four strokes with laps. I feel the exhilaration and unbridled joy of moving through the water.
In December of 2014, I thought my running days were over. An MRI revealed a pretty messed up left knee. I started out with the Western medicine model and then was blessed to find my way to Dr. Ryan Means in February of last year.
I was just venturing out on the roads this time last year with Dr. Ryan's. He turned me onto the work of Dr. Joe and used taping, the Graston technique, spinal adjustments and every tool he had his in his healing bag of tricks to get me back to running.
Perhaps the greatest gift he gave me was reminding me of my body's incredible capacity to heal!
"What leg are we rehabbing?" Jeffrey asked me in my first treatment and went on to say at the end of the treatment, "I want you to run unencumbered."
And with that we embarked on this wonderful partnership of healing.
I went on to run the Bermuda Half Marathon in January:
And after a 5 year hiatus, the Hyannis 10K in February at a pace just 4 minutes over the 2014 Tufts 10K:
While there are whispers of those nagging voices inside my head - all the naysayers, those who abused me and demeaned me wanting me dead, I get to reclaim advantage and reclaim life with a resounding voice saying, - Look at me - look at me - look at me now....But that is not all - oh no that is not all!
A little over a year ago I thought that I was destined to settle for mediocre massage therapy, being a chronic patient of the health care system, and having to endure and suffer and struggle with the effects of paralytic polio and violence. Please remember to not give up and to believe in what is possible and what is every person's birth right to be as healthy and vibrant as we can possibly be. And above all...
To your health and wellness!