Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The Jordan Rich Show - 8 Years Later

Last Saturday morning was my final appearance on the Jordan Rich Show. After 20 years of late night talk radio, Jordan will be signing off the air this weekend.

Jordan loves bringing inspirational people on air to share their stories of faith, courage and overcoming whatever challenges life presents to them. He is also a champion of good causes and during these past 8 years has become a dear friend and supporter of all things Team McManus.

My first appearance was in June 2008 after running my first 5K race ever and as I embarked on the journey of a lifetime to run the 2009 Boston Marathon.

He had Team McManus come on the show after we ran the marathon to share our experience.

In 2010, Jordan had me on the show to launch my book, "Set Sail for a New World: Healing a Life Through the Gift of Poetry".

He was gracious to write the Foreword to my book:
"Her words sing on their own, but when you get to know this warm, energetic and loving soul, those words take on an even greater meaning. Mary's style of poetry is just what folks need in these cynical times. Read her words, feel better and get to know a beautiful new friend." (From the Foreword written by Jordan Rich, WBZ Boston Host).

There was a show with a round table discussion on ending polio with Rotary International and two body workers I partnered with who were not the real deal but Jordan was so gracious to have me produce shows with them in the spotlight talking about their healing modalities.

In September 2014, Jordan had me return to the show to talk about my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility."

We stayed in touch enjoying our friendship, getting together for coffee and a bagel and I had the wonderful opportunity to see Jordan on Stage in "Love Letters."

A couple of my friends were fund raising and championing good causes and I reconnected with Jordan in his radio show host role sharing good works with his listeners.

And then I was inspired to ask him if he'd like to do a show on "Healing Trauma Through the Power of Positive Touch."

He loved the idea and see that's the kind of guy that Jordan is. Never mind that I brought on a couple of guests who were less than stellar in their professionalism and on air ... Jordan trusted me and honored my journey. We also decided that part of the message of the show should be that there are a lot of people out there who may not be providing the care needed to heal; so never give up on the quest and keep searching.

I did keep searching and was blessed to bring Jordan's listeners up to date on my healing journey with the message that I have been able to reclaim advantage and reclaim life after devastating events of paralytic polio, violence, family suicides and the Boston Marathon bombings by partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy.

We had an incredible time at the studio thanks to Jordan being the host with the most:

And an incredible show that was an opportunity for me to share the pioneering work of a dear friend, healer and business owner who is so passionate about the power of positive touch and helping everyone reclaim advantage and reclaim life!

Eight years later - what a magnificent journey and what a blessing to have shared many special moments with my dear friend Jordan Rich on WBZ Talk Radio.

To your health and wellness!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! On Being a Runner

Yesterday was my last work out for Finish at the 50 on Sunday. I worked up a really good sweat with 30 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes on the Arc Trainer. "You're really jonesing for some ramps now aren't you Mary?" Jeffrey Spratt, MT commented at the end of my massage therapy session yesterday.

Am I ever!

One year ago I was so nervous about my comeback race after a very serious knee injury in December of 2014. Jeffrey went over the course map with me, gave me some terrific tips about getting ready mind, body and Spirit and at the end of my pre-event massage he said to me that I was ready body and mind to run my race! I sure was!

The transformation during this past year from feeling like a survivor of paralytic polio and violence to reclaiming advantage and reclaiming life is a miracle. In each treatment, I move beyond the past into a new way of Being in mind, body and soul. Jeffrey's warm hands, positive touch and powerful compassionate presence unleashes my body's natural capacity to heal and heal it does.

The scar tissue and sense of stuckness in my left leg from surgeries, polio and violence is releasing. I am using more and more of my left leg in all of my daily activities of living and when I work out.

My arms are healing from paralysis and unthinkable acts of horror. I can feel how my body held onto habitual ways of being and moving protecting myself from constant abuse into being able to allow my body to heal. There is more energy flowing, more confidence and trust in my body and being able to feel the unbridled joy of being a runner - as only I can run being who I am.

When I toe the starting line on Sunday outside of Gillette Stadium I am lining up as a runner reclaiming advantage and reclaiming life through the power of positive touch thanks to the innovative Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy.

To your health and wellness!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Finishing Training for Finish at the 50!

On Saturday we ran what we affectionately call Billy's Hill by Boston College to have our final training run for Finish at the 50. Today I got in the pool at Wave Health and Fitness and did an hour of laps and strength training.

Boy am I sore!

One more workout tomorrow on the Arc Trainer and Bike, a 90 minute massage with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, two days of rest and a shake out run on Friday and I will be good to go for Finish at the 50 on Sunday celebrating freedom!

I remember this time last year. I was so incredibly nervous taking on my first race after a serious knee injury in December of 2014 but also exhilarated to be back on the racing circuit again setting goals not limits. When I told Jeffrey last year that I am no longer running as a survivor of paralytic polio and violence but as the runner I was always meant to be and that I want to run fast, he commented, "Ah to be swift of foot - like the god Mercury."

I developed new mantras:
Trust don't test and see if in fact that left knee has full range of motion or that the right IT band discomfort is gone. Just trust and act as if it has already manifested in reality.
Feel the joy in the challenge rather than experiencing a sense of struggle and overcoming. It's a whole new ball game now and as race director Dave McGillvray loves to say, "My game. My rules." Coincidentally he is the race director for the Finish at the 50. He wrote in my book, "The Last Pick," "Set goals not limits."
Focus on the healing not on the wound.
Feel the heal.
Focus on the wave not on the particle.
Love is stronger than fear.
I am an ambitious god.

And reflected on this poem that I wrote before I even met Jeffrey with whom I can finally Feel the Heal.

Feel the Heal

The Potter’s wheel with loving hands a figure forms brave and true
breaking mold cast by others, Triumphant Spirit shining through.
In likeness of Divine’s image, all excess baggage gently melts away
unbridled freedom, joy fired up whole without fringe or fray.
Rhythmic turnings ever so slowly, tender kindness she feels the heal
Potter pauses work now finished, she leaps from Potter’s wheel.
Color and shape beyond compare magnificent in radiant sun
going the distance helps others to heal fueling her 26.2 mile run.
Transcending transforming no pain can last,
grit and gratitude fill heart and soul
leave doubts and fears in dust of memories past
sights set clearly on finish line goal.
In the distance the Potter’s cheering
that Voice so clear rises above the din
she feels in every fiber of her Being this race is hers to win.
Pacing, persistent and patient in each moment she feels the heal
reminded of her humble true beginnings
blessed by grace on Potter’s wheel.

With all that work behind me and with continuing to gain momentum and enjoying my training, my race plan is to just go out and have fun! No pressure. No worrying about the clock. Just going out and running encumbered and free celebrating my independence reclaiming advantage and reclaiming life with every joyful step I take.

To your health and wellness!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Be a Hill Seeker!

Next Sunday Tom and I return to Gillette Stadium to race the Finish at the 50 5K.

What a difference a year makes!

Last year I was sending emails to Race Director Dave McGillvray scared that I would be left in the dust to get lost in Gillette Stadium. I brought in the course map to Jeffrey Spratt,MT my beloved muscular therapist and he helped prepare me mind, body and soul. At the end of my pre-race treatment he told me that I was ready for the race and noted how much muscle I had built since we started working together in April. I knew that he would be "watching" me on Facebook while he was on vacation.

Today Tom and I went out for our last strong run before the race. I'll strength train tomorrow, cross train in the pool at Wave Health on Monday, do cross training on the Arc Trainer and Bike on Tuesday and have a massage with Jeffrey (who leaves for vacation right after my treatment), rest on Wednesday and Thursday and go for a shake out run on Friday. Saturday is a rest day and Sunday we take once again to the ramps at Gillette Stadium to be a hill seeker.

Today's run was hot and hilly as we ran up what we affectionately call "Billy's Hill" by Boston College referring to Bill Rodgers. That hill was part of the Bill Rodgers 5K Run/Walk for Prostate Cancer when I nailed a PR:

I pushed hard knowing that I was training my legs for those pesky ramps at Gillette. It's an incredible feeling to experience the sensation of strength surging through my legs and also feeling the fatigue at the end of a hard run.

The momentum I continue to experience in my running and in my life is a blessing and a gift. To be able to reclaim advantage and reclaim life after 10 years of being on a healing quest brings me such joy and my heart overflows with gratitude.

One week from tomorrow we will be a hill seeker because well quite frankly life happens on the hills.

To your health and wellness!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The Dancer

"We can't change what happened but we can create what happens moving forward. I'm here to help you help you feel safe and to help put everything back together again." ~Jeffrey Spratt, MT, Pioneer of the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy

It took tremendous courage for me, given the abandonment and neglect I suffered after contracting paralytic polio at the hands of my drug addicted mother, to ask Jeffrey if he would do stretching with my arms. Jeffrey incorporates stretching into his sessions and had stretched my arms on different occasions. "Each session has its own vibe," Jeffrey likes to say but is also very clear about the fact he is a body reader not a mind reader. He genuinely appreciates it when I let him know what is going on in my body or what I need in a session. I took the risk knowing that Jeffrey would meet my request with incredible skill, compassion and care. "It just feels like you need that today, huh?" he asked me.

His technique was brilliant and opened the portal to healing the paralysis of my arms after contracting paralytic polio along with having my arms restrained during rapes and beatings from my alcoholic father.

A miracle happened as he worked with my arms. I resurrected the muscle memory of the graceful ballerina within me; the ballerina who was free and happy before contracting paralytic polio. The ballerina who giggled with her little girl ballerinas, who loved being able to do back bends and leap across the floor. I loved the smell of the highly varnished floor, the sound of the piano and the beauty, radiance and to a little 3 or 4 year old girl, perfection of Miss Patricia my ballet teacher.

There's still more work to do to reclaim these arms after paralysis and violence and I am incredibly blessed to partner with Jeffrey as I reclaim advantage, reclaim life and put everything back together again the way it was always meant to be.

For today, sitting in the glorious sunshine getting ready to share my journey on the Jordan Rich Show on WBZ Radio tonight, I smile and relish in embodying the dancer within me.

From "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life:"

The Dancer

Crumpled cringing alone in darkness portrait of paralyzed child
heap of limbs loss of control panic fear run rampant and wild.
Enter stage right he gathers her gentle tears honor old embrace new
beautiful ballerina transformed music swells the pas de deux.
Dancing with Spirit she celebrates lost in moment of time and space
winged feet now poetry in motion joyful light ease and grace.

Daring she enters spotlight center stage a vision to behold
vulnerable yet confident - courageous strikingly bold.
On point to an audience she no longer plays
soul’s rhythm tempo she keeps
magic memories made in each moment
delighting grateful heart leaps.
Her life she now knows has no bounds
choreography her dancing decree
revelations unveiled with each movement
unencumbered expansive now free.

To your health and wellness!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Feeling the Healing

After last week's muscular therapy session with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I was able to take a look at a very deep wound from when I contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5. My mother was addicted to prescription pain medication and under the influence would glare at me lying paralyzed on the couch smoking a cigarette. It was like wiggling a loose tooth that had been bothering me for a very long time. It was a deeply buried wound that would keep me on edge even while Jeffrey ministered the best muscular therapy treatments I ever experienced. I played with it over and over and over again until I explored all the feelings and thoughts associated with that early trauma and felt incredible relief after allowing it to surface and move through me. Another wound surfaced. "I'm at his mercy," floated to the surface of my awareness along with something Jeffrey had said to me months ago, "The best way to heal a wound from a man is with a man." So true! Especially one who is so incredibly skilled, compassionate and trained in trauma. Bringing these painful memories to the surface through the power of positive touch and compassionate presence results in freedom and healing.

Yesterday morning Tom and I went on our 5K run. It was a glorious summer morning with the sun glistening off of the Reservoir and moderate temperatures with no humidity. It was the 5th and final day of my work out week. The day before I had done an intense workout on the Arc Trainer and Bike and wasn't sure what my body would want to do on the run. We typically run on Tuesday and I cross train on Wednesday.

I noticed that I could experience more of my left leg, aka the "polio leg". The calf muscle (that on MRI in 12/14 had atrophied) was firing up and strong. I felt greater ease, comfort and strength in my body as we did a few hills and I asked Tom to pace me as we get ready for Finish at the 50 5K on July 3rd. Finish at the 50 was my comeback race last year. This year I get to go out and enjoy it!

It's all so miraculous to experience the momentum of healing from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. It feels so good to reclaim advantage and reclaim life as I release memories to the Universe and Jeffrey's warm, competent and confident powerful positive touch encourages my body's natural healing capacity.

It's an absolute blessing and the total grace to experience feeling the healing in mind, body and soul free from the shackles of the past.

From Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life:

"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." ~Marcus Aurelius

Born to Run

Born free
born to run
run free
unencumbered untethered unshackled
pouring energy into my running form
liquid gold once fired in the crucible
now my treasure born of my Spirit molded with alchemy
my precious treasure once buried
the map safely tucked away
X marks the spot
a new starting line.

Poised and ready
to go the distance
all out without hesitation
all is healed at last
my pace swift
Mercury and Hermes pace me on winged feet
born to run
running free
joyfully crossing the finish line with ease.

To your health and wellness!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The joy of a gym rat!

On the Wave Health and Fitness Cruise last week, as Jeffrey Spratt,MT Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies was introducing me as his personal assistant and Communications and PR Director, people were commenting that they thought they'd seen me around. "She's a gym rat," was Jeffrey's reply.

A gym rat -- me a gym rat. Growing up gym class was nothing short of torture for me as a survivor of paralytic polio. I was known as "Easy Out Alper" (my maiden name). There are so many stories of humiliation and embarrassment not only from my peers but from my two gym teachers as well.

My body did not stand a chance to heal and recover because shortly after coming out of my leg brace my father repeatedly raped me and after adolescence the sexual assault turned to beatings. It's no wonder I dissociated mind from body. It was a wonderful survival mechanism to get through the horror but I paid a terrible price. By age 53 my mind, body and soul were crying out for healing. I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. I realized that I needed to make some serious changes in my life and set out on a quest to heal my life.

The road to recovery had been slow and winding...that is until I partnered with Jeffrey in April of 2015. He pioneered the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy that has been the game changer for me in my health and wellness journey.

Every week I experience momentum, strength and healing. So many people bemoan the fact that they have to go the I find it to be an amazing opportunity to experience the beauty and power of my body.

Today I worked out on the Arc Trainer and the Bike. I could feel the heat build in my body and sweat began to pour off of me. From feeling so disconnected from my body to feeling afraid to work my body to now being able to push my limits in a workout is absolutely exhilarating.

I was so exhilarated that I had to take a selfie and post it on Facebook saying, "Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! This gym rat is getting her sweat on. #eyeofthetiger:

Who would have ever thought that I would be a gym rat sweating with the best of them? Well here I am reclaiming my advantage and reclaiming my life from the thieves who tried to steal it all away from me healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma through the power of positive touch.

To your health and wellness!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Begin by Saying Yes!

When I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease almost 10 years ago now I knew I was at a crossroads in my life. I was told that if I had any chance of stabilizing my functioning where it was, I needed to quit my award winning career as a social worker at the VA. I was told that if I used it (referring to my body) I would lose it. Yes you read that correctly. The wisdom of the medical community at the time was that because my nervous system was already compromised from paralytic polio and everything was degenerating with age that if I "over did it" I would accelerate the deterioration of my body.

But something inside of me knew that I needed to move even though I had not been big on movement or exercise before the diagnosis of post polio syndrome. When I got still and asked for Divine Guidance, Spirit spoke through my debilitated body and I wrote the poem, "Running the Race." It was a foreshadowing of my 2009 Boston Marathon run. When my personal trainer asked me for my next goals in February of 2008 I just said yes I'm going to run the 2009 Boston Marathon when I had never run a day in my life.

The Universe sent me everything I needed to go the distance in the 2009 Boston Marathon.

And the going got rough in my healing journey after the suicide of my nephew on 3/4/2011.

I went way off of my healing path and gave up running and got involved in relationships and communities that were toxic for me.

On 4/15/13, I had a wake up call and knew I needed to get back to running and was searching for healers. I wrote poetry with great fervor and intention asking the question "How will I ever reclaim my life?" and conjuring up in my mind's eye what I needed for healing hands and heart to help me heal from the effects of trauma and paralytic polio.

After a serious knee injury in December of 2014, I said yes to healing and running and fired the nay sayers of a physiatrist, physical therapists and even a massage therapist. Once again I had no idea what I was doing; I was following this yes inside of me and allowed the Universe to lead the dance of my life.

Dr. Ryan Means, a chiropractor came into my life and he turned me toward the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza. The combination of Ryan's powerful intention to partner with me to heal and my embracing Dr. Joe's teachings gave me a sense of renewed hope that what I set out to do when I left the VA to heal my life and all I had written about in my poetry could come into being.

As the relationship with the massage therapist I was working with at the time began to deteriorate and the Universe hit me over the head with a 2 x 4 to get out of that relationship as fast as I could, I was ready to give up on working with another massage therapist. I'd had enough with different "techniques" and body workers who would be intrigued by my "case" and ended up doing more harm than good. But it was all a part of the journey for which I am most grateful.

I decided to say yes one more time...last chance...and at 4 am I went to the One Boston Day flyer, the events that marked the two year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings to see who was doing chair massage:

Once again I had no idea what I was doing. I was following my yes and hoping for the best.

"Jeff Spratt"
was volunteering and providing chair massage on a day that was both solemn and celebrated resilience.

And the rest as they say is history. That yes has led me to manifesting the healing that my heart and soul desired; to reclaim my life and to run and live free and unencumbered by the events of my past.

I continue to heal and journal and gain momentum in moving beyond the experiences of my past "conditioning my body to a new mind" to quote Dr. Joe Dispenza.

From Dr. Joe Dispenza: "As you continue to emotionally embrace the feeling of your new-found health, relationship, or job, the elevated emotions of your future start to change your body as well. Because you’re not feeling the same familiar way, the elevated emotions are causing your body to biologically move out of the past, which then begins to signal new genes to make new proteins in order to prepare your body for a future date with destiny."

It all begins by saying yes and believing that you are greater than your current circumstances and you have the power to reclaim advantage and reclaim life. For me - partnering with Jeffrey Spratt, MT, pioneer of the life saving and innovative Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy enables me to reclaim advantage and reclaim life through the power of positive touch. I continue to say yes to my healing and am so incredibly excited to partner with Jeffrey on and off the table to bring our message to the world and continuing to transform my life.

To your health and wellness!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Wollaston Beach: Then and Now

It was a gorgeous day for a fabulous 5.5 mile run on Wollaston Beach yesterday. My husband Tom and daughter Ruth Anne are training for a half marathon so I got to experience the joy of a solo run.

I was able to let memories sift and sort themselves.

I remembered a moment as I was beginning my journey to health and wellness shortly after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome.

It was an unseasonably warm Spring day. Beautiful blue sky. The sun and ocean sparkling and playing together. Waves gently crashing upon the shore.

I swung my legs around to get out of the car shortly after finding the courage to come out of my leg brace and declare that I was going to run the 2009 Boston Marathon. It was in March of 2008. I could only walk 20 minutes!

I remembered how not all that long ago the little ramps along Wollaston Beach seemed like huge hills to me and yesterday I ran over them with ease - free and unencumbered.

I tackled the huge hill at the end of Quincy Shore Drive visualizing how I was going to tackle the ramps at Gillette Stadium at Finish at the 50 again this year on July 3rd.

I reflected on the amazing journey of transformation I have experienced during this past year as my heart overflowed with gratitude for the teachers and healers who now bless my life. I continue to imprint the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza

Every week I continue to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life through the power of positive touch with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. As I ran from one end of Wollaston Beach to the other end of Quincy Shore Drive and back again to our parking space for 5.5 miles, I marveled at how well I felt in my body; how much momentum there is now in my maintaining health and wellness. I reflected on how Dr. Ryan Means blessed my life in March of 2015 after a serious knee injury in December 2014 that everyone said would sideline me from ever running again.

In 2008 I could just about walk for 20 minutes along Wollaston Beach. It was a huge accomplishment for me and as is true with any journey:

I've traveled so many miles since I took those first tentative steps on Wollaston Beach in 2008. Look at me now! Yup sometimes you just have to look back at your past and smile to see how far you've come!

To your health and wellness!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Reflections on Fathers Day

While my biological father did not and could not love and care for me and caused me incredible harm and suffering, I have been incredibly blessed to meet men in my life who nurtured me with a father's love.

The first man who believed in me was my camp counselor, Joe Stetz (pictured at the far left) at Badger Day Camp.

While I experienced abuse every night from my biological father, I'd go to camp every day when I was 10 years old and receive unconditional love and support from Joe. He told me that I should and must compete in the butterfly in the end of the year Camp Olympics. There were only 2 campers who would compete in the butterfly in my age group and he told me he knew I had what it would take to compete and finish the race. He told me my time did not matter. When I was terrified to jump off the starting block, he worked with me one on one until I felt comfortable with it. Bear in mind that I had contracted paralytic polio when I was 5 and had come out of a leg brace when I was 8. He cheered me on in the pool and, stood by so proudly when I took my place on the podium having finished dead last but I finished.

Joe gave up his Olympic dream to become a physician and while he was at Medical School, he corresponded with me. Those letters sustained me through many trials and tribulations.

When I trained for and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon, the strength and courage Joe instilled in me at an early age held me in good stead. I carried him with me on those 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

In the 1980's I was blessed to meet Bernie Siegel,MD or Bernie as he prefers to be called. He became my Chosen Dad or C.D. He is a Chosen Dad to many providing unconditional love and carefrontation. His love, his warmth, his wit and his wisdom have been a powerful force of healing in my life through the decades of trials, tribulations and triumphs as I worked to heal from the late effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

And then last year I was blessed to meet Jeffrey Spratt,MT. In social work, there is something we call a corrective emotional experience. Through the power of positive touch and Jeffrey's compassionate presence, I've been able to heal the horror of the wounds of trauma. He talked about what he would have done had he been there during my childhood to bring comfort and support and through touch and words helps me to experience the power of a father's love and care letting me know that I am worthy and deserving of a father's love. It is the power of Divine Love that flows through him and by partnering with him I have been able to reclaim advantage and reclaim life experiencing the beauty and power of the woman I am today.

To your health and wellness!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! "She's a gym rat!'

Last night several members from the Team at Spratt Muscular Therapies boarded the Spirit of Boston to join the staff and members of Wave Health and Fitness for an evening of dining, dancing and schmoozing. (Pictured below are Owner and Principal Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Luke Bruffee,MT, Max Blum,MT and yours truly).

It was a perfect summer evening where we were able to savor beautiful views of Boston:

and Max and Luke provided exquisite chair massage:

Jeffrey and I mingled with the members of Wave Health. He introduced me as his Communications and PR person and his assistant. People who knew Jeffrey when....when he was doing chair massage in Seaport East and had his humble beginnings at The Seaport were so excited to share in the growth of the practice and the addition of my role in the practice. One woman said, "You look very familiar. Have I seen you around the Club? (referring to Wave Health)" "She's a gym rat," Jeffrey replied.

Me .... a gym rat! Wow that's a far cry from being told I was going to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair almost 10 years ago or even a far cry from a year ago when I was just beginning to partner with Jeffrey and tentatively moving forward in my health and wellness journey.

And then this morning I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned.

"And you have osteoporosis right?" the dental hygienist asked me.

"Um no I don't think so," I replied. Last year I had a pretty significant fall and nothing broke - well except I chipped my front tooth.

I went on to share my healing journey with her in between her cleaning my teeth.

"You should write a book," she said.

"I already have and I'm working on my latest book, "Going the Distance."

I get all fired up when I get to share my healing journey. Sharing the journey stimulates even more healing as the very fiber of my being is reminded of what happens when we move beyond our memorized selves.

When I promote Spratt Muscular Therapies and the life changing work that is being done in our massage therapy practice, I am not selling anything. I let people know about what's possible through the power of positive touch and the power of intention for healing and change which each therapist at the practice brings to the table.

And I have to smile to think that Jeffrey called me a gym rat - me who was called out Easy Out Alper in gym class. Me who had never run a mile before 2008 and went on to run the 2009 Boston Marathon. Me who has reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life overcoming the late effects of paralytic polio and 9 years of unrelenting violence as a child, my nephew's suicide in 2011 and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

Believe. Heal. Transform. Go beyond your memorized self and who knows maybe you too will become a gym rat!

To your health and wellness,

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! On Intention, Affirmations and Outcomes

It all began with Dr. Ryan J. Means, a doctor of chiropractic medicine as we stood face to face in January of 2015. One would think it was a random meeting until he reached out to me with a Facebook message asking if we could meet for coffee so he could learn more about my healing journey. Meeting Ryan changed my life forever setting me on a course of health and wellness and quantum healing! We poured over Dr. Joe Dispenza's "You Are the Placebo" book together. I read Candace Pert's book, "Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d" at Ryan's suggestion and watched, "What the bleep do we know." As we sat having lunch the other day while he was on vacation from his practice in China, we reminisced about the work we had done together. He opened up my body with adjustments, intention and affirmations for healing and reminded me that I AM worthy of healing even though my childhood training led me to believe otherwise.

As I trained for the Bermuda Half Marathon last year, training in a way I never had before and running more miles than I had since I trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon, I set my intention to go the distance. As I partnered with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, experiencing the innovative Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy that ignited the spark of hope and belief that I could go the distance, I wrote these affirmations.

August 21, 2015
I run unencumbered swift with ease and free.
I allow Jeff's touch to erase and heal everything that went before and to stimulate my body's natural capacity to heal
I live in a new mind body living only in the present moment.
My body is healthy, whole, and strong, and I am stronger in the places where they tried to break me.
I allow my beautiful pure chi to flow freely and easily.
I may remember things from the past to integrate them into my consciousness; I only believe truth, love, light, and that I am a whole healthy vibrant woman and runner.
I am grateful for this opportunity to run long and run strong again.
I trust in my body's ability to meet the challenge of every experience that I present to it.
I run with courage, strength, fierceness, and determination.
There is going to be soreness and new sensations as I train in a way I've never trained before. I trust in my body's ability to recover from long runs, speed work, hills, and strength training workouts with ease.
I am so happy and grateful that Tom and Jeff are my partners on and off the roads.
I am so happy and grateful for the abundance of health and healing that is now mine to claim.
I love myself and consider only those thoughts that are going to propel me toward the finish line.
I am strong and I am determined and I am healthy and I am protected by divine love and angels and I am so grateful for their presence in my life.
I allow thoughts and fears to come and go and I greet them with kindness and compassion.
I am so happy and grateful for the amazing support of my running community and my village. And I know with their love, with their cheers, and with their support, Team McManus is going the distance.
I fall in love with the process and the results will come--a quote from Dr. Joe Dispenza

The universe has orchestrated everything that I need to be who I am truly meant to be which is a long distance runner.
Everything is healed. Everything is rewired.
I see myself through the eyes of the person I've become. A quote from What the bleep do we know!
I am filled with life and vibrancy and joy and gratitude and happiness so much happiness to be living this beautiful life that I live.
I grieve the past and I feel the sadness for what happened to me and then I feel a wellspring of joy bubbling up from deep within me knowing that spirit, Light, and love always win.

I started following Geoffrey Smith, two time Boston Marathon Champion and Race Director extraordinaire. He holds the record for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 10K and he would #runhappy - the hashtag for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. I added this to my list of affirmations:

Running successfully is all about adopting  a clear plan that includes easy, hard, and rest days. They are all important. Listen to your body. #RunHappy Geoff Smith

And so it came to pass that I successfully ran the Bermuda Half Marathon in January of this year. I went on to run the Hyannis 10K in February and then took a racing hiatus while I trained through my off season. A huge shout out of gratitude to Jack Fultz, Boston Marathon Champion who suggested I cross train on the Arc Trainer which, as good fortune would have it, is available at Wave Health and Fitness home of Spratt Muscular Therapies.

And as I affirmed almost a year ago - the Universe has orchestrated everything I need as I reclaim advantage and reclaim life enjoying training, momentum, races, a sense of health and wellness healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. Next up the Finish at the 50 Race and then I begin training for the Bermuda Half Marathon all over again!

To your health and wellness!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Quonset Air Show 4 Mile Road Race - Part III - After the Race Report: Transformation and Momentum

I was in a good kind of shock when I crossed the finish line and saw the finisher's clock with a time of 1:02:

I heard the cheers from Heidi, my Facebook friend who I met in real life before the race and my master muscular therapist, Jeffrey Spratt,MT as I came down the home stretch to the finish line. Usually Team McManus crosses the finish line together but Tom wanted to videotape me coming into the finish:

Heidi gave me a huge hug and she asked me if I had PR'ed it. "Yes," I said absolutely stunned by the time on the Finisher's Clock. She warmly and enthusiastically congratulated me and I could feel that she knew what this meant to me because she followed my journey on Facebook.

Tom got us bottles of water and I was still incredulous at what I had just done with the help of Tom and Gail, a once total stranger who we "just happened" to meet out on the course. That's the beauty of running; strangers become fast friends. And that's the wonder and mystery of life where you just know that there is some wonderful Force orchestrating the flow of life creating magic and mystery.

All the elements came together for me on race day. Months of training with running, cross training with the Arc Trainer and bike and in the pool at Wave Health and Fitness and strength training at home paid huge dividends on race day.

In my massage therapy session with Jeffrey the Wednesday before race day, I told him that in addition to clearing out the congestion from the recent stress in my life, I had a race coming up on Friday. "Yes indeed," he said to me. A powerful memory surfaced during the session. I experienced clarity and compassion connecting the dots of my life and liberating myself from the shackles of the past. No longer carrying around the terror of retaliation for speaking my Truth and being able to free my body from the traumatic memories allowed me to run unencumbered and free.

I had no idea while running what my splits were. I was running from the inside out enjoying this unique race experience with veterans and the military front and center and Tom, my amazing partner on and off the roads pacing me, supporting me, encouraging me and then teaming up with Gail to help me toward a personal best finish.

Jeffrey came over to congratulate us and we congratulated him on his first ever road race. He had done Sprint Tri's and Spartan races but never ran a road race.

We turned around and there was Gail with her husband. "And you must be Mary," he said to me warmly taking my hand in his two hands. "Yes," I said, and went on to tell him how amazing his wife was out on the course. We made introductions all around. Gail and I celebrated our amazing time both on the clock and our experience together out on the course. We could have exchanged information but somehow we instinctively knew that we would just let that experience be a magical moment in time with no need to take it beyond the finish line.

Jeffrey, Tom and I went to the parking lot. We changed from our sweaty race shirts into the commemorative race t-shirts (and yes that is the beauty of a runner's high - you can strip down to your sports bra and change into a dry shirt without giving it a second thought) and decided to get a "beer and a bite". We suggested going back to Tavern by the Sea where Tom and I had a delicious pre-race lunch and Jeffrey was totally on board with that.

We kicked back and savored the sunset, the food, a celebratory glass of wine for me and the guys had beer and marveled at what had just happened. Jeffrey ran his first road race. I PR'ed and we talked about Jeffrey's Hyannis Sprint Tri that was happening the next morning. It was a special and sacred time we shared together.

I am once again a woman transformed after a road race accomplishing a pace I thought was long gone. I had a runner's high and left so much that I no longer needed out on the course while filling myself up with my power, strength and confidence in my capacity to heal and be well. I am incredibly sore but did my strength training yesterday and will continue forward with my training regimen.

I am inspired and can feel momentum building as I head into the Finish at the 50 race on July 3rd.

It's all about being my personal best and when my personal best is reflected on the finisher's clock - well that's the icing on the cake and the cherry on top.

Since 2008, running has become my medicine and my therapy. It nourishes my neuromuscular system and cleanses from the inside out. Running at a pace that pushes my limits sheds and shreds the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

I have reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life through the power of positive touch; a woman transformed and a woman gaining momentum in experiencing health and wellness.

To your health and wellness!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Race Report: Quonset Air Show 4 Miler Part II - The Icing on the Cake & Running Unencumbered

Before the air horn went off, there was a tribute to a hero who sadly took his own life on Veterans Day in 2012 as a result of war trauma.

There was the presentation of the colors and the singing of the National Anthem.

We went out fast near the front of the pack:

Tom reminded me as he so often does at the beginning of a race to find my pace and go out slow. I felt amazing and was so happy to be running a race again. The energy was electric and I settled into a good pace for me. We heard the singing of the cadence of Marines behind us and their thunderous footsteps gave me goosebumps. They ran in formation passing us by.

It was a gorgeous race course with lush green grass and wide open spaces. The pack was thinning out and I was finding my pace. I also found a tiny voice from the past and asked Tom, "Is there anyone behind me?"

Tom looked around and said, "Here -- I'll show you."

I couldn't see the photo while I was running but he was so dear and encouraging to let me know I was doing an awesome pace and that I was not at the very back of the pack.

There were military vehicles stationed along the course. None moved me as much as the one welcoming home the Vietnam Veterans. We had to stop and thank the soldier for his Service and take these photos:

We came upon a woman running alone and started a conversation. She shared with us that she was competing against no one but herself and was going for a time of 1:04 or better because that's what she had done on the treadmill. Her husband was retired military and due to many injuries is unable to run. He, however, is support crew for her. The military theme of the race and that it benefits non-profit military organizations in Rhode Island attracted her to the race.

I shared with her my journey and she decided that she was going to help pace me to a PR. We decided to introduce ourselves since we had become race buddies. Her name is Gail.

We kept pace together until we reached the hill. She surged ahead and I told her I did not want to slow her down but she would have none of it. She was like a drill sergeant. "Come on run Mary run - just like in Forrest Gump!" She had no idea that I watched that scene over and over and over again to break out of my leg brace and run.

We enjoyed the down hill together and she joked that I was going to end up passing her.

As my tank was starting to get empty she got me through the final part of the course. I think her focusing on cheering me on helped her pace as well. What a thrill to hear the voice of Maryann, the emcee for the race in the distance. As we turned the final corner to the finish, Gail surged ahead and Heidi and Jeffrey were there to cheer me on. I picked up my pace and Gail and I were stunned to see their finisher's clock as Tom videotaped my strong finish:

My time? A personal best of 1:02:41 -- a 15:40 pace! But you know what is really amazing? I finished 7/12 in my age group and 423/478 overall and most importantly of all I ran unencumbered and free; the intention that Jeffrey set for me after my first treatment with him at Spratt Muscular Therapies on 4/19/2015! How amazing he was there to see me finish the race and I was there to inspire him to run his first road race.

To be continued....

To your health and wellness,