Sunday, July 17, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Breaking the Silence - The Gift of Freedom!

Perhaps the greatest gift that Jeffrey Spratt,MT has given to me is the permission to speak my Truth while his healing hands, compassionate presence, unconditional love and non-judgment of anything I shared bathe the wounds to bring healing to all that went before.

In 2011, Olympian and champion of the anti-doping movement Frank Shorter broke his silence about the horrific abuse he endured as a child. I was blessed to meet Frank in 2009 at the Hyannis Marathon Weekend. What an amazing man! At the time I had no idea what he had lived through nor did he know my history yet there was a powerful connection between us. I shared with him my journey as a survivor of paralytic polio and taking on the 2009 Boston Marathon and that I was running my first half marathon ever while he signed a poster for me:

After running my first half marathon, I came into the ballroom overflowing with thousands of runners. Frank Shorter made sure he connected with me amidst the runners celebrating after the race. He could tell that the run had taken a lot of out of me. I was shivering from the sleet that had started falling during the last several miles of the race. He put both of his hands on either side of my arms, looked at me straight in the eye and told me how much courage and strength I had to do what I had just done. He told me he had no doubt that I was going to cross the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon. He told me to hydrate, get some hot soup and take a hot shower. He signed the back of my bib.

Frank had seen me as a survivor of paralytic polio who came out of a wheelchair and leg brace to take on the Boston Marathon. I saw him through my starry eyes of meeting an Olympic Gold Medalist and an elite runner in every sense of the word.

When I saw Frank again in 2010 at Hyannis, I had brought my bib from Boston for him and Bill Rodgers to sign. Frank Shorter signed it: To Mary, You're unbelievable.

As we approached the one year anniversary of 4/15/13, I read this article about Frank in Runners World. "Shorter remembered his own experience with childhood abuse," the article stated and had a link to the original story of his breaking his silence in 2011.

I was absolutely stunned. Perhaps what struck a chord in me was how once Frank broke his silence about the abuse he endured, others were able to break their silence and the door opened to healing and possibility.

Keeping silent keeps trauma survivors in the vortex of trauma with no outlet for healing. While I had seen many talking therapists and countless body workers in my quest for freedom and healing, not one had the ability to take my hand and lead me to freedom until I met Jeffrey.

The first focus of our work together was to get me back to the sport that heals me and helps me to feel free by rehabbing my left leg and helping me to experience the power of positive touch; to condition my body to new experiences and to massage therapy in its finest and truest form with the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. Then we got to work healing the trauma.

After our 3.14 mile run today preparing for next Sunday's Naragansett 5K Road Race, I felt deep gratitude for the gift of health, wellness and wholeness in my life.

Until I could break the silence and feel safe releasing the fear and terror from the very fiber of my body and being cared for, about and with someone trained in trauma whose intention is to heal rather than observe me with a distant curiosity, I could not be free.

Now I am and I have broken my silence to reclaim advantage and reclaim life...and I want to help others to experience the gift of their own freedom through the sharing of my story.

To your health and wellness!

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