Sunday, July 3, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The Joys of Running

The sun was hot even though it was still early but there was mercifully no humidity. Three weeks from today Team McManus takes to the road to run the Narrangasset Bay 5K and Half Marathon. Tom will run the Half and I will run the 5K with our daughter. As the 3 of us trained this morning using what we affectionately call "Billy's Hill" - the steep, long hill by Boston College along with several smaller rolling hills, we talked about the Road to Rio and channeled our inner Olympic Champions. Ruth Anne would take the lead to pace me and then I would sprint to catch up to her.

After our run I reflected on the joys I experience during and after a run.

I love to feel the sweat pouring off of me and even after I stop running the sweat still pours out of me. As Jeffrey Spratt,MT, gifted muscular therapist explained during our appearance on The Jordan Rich Show, our bodies are made up of a series of chemical reactions. With the stress of daily living, we are like a car engine that produces exhaust when we "run." It is crucial for our bodies to clear out the toxins that build up in our systems and one of the ways to release those toxins is through sweating it out.

I love feeling sore muscles. Through my weekly massage therapy sessions with Jeffrey, we clear out the residuals of trauma and paralytic polio and I can experience being more and more present in my body no longer fearing the physical and emotional memories from the past. While running the hill I can feel everything working together. I can feel my strength and I can feel myself pushing the envelope.

There is incredible joy in sharing running with Tom and Ruth Anne; a time to unplug and be together finding comfort in the inevitable discomfort of a training run, laughing and fancying ourselves as Olympic Champions.

Perhaps the joy in running runs so deep because I discovered this sport later in life with all the riches and treasures and life lessons learned through the miles.

"The human body is made to move," Jeffrey mentioned on the show. "It's the only machine that gets stronger with use.. That's why we have to contuously exercise."

I can feel how much strength I've gained during this past year and it is a joy to experience my marvelous machine when I am running and to experience my resilience in being able to recover from whatever rigors I put my body through.

I love to stretch after a good run and feel the tightness and soreness release with a good stretch. Food and water taste especially delicious after a good run that builds up a good sweat.

I love to feel my feet on the asphalt. Each foot strike carries me away from the past and into the gift of the present.

I love feeling nauseous right after a run; a sure sign that I have pushed my body hard and then when the nausea subsides savoring that post run meal.

Here is our traditional post run selfie where the sweat glistens and a sense of joy and satisfaction is palpable in the photo:

Through the power of positive touch partnering with Jeffrey each week I have transformed from a survivor of paralytic polio and violence, too many surgeries to count and experiencing a lot of hits in this journey we call life to a woman who can experience all the joys that running brings!

To your health and wellness,


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