Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Thankful for Us!

Team McManus has been together for almost 40 years. We met on a blind date on March 2, 1977 on Tom's 25th birthday. That's a lifetime together. When we started out we did not have the proverbial pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of. Tom was putting himself through school at then Boston State College (now U.Mass) and I worked as a secretary. We helped each other with our education. Tom completed his Bachelor's in Urban Planning and I completed an MSW at Boston College. To say we struggled is an understatement but as Wilma Rudolph said, "The triumph can't be had without the struggle."

I suffered from chronic illness and had many surgeries. We struggled with infertility. Without any extended family, we raised our twins. We lived through high interest rates, the dot com bubble and burst, cancer and ten years ago the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. Life looked pretty grim there for awhile. Tom told me it was a no brainer when the team at Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio and Post Polio told me I had to leave my almost 20 year award winning career as a VA social worker.

As he returned home one dark and cold February evening, I announced to him that I knew what I was going to do after the VA. I started writing poetry. He was going to hook me up with a website and we were going to put ads on it to generate income. He supported me as I created New World Greeting Cards: Original Poetry for Every Occasion and went through all the different phases of reinvention with me.

When I vowed to run the 2009 Boston Marathon shortly after coming out of a leg brace and using a wheelchair for mobility, he said that I wasn't going to do it alone and thus Team McManus was born.

Oh the ups and downs of trying to heal a spinal cord injury and the residuals of violence.

Tom was so patient with me as I tried so many different modalities and countless therapists to get traction on my healing journey.

He was rightfully skeptical when he accompanied me to my first appointment with Jeffrey Spratt, MT.

From my soon to be released book, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance":


He greeted me at the Front Desk of Wave Health and Fitness all 6’2 and a half inches (6’3’ on the program he once told me) dressed in his collared black Spratt Muscular Therapies shirt and beige khakis. My hands shook as I completed the intake form. Do I dare trust another massage therapist? What if he turns out to be just like all the other body workers I met during these past 9 years? Was he trustworthy? ...
With his sweeping arm gesture, he led me into his treatment room and said to Tom who had accompanied me to the appointment since I was worried about getting lost, “We’ll see you in 90 minutes.” ...

“What leg are we rehabbing?” he asked me.

“The left,” I replied

He took my left leg, bent it to a 90 degree angle and gently but confidently tapped it on the table and stretched it while using his other hand to apply pressure to different pressure points.

I was intrigued and enthralled.

I had never experienced anyone work with me the way Jeffrey worked with me in that first session. He used very little product, worked a lot through the sheets and rather than attending to an area and having it be once and done, he moved around my body and methodically went back to work on areas again. ...

“Tom you have to see this guy. No really. He is the real deal. I promise you. He’s not like any of the others.”

“We’ll see,” Tom replied. “I’m just so glad that you had a good experience.”

As Tom saw the transformation happening as a result of my partnering with Jeffrey, he too, became a client and we have incorporated regular sessions with Jeffrey into our training.

Once I got back on the roads, Tom initiated our return to Bermuda to run the Half Marathon as part of Bermuda Marathon Weekend. He trained with me at my pace and we celebrated crossing the finish line together. You can see us at the 2:43 mark:

We will be returning to Bermuda in less than 2 months to once again enjoy the festivities of Bermuda Race Weekend. Tom is taking on the Half Triangle Challenge: The Front St. Mile on Friday night, the 10K on Saturday and running the Half with me at my pace on Sunday. We are going to spend an extra day after the race this year to just relax and enjoy the Island.

The day after tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It will be a bitter sweet holiday this year but all that matters is we count our blessings instead of our stressings. On Friday we head to NYC where I will be reunited with Dr. Ryan Means, the chiropractor healer who set me straight on my healing journey after a serious knee injury in December 2014 that "they said" would sideline me. He turned me onto the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza whose wisdom I continue to use to continue to heal and transform leaving the past behind.

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! I'm healthy and continue to move forward in my health and wellness journey as we prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome. I'm deeply grateful that Ryan, Jeffrey and Dr. Joe came into my life. We'll be volunteering at the Feaster Five with our running family on Thanksgiving. Tomorrow I wrap up nother successful 5 day training cycle for the Bermuda Half Marathon and have a massage therapy session with Jeffrey. Perhaps more than anything else in my life, I am so incredibly thankful for us - Team McManus - together we have weathered so many storms, seen so many rainbows and together move forward going the distance.

To your health and wellness,

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