Thursday, September 29, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Running for a Cause



"The door to a future free from violence."



I wrote a pre-race report for the Hazelwood 5K Run happening on October 15th. In addition to the race being a celebration of women and their participation in running, proceeds benefit the Women's Center in Fall River. They serve men, women and children offering comprehensive FREE and confidential services to ALL survivors and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child trauma. They have over 40 years of experience and offer a range of services to the greater Fall River community and beyond including a 24 hour hotline and a short term emergency shelter.

The race has a 37 year tradition as being the oldest women's race in the country and was about to go out of existence until Geoffrey Smith, Boston Marathon champion and a good friend of ours decided to take on the role as Race Director. Geoffrey ensures that everyone has a wonderful race experience and puts on races to benefit the community. This summer I PR'ed at his Quonset Air Show 4 Mile Race and had the best time. What made running that race even sweeter for me was that proceeds went to local veterans groups.

As a survivor of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse, lacing up my running shoes to support The Women's Center will fuel my 5K run. Thanks to the work I do each week with Jeffrey Spratt,MT I am able to heal the effects of childhood sexual trauma and emotional and physical abuse through the power of positive touch. Jeffrey pioneered the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and in addition to experiencing my own healing, we are studying the efficacy of his method on trauma recovery!

I am so blessed that I am going to be running the race with my dear friend and inspiring woman, Laura. We were supposed to run the Super Hero 5K a few years back together but there was a snowstorm in October. We vowed that one day we would run a race together and the Hazelwood 5K is the perfect choice for me. Laura has a most inspiring health and wellness journey shedding pounds and transforming her life while still being able to prepare the most sumptuous recipes and relish her enjoyment of food. I tell her that she needs to write a Cookbook with all of the wonderful and healthy recipes she posts on Facebook.

As an added incentive to come out and run for a great cause and reclaim the roads as women runners helping a cause that helps women, men and children affected by domestic violence and sexual assault, The Pour Farm Tavern, New Bedford's First and Original Craft Beer Tavern will be providing a free beer for everyone 21 and older with a bib.

Register today by following this link: Run Rhody Hazelwood 5K

Don't feel out men -- there is going to be a men's only race starting at 10am.

This just in from R.D. Geoffrey Smith:
New Bedford Santa Run and the Hazelwood 5k are running a special. Sign up for both and save $5. www.nbsantarun.com
Two great events Hazelwood 5k celebrating 37 years of women's running in New Bedford. October 15 www.hazelwood5k.com
And the Santa Run A true celebration of the holidays with thousands of Santa's running down the streets. We even provide your Santa suit. THE FULL SUIT Not just a hat and a beard. December 10




Come one come all! Let's celebrate and run for a cause!

To your health and wellness,
Mary

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life: On Perspective and Triumph



I've been having many breakthroughs through the power of positive touch in my weekly massage therapy sessions with Jeffrey Spratt, MT I see myself and my past through new eyes. Through the power of positive touch and compassionate presence, I see myself and my past through a new lens. Cleaning out the abject terror I felt from the fiber of my body and Being creates a new reality. There is objectivity rather than abject terror. The horror is transformed and I am able to romance and dance with my past realizing my incredible strength and fortitude in being able to have survived the horror I experienced. I can get distance and rather than reliving the trauma at every turn, I experience myself and life in a new wondrous way. I see my experiences through the lens of a George Lucas or Steven Spielberg movie. Coming face to face with death and villains at every turn I escaped close calls within an inch of my life. Jeffrey and I have unearthed those traumatic events bringing everything into the light of day to now heal.

As Jeffrey was providing physical and emotional soothing in my recent treatment with him, he said, "It's all over now." To do more than know the trauma is over on an intellectual level but to feel it emotionally, mentally and spiritually is, to quote Peter Levine, Ph.D., "a gift from the gods."

So often we are led to believe there is permanent damage when we experience an injury or an illness.

Time heals. Nature heals. We just need to get out of the way and allow the healing process to happen. I am so blessed that I found my way to Jeffrey's table. I am incredibly excited that we are doing research on the efficacy of his Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy on trauma recovery. He knows how to release the body's natural capacity to heal. With all the gunk of the past cleared away, we now polish the treasures of the me that was always meant to be. From victim to victor. From terror to triumph. A new perspective on myself and my life. Free from the bondage of my past.

To your health and wellness!
Mary

Monday, September 26, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Never tell me the odds...

As I am editing "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," I realize how the odds were stacked against me since I was 5 years old having contracted paralytic polio and enduring unthinkable acts of horror. At age 53 when I was diagnosed with a progressive neuromuscular disease, I was told odds were I'd spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, needing a sleep apnea machine, possibly a feeding tube. The odds of me being able to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life were not in my favor ... that is until I met Ryan J. Means DC and Jeffrey Spratt,MT which is why I like to say - Never tell me the odds.



In some ways my life was like an adventure movie where I had brushes with death at every turn. I've faced evil and violence and would not wish the horrors I experienced on another living soul. Yet now that I am blessed with the grace of healing, I can look back on it all as one wild adventure in which good triumphed over evil and my light, my love, my joy prevail. We can now polish and restore the treasures of my body, my mind and my Soul and make everything factory new restoring everything to my original settings before polio and before trauma.

Saturday Tom and I ran 8.5 miles on our road to the Bermuda Half Marathon. Sunday I did a strength training work out in the pool. Since there is rain in the forecast for the next several days, Tom and I decided to get our 5K run in this morning. It was a cool, clear Autumn New England morning and I loved the sound of my footsteps around the path of the Reservoir. We had a delightful run as I picked up the pace doing negative splits and experienced the dawn of a new day and a new week. We debated about whether or not we were going to watch tonight's Presidential Debate and decided we are going to watch "The Office." We played "The Office" trivial pursuit as we ran and during breakfast googled our answers.

You can see our radiant smiles and the splendor of an Autumn morning in our post run selfie:



It will be ten years in December since the odds were that I'd be withering away in a wheelchair by now but as Han Solo and I like to say - never tell me the odds. Thanks to Jeffrey and the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and my own fiery Spirit and fierce determination I have reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life and beat the odds.

To your health and wellness,
Mary





Saturday, September 24, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! 8.5 Miles - Experiencing More and More of Life!



Early on in my work with Jeffrey Spratt, MT, I told him that partnering with him and experiencing the power of positive touch with the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy was adding years to my life. Jeffrey suggested that it's not about just adding years to my life but the quality of those years!

Before I found my way to Jeffrey's table, I had to struggle through my life experiencing a variety of symptoms and repeated injuries unable to get traction on my healing odyssey from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. I didn't understand the manifestation of the symptoms or how to manage my body. The effects of paralytic polio and trauma seemed to manage me.

This past week, with the stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition, I experienced a resurgence of GI symptoms, lower back pain and pain in my SI joint. In the past, these would have snowballed into an infection or an injury that would have sidelined me. With compassionate presence and incredible skill, Jeffrey was able to support me in understanding the source of these symptoms and through emotional and physical release in the session with him, I was able to feel the heal and move forward in my healing journey.

Tom and I set out for our 8.5 mile run this morning. What a blessing to have a cool sunny day with a beautiful blue sky. We had everything mapped out and planned out this week. Last week I hadn't fueled properly the day before and we did not pay attention to our fueling and hydration plan. This week I made sure I ate well yesterday and listened to my body during the run. We enjoyed all the miles, the conversation, the weather, the water sparkling like diamonds on both Reservoirs that we ran around. I had set my Nike+ Running Club to get cheers and was delighted to read all the comments on Facebook after the run while I recovered in an ice bath.

Tom and I continue to visualize how our race will be in Bermuda in January recalling in exquisite detail our wonderful time running the race this past January.

We are so blessed to have so many in our village who share in the joy of our training run each week as we share in the joys of those in our village training for Fall Marathons or those who conquered their second 70.3 like my friend Nicole last weekend and others who are out for runs or bike rides, or racing for great causes.

In December of 2014, after experiencing a serious knee injury, I thought that my running days were over yet I couldn't say goodbye to the sport that is my medicine, my therapy and well, my life. The running community is my village and feeds my soul. We nurture each other and share in these precious weekends together.

8.5 miles in the Bank of Bermuda. I could have easily run another 4.6 miles today and know that I have a wonderful base and a strong foundation to go the 13.1 distance again in January 2017.



Despite or maybe because of now healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma I get to reclaim advantage, reclaim life and experience more and more of life adding life to my years.

To your health and wellness,
Mary





Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! On Appreciation, Angels and Cinderella

"Where there is kindness there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic!"




During yesterday's morning meditation, I felt as though Jeffrey Spratt, MT's hands are like a magic wand helping me to transform from the survivor of paralytic polio and abuse to the beautiful, vibrant woman I am today.

From my journal, "The stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition is off the charts. I aspirated during dinner the other night. I can feel my body clearing it and I also remember how I would feel like I had a chicken bone stuck in my throat growing up! While I am doing an inventory of my body and see where I need relief., preparing for my treatment with Jeffrey I thought about his one handed massage at the back of my neck and I felt tingles. I'll let him know about my throat and GI issues, SI joint and lower back BUT rather than experience the treatment as relief which is of course amazing in and of itself, I saw and felt his hands as like the magic wand that Cinderella's fairy godmother uses. Everywhere he touches is made factory new and I am transformed ready to go to the Ball of my life and dance and be free regardless of the ugliness or jealousy or venom or sickness that is present. My healing is going to a whole new level now and I deserve to be healed and freed from the shackles of my past and get clarity on the present situation."

My workout day began with a return to the newly renovated pool at Wave Health and Fitness.



While I was grateful for access to the pool at the Westin Hotel, there is no place like my home away from home especially after it's been renovated. Appreciation filled my heart and gratitude swelled with each lap I swam.

As I sat at the Seaport working outside in the glorious sunshine after my workout and before my massage therapy session with Jeffrey I connected with one of my Facebook friends who was having a stressful day. Just then a dandelion seed head came floating by letting us each know that Angels are guiding us helping us to alleviate our stress:


Jeffrey humbly accepted my compliment about his hands being like a magic wand transforming everything he touches. So much magic filled those 90 minutes of healing through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy; the power of positive touch.

He brings compassion, warmth and just the right touch of humor to facilitate healing. Through our partnership of the past year and a half, I can experience the powerful transformation happening inside of me. I am falling in love with my body and know that every symptom that presents itself is a part of my body asking to be healed. Rather than being on the expedition to uncover the trauma, I feel that I am experiencing and exploring the treasure that is me independent of the circumstances of my life past or present. After an intensely emotional yet profoundly healing treatment, Tom and I went out to dinner. As we walked down Beacon Street to our car we found a penny. 1986 - before we had children - a sign that it's okay for us to now take care of ourselves and enjoy our relationship.

Each week, through the power of positive touch, I recover from my 5 day training cycle getting ready to run the Bermuda Half Marathon again in January, and reclaim more and more of my advantage and my life healing all that went before. It's time for me to enjoy the dance of my life!

To your health and wellness,
Mary




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Just Imagine!!!



In editing my next book, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," I'm realizing how I harnessed the power of my imagination to create my life today. After receiving the diagnosis of post polio syndrome in December 2006, I harnessed the power of my imagination through my pen, my divining rod for healing and imagined myself winning a 10K race.

I imagined myself running and running free, dancing in the rain without a leg brace, celebrating my life, expressing gratitude in spite of all the pain and suffering I lived through seeing my life as a gift rather than a burden. When I suffered a serious knee injury in December of 2014, I once again took to my imagination to help my body heal and affirmed the type of healer that I was worthy to have partner with me. I asked the question how would I ever reclaim my life and affirmed running free and unencumbered. When Jeffrey said to me in my first session, "What leg are we rehabbing?" he used his powerful intention to heal to imagine my leg was already rehabbed!

I imagined healing hands and healing hearts and was so blessed to meet Dr. Ryan Means and Jeffrey Spratt, MT. As I edit sharing the work I did with Dr. Ryan, I can feel the heal in my body once more. After a fall a few weeks ago, my left knee was swollen and I had pain. In between my massage therapy sessions with Jeffery, I would imagine Dr. Ryan taping me and using his hands and heart to support my body's natural ability to heal.

After a wasp sting, I imagined my thumb factory new as though the sting never happened. In last week's massage therapy session with Jeffrey, he paused to do energy healing over my thumb and hand. We drew from the Force of Divine Love in the Universe to stimulate the healing and within a few days everything was back to normal.

Now here's the thing. Many people have said to me that they don't have that kind of imagination or that I must have some special powers that they don't have. That's just not true. Have you ever seen a commercial on TV for a juicy steak or a delicious dessert or a food you absolutely love? What happens? You can feel the desire to have that food and you might even start salivating AT THE THOUGHT OF HAVING IT!

Research is now documenting the power of the mind in affecting the body. Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, 'You Are the Placebo' is filled with anecdotes about his own healing and the healing of others; and changing the body by thought alone. There have also been examples cited by Dr. Joe and Dr. Bernie Siegel where negative messages about a diagnosis and research on a drug led to the death of patients. It was Dr. Ryan who led me to Dr. Joe Dispenza's work that expounds on the work of Bernie who pioneered the power of the mind/body connection back in the 70's.

Recently Dr. Joe shared this article from Scientific American about the power of the mind to build muscle.

Athletes visualize their races. I love a story Meb shares is 'Run to Overcome.' He visualized his race before he went to sleep the night before the race. He woke up sweaty and exhausted. His body felt as though it had in fact already run the race and his performance was compromised that day.

What do you need to conjure up in your life? It takes intention, attention, focus and action to manifest a positive outcome in your life. I could have easily listened to the naysayers and the doomsdayers in my life beginning with the messages I received being traumatized as a child and then from Western Medicine and even the body workers I worked with before Jeffrey. But rather than set limits I allowed my imagination to run wild and free. Just imagine that!

You'll be able to read all about it in 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance.'

To your health and wellness,
Mary


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Endurance and Momentum



In writing, Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," the sequel to Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility available on Amazon I have a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the moments of my healing journey since April of 2015 when I began my partnership with Jeffrey Spratt,MT.

This time one year ago I was getting ready to run my first 8 mile training run since I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon. I wrote about my preparations for that training run in my blog.

I was doing strength training on land twice a week, swimming once a week and running twice a week.

I have upped my training since last year by incorporating the Arc Trainer and Bike into my training regimen trading out a strength training work out for a cardio workout. We are also managing the stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition which takes incredible strength, restraint, patience and faith to navigate the turbulent waters of this challenging situation.

This morning I was sore and stiff and really wanted to blow off my strength training workout. And you know what? The earth wouldn't have ended if I did. Jeffrey has even suggested to me that if I need to take a break and not do a workout on any particular day it would not disrupt my training. I have a fantastic base from having successfully run the Bermuda Half Marathon in January. Weekly massage therapy sessions are, as Jeffrey likes to say, the ultimate training tool that aids in my recovery from the rigors of training and improves my performance. Clearing out the effects of trauma and paralytic polio and the current stress in my life frees me up mind, body and soul to experience my optimal state of health and wellness.

I felt a lot of stress in my SI joint and my lower back. It's counter-intuitive to move when you feel sore and stiff but it's exactly what I needed to flush out the lactic acid from yesterday's run (an active recovery day) and to send a message to my body about endurance and momentum.



While last year I was getting used to the sensations in my body for running longer distances and training for a half marathon, this year I am increasing my work outs while training for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 2017! I find that if I push just a little further than I think I can and if I endure a little more than I perhaps want to, I reap the benefits of continuing to improve my health and fitness leaving the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and the stress in my current life in the dust moving forward on my road to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 2017!

To your health and wellness,
Mary

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! 8 Bermudaful Miles



Last week's 8 mile training run was filled with struggles and challenges yet Team McManus felt a sense of triumph after those 8 miles.

When we woke up this morning to another glorious sunny day we decided to head over to South Boston to get in our 8 mile training run for Bermuda Marathon Weekend. The weather is reminiscent of Bermuda in January and while there is nowhere in the world that has the blue waters of Bermuda, the water hugging the coast in South Boston was a radiant blue.

Rather than run our typical out and back course from Castle Island to U Mass, I suggested we park at Carson Beach, run to Castle Island, circle the Castle and then head out to U Mass. It's always important to give your body something new and interesting out on those long runs.



The miles seemed to fly by! There was ease, laughter and joy in this run as we relished a day that was a true gift from the Universe on 9/17 in Boston. We talked about our jobs, our dreams (yes you better believe you still have dreams in your 60's!) and healing. We talked about how, through the work each of us is doing with Jeffrey Spratt,MT we are able to heal the wounds from the past. I noticed how I have greater clarity and insight into what motivates my negative thoughts and behavior and am now able to experience a positive outlook on life having released so much pain and anger through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and the power of positive touch.

I realized there are still some things in my life that reflected my old behavior patterns and on the run was able to get clarity on what I needed to release. Tom and I formulated my exit strategy. There is no time to waste and as Christopher Walken posted on Facebook:
"None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else."


I really had to push through the last mile and wondered what was going on. Tom realized that we had not stuck to our hydration and fueling plan on our run. We were so caught up in how good we felt and the beautiful day that we lost track of our hydration and fueling plan. I cramped up at the end of our run; fortunately it was at the end of our run. Because I have been partnering with Jeffrey for about a year and a half now, I have total confidence in my body's ability to recover from our long runs, even if we mess up a little. This runfie captures the joy of the day:


Tom and I shared a grapefruit and I drank a lot of water. I stretched and we went into the ocean for an ice bath to encourage our bodies to begin their recovery.

We had a fantastic lunch at 75 on Liberty. I had their Salmon BLT with a side salad and we indulged in a dessert following Christopher Walken's advice. We headed over to Wave Health and Fitness to shower (one of the perks of my job working for Jeffrey and Spratt Muscular Therapies - membership at Wave) since we were pretty crusty from the sun, the sea air, headwinds and taking our ice bath in the ocean.

We felt as though we had a wonderful vacation day together. As we pulled into the driveway, for a moment, I was wondering why I was feeling so sore... and then I remembered ... it was because we ran 8 Bermudaful miles together preparing for our return to Bermuda Marathon Weekend in January.

To your health and wellness,
~Mary



Friday, September 16, 2016

Fundraising Friday: Jess Lanzoni and Back on My Feet Boston


Jess Lanzoni at the Tufts 10K with the ladies from Back on My Feet Boston:



"Homelessness can happen to anybody," Jess Lanzoni shared with me when asked about her upcoming marathons in Berlin and Chicago to raise money for Back on My Feet Boston. (BoMF)

Operating in 11 major cities coast-to-coast, Back on My Feet uses running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. Our success is measured not only by the health impact of miles run, but also by how many individuals obtain education, employment and housing.

Back on My Feet recruits members (individuals experiencing homelessness) at homeless and residential facilities around the country and begins with a commitment to run three days a week in the early morning. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Almost 80% of individuals who start the program move into Next Steps.


Three years ago, one of Jess's friends invited her to volunteer and run with the ladies at Rosie's Place. While Jess thought she was going to volunteer and give back, she said that she receives way more than she ever gives by running with these inspiring women. "They will be in my life forever," she says from deep in her heart.

Jess already ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 through pelting rain and driving winds to raise money for Back on My Feet.


She is a woman dedicating her life to social justice and philanthropy. In addition to running with the ladies each week, she is on the Young Professionals Advisory Board to explore program improvement, and creative and effective ways to fund raise.

I asked Jess why two back to back marathons? "I've done back to back marathons before. I'm already trained so it's not a big deal and I am so passionate about supporting Back on My Feet."

And when the miles get tough? Jess thinks of the women she runs with and all they have had to overcome on their journeys. "I'll think about the ladies and their stories and know I can always run a little farther."

Let's help Jess exceed her fund raising goal. Please donate to her Back on My Feet Fundraising Page.

Safe travels Jess! Run strong, happy, healthy and with ease!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Lessons in Quantum Healing from a Wasp Sting



My husband was being heroic when he spotted a wasp on my right hand and tried to swat it away. He thought the wasp would just fly away leaving me unstung however, the wasp had a different plan. When Tom swatted at it, it burrowed in my thumb and stung me. I was so shocked by the sequence of events that happened in the blink of an eye. I pulled out the stinger and we iced it and then googled first aid for a wasp sting. Of course I was being funny when I said that I could not do laundry or dishes because that was part of the first aid plan for a wasp sting.

The itching began and I harnessed my meditation skills to, as Dr. Joe Dispenza says, "Think greater than my circumstances."

On Monday I did cross training in the pool using hand weights in the pool not realizing that I was exacerbating my body's reaction to the sting.

On yesterday's training run Tom and I talked about harnessing my body's natural ability to heal. There was more swelling and little pustules were beginning to form. The swelling was going down my arm. We joked about what messages was I going to send to my hand and arm and did it in character voices. "Oh no it's gangrene..." "Hi guys we've got this. Feel the tingling that indicates we are cleaning up all that venom from the wasp." We played out both sides of the drama.

Ordinarily this would cause sheer panic in me. Growing up being unable to trust in my body's natural ability to heal and having a breach in my mind/body connection would have catapulted me to making a doctor's appointment and getting it fixed from the outside in. Now there are times when we need Western Medicine but I wanted to see what I could conjure up.

From the moment Jeffrey Spratt, MT asked me, "What leg are we rehabbing?" and I experienced the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I knew my life was about to change. My beloved chiropractor,healer and friend Dr. Ryan Means set the stage for me to practice quantum healing in my life through his powerful touch and skill and turning me onto the works of Dr. Joe and Candace Pert, Ph.D. I instinctively decided to try a flush with water as hot as I could stand it followed by ice cold water.

I dismissed any thoughts that did not support total healing. I came into work and sat in the Plaza Garden at the Seaport Boston Hotel, my happy place and took time to meditate. I was able to envision and feel in every fiber of my being a "factory new" thumb as though I was never stung by the wasp. I imagined Jeffrey flushing my hand and arm in today's massage therapy session.

Little by little the swelling went down and the itching stopped. I experienced greater range of mobility in my thumb joint and the swelling resolved at the wrist. There is a small patch of dried pustules where the stinger went into my thumb. There is positive momentum in my body healing from the wasp sting. What a joy to have moved out of fear in relationship to my body and to cultivate and harvest feelings of power, confidence and strength as a result of partnering with Jeffrey for these past 17 months.

And I was a little peeved that Tom's intention to protect me turned into one of the worst stings I ever experienced BUT as a result of this incident, I was able to harness the power of quantum healing and released my body's natural capacity to heal. Success breeds success and as Walt Disney said, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." I feel empowered to move beyond the self that experienced paralytic polio and trauma to this new way of living, of being and of meeting challenges. I am deeply grateful to the healers and teachers who support me in my healing journey to go the distance free from the beliefs and constraints from the past.

To your health and wellness!
~Mary



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Enjoying the Beauty of a Morning Run



Team McManus had been pushing our pace and the challenge on our runs as we train for Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Geoffrey Smith who holds the record for the Bermuda 10K and who travels to Bermuda for Race Weekend posts wonderful wisdom about training, running and life. His wisdom guided me on my runs as I trained for my first Half Marathon in 7 years in Bermuda this past January.

Yesterday Geoffrey posted this on Facebook:
My advice to all is forget about time and distance enjoy the moment and smell the roses. I am looking forward to many more runs like this.
Now to business upcoming races ...


Tom and I took his advice to heart this morning. The sky was a radiant blue and the sun glistened off the water at the Route 9 Reservoir. One of our runner friends was pushing her pace doing laps around the Reservoir. We picked up our pace when we passed each other because it's what you do when you feel the rush of the pace of a fast runner but then we took it right back down again.

We savored the clean fresh air, the warm sun and the sweat. Even though we were not pushing our pace, we overdressed as we so often do at this time of year. It was 55 degrees when we started out and didn't pay keen attention to the 15 degree rule. We took deep belly breaths and had wonderful conversation being in the moment with each other, unplugged. We wondered what kind of Fall foliage there would be this year given the unseasonably warm and long summer with little rain. We saw a few leaves that were changing.

Knowing that Fall and Winter are right around the corner, we savored this perfect running weather. Knowing that we are in the Autumn of our life at ages 64 and 62, these moments that we share are dear and precious and not to be wasted. We did spend a few moments of the run talking about the challenge of our daughter's psychiatric condition but then shifted our focus to the gift of the present moment.

At the end of our run we tried to capture the beauty of the Reservoir and the skyline of Boston but no photo would do it justice so we opted for our traditional end of training run selfie:


Yes I am wearing my beautiful Bermuda t shirt swag!

We took a leisure walk back home, had our breakfast together and headed into work.

I am so blessed to have the gift of running in my life. A woman asked me in the locker room at Wave Health and Fitness the other day if I work out every day because she often sees me in the locker room. I was moved to share my story with her and how, since partnering with Jeffrey Spratt, MT whose pioneering spirit developed the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I am able to triumph over the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. I appreciate everything and I take nothing for granted. I know how blessed I am to be going the distance and enjoy the beauty of a morning run.

To your health and wellness!
Mary

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Eight Great (Hilly) Miles!



We originally planned to do our 8 miles in South Boston again; around Castle Island and out to U.Mass Boston, the JFK Library and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. We ran many training runs there last year training for the Bermuda Half Marathon and would imagine how it would be to run Bermuda. Of course our imagination paled by comparison to the beauty and magic of that race.

Something inside of me wanted to just go out our front door and run. We did not have a plan!

We were going to do one of our runs from last year where we ran down Beacon Street and took our right on Hereford and Left on Boylston.

We totally let Spirit guide us.

It was humid but fortunately overcast. I knew that after our two pushing the pace runs and given the humidity that we were not going to push our pace, especially with our first 8 miler since last year.

We used to run or drive to the Cleveland Circle Reservoir and then do laps. After 1 1/2 laps we decided that we didn't want to continue doing laps. I wish we did a Facebook Live report trying to calculate our route. How far would we have to go on Beacon Street before we turned around to head home? We got a good estimate and began our ascent on what we affectionately call Billy's Hill on Beacon Street going by the BC Campus.

We had not run this route since we trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon but my body seemed to remember how it felt running those rolling hills-especially on the way back when I ended up with a whopping blister on my heel. I felt a sense of strength and courage that despite feeling the pain of that blister during one of our last long runs, there was no way I was going to quit. It was wonderful mental training for Marathon Monday.

Yesterday's training run, although much shorter in mileage was long on using the run to wrestle with some intense issues that Tom and I experience as a result of our daughter's psychiatric condition. We joked at one point and said Thank God for running; otherwise we'd probably be divorced right now.

There was something about toughing out those hills that mirrored us toughing out all the emotions we were experiencing. We were sweating and breathing hard stripping away the layers and baring our souls.

As we got closer to our house, we were a little short on miles so Tom suggested we run around the newly paved path in a renovated park on Eliot Street. As we got to the path the skies opened up and once again we were without our jackets experiencing an unexpected downpour.

"It's the Universe washing everything away," I said.

As we came down Eliot Street we once again imagined how it's going to feel coming down Front Street remembering how we felt in January and celebrating how it will feel in January of 2017 especially since Tom is going to run the Half Challenge: 3 races - 3 days - 4 medals!

We held hands high and celebrated a challenging yet exhilarating 8 mile run. We were hill seekers and seekers of Truth as once again, running helped us to transcend and transform the challenge in our lives.

For these past 10 years I struggled to get momentum and traction on my healing journey. Through my weekly partnering with Jeffrey, I have not missed a beat in my training!

I came home and stretched and took an ice bath. Last night I marveled and posted this on Facebook:
#reclaimadvantage #reclaimlife #runbermuda #eightisgreat Absolutely amazed that after 8 miles with serious elevation and we counted 7 hills today that, while I am sore, I can feel the resilience in my body. Blog post to follow tomorrow but tonight I want to express my deepest gratitude to Jeffrey Spratt, MT whose pioneering spirit created the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy; a method that is elegant and simple yet powerful and effective in healing, for me, the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. So grateful for our partnership and so thrilled that I am once again training for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Yes, it's true, massage therapy at its finest can be life saving ....



Eight great miles in the Bank of Bermuda as Team McManus trains for Bermuda Marathon Weekend 2017.



To your health and wellness!
Mary

Friday, September 9, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Fundraising Friday!

Meaghan O’Sullivan runs a marathon and the marathon of her life with passion, dedication, determination and an infectious smile that you just want to be around. She ran her first marathon in Boston in 2015. She braved the high winds and pelting rains running for the Dana Farber Marathon Team raising money for cancer research.


And now Meaghan is lacing up her running shoes to once again go the 26.2 mile distance for the New York Road Runners Team for Kids at the NYC Marathon on November 6th.

As Meaghan said, “Running has done so much for me and my journey through all the challenging and trying things life has thrown at me and I want other kids to have the same opportunity as me to discover the healing power of running.”

From Meaghan’s fund raising page:
Running the 2015 Boston Marathon was an experience like no other in my running career. It was filled with many great moments that made lasting impressions on me, but also came with some of the toughest that challenged me beyond what I thought I could handle. Thankfully, these are now goals to beat and challenges to face head on. I look forward to having success with this in the 2016 NYC Marathon!!

I’ve decided to run with Team for Kids and I am asking for your support of their inspiring mission. Team for Kids is a team of adult runners who raise funds for critical services provided by New York Road Runners Youth Programs. These programs combat childhood obesity and empower youth development via running and character-building programs across the country.
Whether you are a runner, have worked with children, or have kids yourself, I hope you will join me to further this great cause.
See you at the finish line!
Love, Meg


Team for Kids was established in 2002 as NYRR recognized the need to help city kids become more physically active. The goal of all NYRR youth programs is to equip children with the tools they need to become physically fit for life, in programs that focus on goal-setting skills, character-enrichment, and nutrition education.

Where does the money go?
All funds raised through Team for Kids benefit New York Road Runners youth programs, which represent a national and international effort to transform the lives of tens of thousands of children, many of whom have no access to the regular physical activity they need to live healthy, productive lives.
Funds raised by Team for Kids members help provide:
• Training for teachers, coaches, field managers, and coordinators, most of whom volunteer their time to NYRR youth programs.
• Incentives for children to encourage them to attend events and practices, demonstrate sportsmanship, and strive for fitness and personal milestones.
• Incentives for teachers to encourage them to run with students, and enable them to share their own achievements in physical fitness through NYRR youth programs.
• Entry fees and transportation to races and related sporting events for the kids.
• Necessary resources to establish programs in areas of greatest need.

We know that Meaghan will go the distance through the Boroughs of New York City. Let’s help her go the distance to exceed her fund raising goal.

Follow this link to make your donation.

Good luck Meaghan!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Sole Sisters


As I am writing, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," I am reuniting with treasured memories of my sole sisters who have been with me throughout this amazing journey.

I first met Deborah through her husband Tim through an on line dating running site. We often joked about how we met. Tim, Tom and I were training for the 2009 Boston Marathon. I met Tim in person at the Hyannis Marathon Weekend in 2009.

Deborah and I became on line and in person friends. I was so blessed to provide her with support and encouragement as she set goals not limits. We had so much fun running the Tufts 10K in 2010:

And then we ran the Hyannis 10K together setting a PR on what we ran at Tufts despite slushy and snowy conditions. You can read all about it in my Race Report.

We've been FB friends through the years and as I posted about remembering our runs together, she is now considering the possibility of running the Hyannis 10K again!

My sole sister Jess Lanzoni has been such a cheerleader and supporter of my journey through the years. She joined with my intention to set a PR at the Bill Rodgers 5K for Prostate Cancer on Facebook the morning before the race and was there in person at the finish line to get me to my PR at the Tufts 10K in October of 2014.

Race Directors Geoffrey Smith and Charlie Breagy are keeping the tradition alive of the Hazelwood 5K, the oldest women's road race. Ever since the October snow fall several years ago that cancelled the Super Hero 5K (or at least our running in it), my sole sisters Laura and Kerry and I have been looking for a race to run together. I think these 3 sole sisters have found it. We have championed each other on and off the roads and I was so blessed to see Kerry get Laura to the finish line of her first 5K at the Bulldogs Run for Recovery 5K this year.

Although we have never met in person, one of my cherished on line sole sisters is Nicole. She was training for her first marathon in Houston and I was training for my comeback Half Marathon in Bermuda. Shortly before our races we realized that they were on the SAME DAY! It was such a joy to share those final training moments and taper madness together. We'll be doing it all over again this year as we return to our respective races.

The list goes on and on!

Sole sisters is just one of the many reasons I could not possibly give up my running career after a serious knee injury in December of 2014. As I look back on the journey through writing "Going the Distance" I see clearly why I could not get traction on my healing journey until now AND how running is such a vital part of my life. How blessed am I to partner each week with Jeffrey Spratt, MT who has pioneered a most elegant and simple method of massage therapy that enables me to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma, loving and living the journey sharing it all with my beautiful sole sisters.

To your health and wellness!
Mary





Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Transformation Tuesday - How did she do that?


The MRI from December 2014 showed marked degenerative changes in my knee joint, a fatty lipoma, shredded cartilage, bone spurs and damage so extensive that arthroscopic surgery would not have made a difference. The advice I received from the physiatrist, the physical therapists and even the massage therapist I was working with at the time? Give up running and wait to have a total knee replacement.

I met Dr. Ryan, a chiropractor who reminded me about what I already knew about the body's ability to heal and how one can change and heal the body through thought alone. We poured over Dr. Joe Dispenza's, "You Are the Placebo". He had me read Candace Pert's "Everything you need to know to feel Go(o)d" and watch "What the bleep do we know?"

He worked with me every week with taping, tapping, setting an intention for my healing and using chiropractic adjustments to help me heal my knee injury and loosen the grip that the effects of paralytic polio had on my body, my mind and my Being.

Since April of 2015 I have been blessed to partner with Jeffrey Spratt,MT who pioneered what has been for me, the life saving method of Spratt Muscular Therapy. Jeffrey also set intentions for my healing and together we condition my body to a new mind as Dr. Joe would say.

I have been able to consistently train and improve my physical, emotional and spirital health and state of well being.

With the help of Dr. Ryan and Jeffrey, I have grown a new gastroc muscle in my left leg; something the doctor said was impossible. It had atrophied from the polio as evidenced on the MRI and there was no way to bring it back. Ha!

Last week I had a fall tripping up a curb. My resilience for a 62 year old is remarkable. "They" told me years ago that I must go on medication for osteoporosis or if I should fall I would certainly have a fracture. This is my 2nd fall in two years hitting the pavement pretty hard and I am still in one piece.

I had my 7.5 mile training run on Saturday for Bermuda Marathon Weekend, did strength training on Sunday, did cross training in the pool yesterday and this morning did a 3.11 mile run in the rain.


During our long run I did feel some "barking" of my left leg at the top of my tibia under my knee where I had fallen. My first thought was "I wish Dr. Ryan were here." And then I remembered, "He is here," even though he is half a world away in China.


He used this little instrument around my knee that reduces swelling. I felt his hands applying KT tape to my left knee and remembering the stimulation of healing from the KT tape. I said my mantra during my meditations: I am healthy. I am healed. I am whole. I am strong.

The pain is completely gone and tomorrow I have 90 minutes on Jeffrey's table to continue to release my body's natural ability to heal and to continue to heal the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

Tom said that he wishes I could go and have another MRI so that the doctor would be amazed and ask the question, "How did she do that? How did she eliminate bone spurs, heal arthritis and degenerative changes and grow a new gastroc?"

As I was getting to write this blog post, coincidentally, this news story from several years ago popped into my Facebook news feed:



Prana not pills. Fingers not forceps.

In February of 2015, I ditched the traditional Western Medicine approach to managing what was happening in my body and jumped down the rabbit hole to heal myself. I was blessed to find Dr. Ryan and Jeffrey, Dr. Joe, Candace and the teachers from What the bleep do we know.

It's transformation Tuesday and by harnessing the power of my mind, being blessed to experience the power of positive touch combined with knowledge and skill with Dr. Ryan and Jeffrey I have transformed and transcended my past. And if those naysayers from 2014-early 2015 ask me how did I do that? I answer-that's how I did that!

To your health and wellness,
Mary

Monday, September 5, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Liberty - Dimes From Heaven!



Before partnering with Jeffrey Spratt, MT whose philosophy of massage therapy is:



I was carrying around a ton of trauma. I carried it in my body, in my beliefs and in the very fiber of my Being.

Jeffrey pioneered the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy; a method that I believe will revolutionize the way that trauma is treated along with many of the chronic health conditions that cripple so many. It's a method that Jeffrey developed after he experienced many unsatisfactory massage therapy sessions and a method that he discovered was effective in simultaneously bringing traumatic memories to the surface and bringing release, relief and healing.

I initially went to Jeffrey to rehab my left knee injury from December 2014 and get back to the sport of running which is my medicine and my therapy but I soon discovered that I was healing the aftermath of having contracted paralytic polio at age 5 and experiencing 9 years of unrelenting violence, neglect and torture rituals at the hands of family members.

There was breakthrough after breakthrough; emotional and physical releases along with clarity and awareness. There was the stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition that was also being attended to through the power of positive touch. The more that we clear out and heal the wounds from the past, the stronger I become to manage the stress in my present life. As Jeffrey likes to say, "This is the safe place where you get to lose your shit." And then I go on to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life.

Last Wednesday's treatment was incredibly powerful as I had my day in Court.

As I was writing in my journal yesterday I had a totally new thought and feeling that came to me: "And how is that my fault?" And then another thought that I have "known" intellectually but was able to feel, "Every problem has a solution."

I held the blame, the guilt, the shame for everything that happened to me before working with Jeffrey. It was like a window opened in my brain and let in this fresh, clean air. Part of what keeps trauma survivors locked into their past is that the brain is looping the same beliefs that lead to the same behaviors over and over again thereby creating the same reality. (For more on this phenomenon, please refer to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza). With this light bulb moment of a new thought (yes bear with me as I mix metaphors please) the prison cell door and my heart opened wide!

Coincidentally, I'd been finding dimes on the street all over the Seaport District where I work out and work. It started with a nickel which I handed over to Jeffrey saying, "This is a sign of abundance in the Universe." And the very next day I found a dime...and then found dimes during the past two weeks.

I found one with Tom after Saturday's long run and asked out loud, "Why do I keep finding dimes?"

I looked at the dime and the word "Liberty" jumped out at me. "Of course," I said, "I am liberating myself from the past and experiencing freedom in my life for the first time in this 10 year healing odyssey."

And then I went to google a picture of a dime for this blog:



and it became so clear to me as I looked at FDR's image and just happened to find this quote:!

And that is the reason Franklin is on the dime. He’s not on the twenty-dollar bill, or something fancy. He’s on the dime. He’d love that, because a dime is something everybody can have in their pocket. It’s not a thousand-dollar bill, it’s the dime. And it connects him to polio and to the March of Dimes, which is still doing all this amazing work for spinal cord injury today all over the world. Franklin created the March of Dimes.


FDR gave an address to the nation asking that everyone send in just one dime to fund the research to put an end to paralytic polio.



Liberty and liberation -- new beliefs creating new feelings and new feelings creating a new reality of my life -- one free from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and the Universe blessing and affirming my journey with dimes from heaven!

To your health and wellness!
Mary






Saturday, September 3, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Persistence!



For ten years I have been persistent at healing my life from the effects of paralytic polio and childhood trauma. Once I met Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I was able to get traction on my healing odyssey.

I am training once again for the Bermuda Half Marathon in January.

I have upped my game with core strength training exercises and my cross training with the Arc Trainer and Bike. I am using pool workouts for strength training in the pool and more gentle cardio full body work out.

Today was a perfect running weather day. With cooler temps prevailing, we cut 1 minute/mile pace off of our time for our 7.5 mile run.

If you look closely in our runfie:


you may notice a split upper lip.

On my way to work at Spratt Muscular Therapies on Tuesday, I somehow managed to trip up the curb. Now it was nothing like the tumble I took last year just around this time:


My left knee was scraped up pretty badly and I have bruises on my right arm that helped me to break my fall but my tooth didn't chip, my nose didn't get injured and I only had one scrape on my pinky on my right hand as opposed to the skin coming off the heel of my hands.

Yeah - what's up with this falling business right?

It's a wake up call - a loving shove from the Universe to pay attention to what I need to pay attention to, be present in the moment and to also discover my strength and persistence.

I was pissed when I hit the pavement this time but also delighted with my resilience mind, body and soul. I attribute the lack of injury and the resilience to my weekly massage therapy sessions with Jeffrey and my 5 day training cycle.

On Tuesday I got in my pool workout after the fall and on Wednesday did my cross training on the Arc Trainer and Bike letting my body know we are just fine!

During today's run I felt some pain in the top of my tibia just below the left knee where I had hit the ground. I reminded myself that I am just fine and to quote Dr. Joe Dispenza, thought greater than my circumstances.

I felt the joy of running at a great pace today feeling so good and so comfortable in my body. Those were a joyful 7.5 miles.

Everything seemed to come together today for Team McManus.

But it did not happen over night for me -- it's been years of persistence; of being on a quest to heal and finding someone to partner with me to heal.

Those sweet 7.5 miles were a reflection of how I have reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life from the thieves who tried to steal my life away from me.

One year ago I posted this on Facebook:
I feel like Cinderella - a woman transformed and know in every fiber of my Being and body that this is all so possible. #reclaimlife #reclaimadvantage. Thank you Jeffrey! Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC Total grace! Blessed with healing and a great #sportsmassage. Boston's best! Hands down. "Where there is kindness there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic!"



Have courage and be kind - and be persistent so that your beauty will blossom!

To your health and wellness,
Mary

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Without Missing a Beat



In yesterday's blog I mentioned how I've been experiencing astounding results through my partnership with Jeffrey Spratt,MT pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy.

Some may say that is quite a claim to make -- but it's true.... Now granted I have to be ready and willing to do the work to heal my life from the effects of paralytic polio and 9 years of violence plus manage the stress of my life in the here and now. But Jeffrey has pioneered a method of muscular therapy that simultaneously facilitates the processing of trauma and the healing of the trauma through the power of positive touch.

Throwback Thursday to when I was first diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006, what doctors call a progressive neuromuscular disease. I had difficulty swallowing, breathing, walking; I experienced chronic fatigue and every nerve and muscle in my body was on fire. I was exhausted but couldn't sleep well. I pushed myself to make it through the day and was in a downward spiral of profound negative momentum.

I discovered the healing power of poetry in my soul that began to turn the tide of my life.

And then I discovered the healing power of running! True I had never run a day in my life and had just come out of a leg brace and wheelchair when I declared that I was going to run the 2009 Boston Marathon but no matter....

On the road to the 2009 Boston Marathon I experienced positive momentum on the roads and in my life shedding so many beliefs about who I was and what I could do. Crossing the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon was a moment of redemption:


There were fits and starts of working to get traction on my healing journey.

There were setbacks and injuries. Because the layers of trauma were unhealed and stuck in the very fiber of my body and Being, external stress (such as my nephew's suicide) created a toxic cocktail of dis-ease and being stuck in old behavior patterns veering off of my healing path.

Since 2011 I wrote poetry with renewed fervor in 2014 focused on asking the question, "How will I ever reclaim my life?" and expressing how I wanted to run unencumbered and free. I conjured up images of a healer and healing hands. You can read these poems in my poetry anthology, "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life" available on Amazon.

I was blessed to find my way to Dr. Ryan Means in February of 2015. He got me right back on my healing path reminding me of my worthiness to heal. He turned me onto Dr. Joe Dispenza's work, "You are the Placebo"and "What the bleep do we know?".

And then I was led to Jeffrey's table!

As we clean out the wounds of trauma, and through the power of Jeffrey's positive touch, my mind, body and Spirit heal.

So for the first time in 10 years, I have only positive momentum in my healing journey from the late effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

I am over the moon excited to be training for the Bermuda Marathon 2017. It's been a wonderful year of training, racing, taking an off season to recover and now gearing up for 13.1 on January 15, 2017! It's exhilarating to be on top of my game feeling strong and capable to go the distance now.

I have a five day training cycle unlike any other training I have done in these past 10 years. Sunday - strength train with free weights. Monday - Strength train in the pool and do laps. Tuesday - 5K tempo run. Wednesday - Cross train on the Arc Trainer and Bike and massage therapy with Jeffrey. Two days rest and then the wonderful long runs on Saturday training for the Bermuda Half Marathon

One of the most painful parts of having experienced what I lived through as a child was not being able to enjoy my body. In order to survive I had to dissociate from my body and during these past 10 years, as I worked to come home in my body I had to face all that I was trying to avoid.

With the healing hands and heart of Jeffrey Spratt,MT and my own fierce determination to heal, I feel so blessed and grateful that, for the first time in 10 years, I can train for my 2nd Half Marathon without missing a beat!

To your health and wellness!
Mary