Friday, July 21, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! On Confidence, Determination and Going the Distance




Tomorrow, Team McManus marks a milestone for their training. 6.5 miles - halfway to 13.1 miles on the road to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend.

When we first started out on this epic journey to a threepeat for Tom and me running the Bermuda Half Marathon and having our beautiful daughter Ruth Anne join us for her first Bermuda Half Marathon, we struggled to find a rhythm together. I was anxious about whether or not I could go the distance for a threepeat especially since I was no longer working with the massage therapist who partnered with me for my first two half marathons in Bermuda. Ruth Anne was just getting back into running. After several runs, Team McManus found a rhythm and stride that was even better than when we trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon.

With each run we are gaining confidence; with every strength training and cross training workout we are feeling more determined. We are experiencing joy in the journey and a fire in our souls to go the distance.

This evening we get to host our Bermudian friends Anthony Raynor and Clarence Smith for dinner. I love to remember our first meeting with Anthony and Clarence two years ago. From "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance":

Next up was the Bermuda Marathon Weekend booth.

Now what's pretty amazing here is that I had set my sights on running the Bermuda Marathon for my 60th birthday in 2013. But then life happened. I never thought about it again. Tom and I had stopped by their booth at other Expos and quickly dismissed ever going back to Bermuda never mind running a race there. Never say never! Tom started chatting with Clarence "Stoker" Smith and I joined in the conversation. We both felt a tug at our souls and the more we talked with Clarence and Race Director Anthony, the stronger the tug. We reminisced about when we used to go there with Herb Simmons and the Sea and Surf Anglers Club who had a tournament with the Bermudian Blue Waters Angler Club. I felt goosebumps and a warm feeling all over. Anthony told me that I'd be better off running the Half Marathon rather than the 10K because of the steep hills on the course. I told them that the last time I was in Bermuda I was in a leg brace and using a wheelchair to travel. Clarence's wife said, "Look at you now girl."

We exchanged information. Clarence told us he'd take us out on his boat when we came down for the weekend. I chatted with Anthony about the weather in January. "Look," he said in that delicious Bermudian accent. "I was told you people still have piles of snow near the Seaport Hotel from this past winter. I can guarantee you this. You will have no snow in Bermuda in January."


Anthony and Clarence are here to promote race weekend at the DMSE Sports Classic Race Expo. We volunteered last year and were pleasantly surprised to see Anthony:



Having dinner with them tonight is Divine timing as we get ready to run 6.5 miles tomorrow.

Team McManus is transforming the pain of the past into the joys of today by training to go the distance! 6.5 miles we are coming to get ya!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! Sweat - Smile - Repeat -- Training for a Threepeat!



It was invigorating to walk into Boston Sports Club on Boylston Street this morning being greeted by the staff who signed me up for my membership and having them say, "Have a good workout."

It's day 4/5 of our training cycle. Ruth Anne went for a run with a friend. Tom is going to run this afternoon and I, who runs twice a week and cross trains 3 days/week (learning the hard way of what happens if I don't - can you say knee injury?) headed to Boston Sports Club!

Part of me missed the comfort and familiarity of my old health club at Wave Health and Fitness but being surrounded by trainers, sweat and people who are fierce about their training fired me up to get in a great workout. Changing things up a bit is vital to creating change in the mind/body!



About halfway through my workout on the Arc Trainer one of the new Team members came up to me to hand me a towel. He told me he is new at the Club and this is one of his jobs. We smiled and exchanged names. Was it the power of suggestion or my renewed dedication to being the best I can be on the road to my threepeat of the Bermuda Marathon Weekend that I felt sweat pouring out of me!

After my 20 minutes on the Arc Trainer I stretched and headed for 30 minutes on the upright bike. More sweat poured that seemed to emanate from the fire that is lit within me as I go the distance for January 2018.

I posted this photo on Facebook with this description: #runbermuda #runhappy #transformationtuesday #momentum Day 4/5 --- Cross training with Arc Trainer and Bike today on the road to Bermuda Marathon Weekend for a threepeat! Feeling fierce and fired up! And this my friends is what determination looks like! #postpoliosyndrome #traumasurvivor I'm a thriver going the distance!


I have my mantras in place that my body recovers from workouts and training runs with ease. I remind myself to focus on the wave not the particle as Dr. Joe Dispenza emphasizes in his book, "You Are the Placebo." I remember how I felt training for the 2009 Boston Marathon. Even before knowing the work of Dr. Joe, but knowing the work of Dr. Bernie Siegel and having his unconditional love and support, I was creating change in my body through thought alone.

I'll be 64 years old in December. My body, mind and soul have been to hell and back. Training for my threepeat of the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon is the journey of a lifetime. During these next 6 months I look forward to a lot of days where I sweat - smile - repeat!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):




Monday, July 17, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! On Signs, Synchronicity and Magic



Since Ruth Anne has joined us to train for the Bermuda Half Marathon in January there have been signs, synchronicity and magic!

We reconnected with a few members of the Sea and Surf Anglers Club of Boston, the fishing club that fished in International Goodwill Tournaments in Bermuda. Herb Simmons, one of my veterans introduced us to that beautiful magical Island of Bermuda.

We've been finding money as we had when we trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon.

We experienced magic and signs on last Saturday's training run.

And something magical has happened within me....

As part of Ruth Anne's healing, we listen to Dr. Joe Dispenza's Rest and Renew meditation every night ....

My beloved friend, healer and chiropractor, Dr. Ryan, who now lives and practices in China, who I saw shortly after a serious knee injury in December of 2014, turned me onto Dr. Joe's work. His book, "You Are the Placebo" fired up the rewiring of my neural net; a process I began through writing poetry shortly after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards in December of 2006.

While I am grateful for the work I did while partnering with Jeffrey Spratt, a muscular therapist, I realized that it was time to leave both the business and therapeutic relationship with Jeffrey as I wrote about in my blog, "Run Bermuda! Run Happy! Training for a Threepeat: Changing Things Up a Bit."

One of the things that kept me bound to that relationship was a lack of confidence in my ability to train and continue to heal harnessing the power of Divine Intelligence within me. But with signs, synchronicity and magic to lead the way I know that I have everything I need to train on the road to Bermuda Marathon Weekend and am open to the magic and wonder of the Universe.

I have the page from Dr. Joe's book that Dr. Ryan sent to me on my refrigerator before I received my copy of the book:


On Dr. Joe's website he has the motto, "Change from the inside out!" I have read and devoured Dr. Candace Pert's book, "Everything you need to know to feel Go(o)d" and will continue to harness the power of the Divine and the alchemy that's created by our thoughts and intentions.

This morning one of my runner friends posted this on Facebook:



The other day I saw this quote on Facebook:


It takes incredible courage to trust in the mystery, to trust in my ability to continue to heal from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma, to change course when something is no longer serving me and to pay attention to the signs and synchronicity along the way. That my friends is where the magic happens!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):








Saturday, July 15, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! A Six Mile Training Run - Two Weddings and a Parrot

The day was cloudy with a prediction for rain. Fortunately the chilly weather that had plagued Boston for a few days departed and in the words of Ruth Anne as she opened the door to check the temps and what we should wear, "Summer's back!"

No matter the weather and especially with warmer temps, we threw our jackets in the car - just in case - and headed to our happy place, Jamaica Pond to train. We psyched ourselves up with these two quotes:


As we parked the car, we saw patches of blue and decided we would not need our jackets after all.

After running up a big hill we arrived at the majestic scene of Jamaica Pond. In the past, as I trained for the Bermuda Half Marathon I was focused on the long term goal of running the Half in January.

Today I felt a shift. I wanted to embrace the journey and savor each training run that will lead up to Bermuda;



to experience the joy in the journey, the intensity that accompanies training for an endurance event and all the uphills and downhills inherent in the journey. Training for the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon is especially sweet as our daughter Ruth Anne is joining us on the journey!

We saw a gathering of people dressed in clothes you ordinarily don't see at Jamaica Pond where the style of dress is casual for runners and walkers. I asked if there was a wedding..."Well actually two," the woman told me. "My daughter had a little ceremony and there's a woman who is going to retake her vows who was married here 30 years ago."

As we ran on, we spotted a man with a parrot on his shoulder! We passed him several times, and after seeing a woman with a t shirt with a picture of a parrot on her back, we knew we needed to google the symbolism of a parrot animal totem:


What you once thought of as impossible is now possible! Go For it!
-Parrot

If Parrot has swooped across your path;

The Parrot is asking you to stay alert. New ideas which can bring about new growth or a new direction is imminent for you. Pay attention to the signs and omens around you. Perhaps its the perfect time to go after the dreams you once thought were out of reach.

Alternatively this bird may be asking you to learn new language skills. Perhaps your self talk has been more negative than positive of late. Take the time to become aware of what you are saying to yourself.

You have an innate understanding of color, it’s symbolism and it’s healing powers.
from: Spirit Animal Totems

Hmmm - an innate understanding of the healing powers of color and we just started coloring in the evening. Awareness and be alert and it's all now so possible!

As we stopped at the fountain to refill our water bottles, the bride and groom had returned from the middle of the pond where they renewed their vows.

She was in a white wedding dress. He was wearing a suit. We wanted to ask if that was the dress she wore on her wedding day 30 years ago but didn't think that would be politically correct. Her friend - maid of honor - said, "She's having the wedding she never had 30 years ago." The bride chimed in, "We were married out on the pond in a boat. We eloped. I found the same Justice of the Peace and we retook our vows today. I bought this dress for $50 and I'm going to wear it to the party tonight!" Her makeup was beautiful and subtle. Family and friends were dressed in festive outfits with ribbons in the children's hair.

We wished them congratulations, shared with them that Tom and I will be celebrating 40 years of marriage next March and basked in the glow of love and joy as we finished our 6 mile run.



After our run we went to the Egleston Farmer's Market in Jamaica Plain. We found wonderful farm fresh produce and met some wonderful people at the Market!

After lunch and smoothies, we sat out in the warm summer sun playing rummy, listening to music and reflecting on the accomplishment of having another 6 miles in the Bank of Bermuda.

We made that wonderful farm fresh produce into a salad to have with shrimp and corn for dinner.



What a day for a training run! Six miles....two weddings and a parrot...the Farmer's Market and a new appreciation for the joy in the journey!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):











Thursday, July 13, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! Training for a Threepeat ....Changing Things Up a Bit!



It is hard to change...even when we instinctively know it's time for a change, it's still hard. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains it well in the above image.

It was a gradual awareness that I came to the realization it was time for me to leave Wave Health and Fitness, Jeffrey Spratt and Spratt Muscular Therapies.



I began to dip a toe in the water and tentatively "cross the river of change", a phrase from Dr. Joe. I remembered how, in one of his talks, he talks about the sense of discomfort that accompanies change. There would be waves of discomfort and asking myself if I was making the right choice; had I evaluated the need for change with a proper perspective or was there something else going on. Every time, the Universe would send me signs of affirmation that oh yes, indeed, it was time for change.

I was blessed to have Tom and Ruth Anne support me and help me problem solve about the best way to mindfully and carefully remove myself from my role and connection to Spratt Muscular Therapies and to set the wheels in motion to find new partners on my health and wellness journey. I talked with my dear healer chiropractor, Dr. Ryan during his recent visit to the states from China. With his compassionate blue eyes and strong presence, my path became clear.

As things fell into place with ease, I knew that I needed to keep moving forward.

There were moments when I would question and the Universe would continue to give me signs that it was time for a change!

I kept reminding myself that the Universe would provide everything I need as I navigate the waters of transition.
Wednesday was my first cross training swim workout at our new health club Boston Sports Club. It was a much larger pool than the one at Wave Health and Fitness and on my first lap I thought I wasn't going to make a full lap. Well actually my thought was that I was going to die in the middle of the pool. I persevered as I felt the burning in my lungs and the stamina and strength building in my body. The energy of Boston Sports Club is vibrant. There's an intensity and a dedication to working out and training. I could feel myself increasing the intensity and dedication of my workout in the pool with a renewed focus as I get ready for my third consecutive Bermuda Half Marathon.

Last Sunday Team McManus went to the Newton location of Boston Sports Club and we had a similar experience cross training on the Arc Trainer and Bike; once I pushed through my fear of seeing the parking lot filled with cars and wondering if the equipment we needed would be available. There was one Arc Trainer and two Elliptical machines available. Tom and Ruth Anne worked out on the Elliptical and thoroughly enjoyed and embraced the new cross training experience.

It's uncomfortable to leave what's familiar and known but as we all know:


I'll be partnering with a chiropractor and massage therapist right in Copley Square near Boston Sports Club. I love how they appeared in my life!

I know that all healing comes from within me harnessing the power of Divine Intelligence and the practitioners I choose to partner with help me to facilitate the creation of my new body free from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.


I am grateful for the ease of the transition and the gifts that each of these practitioners bring to the table and for the wonderful customer service we received at Boston Sports Club.

Changing things up a bit can be scary but once I crossed the river of change with fear at my back, I can feel the magic happening. I'm ready to go the distance in my healing journey, in my life and on the road to the Bermuda Half Marathon!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Blessing in Disguise: Color Me Calm



Our daughter Ruth Anne gave me permission and her blessing to write this blog.I hope her story will inspire you or someone you know and love.

While our daughter Ruth Anne's recovery from severe depression and PTSD has been rife with struggles and pain no one should ever have to endure, we are blessed by her strength and courage and the tools she receives as part of her recovery. It has been 3 years since her struggle with the pain of depression and PTSD began. It has taken many hospitalizations, crisis stabilization unit stays, medication trial after medication trial to arrive where we are today.

One of the greatest challenges for anyone facing any life threatening diagnosis - and depression and PTSD are in fact life threatening diagnoses, is to hold onto hope!

After extended hospital stays and the blessing of a psychiatrist and inpatient team at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Ruth Anne found some relief from the excruciating pain of her symptoms. We explored a group home, Wellmet, but realized there is no place like home and the power of a family's love to heal.

While inpatient at St. Elizabeth's, Ruth Anne had an angel of an Occupational Therapist who played Rummy 500 with her for hours on end giving up her break time and lunch time to spend time with Ruth Anne engaging her mind in the game. Ruth Anne was also introduced to the healing power of adult coloring books.

We went to Brookline Booksmith and stocked up on a variety of adult coloring books and colored pencils. They incorporate inspirational quotes and chapters on reducing stress and bringing calm into one's life. When I was first diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease 10 years ago, I discovered the healing power of creating poetry in my life. I've gone from experiencing the power of my pen, the divining rod for healing to the power of the colored pencil.



My work in progress:


While we thought we were bringing Ruth Anne home to heal, we have received the blessing of healing ourselves!

She is now attending a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Partial Hospitalization Program where she participates in structured groups using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The therapists use meditation and teach skills to facilitate mental health and well being. They work with Ruth Anne one on one for medication management and counseling. The focus is on hope and recovery! She has a most amazing Case Manager through the Department of Mental Health; a real old school social worker who rolls up her shirt sleeves and gets the job done going above and beyond what is required of her.

Ruth Anne teaches us what she is learning in her Partial Hospitalization Program and brings healing into our lives and our home.

We have structured evening time before going to bed that includes this meditation by Dr. Joe Dispenza:


I've discovered the joys of playing rummy, and coloring and feeling blessed to be a part of her recovery as she was of mine ten years ago. She went with me to every doctor's appointment, advocated for me with my Team and supported me with the changes we needed to make in the family in order for me to get well! We will be incorporating board games and jigsaw puzzles into our evening time.

One of our greatest joys is training with Ruth Anne on the road to the Bermuda Half Marathon Running has been my therapy for the past 8 years and the gift of running has given Team McManus a wonderful goal to share. We each use the metaphor of running to help us with the marathon of our lives.



While my heart still aches for the pain that Ruth Anne endured these past 3 years, I am in awe of her fortitude, strength, courage, determination and willingness to do the work and to go the distance!

We have found the blessing in disguise and now that she is on the road to recovery, you can color me calm!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):



Monday, July 10, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! When you're a runner.....



During this morning's tempo run on the road to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, Team McManus talked about what happens when you're a runner.

When the alarm goes off at 6 am, when you're a runner, you meditate and set the intentions for the day, do core work, have a piece of toast, oj and a banana and head out the door.

When you're a runner, the hardest part is getting out the door.

It was a glorious summer morning and we decided to run the large Reservoir with one loop rather than two small loops around the Reservoir closest to our house.

When you're a runner, you're senses come alive in the morning. You appreciate the lush green colors, the sun sparkling on the water and feel happy to be alive.

When you're a runner in New England, you get to watch the seasons change right before your very eyes and experience them in all their glory. You test the strength of your mind as you go out in all kinds of weather.

When you're a runner, you join an incredible community of like hearted and like minded people. You speak your own verbal and non-verbal language. When you're a runner you are surrounded by unconditional love and support!



I've been so blessed with how the running community has embraced my journey as a runner in the wake of the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards and as a trauma survivor.

When you're a runner you get to travel and meet an International Community of Runners.

When you're a runner, you feel the change, you notice the change and then you are the change!


When you're a runner, you're a very fortunate person:


When you're a runner you always know there's a little more in the tank and even if you hit the wall, you know you'll learn from the experience, recover and go on to run and race another day!


When you're a runner you get to experience the fullness of life with your besties aka Team McManus:


When you're a runner, there are no excuses! You train mind, body and soul to go the distance on the roads and in your life!

Go the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

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


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):