Friday, October 20, 2017

Going the Distance: It's kind of fun to do the impossible!



Lewis Carroll: There is no use trying, said Alice, one can't believe impossible things. I dare say you haven't had much practice, said the Queen. When I was your age. I always did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Bernie Siegel: Damn right we all have an amazing potential



As those tweaks and aches and pains that come with training for an endurance event - 13.1 miles on January 14th, 2018, just 86 days away as Bermuda Marathon Weekend's website reminds me, it's easy to question whether or not my body can do the distance for the third time in 3 years.

When those doubts and fears creep in, and it's always a good idea to doubt the doubts, I remind myself of all that I have done to heal myself in these past 11 years and all that I continue to do to maintain the momentum of healing.

Shortly after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, I had an abnormal mammogram. For one solid week I meditated and visualized healthy breast tissue and knew in every fiber of my being that it was gone. I would not even let the fears about breast cancer enter my mind despite the fact that my grandmother, my mother, and two of my aunts all had the disease. When I went back for the repeat mammogram, it was gone!

Through writing poetry I imagined myself as healthy, whole and free .... running a race of all things even though I'd never run a day in my life, and had just been told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair! As Dr. Joe Dispenza teaches us, it is not just about positive thinking or imagining the future, it's about feeling as if the future is already here. At the time I did not know about his work. I was praying and asking for Divine Guidance after being diagnosed with a progressive neuromuscular disease and told I had to quit my award winning career as a VA social worker. The answers came in the form of poetry in the cadence of Dr. Seuss. After contracting paralytic polio, I had to endure painful physical therapy sessions several times a week. My physical therapist, "Miss Holly curly hair and a warm smile," as I described her in my poem, "Running the Race," read Dr. Seuss to me before every painful physical therapy session and had me recite the books back to her in tandem. How amazing that what helped me to coax muscles and nerves back to life when I was a little girl was now an instrument of healing for me at the age of 53.

I came out of a leg brace, and ditched the wheelchair and went on to run the 2009 Boston Marathon!


I harnessed the power of my mind to heal cervical spine disease after asking my doc to please show me what needed to heal before my last injection to ease the pain of a disc pressing on a nerve. I went on to dissolve the bone spurs and stop the progression of degenerative disc disease.

In the wake of stress of my nephew's suicide in March of 2011, I lost my way and went "off the rails" of my healing path.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, I had a wake up call to get back on my healing path and returned to running and my health and wellness journey but I wasn't in the flow of creating healing....yet....

I was blessed with a wake up call of a very serious knee injury in December of 2014. All that I set forth in motion in my poetry for healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma led me to a most remarkable healer...Ryan J. Means, Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine ... my Hero Healer. We read Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, 'You Are the Placebo' together and shared the teachings as we worked together to get me back to going the distance in my healing journey and in my life.

We stimulated the growth for a new gastroc muscle that on MRI was atrophied, destined to never return according to Western Medicine. Once my desire and intention for healing was reignited through meeting Dr. Ryan, I went on to dissolve bone spurs, halt degenerative joint disease, grow new cartilage and reverse the processes that resulted in that knee injury. I am not planning on a total knee replacement as was the doctor's prediction after seeing the MRI.

I had a wound on my nose that wouldn't heal yet I knew in my heart that I could heal it. It looked "suspicious" and fit all of the criteria for a malignant growth. It took several years but one day it was gone leaving only a scar on my nose.

Whenever I have fears or doubts about my body's ability to heal; when those twinges and tingles and aches and pains surface, I experience them all as part of my body's preparation to go the distance again and I also interpret them as ongoing healing from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. My body is still whisking away the toxins and the toxic memories from those traumatic events and is building a new superhighway of neuromuscular connections.

I love playing in the quantum field and enjoying this journey of transformation.

I want others to know what is possible and that we do have the ability within us to go the distance - whatever the challenge and whatever we want to create in our lives.

To going the distance with strength and courage
From my heart to yours,
Mary

Be sure to listen to my interview with Keith Cartwright, "From Polio Survivor to Boston Marathon Finisher" by following this link.

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, October 19, 2017

Going the Distance: Taking a Pause and Running for a Cause



The sport of running is like no other sport! In addition to the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of running, we use running to raise money and awareness for important causes.

"My friend wanted to know if I could run a race on October 28th. Her sister and brother in law both died by overdose leaving her teenaged niece and nephew. It's in Plymouth and she said she wished it were closer because she'd really like to have me there. A portion of the proceeds of the race go to her sister's children's Trust Fund." ~Ruth Anne

Although we were not planning to run any races during our training season, it was a no brainer that we should take a week off from our long training run schedule on the road to Bermuda Half Marathon III (especially since we are ahead of schedule) and register for the 6th Annual Trick or Trot 5K happening a week from Saturday.

The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions here in Massachusetts. One often thinks of people dying by overdose as junkies in a back alley somewhere with a needle stuck in their arms. Yet addiction can affect anyone in any station in life as what happened to Nicole who died in 2013 and her husband Jay, an attorney, who died in June of 2016 leaving behind a trail of tears and trauma. My nephew died by suicide as a result of drug addiction in March of 2011.

The running community is addressing the crisis of addiction through helping people in recovery to maintain sobriety through running. There are many groups out there who provide a healthy living community, support network and the joy of running as a way to support recovery.

After I posted this on Facebook:
Team McManus is going to take a break from running long and strong on 10/28 to run a race to support a great cause. One of Ruth Anne's friend's sister and brother in law died tragically as a result of drug overdoses. They left two teenagers and part of the proceeds of the The 6th Annual Trick or Trot 5k to a trust fund for their children. Laura Donahue Brady - this is in your neck of the woods in Plymouth. Would you like to join us? We are taking it nice and easy because as it says on the website BEWARE: While all the roads are paved there are hills...but we know that life happens on the hills. Here's the link to register http://www.southshorerace.com/6th-annual-trick-or-trot-5k10k---october-28-2017.html


I was amazed by the response. One of my friend's said she is not back to running but would come cheer us on; another friend said it's a great race for a great cause and another friend said she couldn't run but would cheer us on from the North Shore and would like a link to donate to the Trust Fund.

Runners rally around each other. We run for our health and wellness but we also run with passion and purpose.

When we ran the 2009 Boston Marathon, we raised over $10,000 for Spaulding Rehab Hospital where I took the first very tentative steps on my healing journey. Tom raised almost $10,000 for Childrens Hospital in 2011. Ruth Anne ran the Nashville Half Marathon to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital. We have also donated to many of our friends' Fall Marathon fundraising efforts for Parkinson's Disease, Ronald McDonald House, Red Sox Foundation and the Houston Food Bank.

Whether supporting our friends' fundraising efforts or taking a pause from our training plan schedule - it feels wonderful to run for a cause.

Follow this link to register for the race.

Here is the address to donate to the Webster Children's Trust Fund: Rockland Trust Webster Childrens Trust Fund
Pilgrim Hill Rd
Plymouth MA 02360

See you at the finish line!

To going the distance with strength and courage
From my heart to yours,
Mary

Be sure to listen to my interview with Keith Cartwright, "From Polio Survivor to Boston Marathon Finisher" by following this link.

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):


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Countdown to Bermuda: On Patience, Persistence and Trusting the Process



Bermuda Half Marathon III is less than 90 days away! We deposited another 10 miles in the Bank of Bermuda yesterday on a drizzly, cloudy and then the skies opened up just as we finished kind of weather day.


As in running and as in life ... we laughed .... like when we put on our ponchos and the sleeves weren't snapped ... I asked, "Should we snap these or are we going to be wizards?" And when we do slam poetry inspired by sprinkles of rain, swans and anything that catches our eyes or minds while we run.

We got frustrated and barked at each other worked out some "stuff" and then focused on gratitude - for the gift of running and being able to run outdoors in nature experiencing One with all that is.

And we celebrated another training run in the books!

I'm in uncharted territory here....

I wasn't planning to run Bermuda Half Marathon III but of course who could refuse a Bermudian's invitational entry and a great rate at the Fairmount Southampton Princess?

I thought I needed to take time off to recover from Bermuda Marathon II which was a challenging day for me and to be perfectly honest, I didn't want to challenge (read that as tempt fate) the healing I'd done from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma during these past ten years.

But the best way to not have the past have an influence over me, the best way to create my future and continue the process of healing is to challenge myself and have new experiences to create new memories that whisk away the neurological connections that were hard wired from the past rewiring with new connections.

Mile 10 was when the wheels fell off the wagon for me in January during Bermuda Half II. Perhaps that's why I made sure our training schedule amped up to mile 10 and then we did 3 weeks of 10 miles of training.

This month is the anniversary of when I first reached out to Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio and was in the dark night of my mind, body and soul. They diagnosed me with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. December is the 3 year anniversary of when I had a serious knee injury that almost sidelined me both in life and in running. That MRI indicated an atrophied gastroc muscle, a knee that would need a total knee in the next two years and the admonishment once again that I should not run.I also received an invitation to return to the Post-Polio Clinic for a re-evaluation of my symptoms because after all, it was only a matter of time before my symptoms worsened as they prognosticated in December of 2006.

But all that I had set into motion with incredibly powerful intention and emotion through my poetry could not be stopped!

In the wake of that knee injury I was blessed to have met Dr. Ryan J. Means, a healer and a chiropractor who helped me to get back on my healing path, back on the roads AND who led me to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.

I could feel my energy waning last week and doubts and fears creeping into the training for Bermuda Half Marathon III.

So what did this runnergirl1953 do?

First of all even though I could feel the twinges of what happened at mile 10, I also remembered that I powered through and that my body made an incredibly quick recovery from the muscle spasms and cramps.

The Universe delivered a Live Stream session with Dr. Joe that was powerful for me. It's been available all weekend long. I've reviewed the session, took notes and am doing the meditation again today.

I signed up for his monthly teleclasses.

I scheduled weekly chiropractic sessions with Dr. Lizzie Sobel.

I remind myself over and over and over again that I am healthy, whole, healed and strong.

It's time to visualize and feel the race during training runs and during cross training. I am feeling a stirring in my soul very excited to be representing what's possible when I tether myself to the Divine Mind, be patient with myself and trust the process knowing that the results are here.

Having no control over my body during Bermuda Half II triggered memories from when I collapsed in kindergarten class having been stricken with paralytic polio. Perhaps it was a memory waiting to be triggered that I needed to heal and being able to power through having love and support take me to the finish created new neurological pathways to completely heal that memory by having a different outcome. That was a powerful neurological imprint along with traumatic events that followed that I have been working to rewire ever since I began this healing journey 10 years ago.

After all:


So look out world...next week Team McManus will be running 10.5 miles on the road to Bermuda Marathon Weekend III. I'm tossing my fears and doubts and caution to the wind!



I AM going the distance with patience, persistence and trusting the process of healing and training!

To going the distance with strength and courage
From my heart to yours,
Mary

Be sure to listen to my interview with Keith Cartwright, "From Polio Survivor to Boston Marathon Finisher" by following this link.

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):






Friday, October 13, 2017

Going the Distance: On Transformation, Freedom and Healing



It was Divine Timing that Dr. Joe Dispenza offered an on line live presentation from his Advanced Workshop in Los Cabos Mexico. Two weeks ago I had a dream that I attended a live workshop with him. I told my chiropractor, Dr. Lizzie Sobel, who coincidentally had the opportunity to hear him speak at an educational event for chiropractors, that I had the dream. She suggested that I put that on my bucket list and figure out a way to make it happen.

I had shared with her the role that Dr. Joe's teachings have played in my healing from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma since my chiropractor, (who now lives and practices in China), Dr. Ryan J. Means (who she happened to meet during a networking event several years ago) told me I just HAD to read his book, "You Are the Placebo." {Are you taking note of the synchronicity at work here?}

I started working with Dr. Ryan in March of 2015 after a very serious knee injury in December of 2014. The MRI showed an atrophied gastroc muscle from when I had contracted polio at age 5, a deteriorating knee joint, bone spurs, degenerative changes from arthritis and reconstructive leg surgery....I was told that I shouldn't and wouldn't be able to run again but if I did I should run only short distances. "Be prepared for a total knee replacement in a few years and why don't you come back to the Post-Polio clinic for a reevaluation." The implication was that it was only a matter of time before the progressive neuromuscular disease that Western Medicine diagnosed me with was going to well...progress. I had defied the diagnosis and came out of a wheelchair to run the 2009 Boston Marathon by instinctively doing what Dr. Joe recommends - living as if my future were here in the present moment - but couldn't get traction on my healing journey until I met Dr. Ryan and immersed myself in Dr. Joe's teachings. As Dr. Joe explained during the live stream last night, "It also helps when we share our healing stories for then the mirror neurons ignite and helps our own healing." Knowing that Dr. Joe healed his fractured vertebrae through thought alone gave me hope and inspiration for me after my knee injury.

Before I even received the book, Dr. Ryan sent me this photo from his book to help me get my mindset in place for the healing and transformation that was about to happen in my life.



We've grown a new gastroc muscle using KT tape. Over and over and over again I tap into feeling as though complete healing has already happened. Dr. Ryan's use of the art and science of chiropractic care combined with reading and practicing Dr. Joe's works has helped me to create transformation in my life.

During these last two plus years I have run two half marathons, a 10K and many shorter distance races. I have also healed a wound on my nose that had bled, scabbed over and opened again for several years. I just knew I had the power within me to heal this wound and while it took awhile, it is now merely a scar. Every time I began to feel twinges and tweaks in my body or struggled with fatigue, I remembered all the healing I'd done to date and held onto faith and hope as I trained for Bermuda Half Marathon III.

As we rode the waves of our daughter recovering from severe depression and PTS, I could feel myself having difficulty holding onto the gains I've made in my healing journey. We listen to Dr. Joe's Rest and Renew Meditation every evening together. It's a God send but I could feel myself getting stuck in old patterns with feelings of frustration and anger when the challenges of the day presented themselves. What was needed was compassion, love and kindness, an open heart and being able to create the life I want and need regardless of the circumstances around me. Initially I wasn't going to run the Bermuda Half Marathon in 2018 because I wanted to give myself a break from training but I see now the grand design in having been offered an invitational entry to run it again.

I also made significant changes in my life this past July as I broke the habit of being myself in a significant relationship with the massage therapist I was working with at the time. When I first started working with Dr. Lizzie in July, I was filled with hope and healing, knowing that I'd found someone with whom I can partner to go the distance on my healing journey.

My memorized self slowly emerged from the changes happening in my life and crossing the river of change with fear at my back (an expression from Dr. Joe) and being able to fully embrace the healing that happens in the treatment room with Dr. Lizzie became more and more challenging.

And then .... last night happened!

At first I didn't see how it was going to be possible to attend the live stream since I am the one who cooks dinner and provides support to our daughter when she gets home from her intensive outpatient therapy program. Initially I fell right into the victim role because as Dr. Joe reminds us we get addicted to those old feelings.

And then I decided that participating in this live stream was critical to my health and well being. I was able to ask Tom to come home early. Both Tom and Ruth Anne were so encouraging of me participating in the event.

Hearing the stories of those who healed themselves ignited the fire within me to go the distance on my healing journey.

The meditation filled my body and Being with hope, with love, with light and getting me unstuck from my identity as a survivor of polio and trauma and the mother of a daughter who struggles with mental health.

I had the best night's sleep that I've had in a very very long time after watching the live stream and doing the meditation. During the meditation, the tremors that I usually experience stopped completely. After noticing the stillness, I imprinted those sensations into my memory and then kept my attention focused on Dr. Joe's guidance.

This morning we had a discussion about when to do groceries. We had been very mindful about energy conservation for me especially as we add miles to our long runs.

To transform the memorized self of a survivor of polio and trauma, one who is prone to fatigue and injury, I knew that I needed to go do the groceries. I drove by the handicapped spot (I often use my HP placard to conserve energy) and said, "I don't need that anymore. I'm healed."

In the middle of the grocery store I thought about the attendees at Dr. Joe's workshop dancing. I've seen and experienced that energy before during his Project Coherence meditation two years ago. It seems that Dr. Joe's streaming events come into my life at the perfect moment.

I felt as though I wanted to dance. I felt light in my body and on my feet (as opposed to the heaviness I'd been experiencing in recent weeks) and imagined myself running free at the pace of a 12 minute mile.

I put away the groceries with ease. For the first time in several months I felt joy and freedom and overwhelming gratitude after having released emotion and conditions to a Higher Mind during last night's meditation.

I'll be watching the replay of the event and doing the meditation throughout the weekend. I am so excited that Dr. Joe's new book, "Becoming Supernatural" will be arriving in a few weeks AND I just learned that his live teleclass each month is only $9.99/month.

Life can sometimes try to stop us in our tracks....and then, when our hearts are open to possibility and our intention for healing has been set (for me ten years ago after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome!) the Universe delivers whatever we need to go the distance. I'm so excited for another 10 mile run tomorrow on the road to Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Three months from tomorrow is race day!

To going the distance with strength and courage
From my heart to yours,
Mary

Be sure to listen to my interview with Keith Cartwright, "From Polio Survivor to Boston Marathon Finisher" by following this link.

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, October 12, 2017

Run Bermuda! Run Happy! A Stirring in my Soul

Another week of training in the books on the road to Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Three months from today we will in Bermuda! Part of this feels so surreal because Tom and I had resigned ourselves to taking a break from Bermuda this year. I was going to take a longer break before training for another Half Marathon and we were exploring other race destinations. But as so often happens in my life, God stepped in and extended an invitational entry to Bermuda Marathon Weekend from the Race Director himself, Anthony Raynor. To seal the deal and talk about Bermuda Marathon Weekend, he and Clarence 'Stoker' Smith (who wooed us and won us over at the 2016 Finish at the 50 5K) came by for lunch this summer while they were in town:


The weeks are flying be and we (Team McManus) find ourselves in the rhythm of success as we set our sights on the finish line of the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon.

Saturday we repeat one more double digit run - 10 miles - and then very slowly build mileage by .5 mile every other week until we reach 12.5 miles on December 16th. Then we go into taper mode. So far we have been blessed by the weather gods. This Saturday's forecast has changed from rain to cloudy and 71. We've learned to not change our long run day based on the weather because we need to mentally be ready for whatever the day brings; although I am imagining a perfect running weather day for Bermuda Marathon III.

I am continuing to focus on mental preparation along with the physical preparation of a five day a week training cycle. I remind myself that the normal sensations of training for 13.1 can be somewhat magnified for me given my history of paralytic polio and trauma but I also remind myself that I am healthy, whole and strong fully capable of going the distance.



I made a very significant change in my life back in July. As a follow up to this change and keeping everything aligned in my life, I cleaned out photos and disconnected from FB friends that were a part of my old role. I was making way for the new which is already flowing freely into my life!


Wonderful and wondrous connections are happening and the circle of like minded and like hearted friends is growing with the loving and tender hand of God weaving a wonderful tapestry for us all.

Through Keith Cartwright, who recently interviewed me for his podcast TwoTim47, I met Keri Jacobs on line. She is the co-founder of 22 Too Many. A powerful connection for me given that I worked for almost 20 years as a VA social worker.

22 Too Many is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that cares deeply and passionately about our nations military community. Through various events, we seek to serve as a living memorial, reduce the stigma by increasing public knowledge and awareness of PTS, share helpful resources, and provide support and comfort to the grieving families left behind.


It just so happens that she used to live in Bermuda and through a Facebook conversation stream, she shared that she will be running the Bermuda Triangle Challenge in January!

As my village grows and I was culling my Facebook photos, I felt a stirring in my soul!

I was taken back to special moments from Bermuda Marathon Weekends I and II.

The moment we put a name and number to Denise McMillan with whom we've remained friends through Facebook since January 2016:



Tom and I at the start of the race 2017:


A photo from TabFoto of Tom and me out on the course and this lovely photo with our dear friend Thomas Glave who we met in 2016 and who stayed at our Hotel in 2017. He told me how much I inspired him and we ran the beginning of the race together. He will return for his Bermuda Marathon Weekend III:


From Bermuda Marathon I - Tom captured these special moments at Mile 11 and Mile 13; Race Director Anthony Raynor took time out of his busy duties as R.D. to take the finish photo of us that I'd imagined in my mind's eye thousands of times during our training:


I got goosebumps all over again as I happened upon the photo of Jamie-Lee Wright, my angel at mile 12 in Bermuda II, helping me get to the finish, this photo of Tom and me coming into the finish line and our triumphant finisher photo after my brief stint in the medical tent:


My news feed is now being filled with stories of first time marathoners, inspirational journeys on the roads and in life and Keith's podcasts along with his blog and Patreon patrons only videos bring love, light and faith to my world.

Today and tomorrow are rest and recovery days from physical training and the perfect time to continue that all important mental and spiritual preparation as we get ready to toe the starting line on 1/14/18.

Just as I did before I wrote the poem "Running the Race," I feel a stirring in soul; a powerful connection to the Divine within and all around me. I am so excited for all the wonder and magic that continues to unfold in my life as I write these next chapters of my life.


To going the distance with strength and courage
From my heart to yours,
Mary

Be sure to listen to my interview with Keith Cartwright, "From Polio Survivor to Boston Marathon Finisher" by following this link.

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):