Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! What's Next?

Nobody would have thought any the less of me if I was a DNF for the Bermuda Half Marathon. At last year's Hyannis Marathon Weekend pre-race pasta dinner, Bill Rodgers talked about his DNF's for Boston. He even quipped, "Has anyone here had more DNF's for Boston that I did. Sometimes a DNF is the smart thing to do."

At mile 10, I was listing to one side. At mile 11 I was cramping up. Shortly after mile 11, one of the volunteers preached to me right in my face. "The race is not for those who are swift. The race is for those who endure. You are the winner." He went on to infuse me with powerful energy from the Divine that I was going to finish the race set before me with endurance.

We met our angel at mile 12 and with the love and support of Tom and Jamie-Lee Wright out on the course:

and all the support and love coming from friends far and wide, I finished the race set before me with endurance.

Just when I thought my body could not possibly go another step, I dug deep and drew from that well of fiery determination that got lit in response to the beatings I suffered at the hands of my father. Even though I was only a teenager and had contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5 and from the ages of 8-13 I was sexually assaulted every night and then rape turned to nightly beatings, I stood up to him. I am so very blessed to unearth these treasures of my self through my weekly massage therapy sessions with Jeffrey Spratt, MT. Jeffrey was the one who pointed out to me that I kept getting up and would not allow him to ultimately beat me. I could not quit out on the Bermuda Half Marathon course for many reasons, one of which made Jeffrey smile when I told him after my session last week. "Our whole program was on the line. All the work we had done was on the line." What a powerful testament to the work we have done that this survivor of paralytic polio and trauma was able to cross the finish line of the Bermuda Half Marathon totally cramped up and triggered as a result of the race conditions.

Ten years ago I was in a very precarious situation following the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. My mind, body and soul were crying out for healing and the future looked rather grim. No one would have faulted me for yielding to what was happening in my body and accepting my fate of living the rest of my life in a wheelchair ultimately dependent on others for care. I could not and would not quit before the miracle happened.

Here is a photo of me as the caterpillar in December of 2007:

and then running the 2009 Boston Marathon:

Before partnering with Jeffrey, I could not experience the beauty and wonder of a complete healing and transformation being able to run and live unencumbered and free.

Crossing the finish line of my second CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon was a true test to see just how much healing and transformation has happened as I leave the effects of paralytic polio and trauma in the dust.

Which begs the question ... what's next?

As my friend Nicole asked me, "Will there be a threepeat?"

Yes but it won't be in Bermuda.

It's time for Team McManus to have a new adventure. Several of my running friends posted about their adventures in Key West which is the same weekend as Bermuda. There is absolutely no time pressure because they welcome walkers. Even with my cramping up and slowing down, my time was on par with the last person to finish in Key West. It's a flat course and I am presuming the roads are closed to traffic.

This is my off season time to get stronger and work on speed before adding on miles again beginning in July. I've already increased challenge in my core work and strength training work. Once I fully recover from the Half, I'll see what I can do to challenge myself on the Arc Trainer, the stationary bike and in the pool.

I feel good in my body now and am enjoying moving in my body. I want to see what this body can do - not so much in terms of external measurements but feeling "vibrant sore," a phrase that Jeffrey coined and feeling the best I can possibly feel in my body. This is a whole new starting line for me. I've done something I had not been able to do before - train for and run two endurance events within a year of one another.

There's no stopping me now!

What's next? A wonderful off season with a few shorter distance races; running for fun, health and wonderful causes. Cross training, strength training, swimming and learning how to enjoy and relish living in this earthly home reclaiming my life and reclaiming my advantage free from the shackles of my past!

To your health and wellness,

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