Friday, March 17, 2017
Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! They said "No way!" I said "Watch me!"
In yesterday's blog post I talked about reclaiming my Spirit. I made reference to Eddie the Eagle who was told by everyone that he would never make it to the Olympics. I can't wait to watch the movie this weekend!
From the time I was 5 years old, I was receiving negative, rejecting messages from all around me. The people who were supposed to take care of me were hoping that I would die from the polio virus. Starting at the age of 8, unthinkable acts were perpetrated upon me. "You tell anyone and I'll kill you."
It is, as my partner in healing Jeffrey Spratt,MT so often says, a miracle that I made it through and that now I am just hitting my prime at age 63.
I did, however, have a moment of redemption in gym class. My nickname was Easy Out Alper (my maiden name). I was always the last pick. During kickball everyone moved in from the outfield taunting with Easy Out Alper. One day, it was a very movie like moment...after everyone moved in from the outfield, I connected with the ball. Bam...it went into the outfield only there was no one there to make the play so I scored a home run limping triumphantly around the bases!
Ten years ago I was given the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. No way should you even attempt to run. If you use it you will lose it. Something inside of me was literally and metaphorically burning to move. I couldn't accept what the doctors were telling me although I had no idea how I was going to get out of a toe up leg brace:
to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon.
All I said was "Watch me!"
Rewind to December 2014. An MRI showed degenerative changes in my knee joint from osteoarthritis and reconstructive leg surgery, bone spurs, a fatty lipoma and an atrophied gastroc muscle. No way should you run again - well we told you to not run in the first place. Come into the Post Polio Clinic again for a reevaluation. Let's see what we can do because you know this isn't going to get any better. The gastroc muscle is gone. We know that's what happens after polio. There's nothing you can do about it and that's why you have to be so careful. But I know you're gonna do what you're gonna do but just don't run any farther than 5 miles.
Okay I said for about a New York minute. I was about to affirmatively respond to the "No way" message until the Universe made it abundantly clear to me that this was not the path for me! A physical therapist from hell and a whole "Team" of people telling me no way. You're going to hurt yourself. You need a knee replacement. Cautionary tales and cautionary messages from even the massage therapist I was working with at the time.
Yes I was injured. I was not cross training and I was pushing myself way too hard. I did 9 races in 9 months. I wrote poetry with even greater fervor and as I look back on all the poems I wrote, I was conjuring up healers who would help me to go the distance in my healing journey liberated from the shackles of paralytic polio and trauma AND the beliefs that were embedded in the very fiber of my body and being.
I asked how would I ever reclaim my life and yearning to run unencumbered and free!
Yes Jeffrey it IS a miracle that I made it through but the miracle is that I met you. While once I had nay sayers at every turn and had to say "Watch me!" you asked me with great confidence "What leg are we rehabbing." You do epic stuff like Spartan Races and Sprint Triathlons that inspire me and got so excited when I told you that I was going to train for another Half Marathon and were with me every mile of the way. And then when I told you we were going to go back to Bermuda in 2017 you went on to celebrate that I was training for and would run my second CONSECUTIVE Half Marathon making sure I put the emphasis on CONSECUTIVE in all capital letters. And now I am laying the ground work to run my 2018 Half Marathon in Portland Maine.
Rather than having to say "Watch me!", you are telling me at every turn how I inspire you and you support and encourage all of my goals to heal the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. Now you watch me and Divine Love flows through you as every week we relieve the stress and tension of working full time, training 5 days a week and continuing to heal the once devastating effects of trauma.
It took great courage and strength to stand up to those who wanted to destroy me; to those who had limiting beliefs about what is possible. But through the power of my imagination, my strong faith, my pen - my Divining rod for healing and having been touched by grace I have been able to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life. Jeffrey says, "Way" at every turn and I say to the world Watch me now!
To your health and wellness,
Be sure to vote for Spratt Muscular Therapies in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest by following this link.
My latest book, 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance' is available on Amazon chronicling my journey to health and wellness as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma and a woman who refused to quit!