Friday, March 17, 2017
Going the Distance: 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."
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.
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 say to the world Watch me now!
To your health and wellness,
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!