Saturday, April 29, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The Anticipatory Joy of Healing! Focus on the Healing Not on the Wound!

Ever since the diagnosis of Post-Polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards ten years ago, I have been on a quest to heal my life from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

Creating a new reality began with my writing poetry starting with the poem, "Running the Race" in February of 2007 as I faced a grim diagnosis, a poor prognosis and an uncertain future in life and in my career as an award winning social worker at the VA.

I did a wonderful job harnessing the power of my imagination through writing poetry to create a new reality for myself seeing myself running unencumbered and free, practicing an attitude of gratitude, allowing joy to flow AS IF everything I yearned for - reclaiming my life unshackled from the pain of my past - was in existence in my current reality. I was in a leg brace, using a wheelchair at times for mobility; had never run a day in my life and was experiencing chronic pain and fatigue. I was depressed and anxious but when I wrote poetry I lived in the world I wanted to experience.

I worked so hard to heal mind, body and soul from the ravages of having contracted paralytic polio at age 5 followed by 9 years of unrelenting abuse and torture at the hands of family members beginning at the age of 8 years old. I sought out healers and did my absolute best to take the best of what they could offer me but everything fell short especially after the added stress of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/2011 and the traumatic events of 4/15/13.

A very serious knee injury turned into the greatest blessing of my life! All that I set forth in motion through the power of my pen, my Divining Rod for healing began to manifest in the wake of that knee injury in December of 2014.

First I met a chiropractor healer, Dr. Ryan J. Means. He was the one who urged me to read Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, "You Are the Placebo," Candace Pert, Ph.D.'s book, "Everything you need to know to feel Go(o)d" and to watch the movie, "What the bleep do we know...."

It was exactly what I needed!

Shortly after meeting Dr. Ryan and experiencing his gift of healing as a chiropractor, I was led to Jeffrey Spratt,MT who pioneered his very own method of muscular therapy aptly named the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. His philosophy of massage therapy is:

His tagline: Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life!

As I shared with him how I was using the teachings of Dr. Joe, Candace Pert, What the bleep do we know! and Bernie Siegel, MD who was my original partner on this healing journey many many years ago he reinforced those teachings and my beliefs with the power of his positive therapeutic touch!

I told him how I don't focus on the pain in my knee that had been injured but interpret every pain as a sign of healing. He suggested the image for an old house that makes creaky kinds of sounds. If you are not familiar with the sounds the house makes, you can freak out or you can just say, "Oh it's okay - it's just the furnace." Jeffrey's warm hands and compassionate presence guide my mind, body and soul to heal from the past and from whatever stress life happens to throw my way in the present.

I had a wound on my nose that wouldn't heal - for years - and it would scab over and bleed and swell up and then scab over again. Jeffrey used energy healing on my face and I would share with him the emotional and physical pain of the origin of that wound. It seemed as though one day the wound suddenly healed. I loved when I asked Jeffrey if he noticed it had healed and he said, "Well I notice that I am not noticing it anymore."

When I was recovering from the polio virus (and I'd been initially paralyzed from the neck down), the physical therapy and rehab focused on getting me out of a leg brace and being able to walk again. My weakened arms were never a focus for healing. I could not tell my physiatrist or physical therapist about the brutality I suffered every night. When Jeffrey and I first partnered together and he would work with my arms, I cried saying, "I don't know what I'm supposed to do with my arms." He tenderly replied with, "Just let them be. Let me take care of them. You don't have to do anything. These are your arms. You can reclaim them now."

After clearing out a lot of the emotional and physical pain that was held in my arms, we are now focusing on healing my arms and hands; building new neuromuscular connections and allowing the pain from the past to surface and be healed. There is pain in this process of growth of new neuromuscular connections. It takes incredible focus for me to cue myself to remember to use my whole arms now and to visualize the connections that Jeffrey stimulates during our weekly treatments. He has these incredible techniques that he uses to stimulate integration, wholeness and heal the energy breaches from rape and assaults.

There is also exhilaration to experience the transformation and the easing of the pain focusing on the healing not on the wounds!

I feel this incredible stirring in my soul to experience this power of creation and transformation from a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma to a whole, healthy, vibrant, radiant woman being able to now heal.

As I said to Jeffrey two weeks ago, "I could probably go to a doctor and get a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or a resurgence of the cervical spine disease that caused radiating pain down my arm or carpel tunnel syndrome that was diagnosed on an EMG 10 years ago and nerve damage from the initial polio virus or some kind of "itis" in my elbow. Instead, I choose to harness the power of Divine Intelligence within me, allow your hands to guide my body to heal and to completely fall in love with and trust in the process." Whenever I begin to doubt and there are times when the pain is quite intense, I think about that wound on my nose and remember how Dr. Joe healed the fractures in his spine after a devastating accident - yet an accident that would define his life's purpose and his work.

Having the goal of running my 3rd CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon is also a powerful stimulant for healing and leaves me with little time to focus on the pain and the wounds. Instead I experience the anticipatory joy of feeling only the soreness that comes with training, being able to get stronger and continue to build confidence memorizing this new self healed from the pain and horror of the past.

Go the distance with strength and courage!

Be sure to visit my newly designed website at

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!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The healing power of kindness, caring and compassion!

In December of 2016, Lady Gaga revealed that she is working very hard to overcome the trauma of a sexual assault that happened to her when she was 19 years old. She wrote an Open Letter about her struggles.

She said that the most powerful medicine in the world is words - kind words - positive words. There is powerful medicine in giving and receiving kindness, caring and compassion which is why she started the Born This Way Foundation.

As soon as I read Lady Gaga's Open Letter about her PTSD, I reached out to the Born This Way Foundation and shared my journey in healing the effects of severe childhood trauma and paralytic polio through my partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT.

When I told Jeffrey about the Kickoff for Kindness Campaign spearheaded by the Born This Way Foundation for Super Bowl Sunday, he was all in. We offered a 20 Minute ShakeOut (TM) Massage for only $20 or a savings of $20 on a massage therapy session that was 30 minutes or longer. I supported the campaign across social media outlets because it felt so good to practice kindness and giving back to clients of Spratt Muscular Therapies while bringing awareness to the work of Born This Way Foundation.

I was surprised and delighted when I received a Facebook message from the Foundation saying that they wanted to gift me a T-shirt as a way of saying thank you for my support of the Foundation in social media and for practicing kindness the way we do at Spratt Muscular Therapies.

In her Open Letter, Lady Gaga added a note from her psychologist:
It is my opinion that trauma occurs in an environment where your feelings and emotional experience are not valued, heard and understood. The specific event is not the cause of traumatic experience. This lack of a “relational home” for feelings is the true cause of traumatic experience. Finding support is key.

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., renowned trauma expert speaks to the importance of having a compassionate presence in the wake of a traumatic event.

Jeffrey and I are conducting a research study on "The Efficacy of the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy in Trauma Recovery." It is the combination of the power of positive, quality, innovative, therapeutic touch with Jeffrey's compassionate presence that facilitates the healing of the trauma.

Dr. Murthy, the 39th Surgeon General of the United States reminds us that "We forget some of the oldest medicines are love and compassion."

Giving and receiving - being in the flow of kindness, caring and compassion heals ourselves and can heal the world.

Please be sure to visit the Born This Way Foundation website and see how you can get involved to help create a kinder and braver world.

Go the distance with strength and courage!

Be sure to visit my newly designed website at

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!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Reclaim Life After Trauma: The New Normal! Ten Years Later....

Life as I had known it came to a screeching halt in December of 2006. I was an award winning social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs, poised to retire in three years. I had a wonderful marriage and had raised our twins. But … the years of neglecting my body...the chinks in my defense system to manage the trauma I suffered for 9 years just 3 years after contracting paralytic polio at the age of 5 were crumbling.

The limp from polio returned. I had difficulty swallowing and breathing. Everything hurt mind, body and soul. I soldiered on to get to work every day and care for our veterans and their families. It was a slow, subtle onset of symptoms that I ignored for almost 10 years until everything was crying out for healing. When I found my way to Spaulding Rehab’s International Rehab Center for Polio and Post Polio, I was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome and told that I should prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, adapt my Cape home or move to a ranch, get a sleep apnea machine; that I might need a feeding tube and had to be on a semi-solid food diet using chin tucks when I ate, drinking liquids through a straw to avoid aspiration into my lungs, and that if I had any hope of stabilizing these symptoms where they were I must quit my job at the VA and go on disability. I turned to prayer asking for Divine Guidance as I had during the trials and tribulations of my life. What's a social worker to do? How will I ever find my way out of the dark night of my mind, body and soul?

The answer came first in the form of poetry in the cadence of Dr. Seuss that my physical therapist read to me before every painful physical therapy session as I worked to recover after contracting paralytic polio at the age of 5. The first poem I wrote? "Running the Race,” a poem that foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run as a mobility impaired runner. I quit my job on May 25, 2007 to heal my life. At the time I had no idea what that meant. I feverishly wrote poems about gratitude, health, healing and wholeness asking the question how would I ever reclaim my life and yearning to live and run unencumbered and free. My imagination was ignited to see myself as I wanted myself to be; healthy and whole free from the shackles of the effects from paralytic polio and trauma. How would I ever bridge the gap between what I saw and felt in my imagination and physical reality?

In December of 2014, I suffered a serious knee injury that was a blessing in disguise. It took 8 years of searching but I was finally led to a chiropractor, Ryan J. Means, DC or Dr. Ryan as he likes to be called and muscular therapist, Jeffrey Spratt, MT who believed in the body’s natural capacity to heal through the power of positive quality touch. Since April of 2015 I have had a quantum leap of healing mind, body and soul.

As Jeffrey explains, when we experience trauma, our bodies dump 31 chemicals into our system to prepare us for fight or flight. These chemicals along with the traumatic events leave an imprint. If not treated and healed, these get layered over and fossilized. Through the power of positive quality touch using the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy that Jeffrey pioneered, Jeffrey and I unearth AND heal these traumatic memories. In my first treatment with Jeffrey he said to me, “I want you to run unencumbered.” The tag line for his practice? Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life!

In trauma survivors, there is a build up of toxic imprints stored in the muscles and fascia. It’s an unhealthy toxic cocktail when these imprints buried deeply out of awareness meet stressful life situations in the present. As Jeffrey uncovers and gets rid of the toxins embedded in the muscles and fiber of my body through his innovative method of muscular therapy, the external stress no longer has the same impact on me. I am more aware of my reactions and can temper my responses to stress. As a trauma survivor, before partnering with Jeffrey, I went from stimulus to reaction without having the ability to pause!

Working with Jeffrey to heal trauma is a process of mental and emotional release through physical action. Layer by layer, with each treatment, the imprints are touched, brought into awareness, cleared and transformed. Triggers may remain but do not result in tonic immobility (fright) or hypervigilance and need to take action (flight). With the physical removal of the toxins and the metabolic waste that was a byproduct of the original trauma, new neural patterns can be created. Jeffrey and I are healing the physicality that once limited me.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, beatings, torture rituals at the hand of my psychotic grandmother and neglect from my mother who was addicted to prescription pain medication, I dissociated from my body in order to survive. I paid a steep price for disowning my body. All the Post-Polio symptoms I was suffering with were a result of all the gunk that built up in my body and was shutting everything down. When you unblock the body you unlock the mind and unleash the person’s human potential that was arrested by the trauma. What happens in the treatment room gets carried into my daily life. I can negotiate triggers by remembering the warmth and nurturing that happened during the treatment. Triggers that used to unnerve me for a day or days at a time without any awareness of their origins, now pass through me after I discern that they are only a memory from the past. With the awareness that is created in the safety of the treatment room and with the safe, trusting relationship with Jeffrey, I can negotiate the residuals of trauma with much greater ease. Energy once blocked and used to defend myself against the horrors of my past is now free to be used to live a vibrant, healthy life. It's a painful process but it's a good pain; a pain that signals healing and creates positive momentum rather than stagnation and repetition of patterns that are the hallmark symptoms in the wake of trauma. It's a pain that something positive is happening and pain that inevitably accompanies transformation and growth.

While many think of a new normal as adapting to a level of functioning less than what the person previously enjoyed, my new normal is experiencing life in a way that I only imagined in my poetry.

I am now able to embrace the skills that helped me to survive: organization, vigilance - paying attention to details without it crossing over into hypervigilance, planning, multi-tasking without having it cross over into OCD and can recognize when the echoes of trauma are affecting my reaction. I can right the ship and steer myself into the present. My mind is sharp and the trauma brain fog is cleared. I experience strength and honor for all that I have overcome rather than feeling less than because I am a survivor of childhood rape, torture and physical beatings. I can regulate my nervous system. The chronic fatigue and pain are gone and I'm back to endurance running - getting ready to run my third CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon next January.

Jeffrey's warm hands, tender heart and compassionate presence help me to create the miracle of healing in my life!

My body chemistry is changing. Research has shown that massage therapy stimulates the production of serotonin and endorphins and diminishes levels of cortisol. With this specialized method of muscular therapy, the core memories are being explored and expressed. Rather than just experiencing the rawness of it all as often happens in talking therapy, Jeffrey is providing the physical and emotional comfort so a new attachment to the file of the memory occurs. I experience what Peter A. Levine calls, “the completion of the action” I could not experience at the time of the traumatic event so my body can restore itself to its natural state of goodness. Just think of the movie "Inside Out"!

Jeffrey’s hands and heart help me to create the masterpiece of my life. He helps me to polish my once tarnished mirror so I can see myself as I was always meant to be experiencing this wondrous and wonderful new normal. Coping strategies and skills that I developed to survive can now be harnessed without the burden of trauma attached to them. Coming home after living in the war zone of my youth, healing mind, body and soul from the effects of the one two punch of paralytic polio and trauma, and living a new normal is the greatest gift in my life. As Dr. Peter A Levine said, “Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods!”

Go the distance with strength and courage!

Be sure to visit my newly designed website at

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!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The Healing Power of Goals

My goals after the 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon was to take some time off from training for a Half Marathon again, focus on the Hyannis 10K next February and then do a Half Marathon in the Fall of 2018.

But the Universe had other ideas .... and I sure am glad!

I have a goal - to run my 3rd CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon in January 2018. It's a goal that moves me to set the alarm for an early morning run with Tom - and I mean early morning run to continue to build a solid running base and do the mental training to run in any kind of weather. Whatever the weather outside and whatever the weather inside of myself!

You can read about how this goal manifested itself in my blog, Run Bermuda! Run Happy!

My goals are not about time and PR's anymore.

In Sunday's Run for the Troops 5K, it felt wonderful to not feel the pressure that used to spontaneously erupt about feeling left behind; residue from having to lug a heavy leg brace after contracting paralytic polio and working so very hard to not feel left out. I ran from the inside out without regard for the time on the clock and had the best time running with the pack enjoying the challenge. I was able to enjoy the neighborhoods we ran through and connecting with friends out on the course.

My goals are about endurance, going the distance and enjoying the journey.

Of setting goals that are just right to challenge me but not place me at risk for injury or leave me feeling miserable in the process of trying to attain them.

Training for 13.1 miles is a challenge for anyone but especially me whose body has been through so much! As much as I've been through, I have also been incredibly blessed to partner with Jeffrey Spratt,MT who knows just how to work with me and my body to prevent injury, heal the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and support me through training to go the distance!

Jeffrey and I are breaking ground together; blazing a trail where no one has ever been before. Anyone diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome experiences either a stabilization of diminished functioning at best as a result of the initial polio virus or a decline in functioning as one ages. He had the courage to blaze a trail in the muscular therapy community with his Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy; I've had the courage to blaze a trail in healing trauma and Post-Polio Syndrome by going through the pain that accompanies healing.

I thought I would be a Bermuda Half Marathon once and done kinda gal once I checked it off of my bucket list but then we decided to go for my second CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon. It was a rough race and one in which I learned many lessons that I will bring with me as I train for and get ready to run my third CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon.

By healing both the effects of paralytic polio and trauma, clearing out the gunk that accumulated as a result of polio and trauma we are simultaneously healing the wounds and building a new infrastructure to allow me to train better and to run more efficiently with much more joy.

Rather than put pressure on myself to exceed limits, I allow myself to move forward and meet and embrace challenges that make sense for me and my body right now.

Having the goals of training for and running my 3rd CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon and then running the Hyannis 10K in February with no pressure for time goals allows my mind and body to heal from the ravages of polio and trauma while facilitating healing as I move beyond what would have been expected with the diagnosis of PTSD and Post-Polio Syndrome ten years ago.

Ahhh - the healing power of goals!

To going the distance with strength and courage!

Be sure to visit my newly designed website at

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!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Race Report Run for the Troops 5K - The icing on the cake!

I am deeply grateful for the gift of running in my life! I came to the sport late in life and ran my first marathon - the 2009 Boston Marathon at the age of 55! It's been a very Forrest Gump kind of journey....

When good friends get together for a great cause and you have absolutely perfect running weather, you know it's going to be a great day!

I had not run a race since the 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon. I learned so many lessons during that race that I was able to apply during yesterday's Run for the Troops 5K.

Team McManus ran as part of the Merrimack Valley Striders team:

Our relationship with the Striders dates back to February 2009 when I met Ric Beaudoin who was enthralled with my journey on the road to the Boston Marathon. He brought me into the fold of the MVS running Club and L Street Running Club. I've been blessed to be the guest speaker at both Clubs sharing my journey from the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome to the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond!

As a sidebar, after yesterday's race, I saw Steve Cooper with whom I shared the mic at an MVS meeting back in 2010:

Back to the race report....There was so much pre-race excitement and festivities that I did not have time to experience pre-race jitters until right before it was gun time.

We met up with Alan Dyer, Fisher House Boston's Boston Marathon runner and fundraiser extraordinaire and his son:

and one of the members of MVS snapped this photo of us with Lyn Licciardello, the wife of MVS' founder Tom Licciardello:

We got to meet one of our dear Facebook friends, Jacqui Kennedy in real life!

You can feel the joy of what happens when running family gets together at a race!

There were bagpipes and a parade to honor our military heroes:

As we were walking toward the starting line I felt those familiar pre-race butterflies. Tom reassured me that those were completely normal and healthy; everyone gets them he reassured me.

My pre-race jitters tended to have an extra kick to them as a survivor of paralytic polio. Memories of lugging a leg brace and being left behind along with the taunts and jeers of cruel children before disability awareness was a thing plagued me. It was deeply ingrained into my body and Being. Running the 2009 Boston Marathon surely helped with my transformation but it's something that comes up at every starting line.

I realized how, in Bermuda, with the announcement of a 4 hour time limit for the Bermuda Half Marathon this year, I pushed myself and raced when I didn't have to because the finish line would be open for the marathoners. In addition, I knew the Race Director and knew he wouldn't have denied me a medal or acknowledging my finish if I went over 4 hours!

But old habits and beliefs die hard ... until you have a race like yesterday's Run for the Troops 5K.

It was an incredibly crowded field with a lot of slower paced runners at the middle and back of the pack. There was no way I could go out too fast or have that memory kick up inside of me of seeing everyone take off and leave me in the dust. I've done a lot of mental training to heal that memory but it's funny how quickly it can rear its head. After yesterday's race in combination with receiving an invitational entry to the Bermuda Half Marathon 2018, that wound is beautifully healing!

It was exhilarating to see runners ahead of me and feel that I was running with the pack. I was able to push my pace and then back down when I needed to. What a joy to run from the inside out without pressure for a specific time.

What a joy to run side by side with some of my Strider family. Robin Lynn was pushing her daughter Molly in the stroller. There were other Striders who were running in our part of the pack and it was wonderful to share some conversation and the joy of running with them. It was a challenging course and a little after mile 2 there was a hill with 248' elevation. I was able to charge up the hill without stopping and only had a +.03 split on my pace. I was able to listen to my body and knew I had to bring my heart rate down after the concerted effort on the hill. For my last mile I had a -0.42" split. My pace was the best pace I'd had in over a year and with the hills I was very pleased with my time and how I ran the race.

I finished 39/67 in my age group, 60-64 years old!

Here's Team McManus at the finish:

I have a new appreciation for who I am as a runner. I am running for health and use the sport of running to run for great causes. I run for joy. What a gift to have contracted paralytic polio and then endure 9 years of unrelenting violence and then be diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome having been told I'd spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I appreciate everything I am able to do! I run for health and to see just what this 63 year old body can do after all I've been through!

Every step of running unencumbered and free is a gift! I am deeply grateful to Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. Every week for the past two years, Jeffrey's warm hands and compassionate presence help me to clean out the gunk from paralytic polio and trauma and his incredible skill and loving care guides my body to heal!

So many things I love about running and training but I must agree with Bill Rodgers who says that racing is the icing on the cake.

To your health and wellness,

Be sure to visit my newly designed website at

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!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Running for a Cause - Run For the Troops 5K

Run for the Troops 5K

An event to honor our Military and raise funds to address the needs of injured soldiers. Our donations help build homes designed for the specific injury of soldiers, other donations help combat veterans with PTSD issues.

Run for the Troops 5K – Sunday April 23rd, 2017
Most runners don’t go to most races for the cause but this event is different. This cause is one you can see the results of now. You helped us fund new homes for Joey, Josh, Kevin, Matt, Hans, and Christopher.
Now it’s Roger’s turn.

One of the things I love about running and being a part of the running community is that we run for causes. Tomorrow, Team McManus is going to lace up our running shoes for causes so very near and dear to our hearts - Veterans, Emergency Responders and their families. I was privileged and blessed to work with veterans and their families for almost 20 years at the VA. Tom's family served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I still have a powerful connection to the veteran community and Jeffrey Spratt,MT dedicates a lot of his work as an innovative muscular therapist to helping Veterans and Emergency Responders heal the wounds of trauma through the power of positive quality touch.

Tomorrow we run for those who are ready to make the ultimate sacrifice every day for our freedom.

Tomorrow we run to help give back just a fraction of what they and their families give to us each and every day.

Tomorrow we run with our running family as part of the Merrimack Valley Striders.

Tomorrow we run to help create better tomorrows for those willing to lay down their lives for our safety and freedom every day!

Come walk/run with us! There will be race day registration and the weather is looking fine!

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!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! From "Easy Out Alper" to an Invitational Entry to Bermuda: A Three-Peat!

When I was working at Booth 2828 at the Boston Marathon Expo with Ken and Nell Posmer, creators, founders, CEO and the force behind Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, Inc., a man wore a T-Shirt that said, "I was picked last in gym class...1970" and on the back, "But I've run the Boston Marathon 7 times." I wish I would have taken a picture of him and his T-shirt. I went over to him and we had a lovely conversation about starting to run later in life and the exhilaration of having run the Boston Marathon. When I shared my story with him, he was enthralled. We hugged and I wished him well in his Boston Marathon run.

In December of 2014, I thought I was going to be out of the sport of running. The MRI from a very serious knee injury indicated that I had no gastroc muscle on my left leg as a result of having contracted paralytic polio as a child, bone spurs, degenerative changes from reconstructive leg surgery, hardware removal, and 3 arthroscopic surgeries, a fatty lipoma, a torn cartilage and osteoarthritis. I was surrounded by a massage therapist, a physiatrist, a PT, PT assistants in the Aquatics Therapy program at Spaulding Rehab and fellow patients in the Aquatics Therapy class all of whom told me I was crazy to ever consider running again.

At first I surrendered and acquiesced to those messages and then I got mad...and then I got a plan.

I'd been feverishly writing poetry asking the Universe how will I ever reclaim my life and yearning to run unencumbered and free. "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life" (available on Amazon) is an anthology of all my poetry since beginning my quest to heal my life from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

Well the Universe had a plan... First I met Ryan J. Means, DC, a chiropractor healer who, in addition to telling me to set goals not limits, turned me onto the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Dr. Ryan primed the pump for me to receive the powerful healing innovative touch of Jeffrey Spratt,MT. His tag line which has become the battle cry for my blog and for my life is Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! His Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy has been unlike any therapy I have experienced in the past ... and believe me... I've been to a lot of so called therapists and healers.

Through partnering with Jeffrey and experiencing Dr. Ryan's long distance healing once he moved to China to practice, I have run two CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathons.

This year's Half Marathon took a toll on me in part because of race and road conditions but also because I was focused on the 4 hour time limit for the race. Of course, Race Director Anthony Raynor would not want me to stress over the so called time limit. The finish line is open for the Marathoners as well as the Half Marathoners and it's all about experiencing the beauty of the Island and enjoying the day and the entire weekend.

But I had echoes of Easy Out Alper in the back of my mind and did not pace myself given weather and road conditions.

I finished and, because of my training and partnering with Jeffrey, was able to have a quick recovery from the race.

I was able to finish thanks to the help of my life and running partner Tom and Jamie Lee Wright, an earth angel who honored the runner's code that day of leaving no runner behind.

When Anthony Raynor came to Booth 2828 at the Boston Marathon Expo, I had no idea that he was genuinely concerned about my 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon Experience. Being conditioned to being "Easy Out Alper" and given my 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon Experience, Tom and I decided that we needed to look elsewhere for a race-cation. I was planning to dedicate my training to the Hyannis 10K in February and then run a Fall Half Marathon.

Those plans quickly changed when Anthony offered me an invitational entry to the Bermuda Half Marathon in 2018, told us about the phenomenal rates that he had negotiated with the Race Weekend Host Hotel, The Fairmont Southampton Princess Resort and at Tom's urging, that I have an early start.

I've come a long way since those days in gym class when I was picked last, picked on and taunted and teased with "Easy Out Alper."

I am going to train my hardest and be the absolute best I can be for the Bermuda Half Marathon in 2018. Jeffrey is totally on board with helping me to continue to heal from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and support my training. Tom is excited to train and run by my side. I am so honored and blessed to have received an invitational entry to Bermuda Marathon Weekend! All the time pressure is off so that I can run from the inside out and enjoy the race as I did Bermuda Marathon Weekend 2016.

The third time is the charm! It's an incredibly exhilarating new goal to be training for a 3rd CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon. As my personal trainer said to me when I asked her if I could get a little stronger after being diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome in December of 2006, "Let's see what this body can do."

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!