Friday, April 21, 2017
Going the Distance: 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.
Through meditation, harnessing the power of belief 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 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. 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!