Friday, April 14, 2017
Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! One Boston Day 4-15-15 Reflections Two Years Later!
Tomorrow marks the 4 year anniversary of when time stood still at 2:49 pm on Boylston Street. I still clearly remember the chaos of that day with its indelible sights, sounds and smells. We were in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel celebrating our 2009 Boston Marathon run with our Spaulding Rehab Race for Rehab Team across from The Forum. We were spared so much that day yet were deeply affected by the events along with people in and around Boston and across the globe.
The one year anniversary was a day of solemn remembrance as emotional and physical wounds were still raw and so much healing needed to happen.
Mayor Marty Walsh declared April 15, 2015, One Boston Day.
It was to be a day of community, of service and a day to celebrate resilience. Through the survivor community, I was invited to be a part of the day as a social worker to help survivors and their families, as a survivor of 4/15/13, and as one who endured so much yet experienced remarkable resilience after contracting paralytic polio and experiencing severe childhood trauma.
I was on a healing path yearning to run and live my life free and unencumbered asking the question in my poetry, "How will I ever reclaim my life?"
In my poetry, I put out the call to the Universe for healers that would help me go the distance in healing from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. The massage therapist I was working with at the time was exacerbating the symptoms that I so desperately yearned to heal.
From Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance available on Amazon:
I left feeling stunned, a bit disoriented and stung. Joseph had given me a deeply relaxing massage and then, with total disregard for my needs, went on a rant about what HE needed in order to continue working with me. Sometimes the Universe has to hit us with a two by four in order to wake us up and redirect us to where we need to be. I considered seeing other therapists in the practice but after the response I received from the owners of the practice and the lack of response I received via email from Joseph I decided that I needed to put out the call to the Universe for a new massage therapist. At 4 in the morning the day before One Boston Day I was moved to see who would be volunteering for chair massage. The Universe was orchestrating everything as it was meant to be. I checked the flyer and there it was “Chair Massage – Jeff Spratt”. I googled him and went to his website. “Oh my goodness he’s on the Cape. Oh no that’s just where he does part of his CISM work. What is CISM anyway? Oh he’s trained in trauma. Where is his practice? Oh in the Seaport Hotel. Oh gosh I’d have to mortgage the house to pay for him. Oh here are the rates. Oh wow that’s what I am paying now.”
I managed to fall back to sleep for a few hours and decided I would take a leap of faith and make an appointment to see him.
“Wave Health and Fitness this is Roy speaking. How may I help you?”
He told me that I would be absolutely delighted that I chose to come to Spratt Muscular Therapies. He encouraged me to introduce myself to Jeffrey on One Boston Day. “He’s a tall guy with grey hair. You won’t be able to miss him,” he said. “And we’ll see you Sunday.”
I was blessed to share a table at Old South Church with Dr. Ryan who was offering free chiropractic consultation to survivors and families and providing education about wellness and chiropractic care. It was heart warming to spend the morning side by side with him. When the flow of people coming through slowed down, I asked Ryan if I could go upstairs and meet Jeffrey. “Of course go right ahead,” he said to me. “I’ll watch your side of the table.”
As I introduced myself he said, "Oh you're the one Roy asked me about." I asked Roy if Jeffrey used unscented products explaining that I had a sensitivity to scents and fragrances. “I don’t know,” Roy replied and quickly added, “I’ll ask him and get back to you within the hour.” Jeffrey warmly took my hand in his two hands and said what a pleasure it was to meet me. “How are you doing” he asked. I took a deep breath and told him I just needed to make it through the day. I told him where I was on Marathon Monday. He asked me if I wanted to get in the chair and I told him I needed to get back to my table. "We'll talk more about this when I see you on Sunday," he said to me and then said, "Let me give you a hug." It would be the first of many, many hugs shared between us.
We had no idea when we began working together the journey we would share. It was the beginning of a partnership blessed by the Universe to bring Jeffrey's powerful message of reclaiming life and reclaiming advantage through the power of positive touch; that no matter what happens to us we possess an inner strength and resilience to overcome whatever may happen to us. It marked the beginning of a new beautiful chapter in my healing in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma where I reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life and go the distance on the roads and in my life.
Jeffrey has won the American Small Business Championship for innovation and community service. He has helped me to rebuild my life and I have helped him to grow his small business touting the incredible healing I have experienced since partnering with him.
I have run two CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathons, traveling for the first time in many years in January of 2016 to Bermuda. I have run the Hyannis 10K and many 5K races. I train 5 days a week. Chronic pain and fatigue are gone. I realize the totality of the brutalization I experienced at the hands of family members while now experiencing the joy of healing. The once often debilitating symptoms of PTSD are now manageable even when tested by the inevitable challenges of life. We are writing a book, conducting a research study and spreading the good news that there is an innovative method of muscular therapy that changes the massage therapy experience for the client and values their time and money.
Jeffrey and I both gave of ourselves on One Boston Day 4-15-15 to serve others in need of healing. Two years later we are helping trauma survivors heal with Jeffrey's innovative Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, helping endurance athletes and all who come to Spratt Muscular Therapies to reclaim their advantage and reclaim their lives through the power of positive, quality, innovative touch.
It's amazing what good and positive outcomes can happen after tragedy!
To your health and wellness,
My latest book, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance" is available on Amazon.
Mary McManus knew challenges since she was five years old beginning with contracting polio followed by enduring nine years of violence at the hands of family members. Those early challenges prepared her for taking on the challenge of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in December 2006 when she was at the height of her award winning career as a social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Asking for Divine Guidance as she had throughout her trials and tribulations, she discovered the gift of poetry in her soul. Her first poem, “Running the Race,” foreshadowed her 2009 Boston Marathon run. “Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance,” chronicles Mary’s journey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma, as a runner and a woman who refused to quit. Eight years after her diagnosis, she was finally led to two healers, a chiropractor and a muscular therapist, who helped her reclaim her life and go the distance, a woman transformed who embodies the power of endurance.