Thursday, April 13, 2017

Countdown to Boston: 8 Years Later - Still Running Strong

On Tuesday morning, Team McManus decided to don our 2009 Boston Marathon Shirts to go on our morning run.

It's hard to believe that was 8 years ago!

I get so nostalgic at this time of year remembering the series of events and the training that led up to our crossing the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon on April 20th!

From "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance" (available on Amazon):
Running? Mary McManus? aka "Easy Out Alper" (my maiden name) - um a rather unlikely combination to say the least. But not impossible despite all appearances to the contrary. After intensive, extensive outpatient rehab through Spaulding Rehab, writing poems, visualizing myself as healthy, whole and free in my body, quitting my stressful job as a VA social worker, and then hiring a personal trainer, I felt this urge inside of me.

At my six-month evaluation in February, I had dramatically improved in every area of the assessment. I had come out of my leg brace and I knew that I was on a healing path. Janine asked me what my next health and fitness goals were.

“Well I want to feel free in my body. I want to dance. I want to be able to walk outside and feel unencumbered when I take a walk.”

Janine wrote feverishly and we worked out a plan. She gathered up her belongings and had her hand on the doorknob.

“Wait. I have one more goal.”

Janine stopped and turned around.

“I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital. I know they have a Race for Rehab team and I want to do it next year.”

Janine was nonplussed. I don’t know what kept her from turning tail and getting as far away from me as she could. She came back into my house and put down her things. She said that the first thing I would need is a pair of running shoes. She told me that Marathon Sports on Beacon Street would be able to help me. She laid out a cursory training plan and said that we would begin indoors to build up my cardio endurance. As soon as the weather got a little warmer, we’d go outdoors and I would learn how to run.

And run I did crossing the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon.

The other day I realized - it's more than the miles. It's more than the time. I felt something shift inside of me. I felt what a gift it is to run. The gift of running is the ability to live fully in the present moment.

In December of 2014, after a serious knee injury, the massage therapist I was working with at the time, the instructors at Spaulding Rehab's Aquatics Therapy Center, the physiatrist at the Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio and Post-Polio and a physical therapist I was referred to all said that I would not, could not and should not run again.

I was about to comply with their recommendations - for about a minute - and then I got angry and then I got still asking for Divine Intervention.

Ryan J. Means, DC emphatically told me to set goals not limits and sure he would partner with me to get me back on the roads.

Two CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathons, a Hyannis 10K and a whole lot of 5K races later, I am still running strong!

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!

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