Friday, May 26, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! On Running, Speaking My Truth and Loving My Life!



Having been so severely battered and bruised as a child after contracting paralytic polio, I despised my body and loathed my life. In December of 2006 I had a wake up call after receiving the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. I was at a crossroads in my life and had to make a choice.

I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. The answer came in the form of a poem, "Running the Race" that foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run.

It was a profound challenge for me to dig deep and find the courage to put myself out there as a runner in my mid-50's. The wounds from being taunted and teased as a survivor of paralytic polio and the shame that accompanies rape and beatings were deep but the beauty of running is that those wounds are transformed through the unconditional love and acceptance by the running community of my journey.

It took a long time for me to find the courage to speak my truth about what happened to me.


Runners are an amazing tribe! When we hear inspiring stories we regale and celebrate the runner's accomplishments. There is no shame or shunning where the running community is concerned.

One of my inspirational Facebook friends, Melissa Betkowski Platt, posted a link to this article, "Someone called her fat and a fake runner and her response is perfect." The outpouring of support from the running community was overwhelming as well as her response to the hater's email.

On Sunday, Team McManus is heading to Hyannis to run the Michael Aselton 5K in Hyannis. Our daughter asked me what our race strategy is. She knows that sometimes we run to crush a race or I have a specific time goal in mind.

I told her that I want to go out and enjoy every footstep of the run. Next month we begin training for my third CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon and I want to focus on endurance and distance. Race Director Paul Collyer told me that he loves all paces during his Memorial Day Weekend races!

Yesterday I celebrated the 10th year anniversary of when I left my award winning career as a VA social worker to heal my life. I had no idea what that meant or what needed to be healed or how I would go about, as I wrote about in my poetry, reclaiming my life and running unencumbered and free.

I was so blessed to meet my Hero Healer, Dr. Ryan J Means in March of 2015!

Partnering with Jeffrey Spratt, MT during these past two years, I have been able to speak my truth unapologetically. With tears and trembling and through the power of positive therapeutic touch and compassionate presence, I discovered that it was the trauma stuck in my body combined with how my body did not have a chance to recover from paralytic polio that resulted in the symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome.

I found my way to Jeffrey in April of 2015, after a serious knee injury in December of 2014. Western Medicine told me that I needed a total knee replacement and that I needed to limit my running. They knew better than to tell me to stop running all together. Instead of a total knee replacement and limiting my running, I am running free and unencumbered living by the motto, "My race. My pace."

I have spoken my Truth and I no longer live in fear!



I am so blessed to be able to run and am so excited for this Sunday's 5K race. I am free! I have spoken my Truth. I am blessed and I am loving my life.



To going the distance with strength and courage!
~Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life


Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:


And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):


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