Sunday, May 7, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Running in the Rain - Celebrating Ten Years of Healing



When I was still in a leg brace, using a wheelchair at time for mobility 10 years ago, I had a dream about splashing in the puddles without my leg brace a la Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain.

That dream prompted me to write this poem included in my poetry book, "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life"


Come Out and Play
Arms flung open wide dancing in the rain
pure abiding joy to feel alive again
healing tears fall and blend in God’s puddle
no time to sit in a corner and huddle
all the old rules driven by fears
washed away now by God’s loving tears
the imprint dad left no longer remains
rain washes away all of the stains
baptized with love, Truth lights my way
the sun shines through on this rainy day
splashing and laughing my heart opens wide
embracing and flowing I’m one with the tide
God takes my hand release the old way
bathe in my glory come out and play!


In my youth, I never experienced the unbridled joy of splashing in puddles and running in the rain. Contracting paralytic polio at age 5 and then, 3 years later, experiencing unimaginable abuse and torture that went on for 9 years resulted in, what the trauma experts call, tonic immobility. I was stuck in my body unable to heal from paralytic polio and dissociated my mind from my body.

Tom and I saw yesterday's forecast but after being on the treadmill for a good part of the winter, we decided it was important to brave the elements - especially since temps were in the 60's.

It was a gloriously sloppy run around the Reservoir as we dodged mud puddles and experienced the waves of mist, drizzly rain and full on showers. There was magic to seeing the Reservoir poised for Spring, draped in fog and mist and imagining what verdant colors will burst forth once the sun shines again.

Here's our runfie once we were back home after completing 5 miles in the rain.



That's a Blue Diamond Medal Athletic Display in the background - Loving life one mile at a time!

Ten years ago I was told that I should adapt our Cape home, prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and to anticipate that the symptoms of difficulty swallowing, aspirating food, experiencing chronic pain and fatigue, depression and anxiety would only worsen as a result of Post-Polio Syndrome.

It was a wake up call for me to make some serious changes in my life. I took a leap of faith leaving my award winning career as a VA social worker just 3 years shy of retirement on May 25, 2007. For those of you doing the math - yes that was 10 years ago!

There have been peaks and valleys, trials, triumphs and tribulations.

In December of 2014, I experienced a serious left knee injury and was told I needed a total knee replacement, should stop running and really needed to get back to the Post-Polio clinic. The Universe and I had other plans. I found my way to Ryan J. Means, DC, an incredible chiropractor healer who helped me get back on my healing path to go the distance again and turned me onto the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza. I reconnected with Bernie Siegel's work again. We joke that I am a slow learner.

In April of 2015, I began a partnership with a master muscular therapist, Jeffrey Spratt,MT whose tag line is Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! through the power of positive quality therapeutic touch. We have been cleaning out the wounds of trauma, rehabbing and rebuilding new neuromuscular connections in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma and helping me to run long and strong - and to running in the rain celebrating ten years of healing!

Here's to the next 10 years!

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):


Mary McManus, MSW 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.

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