Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Who's the runner in this family?
When you walk into our humble home, the first things to catch your eye are our Blue Diamond Athletic Displays. They hold our precious bling that reminds Team McManus of our running adventures through the years.
Yesterday we had a new dishwasher installed. We always trust our plumbing needs to Boston Standard. When the "regulars" come to our house, they ask if we've run any new races or what's next in our training plan. When we get someone who hasn't been to our house before, they will always ask, "Who's the runner in this family?"
Yesterday was no exception. I love having the opportunity to share my journey. It reminds me of the road I have traveled these past 10 years! I love the responses I receive and how I inspire others with my determination and fiery spirit!
Last night I posted a teaser about this blog on Facebook:
Good evening beautiful friends. I'm working on a blog post for tomorrow but thought I'd give you a teaser....."Who is the runner in the family?" our plumber asked as he installed our new dishwasher today as he spied Nell Posmer's Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, INC., medal displays. "We all are," I replied and went on to share with him my inspirational journey! Our Blue Diamond Athletic Displays are a showcase and a conversation piece! To be continued....
It's easy to forget the miracle of my healing and what I have accomplished until a moment like that happens especially when I have my eye on the next prize - my third consecutive Bermuda Half Marathon!
Yet it is so very important to take a pause and appreciate how far I've come!
My Bermudian runner earth angel, Jamie-Lee Wright saw my Facebook post and said, "Wow! Boston!" with an emoji of an arm making a muscle symbolizing strength.
Yes indeed - wow Boston! I came out of a leg brace after being told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and expect to be on a steady decline given the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome. Instead I foreshadowed my Boston Marathon run with the poem, "Running the Race":
Running the Race
Early summer 1959 my kindergarten year
everyone around me filled with nervous fear
despite the Salk vaccine hope polio would disappear
the polio virus crept right up and knocked me in the rear.
Dancing all around the gym feeling free just like a bird
I dropped to the ground just like a stone and no one said a word.
The pain it was so searing-the diagnosis even worse
"It's polio" the doctor said...he was abrupt and terse.
Called one of the 'lucky ones' I had a 'mild case'
but with the other athletes I could never keep their pace.
Miss Holly physical therapist, curly hair and a warm, broad smile
it tempered the pain of being apart - to walk I'd take awhile.
I always wore those 'special' shoes the kids they poked and teased
With no support and much abuse with childhood I wasn't pleased.
But put nose to the grindstone and learned all that I could
I couldn't kick a ball but my grades were always good.
Years went by and no more thought to polio did I give
I accepted the limp and everything else and decided my life I would live.
But symptoms of weakness and muscle pain did grow
I kept a stoic face hoping no one else would know.
Life no longer was my own I struggled through each day
Suffered in silence, isolated from friends- trying to keep depression at bay.
And with the grace of glorious God my world it opened wide
I discovered there was a Post Polio team and they were on my side.
Using wheelchair to travel, set limits on what I could do,
resulted in joy to realize I could live life anew.
Celebrated my body- creaks, groans and need for a brace
While in my mind I focused on winning a 10K race.
Sought out paths for healing and my spirit flew free
for the first time in life, I could truly be me.
The chains are gone and possibilities abound
I'm a tree with my roots planted firmly in ground.
I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
So much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.
Ten years ago as I contemplated an uncertain future having just left my award winning career as a VA social worker to "heal my life" "Who's the runner in this family?" was a most improbable if not impossible question. Now the answer is - we all are. Team McManus on the road to the Bermuda Half Marathon 2018!
To going the distance with strength and courage!
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):