Thursday, July 27, 2017
Going the Distance: On Footstrikes and Freedom
These two quotes showed up on Facebook today inspiring me to reflect on the power of footstrikes - in running and in life.
As a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma, I've had difficulty putting my foot down with people. It was always a challenge for me to say yes to myself and no to another. I have trusted people and worked hard to see their goodness even when they were not allowing their goodness to be in the forefront. Recently, I carefully and as gracefully as I could disentangled myself from a working relationship and therapeutic relationship with my massage therapist of two years. There were many positive aspects to my working with him both in treatment and to help him build his business. In recent months it became apparent that it was no longer serving me to continue in the relationship. I was hoping I could go the distance with him on the road to my threepeat of running the Bermuda Half Marathon but everything changes and it was not meant to be.
What was important for me was that I had to free myself from the patterns of the past. It's never easy to change because the past and our reactions to the events of our past get hardwired into the very fiber of our being and body. But setting out on runs transforms the ways of the past and gives time and space to clear out the clutter mind, body and soul.
I love this quote from John L. Parker's "Once a Runner":
and this quote about running and freedom:
I discovered the healing and transformational power of running late in my life at the age of 53! As I recall the moment I declared that I was going to run the Boston Marathon, I had no idea the tremendous gifts that running would give to me.
From my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility":
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 door knob.
“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 non-plussed. 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.
What had I just done?
What had I just done indeed!
I entered a world where I learned how to put my foot down and where footstrikes lead to transformation and freedom!
Go 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):