Friday, April 30, 2021

The Mighty Tigress

To improve sleep hygiene during the pandemic, Tom and I switch off our phones and laptops (we don't have a TV) and read before meditation and sleep. The other night, Tom put my book, "Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" down as we were getting ready for our bedtime ritual. Jamie let us know she gave my book four paws up and reminded us that there's something so special about curling up with a good book - especially when there's a poem about you in it!

From "Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic":

During the stay at home order, I experienced lots of trauma dreams, many of which I awakened from with heart pounding. One night our cat Jamie leapt on the bed as if on cue to move me beyond the trauma of the past and into a new state of Being. I felt this poem through the vibration of her nesting in the blankets.

 

The Mighty Tigress

 

In darkness

she pounces

toward her prey

 

nesting in old comforter

paws inviting me to pause

a symphony of comfort

 

Her striped fur expands and contracts

perfect pitch as she purrs in prayer

 

My breathing slows joining her rhythm

inhale expand exhale

 

Being as One

 

Descendants and ancestors

blessing our precious lives

 

Powerful dyad vibrating well-being to all

my mighty tigress lights the way

 

To transformation.

 

I've noticed that the trauma dreams have diminished in frequency and intensity in recent weeks. There is a sense of hope and optimism as cases of COVID decline, vaccination rates increase and restrictions are being relaxed. I was never afraid of contracting the virus for I knew that by staying in our bubble and following the public health guidelines, we would be fine. The uncertainty, the stress and strain of Tom working from home and his department being understaffed (and please believe me I know how fortunate we are that he continued to be able to work through the pandemic), the climate of fear that ran rampant until President Biden and his team arrived to begin to put out the fires raging from the previous presidency, the restrictions and the need to wear masks would stir the emotions from my traumatic childhood and emerge as trauma dreams.


I was and am so blessed to have the companionship of Jamie during daytime meditations and at night to remind me to keep a steady breath and to feel the love of the Divine flow through her. She is a mighty tigress who brought so much joy and comfort during some of the most challenging days and nights of our lives.


From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.


 


 





Thursday, April 29, 2021

Gratitude - The Gift of Polio

 

Shortly after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December of 2006, I realized I was at a crossroads in my life. I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, adapt our Cape house or move to a Ranch and quit my award winning career as a VA social worker if there were any hope of stabilizing the debilitating symptoms as they were at that time.

As I had done whenever faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. Spirit spoke to me through what I now call my divining rod for healing, my pen in the form of poetry.

After writing "Running the Race" , a poem which foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run, I wrote the poem:

The Gift of Polio - from "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life":

The Gift of Polio

Thank you God for the gift of polio that brought me so close to you

while paralyzed I saw your face no matter what I’d do

Many wonderful healers you sent them to me at age 5

perseverance and triumph life’s lessons learned

but my Spirit could not yet thrive.

 

At age 53 the gift was sent to me a second time

having time to sit and feel to heal I started to rhyme.

The second time felt worse than the first

yet your love and wisdom I found

out of pain and weakness and fatigue a remarkable spirit rebound.

 

Reliving all the trauma of special shoes and such

I discovered remarkable healers who brought a loving touch.

I had no clue I had such strength and the ability to grow

no matter what the outcome deep gratitude I show.

 

This gift so precious I live a new life gratitude flows from me

my heart and soul are filled with grace each day’s a gift from thee.

 

I went on to write "The Dancer" imagining in my mind's eye a resurrection from the 5 year old ballet dancer who was stricken with paralytic polio:

 

The Dancer  

 

Crumpled cringing alone in darkness portrait of paralyzed child

heap of limbs loss of control panic fear run rampant and wild.

Enter stage right he gathers her gentle tears honor old embrace new

beautiful ballerina transformed music swells the pas de deux.

Dancing with Spirit she celebrates lost in moment of time and space

winged feet now poetry in motion joyful light ease and grace.

 

Daring she enters spotlight center stage a vision to behold

vulnerable yet confident - courageous strikingly bold.

On point to an audience she no longer plays,

soul’s rhythm tempo she keeps

magic memories made in each moment

delighting grateful heart leaps.

Her life she now knows has no bounds

choreography her dancing decree

revelations unveiled with each movement

unencumbered expansive now free.

 

Gratitude became a vital lynch pin in my healing journey. I gave thanks for all of the challenges I endured for they taught me so many soul lessons and helped to mold me into the beautiful woman I am today. I gave thanks in advance for my life being healed.

 

I started the practice of a gratitude journal that ignited my heart and soul with joy and shifted me out of a victim role into the role of victor and thriver.

 

went on to write an entire poem about gratitude:


Gratitude Tingles

 

Heart opens in quiet eyes are closed gratitudes trickle then flow

the basics a home, good food and love awareness begins to grow.

Each beat of my heart reminds me I’m a miracle of life

grace showers constantly upon me relieving alleviating strife.

 

Goosebumps with each reflection every breath a moment to pause

gratitude tingles feel the warmth relaxing unclenching jaws.

Grateful to now be fully alive so blessed to be kissed awake

appreciation flows in every vein for granted nothing I take.

 

What joy there is in this journey let Spirit within ever reign

trusting in goodness and kindness erases all fear and pain.

Memory traces from the past pale and fade when facing Source

gratitude overpowers correcting direction on my life’s course.

 

In moments of meditation happiness joy and peace

from the depths of my soul a fountain grateful blessings increase.

Lips upturn into beautiful smile from head’s crown to tip of toes

gratitude tingles tickling trail of delight everywhere gratitude goes.

 

During the pandemic, we intensified our gratitude practice writing what we were grateful for on post-its during the month of November and placed them in a gratitude jar. We read them on Thanksgiving.

 

Gratitude continued to be a theme in my poetry in "Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic".

Dawn

 

As dawn breaks my heart opens in gratitude

an inventory of the blessings in my life

strife only created from memories

gratitude the bridge over troubled waters

path to peace and joy.

 

Rubbing eyes awake from a starry night

pixie dust sprinkled while sleeping

cells sparkling with possibilities

twinkling eyes view the world.

 

It dawns on me

I am beloved

Love heals and bathes

uplifted to greet the dawn of a new day

sunbeams meet heart beams.

 

Writing headlines

a virus vanished

soul lessons learned

heaven on earth is here.

 

The Switch

 

Flip the switch from darkness

from unwell to well-being

dwell with Source.

 

Generate positive thoughts

current of gratitude

dispels doom and gloom.

 

Electrify imagination

in mind’s eye

ignite possibilities!

 

Shock waves from past

flashbacks

back to the future!

 

Dampen fears

shift gears

be light-hearted.

 

What ifs

glitter and sparkle

light up hope!

 

Rewire recharge

turn on tune in

vibrant optimism.

 

Flip the switch

switch perspective

let the magic begin!

 



 
I am grateful for all the challenges I have endured and overcome. I am grateful for this amazing journey of transformation that began 14 years ago on May 25, 2007 when I took a leap of faith leaving behind my award winning career as a VA social worker to heal my life from the effects of childhood paralytic polio and trauma. I am grateful for the gift of poetry that enabled me to heal my past and create a future very different than the one the doctors predicted for me and to navigate this past year staying focused on healing, hope, possibilities, light, love and of course, gratitude. 


From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

 

"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.


 

 

 


 

 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Royal Flush

 Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends posted this:


It reminded me of one of my poems from "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life":


 

Royal Flush

 

One could say I was dealt a hand of crummy cards to play

at first blush I would have to agree

bluffing became my way of life

playing my cards close to my chest

ever vigilant

shifting eyes

wondering

do I continue to play or fold?

 

The stakes were high

I could no longer up the ante

living on the edge

waiting to find freedom only in death

every day a living death

something had to give

new rules

unconditional love

trust

strength

courage

steadiness

releasing fear by experiencing fear

losing self consciousness

opening my heart.

 

I bet everything I had

riding on hope, faith and a prayer

 

“I’m all in”

putting my cards on the table

there it was

a royal flush!

When we are in the midst of challenges, it can be difficult to hold onto hope and have faith that better days are ahead. Having endured paralytic polio followed by almost a decade of abuse at the hands of family members drove me to the very edge of life. Ironically, I came back from the edge after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome. I awakened to love, forgiveness, gratitude and healing. I realized that I could take the cards I was dealt and transform them into a royal flush becoming a winner in my own life instead of being a victim.

These past 14 months have been a challenge unlike we have ever known in recent history in our country. While I experienced trauma triggers, I was also able to draw from the reservoir of resilience I had built from my past.

How are you playing the cards from the pandemic? Can you be all in and play the hand well? I'm betting you can!

From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

 

"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.

 



Monday, April 26, 2021

Signs of Hope


On March 13, 2020 my daughter and I went into Star Market and were aghast at what we saw. From "Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic":

There was no way we could have ever been prepared for what we experienced at Star Market. We first went to Trader Joe's where we like to buy certain items. The shelves were bare but Ruth Anne noted, "There's the eggplant!" (Referencing the story I told her about the Blizzard of 1978, when the only thing we could buy to cook was eggplant.) We aborted the mission and headed to Star Market.

 

There were no carriages and when we asked one of the managers where we could get a cart, she said, "They are all in use. Just wait until you see what's happening in here!"

 

They made an announcement for all staff to attend to carriage control and we were assertive without being aggressive to secure our cart. There was plenty of produce except for white potatoes. People were wearing masks and gloves. The fish counter and meat shelves were well stocked but there was not a box of pasta or jar of sauce to be found. People were pushing and shoving and the panic was palpable. Ruth Anne and I stayed focused getting our essentials on what ordinarily would have been a regular grocery shopping outing. Part of Ruth Anne's healing and recovery from an autoimmune condition that caused brain inflammation is to be able to grocery shop. She has gone on a few independent shopping trips but I knew this was not going to be the day to work on those skills.

 

I was in awe of how we remained calm despite the empty shelves and the energy of the shoppers. We were able to maintain focus and when an item wasn't available we made substitutes or decided to keep it on the list for next week. While I went to get milk and orange juice, Ruth Anne secured our place in the long and winding check out lines.

 

It wasn't until Friday evening that the trauma of that trip hit us. Fortunately Tom gave us a loving ear about what we witnessed.


Last Friday, my eyes welled with tears and my heart overflowed with gratitude as we realized that the one way aisle markers at Star Market had been taken down. We were free to go up and down the aisles to get what we needed!


The CDC has said that wearing masks outdoors is optional especially if you are fully vaccinated. 


My news feed on Facebook is filled with postponed holiday gatherings with clever names like "Thankschreaster" for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter now that family members are fully vaccinated.


Two big signs of hope are on my calendar in the next two weeks. For the first time since February of 2020, I have a hair appointment! I wanted to wait until infection rates were on the decline and vaccination rates were on the rise. It seems surreal that I am going to go to a hair salon again. We had been going into Boston to get our hair done but the salon was in a crowded section of downtown and was not as rigorous with precautions as we would have liked. Fortunately, one of my friend's has been going to a salon in our town for years and has a stylist that she raves about. It will be a new experience in many ways and one that I embrace with eager anticipation.


From "Hope is a Garden":


On March 12th, I walked into my pregnant chiropractor’s office.

 

The airwaves and social media news feeds were beginning to fill with fear and panic. I had a sense in my gut that something was terribly wrong with the messages and the methods that surrounded COVID-19. 

 

“I don’t think they have any plan for this,” I told Dr. Lizzie.

 

“I’m not worried about getting the virus,” Dr. Lizzie said. “I’m worried about what’s going to happen to my business.”

 

Always the commensurate professional, Dr. Lizzie gave me an outstanding treatment of chiropractic care. We hugged at the end of the treatment.

 

“As long as things are open, I will be here,” she said.

 

The first email she sent outlined the precautions she would take while keeping her practice open. Two days later she said that she would have to follow the State and City guidelines and temporarily close her practice. As numbers of cases spiked, she made the decision to close her practice until January 2021 giving herself an extended maternity leave.

 

One week from Thursday, the day after I receive my 2nd Pfizer vaccine, I will be reunited with my chiropractor.  Fourteen months after we said "I'll see you next week," I will finally get back on her table for regular adjustments. I've harnessed my meditation practice and exquisite self-care of rolling, stretching and strength training to keep everything moving as best I could during this hiatus in chiropractic care. I am proud of what I have been able to do without care, but eagerly anticipate the relief of experiencing Dr. Lizzie's skill and healing touch.


The book title, "Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" was inspired when we planted our first flower garden last October. This was a patch of barren ground that held hope for what would bloom in Spring, 2021.


Hope Is A Garden  

 

Dirt stained knees

spade turning over soil

feelings flutter

tenderly tilling the earth

lovingly placing bulbs

embodiment of expectations and hope.

 

Hope is a garden

holding seeds in hand

awe-some

everything they need to know

ready to burst forth.

 

Patience and perseverance

faith abides

kneeling

knowing no prayers needed

all unfurls in Divine Timing.

 

In darkness hope stirs

light pierces through

as new life breaks ground

yet invisible to the eye

seeds of infinite possibilities

hope the harvest of imagination.  

 

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” ~Lady Bird Johnson

 

Birds singing, tulips in full bloom on the Boston Public Gardens, people hugging, events being scheduled and joy and hope fill the air. Signs of hope are everywhere as we begin to move beyond the pain of the pandemic. 


From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

 

"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.



Friday, April 23, 2021

It's World Book Day 2021 - To Share a Story!

 

Shortly after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December of 2006, I realized I was at a crossroads in my life. I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and expect an accelerated decline as I aged as a result of the polio virus I contracted at the age of 5.

I got still and asked for Divine Guidance as I had always done when facing life's challenges. I had an out of body experience during the acute phase of paralytic polio and felt touched by grace. It was a cold dark day in February of 2007 as I sat quietly at my dining room table experiencing the dark night of mind, body and soul. I wore a toe up leg brace and had my cane propped on the back of my chair. I had papers spread out all over the table; print outs from mind/body luminaries and "New Age" teachers. Gratitude was the theme that every writer touched upon. One phrase seemed to leap off of the page: "I am so happy and grateful now that I can create..."

"Create?" I thought to myself. I have two grown children and my award winning career as a VA social worker is coming to an end because of my ill health.

And then this poem flowed out of me:

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, 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, alone and afraid tried 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.                                        

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.

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.

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.

 

It was as though a spigot turned on in my soul. Everywhere I went I had to have pad and pen nearby as poems flowed out of me in which I helped the past of paralytic polio and severe child abuse through forgiveness and gratitude, and created a future for myself very different than the ones the doctors predicted for me.

 

On  May 25, 2007, I took a leap of faith leaving behind my award winning career just 3 years shy of when I was eligible for retirement to "heal my life," and follow my bliss as a poet and my passion as a writer. My undergraduate degree is in Public Relations. One of my professors was a Boston Globe reporter who ignited the passion for writing in my soul.

 

A note about those first poems I wrote that were in the cadence of Dr. Seuss. Before every painful physical therapy session, my beloved therapist, Miss Holly, lovingly lifted me up into the red leather chair in the waiting room and had me choose a Dr. Seuss book to read with her. She took my hand in hers as we walked into the treatment room. As she coaxed my muscles and nerves back to health, she had me recite Dr. Seuss back to her in tandem to distract me from the excruciating pain of the treatments. It was no wonder that when faced with the challenge of a diagnosis of a progressive neuromuscular disease, the healing cadence of Dr. Seuss emerged from my heart and soul.


"Running the Race" foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run.


After crossing the finish line, I realized I had a story to share. I wrote "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility."

I wrote a 2nd book "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance" to continue the story of my healing journey after suffering a serious knee injury in December of 2014.

And before I knew it, I had a Trilogy of Transformation written that expanded on stories shared in the previous two books and went on to share my Adventures as Runnergirl 1953.

After releasing Adventures in April 2019, I was quite content to rest on my writer laurels with my Trilogy and "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life".

When the pandemic swept across the Globe in March 2020, I knew it was time to harness the power of my pen, what I call my divining rod for healing to help me navigate an unprecedented time in American history. I feel blessed and grateful that I was able to chronicle that year in poems and essays:

It's wonderful to celebrate World Book Day 2021 with you and to share my story of how I came to be a writer after 25 years of working as a social worker. 

 From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

 

"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.

 





Thursday, April 22, 2021

Adopt The Pace of Nature...


 We are all eager to experience an end to the pandemic; to travel, to head to the beaches and pools, to go to concerts, Broadway shows, eat at restaurants and for runners to resume racing events. But it's not quite time yet. 

While vaccinations have helped to flatten the curve, there is still much work to be done in ending the pandemic and while fatigue from this past year is real, this is the time to exercise extraordinary patience to ensure that we can successfully move forward building momentum in ending the public health crisis of the past 14 months.

I look to my garden to adopt the pace of nature.

Last October we bought bulbs and planted them deep in Mother Earth in our yard. I've been taking photos of the progress of our garden watching how, with the ebb and flow of temperatures, the flowers close and halt growth and then resume growth slowly preparing to open the flowers in all of their glory. Here's the latest phase of the garden's growth:











It goes at its own pace and we patiently and eagerly anticipate when it will be in full bloom.

We adopted the pace of nature when we did jigsaw puzzles during the pandemic and I composed this poem:

Pieces of the Puzzle from "Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic": 

 

When pieces are scattered and nothing seems to fit

that’s the time to pause breathe and sit.

It all will make sense with a tincture of time

although in the present there’s no reason or rhyme.

Little by little let Spirit guide

Divine is always present right by our side.

Out of chaos uncertainty beauty comes into view

abundance Well-Being are all here for you.

 

Broken into pieces only an illusion you’ll see

wholeness and happiness Source’s wish we will be.

Beings belong to earth sun and sky

mystery abounds no need to fear and ask why.

Create not react be patient let go

all is revealed all that you need to know.

Such exhilaration when the final piece takes its place

all now revealed in life’s sacred space.

 

Ruth Anne and I have one more vaccine shot aka our "wellness shot" and then have to be patient for two weeks after that before getting together with our friends who are fully vaccinated.


We are so close to being able to emerge from the pandemic safely resuming activities that add extra zest to life.


We just need to adopt the pace of Mother Nature. Her secret is patience.


From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

 

My Trilogy of Transformation and poetry books that are sure to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

When I stepped up to the starting line....

 

Twelve years ago today I stepped up to the starting line of the 2009 Boston Marathon to travel 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

I was a "most unlikely runner" who, in December 2006 was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease and told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. As I had always done when faced with life's challenges, I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. The poem "Running the Race" flowed out of me in February of 2007. Many poems flowed out of me igniting my imagination with a future very different from the one the doctors predicted for me and a path for healing my past of paralytic polio and severe child abuse. In May 2007, I took a leap of faith leaving my award winning career as a VA social worker to heal my life.

In February of 2008 after being discharged from outpatient rehab at Spaulding Rehab and working with a personal trainer for 6 months, I declared that I wanted to run the 2009 Boston Marathon although I had never run a day in my life.

I trained through the grueling New England winter and harnessed the power of the mind/body connection through writing poetry, meditation and visualization in my journal to prepare mind, body and soul for Marathon Monday.

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

Marathon Metamorphosis

Pounding pavement, feeling strength the journey now begun

training for the race of my life a 26.2 mile run.

Feeling God in every step in every beat of my heart

I undertake this challenge as a new chapter of my life I start.

 

I ran around in circles carrying baggage by the ton,

destination was survival hardened shell let in no one.

Fear and worry doubts prevailed, adrenaline in my veins

a headless horseman running wild no one to take the reins.

 

Stopping in my tracks I froze no longer could I move -

clawing, fighting had to cease there was nothing more to prove.

God's grace touched like a magic wand, a softness and a glow

emerging from a troubled past my blood began to flow.

 

Loving teachers lit the way their love a healing balm -

focusing on who I am now brings a sense of calm.

Stretching every muscle feeling God in every cell

wholeness now a blessing out of prison - no more hell.   

 

The race is still a year away each day my dream I see

mind, body, spirit tuning turning toward the Voice of Thee.

Flexing what had once been stiff to brace against the pain

old habits die and I'm reborn to write a new refrain.

 

And when the starting gun goes off poised with strength and grace

the thunder of the running feet will help me set my pace.

But the starting line's the finish my race already won

achieving the impossible preparing for this run.

 

The healing power of self-love and faith to spark the flame

transformed me from a victim once filled with so much shame.

Unearth my buried treasures my inheritance I find

connected to my Loving God in my heart and mind.

 

And when I cross the finish line the greatest cheer of all

has been this magnificent journey of answering God's call.

 

Courage 

The fear of ice and snow and slush embedded in my soul

a training run in winter - the path to Being whole.

A winter scene - Jamaica Pond - a feast for eyes' delight

to witness nature's splendor and behold this glorious sight.

 

A leaf - a tiny dancer - skating free without a sound

God's breath directs her movements as She guides her twirling 'round.

Families of ducks decide to walk or take a dip

a comedy of errors into icy water slip.

 

Branches now bejeweled though bare bend with loving Grace

sparkling diamonds' anchor water's surface hold in place.

God's hand a glove of glistening snow hugs rocks along the wall

their heads peek out reminding me I'm answering God's call.

 

A scene I'd never witness if I let my fear take hold

courage triumphed, steppin' out with footsteps sure and bold

Knowing that the pain subsides and Spirit can prevail

the Marathon is beckoning - through those miles I shall sail.

 

Ode to Marathon Training        

 

Blisters, black toes, aches and pains, a change in my routine

Long training runs, the hills, the sprints running clothes fresh and clean.

Carbo load and plan each meal power gels and gatorade

no matter what the weather no time to be afraid.

Humid - hot or freezing cold snow against the face

wind or sun or raining those running shoes I must lace.

What mile is this how long we been out check heart rate drink H20

meltdowns joys and triumphs only a few more weeks to go.

Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart this year has been the best

found myself and made new friends I feel incredibly blessed.

 

When I stepped up to the starting line, I had imagined the 26.2 mile journey many times in my mind's eye but the actual experience was far more intense, exhilarating, emotional, joyful and satisfying than anything I could have possibly imagined. It's an experience that I now get to share with others to inspire them about what's possible; how we are never our diagnosis and that the body's capacity to heal is far greater than anyone has initially led us to believe.

 

After I crossed the finish line and received my medal, I was a woman transformed experiencing what I wrote about in the poem, Marathon Monday.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marathon Monday

It's Marathon Monday, it's my day to shine

with husband and daughter poised at starting line.

I know I can do this - there's no way to fail

tethered to God through this race I can sail.

 

For over a year, we've trained from our heart

mind, body, spirit - we're ready to start.

We know the course and we know the terrain

we're primed for the challenge - we know they'll be pain.

 

The glory's far greater than what we may face

we're living examples of God's shining Grace.

Shake out all the nerves - there's nothing to fear

let in all the love from the crowds as they cheer.

 

With prayers and angels our feet feel so light

Joy overflowing the finish in sight.

We conquered the course fueled by love in our heart

the race had been won blessed by God from the start.

 


 





 

 

 

 

 

 

From my heart to yours

In health and wellness 

Mary


For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.

 

My Trilogy of Transformation and poetry books that are sure to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.

Pandemic Silver Linings

I've known challenges from an early age. At 5 years old I contracted paralytic polio in one of the last epidemics in the United States. ...