I call myself a most unlikely runner...and I am...I contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5, endured years of abuse at the hands of family members and at the age of 53, 15 years ago this month, was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards. But I am a scrappy and determined woman who is one to meet challenges head on with the guidance from helpers seen and unseen.
I discovered the gift of running in my life a year after writing the poem, Running the Race, in which I foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run. As Forrest Gump said, "From that day on whenever I was going somewhere, I was running."
Well, not exactly but since the pandemic began in March of 2020, I have been running outdoors 3X a week with very few exceptions resorting to a treadmill run if conditions were too treacherous outdoors.
Last Saturday it was a sheet of ice and we changed up our strength training day for a running day with Sunday. That meant I got out Tuesday and Wednesday for my 5K's.
On Tuesday, Tom and Ruth Anne had their 3 mile training run around the neighborhood. We started out together for their warm up and they went on their way for training for the Providence Marathon. I was able to enjoy the sights around the neighborhood on an unseasonably warm late December day.
One of my favorite sights to capture was the raindrops gently hugging on to the berries glistening in the sunlight. I savored seeing green grass at the end of December.
On Wednesday I capped off my miles for 2021. Many of my runner friends run over 1,000 miles for the year so I often am shy to post my miles for the year at just over 500. But then I reflected on what an amazing accomplishment that is for this most unlikely runner and posted on Facebook, "With today's 3.25 miles, 2021 miles are done. Tomorrow and Friday are my rest days.
505 miles for the year ALL OUTDOORS which for many may not seem like a lot but 15 years ago I was given the diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.
I celebrate every footstep and every mile I enjoy and while I am not racing these days, I am incredibly proud of my consistent health and wellness regimen.
2022 here we come with my goal of feeling gratitude for all my body gives me every day and for the gift of health and well-being!
Loved my serene solo miles reflecting on how blessed I am!
To healing, hope and possibilities!
To your health and wellness!
To an amazing 2022 of miles filled with smiles!"
The post received over 80 reactions and 33 comments!
I am excited to continue to motivate and inspire others with my powerful message of healing, hope and infinite possibilities. There are exciting projects that will take root and bloom in 2022. I have a commitment to daily affirmations from Louise Hay with her calendar and Power Thought cards. I am fierce to protect my time for meditation and reading every day and continue my dedication to my health and wellness journey.
We will be celebrating Tom's 70th birthday, our 45th wedding anniversary and our twins' 35th birthday. I am so blessed and grateful that I take the gift of running with me into 2022 and also will be support crew for Tom and Ruth Anne's Providence Marathon for Victory Programs.
Since 2020 and all of my life experiences, I know that I have the resilience and strength to navigate these uncharted waters and be a beacon of light and hope in the darkness. So do you!
From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Be sure to visit my website at https://marymcmanus.com to learn about my journey to health and wellness in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma
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