Thursday, January 13, 2022

On Gratitude Runs & Perspective


After Saturday's run, I was so grateful to wake up to melting snow and dry ground on Monday morning. As I did my 5K through the neighborhood while Tom and Ruth Anne did their 3 mile tempo run, I felt inspired to pick up my pace while feeling blessed by the glorious sunshine. Sunday was a dreary grey day in Boston and Monday's sunshine provided a delicious contrast to the gloom that dominated Sunday's skies.

Despite all the doom and gloom in the headlines, I felt uplifted with the sunbeams feeling my connection to the Divine in all of her glory. I reflected on the miracle of my healing from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and the miracle of my being having overcome the diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome which was due in large part to the unhealed trauma of my youth. We went out over Tom's lunch hour. We all devoured our lunch savoring not only the food but how great it feels to move our bodies outdoors in the winter. 

Wednesdays are rest days for Tom and Ruth Anne so it's up to me to get my motivation gears in motion and get out the door to do my 5K. Temperatures were still in the teens when we got up but the forecast called for moderating temperatures. By 11:30 the temperature went up to 36 degrees! Talk about perspective thinking temperatures were UP to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. I was ecstatic the the arctic blast of minus 10 degrees with wind chill had quickly moved through. We've had winters when we've been 'trapped' in the Polar Vortex.

Ruth Anne insisted on taking a photo of me since I am the one who has been documenting their Providence Marathon run:

Gratitude filled my heart that she wanted to acknowledge what I continue to accomplish in my own way at my own pace. After all, 15 years ago I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair as a survivor of paralytic polio having been diagnosed with Post Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.

I let the sun's warmth bathe me mind, body and soul reflecting on the miracle of healing in my life. Since we are in the middle of winter here in New England, I looked to the skies for beauty. I captured the presence of the Divine and angels through my camera's lens.


 

 I often use the hastag every step is a gift and every mile is a blessing. I felt it with every foot step on Monday's and Wednesday's runs. I was running what could have been a boring and mundane run around the neighborhood. Instead the run was transformed by the attitude I chose to bring to the run. I feel inspired by Tom and Ruth Anne's dedication, consistency and persistence with their training on the road to the Providence Marathon for Victory Programs and ReVision Urban Farm. Despite the climate of fear and uncertainty that dominates the headlines these days, people are incredibly generous with donations and words of support and encouragement. They know the marathon of healing that Ruth Anne endured and they know the integrity and passion that fuels Team McManus' journey on and off of the roads. The work that Victory Programs does saves lives and transforms lives. Their staff is second to none.

It could be so easy to get swept away once more, as we did in 2020, by the tsunamai of divisiveness, terror, panic and hopelessness yearning for the pandemic to end. During these challenging times I find it is vital for our family and me to stay focused on goodness, doing good, feeling well, being well and, as I talked about in a previous post, being unrelenting with compassion and kindness.

An attitude of gratitude and keeping perspective in my corner of the Universe sends out ripples of positive energy, love and moves the world into the light.

From my heart to yours

In health and wellness,

Mary

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

Visit the News and Events tab to listen to my inspiring and uplifting interviews

My books to motivate, uplift and inspire you are available on Amazon

 


 

                                                                                                                                                                                

 
 
 




Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Sweat Pants


 

After Saturday's morning meditation, I checked my weather app. Did my eyes deceive me? Nope - it was 19 degrees fahrenheit outside. The streets were relatively clear. Oh how I wanted to just hop on the treadmill and get in my 5K but Ruth Anne and Tom are training for the Providence Marathon and I knew they had to get outside for their 8 miles. Truth be told, I didn't feel like getting in miles after I made the mistake of doing a cursory check of the news headlines. I have opted to unsubscribe to the Boston Globe in my inbox. I cleared my energy and kicked my own behind with a fresh mindset.

We had prepped our clothes the night before:


We opened the door to get into the mindset of embracing the cold and psyching ourselves up to get in the miles despite the weather. Fortunately, the sun was shining. We debated about whether to do the Carriage Road on Heartbreak Hill or a neighborhood run. Since Tom and Ruth Anne had 8 miles, we opted for the Carriage Road and I would be support crew.

We were spoiled by moderate temperatures and dry ground until now. 

We had our hearty pre-run breakfast, loaded up the car with provisions that included a book for me to read while waiting for Tom and Ruth Anne to finish their run and post-run fueling bananas.

Tom, Ruth Anne and I warm up together and they go off at their pace. 

There I was left to navigate the slush, snow and ice on the Newton Hills. One of the thoughts I have had to overcome is the programming I received after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome; "You have to be extremely careful if you are going to go out in winter. You should use a cane with an ice gripper and avoid falls for you are at high risk for a fracture." I straightened me spine and struck a power pose infusing myself with confidence. There were other runners on the Hills training for Boston. I fired up my mirror neurons reminding myself that while I may be slower than other runners, I am a runner, healed, healthy and strong. I've got this!

It was a cold, challenging run as runs after a snowstorm often are and I had to come up with an image that was going to help me get through.

"Sweat pants!" I thought about how great I was going to feel once I was back in the house changed out of my layers of running clothes and into my sweat pants. I transcended the challenge and discomfort of the moment by imagining how accomplished I would feel having conquered the Hills and the conditions. I also looked for the beauty in my run.














How blessed to see a heart in the snow, a bright blue sky and orbs letting me know that I was not running alone but Source's present was with me every step of the way; as the Divine has been with me whenever I faced challenges in my life.

Even though I turned around at the halfway point of 1.55 miles, my total miles were 3.2. I stretched when I got to the car, turned on the heater and WERS Standing Room Only on the radio while I warmed up and had my banana and hydration. 

"Hey where are you?" Tom and Ruth Anne asked in a text.

"I'm at the car and you?"

"We're heading there now and then we will have another two miles."

"Great. See you soon!"

We felt exhilarated for what we accomplished in less than optimal conditions. The big question after our Saturday run is, "What's for lunch?" 

 While Tom whipped up breakfast for lunch, I changed into my sweat pants. The comfort and relief was even more than what I imagined while navigating the hills. We savored every well deserved bite and after our food was digested, we settled into a deep meditation with Jamie purring by my side.

From my heart to yours

In health and wellness,

Mary

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

Visit the News and Events tab to listen to my inspiring and uplifting interviews

My books to motivate, uplift and inspire you are available on Amazon


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Running with Hope in my Heart

 


It was a dreary grey day in Boston yesterday. It was also a dreary day in the news which I briefly glimpse in the morning to stay informed of latest guidelines and guidance with the pandemic. Tom and Ruth Anne had a 3 mile speed drill workout to do as part of their marathon training program. I had my Monday morning 5K to run. When we do a neighborhood run, we are able to high five each other as we pass each other, each of us running at our own pace.

I thought to myself, "other than photograph Tom and RA for their photo album on the road to Providence what is there to take a picture of?" And then it hit me..."I need to take a picture of hope. A bare patch of ground that next Spring will blossom with flowers." I made a mental note to do that before I finished my run.
 
A short while later, I found a nickel! I smiled. "Oooh the Universe is giving me a high five!" And then I thought again. The movie The Five Pennies chronicled bandleader "Red" Nichols played by Danny Kaye's journey with his daughter who contracted polio. The movie came out in June 1959 when I contracted polio. It's a real tear jerker but speaks to strength and resilience. I got goosebumps to think that five pennies = a nickel. The band was called The Five Pennies because "Red's" last name was Nichols!
 
 


 









Tom and Ruth Anne were on their cool down while I finished my run.

"Stop. I have to take a picture."

"Of what?" they asked. "Where you found the nickel?"

"No... of hope."

In just a few short months, despite all appearances to the contrary right now, beautiful flowers will poke their heads and move on to blossom throughout the Spring and Summer.

There I was out on a run on a very cold day, 15 years after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome filled with healing, hope and infinite possibilities receiving a beautiful sign from the Universe while allowing hope to radiate from my heart.

Into the Light

In winter’s darkness
as pandemic “rages” on
turning inward
rhythm of my beating heart
radiates warmth
beaming Love to heal weary world
harping on darkness
Love beams spark hope
harbingers of lightness and ease
focus on Source if you please
gratitude flows for miracles on horizon
be in the flow
this too shall pass
Let burdens be lifted
shift to a new perspective
bright and bold
declaring all is well
confidently
deftly
running into the light.

From my heart to yours

In health and wellness,

Mary

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

Visit the News and Events tab to listen to my inspiring and uplifting interviews

My books to motivate, uplift and inspire you are available on Amazon


On Gratitude Runs & Perspective

After Saturday's run, I was so grateful to wake up to melting snow and dry ground on Monday morning. As I did my 5K through the neighbor...