Sunday, May 29, 2022

A Run in My Happy Place


After I received the 2nd dose of the COVID vaccine last May, I experienced intense muscle spasms and joint pain. I had done everything to prepare for the wellness shot including bringing a crystal with me, meditation and lots of hydration. I still don't know why I had this reaction but what is important is how I manage it. Team McManus has had an intense year filled with wondrous joyful exhilarating experiences and stressful times as we navigated Tom's leave taking from Boston College and next steps for the next season of Ruth Anne's hebeialth and wellness journey. 

I took some time to rest, hope and heal I increased my meditation visualization practice using Dr. David Hamilton's meditations from his website and Personal Development Club.

He did a session called "Counter Clockwise" for his Personal Development Club. He recommended reading the book which talks about how the power of the mind and environment affect our body's response to aging. An experiment was performed with sending men on a retreat for a week during which there were no reminders of their current age and year. Everything was arranged to the year 1959. They were transformed to experience greater health and vitality no longer treated as elderly parents and insulated from reminders of how old they were.

I knew the importance of being able to embody the way I want to be rather than focus on aches, pains and weakness. I realized that on some level I had embodied being a 68 year old polio and trauma survivor rather than embody the vibrant 2009 Boston Marathon finisher and the resilient, strong woman that I morphed into after discovering the sport of running. During the Counter Clockwise session, David emphasized how important it is to not reminisce about our younger selves (or in my case the self who defied a diagnosis and a past rife with challenges) but to live as if we are that person right here, right now in the present moment.

We often went to Jamaica Pond to train for the 2009 Boston Marathon. Our personal trainer often had us do speed work. A student from BU's School of Communication was filming a documentary about me for a final project. He joined us for one of the Jamaica Pond training runs. During yesterday's run, as I ran by the once snow covered rocks that inspired the poem,


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. 


I harnessed the power of my imagination and visualization to take me back to the winter of 2009 training for the 2009 Boston Marathon. I thought about where we would have lunch after the run feeling how great the food would taste at a restaurant in Brookline Village.  I felt the pounding of my heart as I pushed my pace a little beyond what I'd been doing feeling how amazing it felt to run an 11:00 minute mile for a half mile with our personal trainer, Janine, setting the pace. A sense of exhilaration and freedom returned to my body and Being.I clocked the fastest run I'd had in a very long time with the brief fastest pace at 12:42. I had negative splits by 46 seconds for miles 2 and 3. All fear of what might have been happening in my body melted away with the sweat.

I savored the sights, sounds and scents of Jamaica Pond in the Spring:

I could not remember the last time I felt that wonderful after a run. We went to one of our favorite post run restaurants in Brookline Village. Tom, Ruth Anne  (who did their training run for the BAA 10K) and I shared our gratitude for the gift of running and healing in our lives. 

It was awesome how a run in my happy place brought so much healing and joy back into my life after several months of feeling stress, strain and a lot of pain. The power of the mind to heal and transform the body continues to amaze me as I celebrate 15 years of healing from the once devastating effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

From my heart to yours,
In health and wellness,

Be sure to visit my website at to learn about my journey to health and wellness in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma

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