Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Leap of Faith!



When I announced the release of "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953" on Facebook, one of my VA colleagues who continues to serve those who served as a nurse practitioner said, "Congrats. I so admire you."

I responded with, "Thank you Gale. That means the world to me! So hard to believe it was 12 years ago when I sat in your office and told you what was going on and that I was leaving the VA ... I had no idea where I'd be today. So blessed to have worked all those years with you and to continue our friendship today. Be blessed"

Gale replied, "I remember thinking that day I could not do that. But you are proof you can. And I too appreciate all you did and welcome our continued friendship."

The Team I worked with at the VA were very concerned (and rightfully so) about my somewhat hasty decision to leave my award winning career at the VA just 3 years shy of retirement.

They didn't see the behind the scenes work I was doing preparing to leave after I was given the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease according to Western Medicine. I hadn't quite planned to leave on May 25, 2007 but the Universe gave me an extra nudge to make changes in my life with an abnormal mammogram. I harnessed the power of my mind/body connection and used visualization to dissolve a breast tumor and then gave 6 weeks notice. At first, my nurse manager was extremely supportive but when "reality" set in, became quite concerned about my future.

I withdrew all of the money from my retirement account, clutched a soon to be published poetry book and sat on my lawn on a beautiful May day wondering "What had I just done?"

I knew I had to leave my job to heal my life although at the time really had no idea what that meant.

I loved my work serving those who served and their families and I vowed that the day I could no longer give 100% to my veterans and their families, I would leave. I was heart broken I had to leave my career and my beloved veterans and their families but I was suffering. I could no longer provide the standard of care that I had dedicated myself to for 19 years.

I was scared about what my future held and wondered, given the grim prognosis if I even had a future.

But writing poetry and imagining myself running a race, dancing in the rain and feeling healthy, whole and free had already put the wheels in motion for healing.

I hired a personal trainer after being discharged from Spaulding Rehab Outpatient care wondering if I could get a little stronger. Her answer to my wondering:


It was another leap of faith defying what the medical community told me..."If you use it you will lose it."

In February of 2008 I took a giant leap of faith declaring I would run the 2009 Boston Marathon to raise money for Spaulding Rehab.

My running adventures with trials, tribulations and triumphs were filled with leaps of faith at every turn.

Every time I took a leap of faith, and followed my bliss:


As I wrote in "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953":
The deck was stacked against me. Without warning, on June 3, 1959, I dropped to the ground in Kindergarten class. Three years after contracting paralytic polio, shortly after coming out of my leg brace, my father became alcoholic. Nine years of emotional, physical and sexual assaults followed until he died by suicide when I was 17 years old. In December of 2006 I was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome and told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.

In many ways, my life has been like an adventure movie. I battled evil, and fought for my life. Every time somebody told me I shouldn't or couldn't do something, I turned around and said, "Watch me now."

Never tell me the odds!


Taking that leap of faith on May 25, 2007 took remarkable courage and a lot of support from my husband, Tom. In many ways it was a crazy thing to do since I had no real plan for what was next in my life.

Adventures beyond my wildest imaginings were waiting for me after I took that first leap of faith:


I am deeply blessed and grateful that my mind, body and soul are healed from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and I can bear witness for others to see what is possible when you let go of fear and trust that something wonderful lies on the other side of that leap of faith.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.



“The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” takes you on Mary McManus’ healing odyssey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond. After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December 2006, Mary got still and asked for Divine Guidance tapping into the powerful connection she experienced to the Divine from an early age. She harnessed the power of her mind to heal her body, feverishly writing poetry in which she imagined herself healthy, whole and free from the shackles of her youth. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running. Her story is one that will leave you cheering for the underdog, discovering the meaning of different ability and experiencing the stunning view from the back of the pack of a race. You will have the privilege of bearing witness to how Mary overcame every challenge that life presented to her. The sport of running provides the backdrop for her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Running became a way of life for Mary that tested her mettle while forging friendships to last a lifetime. As you’ll discover in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” nothing, not even a serious knee injury in December of 2014 could stop her on the roads or in her life.

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:


Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):


My healing journey using the power of visualization is featured in David R. Hamilton's book, "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body-Anniversary Edition." It's available on Amazon.











Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I Am in Competition With No One



It took me awhile to realize that just by showing up at a race, I was a winner. When I went out and ran the best race I possibly could, I won my race. I defied the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards when I laced up my first pair of running shoes in February of 2008. I had declared that I was going to run the 2009 Boston Marathon even though I had never run a day in my life.



After I ran 3 consecutive Bermuda Half Marathons, a most remarkable feat after having been told to prepare for a total knee replacement in January 2015, I took a hiatus from running races but not from being the best I could be.

It took almost a year to heal from the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon but as soon as I felt better, I began to challenge myself by increasing distance from a 5K to 3.5 miles on Saturdays, taking on hills and challenging myself on the bike.

A year ago it took me 40 minutes to do 6 miles on the bike.

This year I was able to increase the mileage to 6.5 miles and decrease the time.

A month ago at 6 miles:


Yesterday at 7 miles:


I loved feeling the sweat pour in the small of my back and the energy flow throughout my entire body.

With recovery from training and running 3 consecutive Bermuda Half Marathons behind me and feeling my body's wonderful response to taking on new challenges again, it's time to get back out on the roads for a race.

And the race Team McManus chooses for their next race???

Drumroll please

Finish at the 50!

The website tells me that they are celebrating 10 years! We ran in the inaugural 10K 10 years ago!

From "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953":
Everyone Has a Story July 4th 2010

The blessing of running a race in the back of the pack is you get to share stories and meet amazing people. At the starting line of the inaugural Harvard Pilgrim 10K race, we met a woman just three months out from knee surgery. Her doctor gave her the okay to run/walk the race. A woman asked if this was our first race. She said it was hers and she was concerned that people would wonder why this overweight woman was even in the race. I gave her a short version of my story and a lot of love and support.

“Well then, I’d like to share with you that I am a 15 year breast cancer survivor.”

We high fived each other and said, "See you at the finish line."

Tom and I learned from the Charles River Run 5K race to warm up and go out slow especially with the heat. Today was all about finding a comfortable pace and having FUN! We walked through every water station and made sure we hydrated. I had my trusty gel with me and at one hour, we took a 'hit' to keep our muscles fueled. What a thrill to run on the Fourth of July. One family had patriotic music playing on their porch. One woman created a sprinkler with her hose and we ran under it. Spectators stood on front porches and waved flags as we all celebrated freedom.

A father, mother and their daughter took turns pushing their son/brother in a wheelchair. He had a birth defect which resulted in multiple physical challenges. They ran and then walked. They would drop behind us and then go in front of us.

When we caught up with them they said, “Oh no, we gotta speed up.”

We passed them and were going to slow down to let them pass us again but they slowed their pace. Tom suggested we push on.

We met a woman who said, "I'm 60 years old and I'm not gonna push myself today in this heat. It’s my first 10K.”

As she sent her daughter on her way to the finish, she told us that her daughter had lost 100 pounds and discovered the joy of running. She had an article written about her in Redbook; her mom told us how proud she was of her daughter who inspired her to lose over 40 pounds and take up running.

As we came out of the tunnel to sprint the final yards of the 10K, I drank in the joy of the moment. We approached the 50-yard line, and flashed a huge smile. I stood on the field of Gillette Stadium seeing myself on the Jumbotron where world champions play football; where world class entertainers perform.

I turned to Tom and said, "Wait a minute. I want to savor this moment and wave to my adoring fans."

There were fans in the stands cheering runners into the finish line.

July 4th is all about independence, freedom and choosing one’s own path.

Everyone has a story. The people I met today chose to not allow circumstances to limit them. Let freedom ring!


I will continue to run, run on hills and work on my pace, strength train and cross train. I will let go of all feelings of lack or limitation placing judgment or apologize for my pace. As Tom wisely once told me, "For someone who was supposed to be in a wheelchair you run pretty fast!"

I am in competition with no one except myself and am so excited to train for the Finish at the 50 on July 3rd: a great way to celebrate my independence from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma and to enjoy being a part of the racing scene again.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.



“The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” takes you on Mary McManus’ healing odyssey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond. After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December 2006, Mary got still and asked for Divine Guidance tapping into the powerful connection she experienced to the Divine from an early age. She harnessed the power of her mind to heal her body, feverishly writing poetry in which she imagined herself healthy, whole and free from the shackles of her youth. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running. Her story is one that will leave you cheering for the underdog, discovering the meaning of different ability and experiencing the stunning view from the back of the pack of a race. You will have the privilege of bearing witness to how Mary overcame every challenge that life presented to her. The sport of running provides the backdrop for her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Running became a way of life for Mary that tested her mettle while forging friendships to last a lifetime. As you’ll discover in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” nothing, not even a serious knee injury in December of 2014 could stop her on the roads or in her life.

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:


Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):


My healing journey using the power of visualization is featured in David R. Hamilton's book, "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body-Anniversary Edition." It's available on Amazon.







Monday, February 18, 2019

A Rite of Spring - The Magic of Heartbreak Hill

Even before the first forsythia show its yellow leaves or the first crocus pokes through the Earth, and even though there are still snowfalls in Boston, there is a rite of Spring happening on the hills in Newton. Runners gather on Saturday or Sunday mornings for their long training runs to test their mettle and gain their confidence on Heartbreak Hill.

It begins at the Fire Station on the corner of Route 16 and Commonwealth Avenue:


Last Saturday, Tom and I joined the throngs of runners training for Boston. There's a special place in our hearts for those running for charities as Tom and I ran for Spaulding 10 years ago.



As we run on Heartbreak Hill for our Saturday runs, the memories ignite of our magical moments that happened for us on Heartbreak Hill.



I felt a thrill and a sense of awe after meeting Johnny Kelley's nephew on our flight returning from Puerto Rico in January 2009. We took a 5 day hiatus from training in the brutal New England cold to train in Puerto Rico. A casual conversation turned into a moment to last a lifetime. From The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953:

Two weeks before our first run on Heartbreak Hill, we returned from Puerto Rico, after a brief hiatus from the never ending brutal New England cold weather. On the plane ride home, we met Tom Kelley and his wife, Dottie. We shared the story of Team McManus not knowing the names of the people with whom we shared pleasant conversation to pass the time on the flight back to a snowstorm in Boston.

“Hi there…my name is Tom Kelley. My uncle was Johnny Kelley.”

“I’m Dottie.” “It’s so nice to meet you.”

“Johnny Kelley” I thought to myself. “As in the Johnny Kelley. Olympian and Boston Marathon champion through the decades?!”

Dottie shared with me that Tommy lives with Parkinson’s Disease but he keeps on running as best he can. Running is his therapy. She asked for our mailing address. They had something they wanted to send to us. I had goosebumps all over.

As we parted ways heading to baggage claim, Dottie said, ‘Good luck with the rest of your training! Come see us at the Expo at Packet Pick up. Remember, Johnny will be watching over you.”

“Thank you. Get home safely and we’ll definitely come see you at Packet Pick Up. You sure made my day!” I said with a broad smile and a full heart.

A week later a package came in the mail with a note written in Dottie’s perfect cursive handwriting dictated by Tommy:

This is a poster created by Adidas for the 2004 BAA Marathon. I had Johnny sign a few when we roomed together at the Copley Plaza that week, and I know he would have gladly signed one for your family if he were here. Perhaps it will inspire you to run a good race, especially the last 6 miles. Johnny was an inspiration to many of us amateur runners and he lives on in the memories of countless runners. You can get a copy of his book Young at Heart on Amazon I believe. You'll note that his forefathers came over to the USA on the SS Marathon!!! Keep on running as I do. We loved your website and maybe some day we can meet again.


The energy healer I worked with to help me train for Boston waited for us on Heartbreak Hill with this sign that we carried with us to the finish line:


Our Coach, Domenick D'Amico waited for us on Heartbreak Hill:
At mile 20, we saw Domenick just as he had promised us. He had tears in his eyes as he embraced Team McManus.

He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “You're gonna qualify - go finish. I'm so proud of you.”

In 2009 if you ran the Boston Marathon in under 8 hours as a mobility impaired runner, you qualified to run Boston again.


Our personal trainer who could have easily run as far away from me as she could when I set a new health and fitness goal to run the 2009 Boston Marathon, even though I'd never run a day in my life, met us on Heartbreak Hill to run us into the finish line.

My cell phone rang. It was Janine checking in with us. As I saw her in the distance standing atop one of the inclines on Heartbreak Hill with her Spaulding Rehab t-shirt and a white long sleeve shirt underneath, I saw an angel who was going to take us to the finish line.

“I’m amazed at how great you guys look,” she said.

“We went out slowly and ran steady so we could finish. But I’m sorry about the pace….”

She cut me off and said, “Did you know that the guy who won last year had to be taken off the course? You need to leave those thoughts and all of your baggage out on the roads. Just look at how great you are doing!”


Our son, Autumn, met us at Cleveland Circle and joined our entourage to the finish line!



Although Team McManus is not planning on running another Boston, it is a special treat to run on Heartbreak Hill, celebrating the tenth anniversary of when we ran Boston and share in Boston's rite of spring on Heartbreak Hill.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.



“The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” takes you on Mary McManus’ healing odyssey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond. After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December 2006, Mary got still and asked for Divine Guidance tapping into the powerful connection she experienced to the Divine from an early age. She harnessed the power of her mind to heal her body, feverishly writing poetry in which she imagined herself healthy, whole and free from the shackles of her youth. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running. Her story is one that will leave you cheering for the underdog, discovering the meaning of different ability and experiencing the stunning view from the back of the pack of a race. You will have the privilege of bearing witness to how Mary overcame every challenge that life presented to her. The sport of running provides the backdrop for her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Running became a way of life for Mary that tested her mettle while forging friendships to last a lifetime. As you’ll discover in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” nothing, not even a serious knee injury in December of 2014 could stop her on the roads or in her life.

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:


Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):


My healing journey using the power of visualization is featured in David R. Hamilton's book, "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body-Anniversary Edition." It's available on Amazon.







Sunday, February 17, 2019

On Earth Angels and Gratitude



The beauty of writing my memoir, "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953" was it gave me a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the earth angels who appeared in my life and to connect the dots to reveal a wondrous and miraculous tapestry of my life.

From the time I was 5 years old, I was blessed to connect with my guardian angel after contracting paralytic polio. My guardian angel sent many earth angels to guide me through recovery from polio and to help me hold steady through an intensely traumatic childhood and adolescence. Looking back I experienced the profound influence on my life from my physiatrist, physical therapist and a camp counselor. They planted the seeds for possibility, courage, faith and resilience that would hold me in good stead throughout my life.

After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December of 2006, a cascade of earth angels flowed into my life to lend a hand to lift me up out of the dark night of my mind, body and soul.

When this most unlikely runner found her way to the sport of running, I was embraced by the community of runners and race directors. With their love and support, I was able to run my race at my pace as I once visualized in the first poem I wrote, "Running the Race."

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.
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.
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.


So much gratitude fills my heart as I share with you the Dedication and Acknowledgements from "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953":

This book is lovingly dedicated to:

My husband Tom who has been by my side stride for stride for over 40 years. Here’s to many many more adventures to come….

The earth angels who brought a touch of grace to my life and helped me to overcome my challenges.

My village who embrace me and surround me with unconditional love cheering me on to go the distance on the roads and in my life.

To anyone who was given a diagnosis and told what their limits would be….Remember you are not your diagnosis…You have the power within you to heal!

With deepest gratitude to Anthony Raynor for giving me an invitational entry to the Bermuda Half Marathon 2018. It gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to know that I am healthy, whole and healed.

Thank you to Race Directors Dave McGillivray, Paulie Collyer and Alain Ferry for giving me the opportunity to run my race at my pace.

Thank you to all the mind/body luminaries who lit the spark that led me out of the dark night of my mind, body and soul and led me into the light of how life is meant to be lived.


Every time I hit the wall in my healing journey, a door opened to possibility that catapulted me back on my healing path.

When our heart is open and filled with gratitude despite or maybe because of the challenges that are placed before us, miracles happen with earth angels to light the way.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.



“The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” takes you on Mary McManus’ healing odyssey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond. After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December 2006, Mary got still and asked for Divine Guidance tapping into the powerful connection she experienced to the Divine from an early age. She harnessed the power of her mind to heal her body, feverishly writing poetry in which she imagined herself healthy, whole and free from the shackles of her youth. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running. Her story is one that will leave you cheering for the underdog, discovering the meaning of different ability and experiencing the stunning view from the back of the pack of a race. You will have the privilege of bearing witness to how Mary overcame every challenge that life presented to her. The sport of running provides the backdrop for her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Running became a way of life for Mary that tested her mettle while forging friendships to last a lifetime. As you’ll discover in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” nothing, not even a serious knee injury in December of 2014 could stop her on the roads or in her life.

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:


Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):


My healing journey using the power of visualization is featured in David R. Hamilton's book, "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body-Anniversary Edition." It's available on Amazon.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Run With Your Heart-All You Need is Love!



Today is a very emotional day for the Middlemiss Family. It is the one year anniversary of when their son Jack had a heart transplant. It also marks the day when a family lost their child and in an act of kindness that defies description, donated their child's heart.

Scott, Kate, Jack and Grace set up camp at the Johnny Kelley statue to cheer on Team Big Heart and other Boston Marathon charity runners who are training for the Boston Marathon. Those runners are running with all their heart, to raise money and awareness for causes near and dear to their hearts like the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. Jack's older brother Joey died on September 23, 2013 from cardiomyopathy; Jack was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.



From their website:

Joseph's parents, Scott and Kate Middlemiss, have created this foundation to honor their beautiful son by continuing the kindness and love that Joey shined on everyone.

The Foundations 3 Main Objectives:

To expand "The Joseph Middlemiss All You Need is Love Mission," fostering the spread and documentation of Random Acts of Kindness on local, national and international fronts.

To educate children on the power of kindness by supporting the efforts of schools (creating and leading motivational assemblies, providing books and related resources, buddy benches and kindness libraries), and empowering students through scholarships for music and martial arts.

To contribute to research for and spread awareness of childhood heart conditions while providing financial, social and emotional assistance to families impacted by these (pizza parties, brunches and patient and parent care bags on the 8th floor at Boston Children's Hospital).


This morning, after our morning meditation and deciding on where we would run today, I said to Tom, "Gee I wonder where the Middlemiss family will be setting up their aid station today."

When I logged onto Facebook there was a post tagged onto a member of Team Big Heart, Andrea Ketcham Walsh's post about today's run from Kate. "Mary McManus, I know you often ask where we will be. Today we will be at the Johnny Kelley statue."

Perfect! We knew our out and back route would be from Johnny's statue.

It was a beautiful late winter's day with the sun shining and little wind.

What a special day to celebrate Jack's heart-i-versary with the Middlemiss Family.



A message from Kate via Facebook:
An extra special morning cheering on all the Boston Marathon training runners along Commonwealth Ave. So many of these runners have special stories of their own (some we heard about today) and run for truly remarkable reasons. They get out of bed and RUN because they CAN and often for a cause they hold close to their hearts. It’s simply amazing to witness the determination and sheer grit of so many who travel this course in preparation for the greatest marathon of all. We are humbled to play a a small role in this journey by providing refreshments, music, and cute antics from the best cheerleaders around. I’m proud to have my children witness the dedication of all these runners! It’s an amazing sight to witness hundreds cross by us on Saturday mornings! Today was extra special because it’s the one year anniversary of Jack’s heart transplant. While this little boy isn’t training for a marathon, he has exhibited similar “marathon finisher” strength and determination over the past year. He’s been through a lot yet continues to live, smile, dance, and LOVE thanks to the most selfless gift of all from another family during their darkest hour. I’m so glad he was able to be out there today and cheer on the runners. It was so significant. It’s been an emotional day already as we celebrate Jack, stay aware of all he continues to go through, and hold the donor family so close to our hearts. Thank you for this gift of life. We were happy to share it with hundreds of runners today!



Tom and I went off for our 3.5 mile run (more on that in tomorrow's blog).

We talked about the incredible serendipity that brought the Middlemiss family and so many big hearted people into our lives!

We first learned about the Joseph Middlemiss Foundation at the Runners World Classic race where we volunteered in July 2016.

At the starting line of the Bermuda Half Marathon....(from The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953):
“Hey are you Joe Middlemiss?” I asked a tall runner wearing a Team Big Heart shirt.

“No Joey passed away and…”

“Oh I’m so sorry of course. I’m not thinking clearly. I meant to ask if you were Scott but obviously you’re someone else.”

“Hi I’m Linda and this is my husband Brad. How do you know about Team Big Heart?”

We were in awe of what a small world it was after I shared with them our Team Big Heart connection. We took photos of them at the starting line proudly wearing their Team Big Heart shirts and one with Ed Christopher.

We said another prayer and listened to the Town Crier make the proclamation to mark the start of the 2018 Bermuda Marathon and Half Marathon. We wished Brad and Linda a wonderful time out on the course as they were completing their Bermuda Triangle Half Challenge.




When we returned from Bermuda, we connected with Linda and Brad on Facebook and Team Big Heart Boston Marathon runners. The circle grew and grew.

In April of 2018, I had the privilege and honor of meeting Scott at Dave McGillivray's Book Launch of Dream Big.



Run with your heart and live from your heart. We are all so privileged and blessed to be a part of the circle of love that was borne out of unspeakable tragedy when 6 year old Joey Middlemiss earned his angel wings.

One year ago today, one family gave the ultimate gift of love and life that is now beating in Jack's beautiful little body.

Whatever challenges life may place before us, all you need is love to prevail and be able to run the best marathon of our lives.

Follow this link to make a donation to Team Big Heart's Boston Marathon Team.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Mary

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.



“The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” takes you on Mary McManus’ healing odyssey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond. After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December 2006, Mary got still and asked for Divine Guidance tapping into the powerful connection she experienced to the Divine from an early age. She harnessed the power of her mind to heal her body, feverishly writing poetry in which she imagined herself healthy, whole and free from the shackles of her youth. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running. Her story is one that will leave you cheering for the underdog, discovering the meaning of different ability and experiencing the stunning view from the back of the pack of a race. You will have the privilege of bearing witness to how Mary overcame every challenge that life presented to her. The sport of running provides the backdrop for her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Running became a way of life for Mary that tested her mettle while forging friendships to last a lifetime. As you’ll discover in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” nothing, not even a serious knee injury in December of 2014 could stop her on the roads or in her life.

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:


Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):


My healing journey using the power of visualization is featured in David R. Hamilton's book, "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body-Anniversary Edition." It's available on Amazon.