Saturday, March 16, 2019
A Second Wind
Whether in running or in life, we tend to impose limits on ourselves. Yet time and time and time again, we can surprise ourselves and get a second wind.
After running the 2009 Boston Marathon, I received a lot of publicity for what I had accomplished as a survivor of paralytic polio shortly after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome. In December of 2006, I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. On April 20, 2009, I crossed the finish line of THE Boston Marathon.
I had to take a hiatus from running to recover from training for Boston but in the summer of 2010, I was back on the roads enjoying the thrill of running and racing.
In March of 2011, I was devastated by my nephew's death. He took his life on March 4th which is my wedding anniversary.
As the fog of grief slowly cleared, I joined my Spaulding Rehab teammates on April 15, 2013 to celebrate my Boston Marathon run and cheer on the 2013 Race for Rehab Team from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. At 2:49 we heard a sound we usually don't associate with Marathon Monday; a cannon or perhaps the explosion of a man hole cover. A few seconds later the hotel shook and white smoke wafted up from Boylston Street.
"It's bad. It's real bad. It's a tragedy," said one of my former Race for Rehab teammates who had the courage to look out onto Boylston Street before we were evacuated from the Hotel.
It was a wake up call for me to get back to the sport I loved that was my medicine, my therapy and to become a part of a community of runners that would henceforth be known as Boston Strong.
My story was woven into the fabric of the survivor community and while I blogged and wrote another book, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance", a sequel to "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" I didn't actively put my story out there.
I was writing the next chapters of my life after getting a second wind. Despite a serious knee injury in December 2014, after being told to prepare for a total knee replacement and to give up running or at least cap my distance, I went on to run 3 Bermuda Half Marathons in as many years. My journey is a testament to the power of the mind/body connection and the power of the Spirit to prevail and overcome whatever challenges life may present.
Here I am ten years later after running the Boston Marathon with a new book, "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953" and sharing my story as a guest on radio shows and conference calls about happiness, health and wellness.
I am most excited about my upcoming Book Launch Party hosted by my dear friends Walter and Paula-Romero Dunbar at their celebration boutique, Paper Fiesta in Natick Center Cultural District.
I am in awe of how people are reaching out to me eager to have me share my story with their networks and the responses I am receiving from people who have already read my book.
The full listing of News and Events can be found on my website.
My story is not just my story. It's a story for the ages about courage, strength, resilience, faith, determination and going far enough to find that second wind.
To your health and wellness,
From my heart to yours
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.