Monday, September 9, 2019
Runners - We Inspire Each Other!
It's been a tough go of it with our daughter's health and mental health issues which, we are now discovering, have a profound effect on each other. The role of advocate and untangling a very wieldy health care and behavioral health care system coupled with incredibly painful physical and emotional states is exhausting beyond words at times.
When we laced up our running shoes and headed out to M Street Beach in South Boston to get on a run, I wasn't sure what my mind, body and soul were going to be able to do. Tom is training for the BAA Half and had 9 miles on his training schedule. We will both be running the 6th Annual Middlemiss Superhero 5K on September 28th. Last year we were so exhausted from the cycle of hospitalizations without relief that we did a virtual 5K instead of going to the race. That is NOT going to happen this year!
I had no expectations for myself other than to breathe deeply, get my heart rate up and enjoy the views of the beach allowing the waves and salty air to wash away the stress of the past few weeks.
Tom and I park across from M Street Beach and he warms up with me before he gets in his miles at his pace.
As we started out, we saw a woman with a half leg brace and a limp running in front of us. Tom nudged me and said, "Look."
"I know" I said and I flashed back to when I wore a toe up leg brace, used a cane and at times a wheelchair for mobility:
Tom took off and as I started to pass the woman and her running partner I was moved to say, "You're awesome!"
"You're awesome!" she said back to me.
"May I ask why you wear the leg brace?"
"Sure you can. I have drop foot as a result of multiple sclerosis."
"Me - polio - Post Polio Syndrome 12 years ago but here I am."
I started to run ahead but heard her running mate say that she had another 3.6 miles to go for today.
"You training for something?"
"Yup running Dublin Marathon the end of October."
"I ran Boston 2009!"
"You raising money for MS?"
"Nope ... celebrating 20 years of living with MS."
We fist bumped and went on our ways. She was on a walking break but soon passed me.
"You're doing great...keep going."
"You too," I said and each of us did a fist pump in the air.
I had my fastest overall pace and fastest mile for my 3rd mile since focusing on shorter distances after running 3 consecutive Bermuda Half Marathons.
I was inspired by my new runner friend transcending and transforming the last few weeks I had by celebrating overcoming challenges.
She was inspired by me; an older runner still going strong with a neuromuscular condition.
I hope she will take me with her to Dublin. I know her story will be in my heart and continue to inspire me.
Even though we didn't exchange names and might never see each other again, we touched each other's lives on Day Boulevard running along the beautiful Boston coast line.
Runners - we inspire each other!
To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
To hear Race Director Dave McGillivray inspiring as only he can, he is going to be speaking at Whiraway Sports Center in Methuen on September 11th. Follow this link to register.
Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com
Hear my interview with Kendra Petrone on Magic 106.7's Exceptional Women Show by following this link
My books are available on Amazon and "Feel the Heal" and "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953" are available in Natick Center Cultural District at Paula Romero Dunbar's Celebration Boutique Paper Fiesta coincidentally located on Mile 10 of the Boston Marathon Route.