Running changed my life! I came to the sport quite by accident. As Dave McGillivray said in his book review of "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953," I am "a most unlikely runner:"
“A most unlikely runner stood to my right as I gave the oral command for the mobility impaired start of the 113th Boston Marathon on April 20, 2009. That most unlikely runner was Mary McManus. She overcame the childhood challenges of paralytic polio and years of childhood trauma to become a runner at the age of 53 years old and take on the challenge of the Boston Marathon at 55 years old. In “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” you’ll be inspired as I have been by her courage, resilience and determination to overcome whatever obstacles life put in her path. Mary’s life story set against the backdrop of running in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” will leave you asking the question, “If Mary was able to accomplish all that in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, what’s stopping me from being the best I can be?” Dave McGillivray Race Director – B.A.A. Boston Marathon
The other day on Facebook, Steve Jones
posted a challenge:
Every day I select a day from a life of running that has had an impact on me, or has been a memorable moment and post it without a single explanation (except for the above !!) I then nominate someone else to take up the challenge.
Be active, be positive, be passionate.....
Grow the sport!
I took on the challenge that took me back through my adventures as runnergirl 1953.
Here's Part II of the challenge:
Day 6: The Brookline Tab (our local newspaper) heard about my quest to run the Boston Marathon shortly after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. They sent Neal Simpson to interview me and a photographer to snap this photo of Tom and me running around the Reservoir. Gotta love the outfits. This was before we went to Marathon Sports to get the proper gear necessary to train for and run the Boston Marathon.
I have the article, "Run Don't Walk" framed in my home office:
Day 7: The 2009 Boston Marathon finish line photo. In December of 2006 I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I got still and asked for Divine Guidance only to discover the gift of poetry in my soul. I wrote the poem "Running the Race" that foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run. Poems flowed out of me in which I imagined myself healthy, whole and free running unencumbered free from the shackles of my past even though I had never run a day in my life. This photo captures my message of healing, hope and possibility!
Day 8: Spectacular Day on Spectacle Island Take a boat ride out to Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor, run a 5K around the Island and enjoy an after party with food and beverages sounded like a great idea for an adventure. It was hot and my first trail race but race director J. Alain Ferry told me he would always have my back at a race - and he did. When I had pre-race jitters and asked him if he thought I'd be okay out on the course, he replied, "If it were easy everyone would do it right?" Here's our finisher photo!
Day 9: Jingle Bell 5K in Somerville I was trash talking in my blog about running a PR at this race. There was a group of us running that day and everyone gathered around me cheering me into the finish. Doug Welch snapped this photo of me hitting the mat and reaching my goal. As I wrote about in my blog, there was Christmas Magic at the Jingle Bell 5K.
Day 10: Coming out of the tunnel getting ready to take our left on Hereford Street and right on Boylston Street as we approached the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon! Our son Autumn carried the sign that my energy healer made and gave to us on Heartbreak Hill. Janine knew that a year of training defying all the odds was about to come to fruition on Boylston Street after 7 hours and 47 minutes; 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.
So there you have it....highlights of a most unlikely runner's adventures told in 10 photos.
To experience the trials and tribulations, triumphs and inspiration in greater detail, and to feel the heal through my book of inspirational poetry, check out my Trilogy of Transformation and poetry book available on Amazon.
To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
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.