Last August I had no idea that I would be able to run again. The symptoms of fatigue, weakness, pain and cervical spine discomfort flared. I knew I had to ask for help and as always, my 'Master Magician' Dr. Omar El Abd of the Newton Wellesley Hospital Spine Center was there along with an angel of a physical therapist Catherine Barry. Together we mapped out a plan and little by little, step by step, every day in every way I am indeed getting better and better (thank you Emile Coue).
I am training for Lex's Run For MDA
next Sunday and the Tufts 10K. What's my secret? What do I do? Well, unlike magicians or chefs, I want to share my secrets for success with you.I begin my day by waking slowly. I meditate and pray. What's the difference? For me, when I meditate I am focusing on my breath and connecting with God to cleanse my energy, refresh my cells and feel my closeness and Oneness with the Source of All. I quiet my thoughts so I can receive inspiration for the day. I check in with my body. Where is the tension? Where is the pain? I relax into it and release it. I am so blessed to be working with Eric Derrico
and we are creating new cellular memories in our work together, and I reinforce these new patterns during my meditation.
I then offer my prayers for the day for those near and dear to my heart and for the world.
I have a series of cervical spine stretches which I do three times a day. The first exercise begins while lying down; one is done sitting and one is done using the door jamb. I have a foam roller and mat and have a series of three exercises to do using the foam roller to stretch out the cervical spine. Every evening I use a cervical traction machine for ten minutes. This is a wonderful time for meditation and for visualizing the healing of the cervical spine. When my energy wanes I either take a nap or will take time to close my eyes and meditate. My heart sings when I write poetry either for New World Greeting Cards
original poetry to commemorate and celebrate every occasion or for my new books of poetry (I am blessed to be collaborating with two very special people - more to come). I gather in the morning at the Daily Prayer Blog
written by my dear friend Kate Loving Shenk.
Sunday is a rest day.
Upper body strength training using a pilates ball and weights. I have been increasing the weights and the repetitions during the past year and still am not at maintenance of doing two sets of ten reps each for 3 pounds but that's just fine. Every three weeks I increase reps or weights. My cervical spine is very happy with this plan. I use a blue theraband for upper body strength training and have an exercise to help with the rotator cuff issues on my left arm.
Cardio training - A 45 minute run maximizing heart rate. I do several hills (while I would love to do hill training, my hips got really angry at me for doing so - but who knows with the work I am doing with Eric, I just may be able to tackle some hills again for maximum cardio training).
Upper body strength training (see above) and lower body strength training. I have different exercises to choose from for each class of muscles which include doing squats, plies, calf raises, lunges, single leg stands, and single leg deadlifts. I was using weights when I worked with my beloved personal trainer Janine Hightower
but with the flare of cervical spine disease, my physical therapist said we had to eliminate weights. So we use gravity, and length of time holding the pose to get the maximum benefit. I use the three week rule for increasing reps and use a mix of the exercises. Some weeks, with the increased running, I am not able to increase reps and I tell myself - that is just fine. Slow and steady, tuning into the body and finding that delicate balance between pushing a little but not risking injury.
A 3 mile power walk/run depending on weather and how I am feeling for cardio.
Core exercises and upper body strength training. Core exercises were prescribed by my first healing angel at Spaulding Rehab, Alison Lamarre Poole and I continue to use them to strengthen the once weakened and deconditioned core.
Cardio - 'long run' with my husband. He pushes me to achieve my personal best and paces me above what I would do if I were running alone. I have said it before and I'll say it again - I am so blessed to have an incredible life and running partner.
Every three to four weeks I have a session with Eric for stretching, flexibility, releasing tension and pain, creating new pathways and new cellular memories to keep this 56 year old body which has survived paralytic polio, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, over 25 surgeries and overcome the challenge of post polio syndrome to keep running!
I am so eternally grateful to all of my healing angels, to God, to my husband and you my beautiful friends and followers who fuel my journey with your love and support.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment!
With my love,