Today I ran a 5k. That isn’t all that impressive in and of itself considering the number of people I know who regularly run full and half marathons. And I’ve run in 5 races prior, so it’s not my first time. But for me it’s a huge deal.
For one, I’m not great at running. At my physical peak, I’m built like a mediocre swimmer, not a runner. And I’m not at my physical peak. Because I’m 36, I like pizza and I’ve had poison in my body for the past 6 months.
But I decided to run. Because I wanted to show cancer and whoever is paying attention that I could do anyhing I decided to do. So I trained. And I trudged. And I did it even though it hurt and once actually made me barf. That might have been the chemo. But, I puked and got back on the treadmill. My feet go numb unless I’m barefoot and they hurt when I walk a lot. And running is worse. But I don’t care.
I ran today. And it rocked. I mean, the hills sucked and I wanted to die a couple times. And I was slow. Only a few hundred people out of the 1600 timed runners finished after us – hey, I’ll take it – if the lions were chasing us, they would have had to eat like 350 people before they got to me. (You don’t have to be the fastest – just don’t be the slowest, I always say.)
I ran today and I was inspired. You see, at the back of the pack is where the inspiration is. People are slow and jiggly and sweaty and red faced and it freaking rocks! Those gazelle like creatures at the front, they are awesome too but it comes naturally. Look at us back here! I’m not the most compassionate or sensitive person, but damn, I love the under dog in a 5k race. I love the older ladies scurrying along, the huge person moving forward by sheer will. The 9 year old in their first race. The guy with the knee brace. The girl with big boobs who just finished chemo. 🙂 We are fantastic.
The whole time, I want to shout “look at us! We’re doing it! We rock!”
And the supporters. OMG. You people and your handwritten signs and high fives and cow bells and “the finish line is right around the corner!” shouts! I love you. I tear up when I see a kid on Daddy’s shoulders with a sign that says “Go Mommy!” Damned right. Go, Mommy.
My own kid stood on the corner, waiting, cheering for me. That’s an amazing feeling – your child seeing you achieve something important.
I ran today and I wanted to kiss Pittsburgh on the mouth. The city is beautiful during a race. The rivers shimmer a little more and the buildings sparkle. Such a show off, Pittsburgh. Such a flirt.
In a race, it’s like we’re all in this together. We all want each other to do well. The whole city wants us to do well. Maybe the whole world. It feels like it, anyway.
Today was a challenge. I loved it. When’s our next race, friends?