Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Runniversary to ME!

Sometimes new stuff doesn't always make a wave in your life until later...when it suddenly hits you that it is large and important.  So remembering the beginning is tough.

But that hasn't been the case for me with running - I remember standing in the cafeteria at work staring at the electronic announcement board advertising the first ever Girls on the Run Mother's Day race.  I remember thinking "Yeah - I should do that!" without a clue as to what it really meant.  It was a crazy-hair-brained idea that has landed me in a whole new place in life...as sometimes crazy-hair-brained ideas do.

And I have so much to say about this 1 year anniversary.

A lot has changed in the last year.  While I still have definite room for improvement in the fitness area, I have come a long way.  I mean, I ran a half marathon for crying out loud.  If you had told me a year ago that would happen, I would have laughed.  In fact, I did laughed at a co-worker (yes - in his face...) when he mentioned he heard a rumor I was training for one.  And that was 6 mo after I started running...

In a nutshell - here is the change in my life that has occurred...Friday I volunteered at Rebekah's school.  They were having (basically) a track and field day.  As the PE teacher handed out assignments to activities, asking if there were any physical limitations she needed to be aware of...my only thought was that she should give me the toughest assignment she had.  I was sure I could handle it.

I don't know that I got the toughest, but the one I did get definitely had a physical aspect to it.  It was called "canoeing", and basically there were gym mats on top of wheels (a plastic square with four wheels attached to it...two of these were under a gym mat) for the canoe.  One kid pushed the other across a parking lot - they swapped places and came back.

The only problem was that some kids couldn't push their partners.  Sometimes the wheels needed to be adjusted.  Sometimes kids had to be adjusted.  This resulted in a lot of physical activity for me for the day.  I pushed kids.  I ran from one side to the other to help each and every team that had problems. 

Side note?  These school activities are always fascinating.  The people I meet are always...interesting.  I made the mistake of asking the gal who was partnering with me if she happened to work outside the home.  She replied she sold "slumber parties".  "Slumber parties?" I inquired, wondering if there was really a market for such a specific type of party organization...yeah...I walked into that one.  Turns out "slumber parties" was a simple code for sex toys.  I also got to hear about hairy legs and ingrown toenails.  I wish I could make this stuff up.

Anyway...back to the real purpose of this blog post...my only regret was that I had worn jeans. I had started to put on my running capries, but they had a bit of an odor to them.  In hindsight, I would have taken the odor.  It was rather hot to be darting about in that type of clothing.  But I survived.  The kids survived.  I was blessed to see some rather amazing things.

Some things were rather comical (even if a little sad)...for example the scrawny 60 lb kid trying to push an (at least) 150 lb kid.  I stepped in and gave a good heave-ho and pushed the kid back across the parking lot.  He had a blast and the smile was totally worth it.

Some things touched my heart.  One girl eagerly pushed her partner.  I noticed she was struggling about half way.  "You can do it!" I shouted.  Then I jogged over to help get them to the other end.  As I squatted down to help, I noticed that the girl was missing her hand.  She didn't complain one time.  (Trust me - plenty of kids said "I can't do this!")  Her partner was also on the smaller side, so I happily pushed the girl with the missing hand back.  She had worked so hard with so little said, it was the least I could do!  I told her "WAY TO GO!" but didn't make much more of a deal out of it, because I didn't want to embarrass her. I was seriously impressed with her though.

This event was small - but it seemed to make such a big difference in these kid's lives.  As I pushed and jogged, all I could help think was that my journey over the last year helped me get to this place to enjoy these moments.  Physical health is about more than losing weight.  If it hadn't been for that journey I would have been scouring the list of assignments trying to figure out what I could handle without embarrassing myself.  Instead I was given the opportunity to make a difference in some kids' lives - which of course rubbed off on me.

To celebrate my runniversary, I ran in the GOTR Mother's Day race - but I'll post on that separately.  This post has been hanging around for a few days as is. :)

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