You saw my posts and status all year. You saw the puny baby-steps I had to start with. You all thought I would give up and when I didn’t, you all started to cheer me on. I trained intensely to run 3 miles, not in a race against anyone, other than myself. My intentions were to run with all my family, and leave it all on the track. That was my dream.
My dream was to run together, but not run just any run. It had to be a hard run. One in which would require daily training, and commitment. We needed to learn to push ourselves everyday and keep that commitment. We needed to learn to be alone and to fight the good fight within. It can be a lonely place out on the country roads training, and that is exactly why I chose them over the gyms, or school tracks. There is no, show and tell. No one watching, or doing the same. There are just the farmers, animals, and occasional tractor kicking up dust. Out in the country it is all just between you and God.
The training wasn’t easy by any means for this ol’ bag of bones. Through many blisters, shin-splints, knees popping, sore hips, lungs that didn’t want to open, among many other health trials to deal with, I had to preserver through it all. After all, if I could do it, then my family is a sure win in life, because they will remember this. Just never give up and NEVER let anyone tell you it’s impossible!
Well the day finally came that I had waited for all year! The announcement, “The Run, Walk, Roll or Crawl” was made! Many thought it was a great idea! Nobody would be excluded from it. Everyone was welcome to join. The young, old, or handicap, you were welcome whatever your capability. Pappy was a time-keeper and lap counter for those who wanted their time kept, or laps counted. We had a water station and people at ready to pass water out to those in need on the run, or walk. They were totally awesome! It was all coming together as I dreamed it could be.
And what would be the only thing on my mind as we walked over to the start line…’I have to pee!!’ LOL! Yep, I was so nervous, just like when I was in my prime, and before every race. Some things never change.
The time came to start us off. Instructions were given for walkers to stay on the left, runners on the right, and no more than two people wide. We were running a trail and I didn’t want to have over-lapping runners to have to negotiate in the ditches or the woods to get around the walkers. (Okay, okay, I didn’t want to have to use the extra energy and lose unnecessary focus to go around off my path. I needed every ounce I had. If you are a runner or ex-runner, you know what I mean).
So, off we go!
I can’t believe this is it! Such a bittersweet feeling. My guys took off like a bullet! I’m so proud of them. Bumpa and Grandma are in this too! The whole family is here fulfilling my dream! Awesome!
Okay, I must stop thinking like this and get back my focus. 3 miles is a long trek and I need to get these lungs opened yet.
The sun is hot! Good thing Pappy picked a trail with shady spots. I’ll use those to slow up and conserve.
The first lap is always the killer. My old friend, Doubt, start immediately but I trained past him. He’s an old ‘Self’ sabotaging trick to keep me lesser than my potential. He can be quite stubborn in his ways of getting me to do less or even agree to quit! He always starts with me but, he always quits himself by the 3rd lap and leaves me alone.
The 4th and 5th laps are the hardest. My body has warmed up and is running as hard as it can. My chest is heaving heavy in the heat. I now rely on my counter of laps because of the internal focus is on automatic. My mind is constantly seeking the positive energy and setting the little goals to up the ante of achievement within my self.
But there’s something new here now that has caught my attention that I didn’t have to deal with in my training, and that would be the other struggling runners and walkers. I hear them exclaiming how hard this is and they are tired. This happened on one of my small walks in the shade and though I rarely talk and walk, I felt I needed to here. Encouragement was needed and worth it. ‘You can do this, I said. Walk when you want, run when you can. Pace yourself easy, and you will finish this. Cross that finish line.”
I don’t believe I lost any momentum for doing that, although some might argue I did. I believe I gain from it because, it was also reinforcement to myself.
The 6th lap. Oh boy! Here I go! This lap is most important. I must steady a slightly quicker pace and plan ahead, cause I got me a plan to go out big!
I have just been given the ‘final’ lap notice! A small wave of cheer went up for me.
Focus. Keep the steady pace. I must take one small walk in that final shady spot near the end, but not allow my heart rate to slow too much. My body is aching and the chest is hurting. I smile and try to hold back the tears. “This is it God”, I whisper. Look!, I tell Him, there’s my boys waiting for me.
I can see them shouting encouragement at me. We are all about to live the moment we trained so hard for, ‘the kick’! We are going out ‘hard’! Leaving it all out there with no regrets!
We all ran our own race. The boys were already finished theirs, and as planned they came back 100 yards to run the final ‘kick’ all together.
I rounded the corner and they joined me. Side by side we all ran. I picked up the pace to a hard run and they stayed with me. Just as I could hear the shouts at the finish line we poured it on! Kicked it into high gear! Leaving every last ounce out there! The push, the drive and spit through the teeth as the hard excels!
WE DID IT!! AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!
It took quite a while to calm down. My heart was pounding in my ears! I was gasping hard as I was trying to walk it down. That in itself can be quite a feat, when your legs just want to collapse. I manage to stay up and get some water and a few congratulations.
But I was still not done…
Mom cheered for me as she was walking by. She had another lap to go, so I joined her at her pace. It was fun! And just like me and the boys, Mom and I ‘kick’ in the end. She left it all out there!
Still I was not done…
A dear friend also, had 1 final lap to go. So gladly I joined her. We had a wonderful chat together. And in the end, she too gave a little ‘kick’ to show them she still had it!
Still I was not done…
There was 1 final participant, our oldest walker, recovering from a stroke only one year ago. A fighter for good health; like me. I just had to walk his final 2 laps with him. There is always something exciting to learn from the oldest of folks. He sets an awesome example of never giving up, and to set your mind to over-come all that is thrown at you.
It was clear he was tired, but he was determined to finish. The walker that walked with him kept a close watch on him throughout the walk. He was kept hydrated, and slowed down to help him pace (yes, we actually had to slow him down ha, ha). On his last lap, he did something that no one saw coming until it was too late! Hunched over as he walks, sweat dripping off his nose, a sparkle of happiness in his eyes, he grinned from ear to ear, then ‘KICKED”!!!
As fast as he could shuffle he forced us to pick up to his pace to stay with him! A roar of cheer went up for him! Mr. Allen Becker, our oldest participant finished the 3 mile Run, Walk, Roll or Crawl with a Kick!!
As we crossed the finish line with our arms locked, he said to me, “now walk my heart down and don’t let me sit, until I’m ready”. Spoken like a true racer were his words, and I thought he was just an old, retired journalist!
As we were all cooling down a shout went up for a VICTORY lap! I was shocked! Everyone loved what we all accomplished so much so they wanted a victory lap! And so we did. One more lap (those who were able; others stay to cheer) walking together, talking and laughing.
I was seriously Happy
The next day, the over-whelming success was announced and The Run, Walk, Roll or Crawl was dubbed The 1st Annual!! Pappy and I were awed!
This particular day was like none other for me. You see, not only was this particular event blessed way beyond my dreams, but there was something else that was announced to me through email on this very morning as well… my first book published was making it’s debut on the same day!
I did not dream that!!
Tears of joy flowed often that day! Knowing all the hard work, pain, and negativity that tried to stop both dreams! But, I believed. I believed that with God all good things are POSSIBLE. Who else could have made both such a success and brought it all together on the same day!
A wife, mother, grand-mother, farmer and wrinkly ol' writer, who's finally got some roots planted in 'The Heart of the BottomsUP 2/3 Acre.' A born and raised city-chick, who found many'a smiles where her heart had always longed to be, in the country. Digging in as close to the beginning of creations, and finding wonderment with a smile. I live my life as a rollar-coaster adventure, and always adding new dreams as old ones are full-filled. Of course, I write about it all!