I don’t cry in front of others. Not if I can help it. I’m not the kind to sob at sappy movies either. So I really was caught off guard by the giant lump in my throat that kept threatening to make my tears flow during Sunday’s Hot Chocolate 5K/15K in Atlanta.
It was my first 5K and I felt like I was surely dying at times (mostly because I completely failed to train for hills and then discovered the course was about 85% hills), but the pain wasn’t what nearly made me cry.
It was the inspiration and pride all around me. It was emotionally overwhelming. And unexpected.
First there was the older couple I saw holding hands as they slowly made their way up and down the hills. Then there was the really, really obese woman behind me at the starting corral whose thin friend was telling her, “I love you and know you can do this.” There were volunteers along the path handing us water and telling us not to give up. I saw a dad with his little boy holding up signs to encourage his mommy. It was beautiful. Truly.
And that finish line. It nearly took what little breath I had left away.
After gaining a gazillion pounds while doing fertility treatments, carrying triplets, dislocating both knees, fracturing one knee and letting stress-eating pack on additional pounds, I’d about given up on my body.
In the fall, I slowly…VERY slowly…began to go through the Couch to 5K program. I did each week twice to be sure I wasn’t rushing and risking injury. I went ahead and registered for a 5K and told everyone. I knew I needed that level of accountability.
The immediate support my family and friends offered was amazing. And those positive voices they put in my head pushed me forward. When the race volunteers cheered us all on at each mile marker Sunday, I was hearing my friends reassuring me that I COULD do this…that I AM worth the work.
I only ran (jogged is probably a much more accurate description of what I was doing) about 2/3 of it. I had to stop twice and walked the rest. But I finished. And I wasn’t last.
Thank you for being the cheerleaders in my head Sunday. I’m registered for another 5K in March and am considering doing another one before it. I’m not giving up.
Possibly Related Posts:
- Same but Different
- In Memoriam: Ms. Betty
- I Know it Isn’t Normal to be Like This
- Between Merry and Melancholy
- There Simply is No Way to Understand