|Yes . . . it's really ME!|
You probably know I am Shuttle Girl - the one who hates walking the quarter mile from my parking structure to my office. So whatever possessed me to think I could do this I'm not quite sure, but I suspect it was the support and encouragement I received my my co-workers and my Weight Watcher pals. I couldn't even sleep the night before. I kept having visions of myself draped along the curb with concerned paramedics by my side, waiting for the pick-up wagon to come fetch me and take me for medical assistance.
Earlier Friday afternoon I had stopped to pick up my tee-shirt, bib number and goodie bag from the Community Center. My confidence was somewhat bolstered by the interesting assortment of people in line picking up their registration packets, too. All shapes and sizes in all age ranges. Well, hell, maybe I can do
this! I did take my friend Rhonda's suggestion, and stopped at CVS for band aids (in case of blisters), just to be safe. I toyed with the idea of bringing along one of the disposable mouth protectors for the kind soul who might have to perform mouth-to-mouth, but I couldn't find them.
That evening, I set out my clothes, and packed my little fanny pack with all of my identification, Red Cross Blood Donor card, and "ICE" numbers. I guess I'm set!
I got up bright and early Saturday morning, showered, had some coffee and a Weight Watchers Aloha Almond bar, said "good-bye" and "remember mommy always loves you" to the cats and Gracie. I hugged them tight, hoping I would make it back alive to resume their care. I hopped in my car and headed to meet the others at Jacki's house (my wonderful, amazing WW leader who had encouraged me to sign up for this adventure in the first place).
Now, I don't always faithfully follow my GPS's directions because most of the time I think I know a better way to get where I'm going. And in all honesty, I had scoped out her house the night before on my way home from the Community Center so I knew where I would be going in the morning. Sure enough, my GPS was giving me different instructions. But, since I had probably about 10 minutes to spare, I decided to follow her suggestions. I was taken some roundabout way through a nice neighborhood, and suddenly, voila! I was there! After parking and greeting the others I found out the way I thought I should go was all blocked off for the race. THANK YOU Garmin! I'm glad I listened to you this time.
A nice little group of Weight Watcher pals, some with childern and spouses had collected. Then, off we went to walk to the starting line. Which I had been to was a half mile away. No. It was ONE mile away. Hmmm . . . why was no one else whining? I kept my thoughts to myself. We were walking and chatting, then suddenly, we were there! That wasn't so bad after all. We met up with a few more friends, and milled around waiting for the 7:30 start. There were so many people! All different shapes and sizes, and all different ages. Dogs, kids, people waving signs, people wearing signs. A young woman standing in front of me had a sign pinned to her back that said "Survived Cancer twice. Once terminal, one lung gone. God is great!" Ok, seriously . . . stop whining HERE.
All of a sudden the crowd starts moving forward. I guess we started? I was expecting to hear a pistol fire off to signal the start, but maybe I just watch too much TV. But, hey - we're off! I hear chanting, and up along side of us carrying their banner is the police academy. Something like "we do this everyday and more! Hut, hut . . ." Yea, whatever. Showoffs. Just kidding! They were very inpressive and ramped up the excitement. So we keep going, we're walking and talking, and waving at the people lining the streets. People sitting in lawn chairs like they are at the Rose Parade. People waving all manner of signs. Some waved signs promoting their business, "Free Zumba Class!", and some were cheering on loved ones "Go Grandpa" and "Happy 77th Birthday Dad!" (please note: I have already stopped whining).
We wound through the neighborhood and someone was kind enough to set out sprinklers and misters spraying into the street to cool off the runners/walkers. In one driveway was an elderly man in a straw hat. Next to him he had set up a card table, and had an airpot of coffee, styrofoam cups and little packets of sweetner. No one I saw took him up on his offer of coffee, but bless his heart - what a nice thing to do. Right passed his driveway was a small sandwich board with a sign that said "Mile 1". Forget all about nice man/coffee. In my mind I was waffling back and forth between "1 MILE!" and "only 1 mile?". Walking, talking, then another sign "Mile 2". MILE 2! That means there is only one mile left! And I'm a-l-i-v-e! I'll see my cats and Gracie again! The time has actually flown by. I have enjoyed every single step I have taken. I have kept pace with two beautiful Dobermans that have been with the couple walking near me. I have learned more about Nicole and Penny, these wonderful WW pals that have been walking by my side. I have gained confidence in myself, and done something healthy for my body. I almost don't want this to end. Then up ahead is the Finish Line! Wait . . . there go the Dobermans. Oh well.
I seriously can't believe the Finish Line is right there!!! I stopped to take a picture of it. The timer says 1:05. I am shaving off a few minutes since I was standing there trying to figure out the phone to take pictures, so I am saying I finished in 1 hour flat (please humor me and just go with it). YAY! We took some post-walk pictures, then hunted down the booth giving out free Big Stick popsicles. (No, I didn't post pictures of that because I look like a fat Oompa-Loompa.) There were tubs of ice filled with bottled water, and more tubs with coconut water. The Kiwanis Club was having a pancake breakfast and I think the city of Cypress has some other stuff going on, but we turned and started our 1 mile walk back to Jacki's house. Car are still honking and cheering at us.
I fully realize this just "baby steps" and that many people run/walk 3 miles+ several times a week, if not more. But for ME, this was a huge accomplishment. I can't wait to do another one! I am going to Google some now . . .