Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Runners Supporting Movers

This last weekend was the Smokey Hills River Festival in Salina, Kansas. Since I've moved to Salina a few years ago, all I hear about is the festival around this time. It's as if the city shuts down for the event. Until this year, I truly never understood it t all. The festival is really geared towards fine arts and I can truly say the displays were neat to see. The vendors make some really interesting and amazing things as well. But the one thing that is cool about the festival is the 2 mile walk/run or the 5 mile run. It's every Saturday morning of the festival before the rest of the park opens up.

This year particularly, I decided I WASN'T going to run. I knew of a couple people who were runners or individuals who have walked in the past that decided they were going to do it long before Saturday rolled around. But as the weekend approached, I had more clients and gym-goers ask me why I wasn't running the race. I really had no reason to give them besides the fact that I just didn't want to. Thursday approached and a couple clients of mine who I never would have expected to sign up for a walk/run informed me they were, I began feeling bad. My 1st thought was, "I better get up and go cheer them on". But Thursday night before the race I laid in my bed debating about running the 5 miles. Then I remembered a vow I said to myself when I was training for the Oklahoma City 1/2 marathon. I vowed that as long as I have breath, and as long as I'm able to move, I will keep moving no matter how fast or how slow I am. (Besides, I'm an example to my clients! NO EXCUSES!) And so it was decided. I was going to run the race. I debated about just doing the 2 mile, but then after thinking about it some more, I realized I'm FULLY capable of the 5 mile run.

I showed up Saturday morning, registered, and saw each and everyone of my clients and/or gym-going friends. Everyone huddled together at the starting line. People were smiling, jumping around, stretching, and just full of excitement. As the gun went off, everyone took off down the road. I looked to my right and then my left, watched people of all shapes, sizes, and ages... all of which were moving. And I thought to myself,
"Look at him go!" and,
"that lady is killin it!" and,
"look at that dad pushing his daughter in that stroller, geezzz, I never want to push a stroller running!"
But I was just filled with excitement to see so many people moving. And I was reminded WHY I started running a few years ago.

I remember back to the days when I would get up to run anywhere from 5-10 miles before school. I remember running with a running team in my hometown. I remember always talking with other runners and how many miles they did that day. I remember the blistered and bloody toes. But most of all, I REMEMBER THE FINISH LINE! This year as I ran into the finish line, several of my clients shouted, clapped, and cheered me on. They could see how red my face was and as I passed by them, I took one earphone out and pointed at them saying, "I did this because of you"! They all laughed and it was a great time, but as I looked back at that morning, I was filled with joy. I was filled with joy to see a community of people supporting people who were moving.

So many times people don't do  5K walks or runs because they think they are for the "ATHLETE"... but guess what, if your moving, YOU'RE AN ATHLETE! That is why I love the running community, and that is why I love this community. True runners aren't prideful. True runners have all had a bad run. True runners have felt like they were going to die. True runners are humble. And lastly, TRUE runners acknowledge and support NEW (runners, movers, walkers, joggers, sloggers, plodder... or whatever else you consider yourself!)

Thank you to my clients and gymrat friends for the encouragement. I actually PR-ed at the race, shaving 2 minutes off my last years time. But ultimately, THANK YOU for holding me ACCOUNTABLE as well as being so supportive.

Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people.