Kris and I are standing at the start waiting to go and I am impressed by the diversity of the crowd. People of every age, size, shape, nationality and several four footed runners as well.
There were several people that were running with strollers making it a family affair. It just goes to show you anyone can run.
The race started and off we all trotted in unity. As usual, my spirits soared with the joy of group running. I thought to myself, I want to do this the rest of my life!!! A few seconds later a noticed a young girl pass me on my right. Wait, that is not a young girl! It’s a lady who was several inches shorter than me because she (obviously) had osteoporosis. I think I mistook her at first for a young girl because I saw her long silver braid resting on her curved back and mistook it for blonde hair.
She really struck me because she was short like me, thick like me and she was wearing pink like me!
My heart swelled with hope (or maybe I just went out too fast from the start line) at the prospect of still running even when I am a bent old lady. As I watched her leave me behind in the crowd, I thought “I’ll never see that speedy senior again.” (I did.)
I ‘ran’ on as person after person after person passed me. I didn’t care. I was out there running after three weeks away on business. I finally had time to go on a significant run and better yet, share it with my husband who I had sorely missed.
I was struck by the seniors who were running and the children! I saw kids as young as eight running. I was especially touched by seeing young girls running with their Moms. What a great way to bond and share. I was so proud of the moms sharing activities with their daughters that would teach them healthy habits, hard work, self esteem and confidence. I saw a young girl running with her dad. Again, what a great message to send your daughter and build a special connection. It was so uplifting it made the run easy.
Then I hit the first hill. I cleared it effortlessly. The spirit of the people and the uplifting atmosphere I’m sure made it that way. I am definitely going to do this for the rest of my life.
The organizers had marked the route every 1k. So the signs ticked off as I went and I was continuing to be passed by others. I even was amazed at how soon I saw the first runners coming back from the turn around point (it was an out and back). I started to think about how slow I run and that I might as well be walking. But I don’t like walking as much. It doesn’t feel as good for some reason.
So I tried to just remind myself, it doesn’t matter how fast I go as long as I still love it. So I kept ‘shuffling’ along and soon I saw a figure in pink to my left. It was someone on the way back from the turn around. I saw out of the corner of my eye that the person may be looking my way. So I turned toward them and saw the lady with the silver ponytail. She wasn’t looking my way, she was looking right at me; into my eyes. As soon as our eyes met she gave me a beautiful smile.
Call it “Hoo hoo” but I have had many times in my life when I felt people’s energy and knew they felt mine. I am certain that lady sensed my eagerness somehow. Her gaze said clearly to me, “Don’t worry. You will be like me.” And it made me feel so good!
When I am an old lady, I will grow my silver hair out long and wear in a braid down my back ……when I go out for my runs.