Today was the “family 5K,” the first athletic event my husband’s family has ever participated in as a group.
This is NOT the family you’d picture when you think 5K. They’re wonderful people, don’t get me wrong, but they hold on to a lot of unhealthy habits from the Old Country. Our generation is very active, but the aunts and uncles… not so much. Two are diabetic, most are overweight, and I don’t think anyone exercises.
Until Uncle Moe.
Uncle Moe decided that he didn’t like his tummy or the extra weight he was carrying around. He made a New Year’s resolution to do something about it. He started watching what he eats and joined a gym. Walking on the treadmill progressed to running on the treadmill, and then by Easter he’d lost 45 lbs.
Uncle Moe was looking sharp.
At Easter dinner he started talking with my sister-in-law, the marathoner – I did say that my generation is a lot more active! – because he wanted to run a race. My SIL decided that we’d all run one together, to celebrate Uncle Moe’s first race and his amazing accomplishment. She knew this race was coming up, so she collected the information and sent out a mass mailing. The family rallied around him; my SIL, two cousins, two aunts, an uncle, and I registered to run.
Today was race day, and everyone met at the start line. It was a hot, sunny day, but we were all there ready to run. Uncle Moe looked nervous, but ready to go. We all took off at varying speeds, and waved to other family members who’d stationed themselves along the course to cheer us on.
(I’ve never seen my 2-year-old DD so excited as when she screamed “GO MOMMY!!! THAT’S MY MOMMY!!” as I ran past. That made all that time in the sun well worth it!)
As we finished, we waited near the finish line to cheer on the rest of the family. Uncle Moe looked tired but happy as he crossed the line, and was so thrilled to have us all there. The aunt and uncle who finished shortly after him – having walked the course, rather than running – looked similarly proud.
Uncle Moe ran his first race at 60 years old, got 2 other members of his generation moving on a day when they’d normally be sitting on the couch with the air conditioning cranked up. He inspired many others to cheer us on, at an event they’d have never known about otherwise. I can't wait to see what other changes might come out of this!
Go Uncle Moe!