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Monday, September 10, 2018

My first part of this blog was to increase awareness of Sucicide Prevention. The second part of this blog is to , well, to toot my own horn, if I may. I signed up for this race in July thinking I can do this, I can train and practice for it and every thing will be just peachy, right. Well as race day was approaching (at a faster pace than I wanted) I started trying to talk myself out of it, making all kinds of silly excuses, such as...Really, You are almost 60 and not an athlete, you are much too overweight to finish, you will be dead last, you can't possibly be thinking about this seriously. I was really hoping it would just rain that day and it would be canceled, I would be off the hook. On Saturday morning my hubby, Jim, and I were up at 5:30, drinking our first cup of coffee and discussing our strategy for the 5k, as this was a first for both of us. Should we eat something? Should we just drink water and more water(we did stop at only 1 cup of coffee, a first for us, again.) What if we drink too much water, we will have to pee in the middle of the 3.1 miles, not an option!! But yet, we have to be well hydrated, right? It was a confusing morning, to say the least! We got to the park where we needed to be about 2 hours early because I thought maybe I needed to warm up the legs a bit, ok, maybe alot! The park is along the Wabash River so we did take the time to walk some and reflect on what we were about to jump into, and no, not the river. After we were there for a bit, I heard a familiar voice coming from the road, a source of strength for me, my Sparkling Spark people sister, and best friend in the whole wide world, MAWMAW101 aka Phyllis!! She came out in the cold and rain and wind to support me and my sweet hubby!!! Now I knew that I would be ok, now I knew that I could use her strength and support to get me through this. Shortly before the dreaded 5k started, I found my son and daughter in law , Kevin and Sara in the crowd, they too were participating in the race. They are both runners in these kinds of races and are very good at it too!! So there was even more support for these 2 oldish farts who were about to attempt something for the first time. So the horn to start the fastest walk of my 59 years had been set and we were on out way. I waved to Kevin and Sara as they ran past me with a thumbs up sign as if to say, come on, mom, you can do this! Jim and I stayed together for about the first mile but I could tell that he was only walking at my pace because he was worried anout me so I told him to take off at his pace and I would be fine( I hoped I would anyway). So boy, did he take off walking faster, I never did catch up to him!! I was walking fast, knowing in my heart that ok, I CAN finish this, I have to finish this for the ones who never got the chance to do this, the ones who, for whatever reason, are not here with us to enjoy this. I had to do this for MARK, for MARK!! Well I knew that I was one of the last of the walkers approaching the end of the race. Last, I didn't seem to focus on that word too much, my word was more like FINISH, no matter how long it took, just FINISH! As I was nearing the river, I looked up and saw Kevin, he had finished running, crossed over the finish line and then ran back up over the hill to find me and walk with me to the finish line. My heart was so filled with pride and love for this child of mine that at that moment it was all that mattered to me, not that I had finished, but that Kevin had helped me finish!!! When I crossed over the finish line, I heard the guy at the line say "that's everyone". I was last but I didn't care, I knew I had the love and support of my best friend and my family and for 58 minutes I did my best to make them proud and to make myself proud and to show my doubtful inner self that anything is possible when you believe in yourself! So on that cold, windy and rainy Saturday morning, I accomplished a goal of walking a 5k before I turn 60 in October, my hubby received his very first medal for placing 3rd in his age group, he is 62, and my daughter in law received her medal for placing first in her age group, she is 37. And I gained a new perspective on what this ole body can do. I found the love and support of Phyllis, my rock, and the hope that I will do this again.
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