Sunday, September 21, 2014

Accomplishment

I did it!
I completed my first 5km "race". I walked, not ran. I'm not a runner. In fact, I don't think I'll ever be a runner even if/when I get repaired. My knees are not good. Towards the end of the 2k in May I tried running the last 200 hundred meters or so, just because my time was so slow but since then my knee has been making funny clicking & grinding noises. Ah well, I'm over 40.

So yes, the 5 km today. My time was 1:05:28 (chip) 1:05:35 (gun). I know it's actually not that great (compared to others) but seeing as my goal was to finish it in under 1:15 I'm quite happy. Not only did I do faster than I thought but I wasn't dead last. Not in my age or gender category. Actually there were still a chunk of people behind me. With 15,000 people in this "race" I was never alone. Unlike the May race there I was in the last 100 on the pavement, there were still thousands of people behind me. It actually felt awesome. Unfortunately I wasn't able to have my "transcendence" race all to myself. With that many people you end up talking to many folks, especially in the sick and disabled start. One woman was on high flow oxygen and we chatted for a bout 50 meters. She's waiting for a set of lungs in Toronto. She came (home) to do the race. That was so awesome to see. Another woman I met is now 'retired' from the military and has pain every day. Of course Rick Hanson (Canada's "man in motion") was at the start line in the "Sick/Injured" category ~ the one I was in. I was a few feet from him but I didn't bother getting a picture before hand as I was trying to deal with the thousands of folks there. For the first kilometre I really wanted to quit. I was already in pain and there was too much pomp & circumstance (in the way of thousands of participants and as many people cheering on). By the half way mark I really started appreciating the spectators. I had walked part of the (end) course a few times before so I knew when we were less than 1.5kms from the finish line. I put my power songs and and pushed it. Of course, me belle, along with other soldiers, were there handing out medals. She gave me mine and I puttered out. Sweaty, tired and high. I've never experienced an athletic high before. Now I have.

My whole walk was a metaphor of my journey thus far and to come. Once you push through the fear you can do so much more than you ever thought. It's not easy. No one ever said that, however it is possible. So many people give up and I'm glad I didn't. Though I would have preferred to have a solitary race, I am appreciative of the stranger I met at the beginning that motivated me to keep going. She represents all of the friends, acquaintances, loved ones and general great folk that have motivated me to keep pushing forward. I have to mention though, someone who has motivated me long before we ever met "physically": my nephew. Being my brother's son, he has my eyes (my bother and I have the same eyes/shape/colour/long lashes) so when I look into his eyes some days, it feels like I'm looking back at my inner child. He is the most precious being that has graced my life the past 11 months.