Here is a brief bit of randomness about my trip to New Orleans to participate in the ½ marathon to benefit the American Cancer Society. And by random, I mean, I don’t think I’m calmed down enough yet to make any good sense. Such an AWESOME experience!
The day I was supposed to leave to meet my friend in Conway, was also the day that my street had a total of 20 inches of snow. I had picked up my car from JB Hunt, where the sweet people who plowed the parking lot piled everything up around my car. So, a 6’4” large man crawled in my compact car, while a considerably smaller man got behind my car and pushed. I’m certain now, at 6am, in a carhart jacket and jogging pants, while watching this that I’m going to need a new set of tires and that I’m already in for a long day.
Being back on the road to head home and load up my car, I’m a bit cocky that over the last couple of days I had handled my own in driving and such in this weather. Then I go to turn down my street…..and get stuck. At 6:15 am, in -17 degree weather, please understand me when I say, you cannot dig your car out and your snot will freeze. So, I decide the only option at this point is to walk home, crawl in bed and hope that after a nap, I will wake up and it will all be a bad dream. No such luck…..however, thanks to some kids who were home from school and looking for adventure, they pushed me out and I was on my way. On my way with no windshield wiper fluid working, and on my way with none of my clothes. Turn around, start over.
After that was out of the way, it was sort of smooth sailing…..here are the random highlights
– The drive to New Orleans is horridly long and boring, no matter how much music you have. Every gas station bathroom from Pine Bluff on should be condemned, and every mile should have some sort of sign giving you a good reason to keep going.
– Fried BBQ oysters w/ blue cheese dressing are not that bad. My dad would be proud of me for trying one. As much as the food was good, I’m not a seafood person and coming back to lean cuisines were just fine with me.
– Beignets from Café Du Monde have to be what is served in Heaven. Cause that is certainly where they came from. More than worth the wait in line
– Although there is more than a unique variety of people in New Orleans, it all seems to mesh well and provides me with more than enough sensory overload on people watching.
– By the time I picked up my race number on Saturday at the Expo, I was convinced that I had lost my mind. I was simply there to give someone else a person to pass.
– The race itself was mental warfare. So many random thoughts during my time on the route…such as:
o “Whoa, that was just a mile? Someone clearly measures differently than I do”
o “How is that group running w/ tutus and wigs on?”
o “Really, a daiquiri while you run? How is this fair”
o “If one more person rings a cowbell and says “you’re almost there” knowing dang well I’m only on mile 3 of 13.1, I’m stopping and hitting them in the mouth”
o “did that lady just pass me? She has to be 75, I bet she never ordered extra mayo on her sandwhiches”
o “yep, I’m gonna have to fake an injury to get out of this…but what is the most believable”
o “I fall at least every other day but you’re telling me I’m going to stay upright this whole dang race? “
o “Do you remember the times your dad took chemo and went to school to teach after? Is this really that bad? It’s a pretty day, great scenery, suck it up and finish this”
o “If I go one more step my feet are going to fall off…..yet, my dad couldn’t run a mile b/c of his polio……suck it up and do this right now”
o “wow, I’m in a big city, 17,000 runners and I know nobody around me at all……I really don’t need anyone do I? I got this whole life thing, if/when I finish this, I will NEVER accept defeat or think I can’t do something again….EVER, you are done with that! You are strong, you are amazing, you are doing things that tons of other people won’t even take the first step to do…….you are finally in the best spot of your life, OWN IT, TAKE IT BY THE HORNS AND COMMAND IT…..get rid of people who are unhealthy for you…..go forward with confidence yet quietness…….”
– I learned and accepted very quickly that this event had absolutely nothing to do with how I finished compared to others, when I finished, or how I looked in the process. It had everything to do with the fact that I had the courage to do it, that I did finish, and that I did it in my own way. I may have started it thinking I was doing it for a hundred different people or a hundred different reasons, but I finished it realizing that I did it for me. I did it to inspire myself to conquer the world all while showing the world I’m fighting cancer!
– During the race there are several times that you think you can’t go one more step. After you cross the finish line, you look back and stand amazed that you did it!
– There is not enough photoshop tools on the planet to make the pictures taken of me during and after the race look anything other than disgusting.
– I’m pretty sure my come back/defense for most every attack at me for the next year will be “really, when’s the last time you did 13.1 miles”
– Overall, I was more inspired by this weekend than any other time in my life that I can think of. I want to do more!!!! A switch has been flipped within me that I cannot even explain. I WILL conquer the world, I WILL make a difference and I will never EVER back down from a challenge or let someone create doubt within myself.
– The world is so much bigger than me. My spot on the planet and where I am now is so small compared to what’s out there! I can’t wait to explore it!
– EVERYONE should do SOMETHING bigger than them in the world. I’m partial to the fight against cancer……..you may find something different. But whatever you do, DO SOMETHING…….and do it passionately. Simply show up for something and allow yourself to be used as a tool for that something. Do it with your heart, allow it to change your mind, and finish it with things in your soul that you didn’t know existed.