What an event!!! This weekend I participated in the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation 5k at Morven Park in Leesburg. Not only was it an absoultely gorgeous day, but I also learned soooo much about my family, our community, and myself.
This event started off in the middle of a field with local women, men, and children gathering together in support of breast cancer. Pink attire was everywhere and many had stories of how the disease has personally touched thier lives. It was amazing to see what it takes to pull off an event like this- Over thirty volunteers giving up their Sunday afternoon, support from local scouting troops, and financial backing from many local businesses- Helloooo- Middleburg Bank was a $15,000 contributor, Times Community News a $10,000 contributor, and businesses such as JK Moving and Storage, LA Fitness, The Jackson Clinics, Dulles Motorcars, Belfort Furniture, Paprika Creative, Holtzman Oil, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Association, and many more were generous donators.
When it was time for the race to get started, I was completely nervous. This was my first running event in years. Luckily, I picked a laid back race to make my comeback. We all gathered and watched the pink ribbon get cut... and then we were off...
Let me brag for a hot sec. My cousin, Averey, came in third. He came in second for males. What does that mean? A girl won. Woo Hoo! Girl Power! It also means that in my opinion he should take up running! My cousin, Katie, came in fourth and she's only in middle school. She just started running this Fall. I'd say we have a runner on our hands. I was so proud of them both!
This is my cousin, Brad. He came in a few steps behind Katie in fifth. The day before this race, he ran sixteen miles and in a couple weeks, he'll be doing a marathon. He's done several. I always tell him that a marathon is on my bucket list. Not any more. I've switched that to a half marathon. There is no way I could go 26.2 no matter how bad I want that cute little sticker on my car. It's just not gonna happen.
Meet Jenny. It was her 37th birthday weekend and she's a breast cancer survivor. She's also my cousin- or Brad's wife. She wasn't what you would call an athlete until the past ten or so years. In high school, she twirled flags and battled her weight- along with diabetes. She has taught me soooo much, and sometimes she makes me mad. Ya see, sports always came easy for me. Throughout my life, I made the team, stood out, and didn't have to do much to excel in athletics. Well, now, Jenny would be a starter, and I would be crying to get on the freshman squad. And for me personally, it's been a tough pill to swallow. I try to hide the fact that I'm competitive, and it sucks seeing people that were never athletic become so much better than me. I've definitely lost my competitive edge over the years, but I still dream of being good, and it bothers me that I'm not. I've never mentioned this before. I see friends on facebook doing all these wonderful adventures and races and I want to hurt them. I catch myself being jealous and having facebook envy. There, I got it off my chest. Jenny, you inspire me, and you show me that anything is possible. I hope to become you one day- An awesome, hardworking, athletic WOMAN.:)
Here's me and Jenny's sister, Jill. She was the best running partner EVER. She motivated me, and didn't even get grossed out when I couldn't control my trickling urine. I swear it doesn't happen all the time, but I might need to see a doctor. I know, TMI, Shell. But she made me feel human and said years ago after she had her kids it would happen to her on an occaisional sneeze. We spent the run busting our tail feathers and talking about the likes of the PTA and our children. We ran the whole thing and came in at 31 minutes. I was so proud- not only did I finish, I ran. I was a runner! A slow runner, but a runner at that!
What was my favorite part of the race? Nothing compared to seeing how proud my son was of his mommy. He ran the last 50 yards of the race with me and it made my day- Mama was actually a positive role model.:)
And then, when most people had left the grounds, about ten minutes later, my dad and uncle came running across the finish line. Neither one had trained, my uncle forgot his heart medicine, my dad forgot to take his blood pressure medicine, and we were wondering if we were going to need the paramedics. Nope, they came across smiling and full of energy. They taught me that even two old farts can have that Nike attitude and "Just Do It." They made me proud. Oh- and just so ya know, they aren't even brothers- they are brother-in-laws... Don't they look alike?
I also learned that people can be so motivating. Jenny's mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor, showed up ready to do the walk. My mom had no intentions of participating, but she signed up on the spot and walked away.
The CBBCF 5K was such a great experience. With my family's support, I achieved a goal, and now I want to actually try to improve my time. Every time I run, I'll think of how awesome it was to have a runner's high, a family's love, and at the end, I'll take off my sports bra and check my breasts. Afterall, that was the point, right?