|Here is me with two of my three children and my uncle pre-race. I look happy & energetic right? I like to refer to this one as "PP" or "Pre-Pain"|
This year, the organizers took my advice and added a one mile course. I was THRILLED! 3.10 miles was just too much for me and so many others with arthritis to tackle. With the one mile course, so many who previously were unable to participate might now be able to walk or even run if they felt up to it. So once again, I put bells on my sneakers and headed toward the course. Only, I couldn't find the one mile course, and the volunteers who I asked, pointed me in the direction of the 5K course. So I headed off with the masses.
|And we're off! It's a beautiful, warm, sunny day ... or not.|
I figured at some point, there would be a turn off for us one-mile walkers. I was wrong. I walked ... and walked ... and walked. I passed the "One Mile sign." I considered turning back, but (a) I'd be going against traffic and there were a lot of people, and (b) I'd still be walking two miles. The 5K was just over 3 miles, so why go 2 when I could go 3? Did I mention I'm stubborn? Did I also mention it was cold and raining and I was only wearing a sweatshirt because I thought I'd only be outside for a 15 minute or less mile course?
|Yes, I really am leaning to the left. That's because I'm about to fall over. This one is also"PP", but now it means "Pure Pain", but hey, I'm still smiling!|
So - I trudged on - my hips gave out first, then my knees. My ankles and feet were not far behind. My 12 1/2 year old daughter walked beside me, telling me I could do this. She was right. I finished the race one hour and seven minutes later. There were even people still behind me. I'm proud and in pain. Lots and lots of pain - but I did it.
|Is that the finish line or am I just hallucinating?|
|Look! There are people behind us - not many, but still! I'm not last this year, and I managed to cross the finish line before everyone packed up and went home!|
It may sound ridiculous. I mean 3.10 miles doesn't sound like a lot, and to be honest, it's not to most people. But for me or someone like me who lives with RA (or other conditions which affect daily activity) it is huge, and the fact that I was able to finish the race puts a big smile on my face - despite the pain.
Thank you to all of my family and friends who supported me this year in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run! I so appreciate it!!