This past weekend, my husband and I participated in the 8th Annual Greifswald City Run. No, we didn’t run. We walked. Maybe one day I’ll be a runner and participate in such sporting events for real, but this past weekend was all about just getting out there and participating. I knew that over the 5k we walked that we would not come in first, second, or third (matter of fact, we were dead last). But for me that wasn’t the point.
I simply wanted to do it.
I wanted to participate in an event that is billed as something only the fit folk do. I wanted to show that, in spite of any outer appearance, I am part of the fit folk too.
Of course, in the beginning, as I pinned on my number and walked amidst the super sporty folk excitedly chatting about the upcoming event, I felt the flutter of nervous butterflies in my belly. I had moments where I thought that people were looking at that number on my chest and then checking me out and thinking not-so-nice thoughts to themselves about me and what I, foolishly, was planning to do.
But then I would catch myself and remember to feel proud of what I was doing.
Proud of myself.
I was being brave.
But, most importantly, I had a right to be there.
These events are supposed to be fun. They are not exclusive to the sporty folk who run every day as a matter of course.
It was an inclusive event for the people who live in and around the city (and even those who care to travel for such things). And damnit, I’m one of these people. I live here. I count. I matter!
And so I walked, proud, with a smile on my face, while the sweat dripped down. I enjoyed my stroll with my Husby. The weather was wonderful. Folks cheered us as we walked by. And we cheered the folks who cheered us.
We finished at one hour, 2 minutes, and 33 seconds with a faster second lap than first. (I’m told that’s what you aim for as a marathoner.)
It was a super experience. I’m glad I had it. And I’m certainly looking forward to the next!