Monday, May 28, 2007

Walking on Memorial Day with...Saint Nicholas?

I am hobbling today.

For reasons that seem ridiculous now, I decided that this Memorial Day I was going to walk in my town's annual 5k. I recruited my walking partner Mandy to participate with me so I wouldn't chicken out. A 5k is 3.1 miles, not a particularly big feat for most people. Mandy and I actually walk almost that much, a few times a week, pushing our double strollers piled with infants and toddlers. But it doesn't come easy to me. I have spent most of my life avoiding exercise; in awe of the athletic people who actually enjoy playing sports or breaking a sweat. But now, as part of my continuous efforts to fight the battle of my waistline, I huff and puff my way around the lake each week with Mandy; doing my best not to slow her down too much.

So I proposed to Mandy that we do this 5k, as it fell on one of our regular walking days anyway. I thought it would be a breeze. We wouldn't be pushing strollers after all. The idea appealed to me. A group of people walking together on this patriotic morning, through the streets of our town. Was I just naive, or am I an idiot? Please don't answer that.

When I got there and saw the the real runners, the race-junkies all lean and muscle-y, decked out with their running gear, I knew I was in trouble. Then the race started. While the race coordinator did tell me that people were welcome to WALK in the race, she neglected to mention that no one actually does. So Mandy (sweet Mandy who turned out to be in much better shape than I realized, but still stuck tight to my side) and I walked with half a dozen other people while the rest of the hundreds left us in their dust. The lowest point (and funniest) was when Santa Claus, complete with white beard & round belly, and sporting red and white workout clothes, went jogging by. No I am not making this stuff up! He even gave us a cheerful greeting as he jiggled on down the road.

So if any of your children ask what Santa does the rest of the year, you can tell him he's out the mortification of 5k walkers everywhere.


Christine said...

I am so glad i stumbled over to your blog! Welcome to the bloggy world. I read your previous post, too, and i was thinking how true it all is. And i know what post/comment you were talking about, i think. It is so easy to forget that nothing can compare to real, live human interaction on a phone, in peson, or heck in a paper letter. Not to disregard my new blog "friends." Just keeping it real, though

Oh, and i run lots of 5ks and believe me when i say that even the runners are terrified! I am by no means a great runner, and i always feel intimidated at a 5k. Kudos to you for doing it. It is addicting--you should do some more!

Spice Girl said...

Joy, WAY TO GO, SPICE GIRL! My enthusiasm for exercise does not match my body's ability. Hee hee. You'll never find me in a 5K.

Don and Lynn said...

ROFL! I'm proud of you for doing a 5k, whether walking or jogging. All walking moms want to know if it was any easier walking without pushing a stroller!! There is one hill in our n'hood that I will NOT do pushing my 30lb jogging stroller with almost 50lbs of baby in it. =O)

Jenn said...

I wrote a post along these exact lines over a year ago...amazing what a little 5k can represent!


karen said...

I've fallen into the same delusional "I think a 5k sounds like fun" state! I wound up agreeing to "run" in a Corporate Challenge race in Central Park in May 1996. The first few minutes were fine - it was a gorgeous day, there were thousands of cheery people (including about 30 of my coworkers and friends). The next, oh, 35 minutes went steadily downhill as my body realized I wasn't kidding when I told it we'd be going for a little run. During the final five minutes of my race, I wanted nothing more than to see Chris' face (in the "once more before I die" kind of way). That was how I knew he was the right guy to marry...which was good, since our wedding was set for ten days after the race!