Monday, September 19, 2011

A Humbling Experience

We were at the finish line.  All of our Mainely Running crew finished the race with flying colors.  We were so proud!  A few of us decided to hang around and watch as the walkers came through the finish line.  Wow...I thought to myself.  For a fairly emotional person (read: I cry a lot), I've held myself together very well today.  I guess I didn't need that handful of tissues I threw in my backpack.

Think again.

Approaching the finish line I see a sea of purple and a shopping cart.  There seemed to be at least 40 kids (high school age) surrounding the cart.  "What are they doing?" I thought.  Then I see inside the cart.  A girl, her head wrapped in a bandanna to cover hair loss, was being pushed across the finish line. These are her friends supporting her, literally and figuratively, when she is unable to do it herself.  I could not contain my tears.  "Are you OK?" Amy asks.  "Sure" I say, as I bend over to fiddle with my backpack...somewhat embarrassed with myself that I feel those sobs...those uncontrollable ones that you just can't suppress...about to surface.  I remained with my head down for the next minute or two, until I was able to regain my composure. This is why we are here.  The hundreds of survivors in pink, this teenage girl being carried by her classmates....it's all about perspective.  It's so easy to get caught up in the minutia of everyday life.  Kids yelling, disagreements between friends, piles of laundry.  It's nice..good for me...to be hit with a dose of perspective every once in awhile.  It's also reassuring to know, especially in this day and age, that so many people...5600 to be exact...can come together for a morning and celebrate life and hope.  A very humbling experience, indeed.

OK.  Enough of my drama.  The Class!  The Class!  Our Mainely Running class at the Bangor Y did an amazing job today.  Our goal at the beginning of the summer was to run a 5K race, and today was the day.  We decided to meet an hour before the race in the hopes of getting everyone together, distribute shirts, talk about the race and relax.  I think we were all excited that the day had finally arrived. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a run, I might add! 

Gearing up before the race.
Our initial hope was that everyone would run together.  Not surprisingly, with the sheer number of people participating in this race, we quickly broke off into groups.
Everyone crossed the finish line with a smile, and should feel so proud at their major accomplishment today!

Previously on Mainely Running