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THE LAST WINNER TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yesterday (Saturday, November 21) I participated in my first 5K Walk. Many of you knew about this and were sending thoughts and prayers my way which were greatly appreciated. I learned so much about myself on that day that it still boggles my mind and I'm still trying to process it all.

A few of my good Spark Friends were kind enough to give me advice. Again, I'm so thankful because I was pretty much clueless when it came to this kind of event since it wasn't even a "blip" on my radar screen until 2 weeks ago when I mustered up enough courage to even sign up for a race.

This blog could become an epistle so I'm going to try and hit the highs and lows of the day.

PRE-RACE:
--Arrived in plenty of time to register, warm up and take a "pause for the cause.."
--I knew that there was going to be a pretty steep ramp, but while warming up, I found out that there were 2 of them. Hadn't counted on that.
--Wore the right clothes...thanks Betty for the tip. Just wore shorts, T-shirt & jacket.
--From several of the volunteers who have worked this race for years, I think I was the first person on a walker to participate in the race.

THE RACE:
--Only about 100-150 people (adults & kids of all ages) participated. The guidelines said no strollers, wagons, skate boards or small walking toddlers. There were a lot of all the previous except skateboards. Playing dodge the toddler hadn't been part of my plan or prayers.
--My position at the start was somewhere in the last half of the pack.
--Right off the bat, the person behind me stepped on my heel, taking my shoe almost all the way off...off to a limping start. With the help from my friend Kim who walked with me, got the shoe back on and we're off again.
--Wow, the first lap was very fast...even with the ramps. We made it in under 15 minutes which was amazing. Oh, yeah, feeling good. I'm thinking to myself that this is going to be a piece of cake.
--On the second ramp of the second lap, I fell "UP" the ramp. I had been praying that my hips and hands would make it and I would get the "jerks." That morning I added "please don't let me fall down the ramp." Well He answered all my prayers. Forgot to add don't let me fall UP the ramp. You really need to be specific with your prayers sometimes. Anyway, my walker got out ahead of me and I knew a fall was inevitable. Being a pro at "controlled falling" I was just trying to make sure that I didn't crack my head on the concrete. My right knee and hip took the brunt of the hit. I knew nothing was broken. But people, God love them, they all want to grab you arm to help you up...and it just doesn't work that way. I needed to do it by myself. So, here it gets funny to me. As I'm trying to get up on my hands and knees so I can grab the hand rail to pull myself up, the cream I put on my legs before I left home is making my knees slide on the waxed floor. Not good. By this time, a couple of the volunteers had come over to try and grab an arm - rofl - literally. Kim looks like she has seen a ghost and is saying "Dear God, Dear God." So here I am, sliding around on the floor trying to reassure all these people that I'm ok. I finally make it up on my own and off we go. All this takes place in less then 2-3 minutes. However, our lap times after that decreased significantly.
--I am proud to report that I did not cheat by skipping any of the assigned walking areas like so many people did. I realize that this was a "fun" kind of walk, but when I saw that some people were on lap 4 when I started my 2nd lap, something wasn't right.
--Because of the route I had to take, I actually walked 3.46 miles in 90 minutes.
--I was the last one to finish and much to my surprise, everyone was gone. All the signs were down. St. Judes volunteers were long gone, but there was my family waiting there at the finish line to cheer for me. --Actually Drake and Lainee walked the last lap with me which was very cool.

Would it have been nice to have a lot of people cheering me on. Yes. But I was so doggone proud of myself just to be able to cross the finish line. Then, to see the smile on my 81 year old mother's face was priceless and a memory that the both of us will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Was it worth all the anxiety ...YES. Will i do it again...ABSOLUTELY. Will I encourage others to do it...MOST DEFINITELY. Now, I will let you know before you scroll down, that I am a "bad" picture taker. The best I can say is that at least they are proof that I did actually walk the race.


My Friend, Kim, and me before the race.


Me - duh!


Squint real hard and look for the orange dot...that's me,,,no really, it's me - rofl.


Me with my mom, Drake and Lainee at what was the finish line. Christy is taking the picture.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NANCY-160
    Congratulations!!! Sorry it has taken me so long to see this - I don't know how I missed it :(

    I'm so proud of you!!!
    4165 days ago
  • VALERIENEAL
    Pam, YOU ROCK!!!! You set a goal, you did not cheat, you finished. You truly are a winner in my book!!!!
    4185 days ago
  • BJENKINS1014
    Pam, like everyone else I am so proud of you and so proud to be your friend! I loved reading your blog and couldn't help but chuckle as you described everything, from your prayers that didn't mention falling uphill, to the fall itself and the reaction of the volunteers, to finishing the race and finding that everyone and all the signs were gone. Any of these things might have been devastating to most people, but you are always able to find the humor and the positive in any situation. And, you are a gifted writer!

    Congratulations on entering and finishing the race. How wonderful that your family, including your mother, were able to be there with you and celebrate with you at the finish. I want to be with you and Andrea when you do your walk-a-thon, and I'm sure Veena would join us.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    emoticon
    Betty
    4188 days ago
  • BUCKEYESKIER
    You are amazing! Sorry about your fall, but the important thing is you got back up and finished!! You are truly a winner and an inspiration to all of us.
    4189 days ago
  • JEN1239
    Pam I am so proud of you! You are an amazing woman. emoticon emoticon
    4189 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/23/2009 9:26:44 PM
  • MEYLOSE
    Very proud of you Pam, thanks for taking the time to blog about your 5K. emoticon
    4189 days ago
  • MARTANYDIATORRE
    Pam
    You really rock .You are amazing.I bet that if I had fallen like you did would have gone back home.You make us all feel proud .Remember the excilirating feeling that will make you back in spite of the fall ,the next day tiredness etc.Here the organisers keep track of everybody and wait for them .Sometimes I feel a bit ashame of making them wait for me.Usually they take pictures and make a lot off fuss.Last time I walk with my cane as it was hilly and they took a bunch of pictures.They give you fruits and juices at the end to be sure you are hydrated and enough sugar level.
    A bear hug
    4189 days ago
  • BOOPSTER69
    Pam, my Spark-Sister-Friend! You are so amazing. I am so proud of you - my chest is puffed out so far you would think I had done the race.
    You are a true WARRIOR - your Mom must be so proud.
    I am so sorry I didn't even think to warn you about all the people who don't read or heed the guidelines - strollers, tots, etc. But, you pulled it out and got it done!
    I also forget how often the event organizer forget that "EVERYONE" is important and that they need to hang around until EVERY SINGLE PERSON CROSSES THAT FINISH LINE! I have actually made that comment on several surveys. It is a reason I try to stick around until the very end.
    Congratulations! You are my inspiration and my hero - I can hardly wait until we can do one together.
    God Bless you - you are the best! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4189 days ago
  • ANDREA0301
    What an awe-inspiring blog! My dearest Sister-Friend, I am SO proud of you. Through the excitement, the fall, the NO short-cuts determination and what must have been the best day you've had in a long time... Oh how I wish I could have been there. You are absolutely glowing the the photos. Not a good picture taker my eye! I see the day ahead when we'll be doing a Walk-a-thon together. What a day that will be! I only hope I can keep up. =)

    You're my hero and I love you bunches & bunches!

    You're the emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • NRLB75
    Way to go!!! I feel really guilty for laughing at you falling, but the slipping around on your lotioned knees is dang funny! Seriously, what you've done is really inspirational. What a great story & thanks for sharing!
    4190 days ago
  • LOOKINGTOBEFIT
    Pam, what a great story!! Congrat's to you fellow Warrior princess. I know it must have hurt when you fell but to hear you tell it I was chuckling the whole time - sorry! I wish I could have seen you slipping around on the tile emoticon You certainly are an inspiration to us all emoticon emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • SHEDDING123
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    OK, time to bring out the dancers:
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    You are AMAZING. Like eveyone else here I am so proud of you. And inspired.
    ANd what a gift you have given Drake and Lainee in the example you have set for determination and a can-do outlook.
    emoticon Hooray! What a hero!
    4190 days ago
  • VEENAS1
    Pam I ditto what everyone else has said. You make me proud to know you and be your Spark Friend. I am glad to know that your Mom was well enough to be with you. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving. emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • ETTEZEUS
    YOU WERE THE BIGGEST WINNER THERE IN MY BOOK!! You are awesome!
    Congrats Pam! I am so happy your mom was there!!

    (sorry to hear about your fall but you are such a trooper! )
    4190 days ago
  • ANSING
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Pam, YOU DONE GOOD, GIRL!

    WOOHOO!!!
    4190 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/22/2009 6:04:34 PM
  • DOOBRIE
    Pam - I'm so proud of you I could burst!
    emoticon emoticon YOU DID IT emoticon
    I'm so sorry the rest didn't stay to watch you cross the finish line. I'm sure the organisers hadn't realised you were still going. But even at the end you still had that lovely beaming smile on your face and so you should as you were wonderful.

    Great blog and I love the photos.

    You're the emoticon

    emoticon

    Doobs
    4190 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3598327
    Pam, you're a true warrior! Thank you so much for always inspiring me and CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT! emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • DHAZ09
    emoticon I'm so proud of you! Sorry that you fell & I hope you're not sore. Great job! emoticon emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • LEAKAY59
    Pam, I could not be prouder if I had done it myself. I'm blown away by your courage and determination. Kudos to you, my Sister/Friend. I am so proud to say you are my friend!
    4190 days ago
  • PINKLIZARDS
    I'm so proud of you. I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how it went. emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • SECURITYGIRL82
    My goodness! I told you you could do it! I am so proud of you!!!!! I am so sorry you fell and that people where cheating. You are #1 in my book!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4190 days ago
  • OUTDOORGIRL-76
    You would think that someone from the race would be there to make sure all that took part had finished and were OK. What a bummer on that
    emoticon emoticon Great job on your walk.

    God Bless
    Ida
    4190 days ago
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