the morning of the race was sunny and beautiful and i felt better about doing it. sort of like i was an investigative reporter behind the lines…i rode my bike through town and along the greenbelt to the event area. amazing. 12,000 people were there. a sea of pink and white. how, i have to say that i am not a “group” kind of person. i don’t like clubs or team sports or sororities or anything that involves matching t-shirts and ball caps. i got there 3 minutes before the race was starting. got to registration, declined the t-shirt, but actually did need a hat…damn, had to break my “no group hats” rule…sigh… i declined a number as well, i just wanted to be a rogue free agent walker, do the 5k course and be part of the experience. i went by myself. walking by myself seemed fitting somehow.
although, not for long. i immediately ran into a friend i had not seen in a couple of years and we walked the course and caught up. as we walked i was struck by the festive nature of the event. music blaring, people in costume, musicians singing, a team of hot guys in running tights, no shirts and pink tutus, babies in strollers, people in wheel chairs. everyone smiling, laughing, dancing, talking, celebrating. living. virtually everyone sported a sign, t-shirt or poster bearing the names of those in their lives who had been touched or taken by cancer. it was staggering. one degree of separation these days. stories that made me feel so incredibly lucky.
after about 4k, i bid my friend farewell, crossed the median and made my way back alone in the crowd. got on my bike and pedaled down to the farmer’s market. breathing deeply of the cool air along the shady river path, a sweet contrast to the 90 degree day it was shaping up to be. in the end i was very glad that i went. i will continue to seek my wellness, my health, my balance and choose this life. it is a really good one.