Those who have been following along may remember that approximately a month ago, I vowed (errr, contemplated) an attempt at the David Payne Memorial Run this year. Well, the time between that resolution and ‘go time’ has expeditiously dissipated, and it’s now mere hours (about two) until this dream / goal of mine becomes a reality.
In addition to July 23rd being a day of remembrance of my department’s fallen officers, it is a day that I will forever remember as being especially motivating to me. Five years ago today, I wanted to be them. When I saw the runners return after pushing their bodies, being torrentially rained on (coincidentally, it’s raining today too), and overcoming overall miserable conditions, I knew that I wanted to join them “one day.” Well, “one day” is today. (More about my perspective of said runners in the linked blog entry above).
For this year’s event, the run route has been changed. The route is now 3.5 miles instead of the usual 7 or 8. I think the change is an attempt to attract more participants since it’s the 30th anniversary of Payne’s EOW. I overheard a colleague telling another that, “They’re only running to the park this year.” “Only” is still 3.5 miles. *An (insert any distance here) mile run doesn’t sound like a lot when you’re not doing the work.* I know the route, and it’s a tough one despite the halving of the distance. Despite a (forced) week off from training, I feel ready to take this on.
My best friend, Callie, will be doing this event with me. She took the day off from her job to be by my side, and I think it’s partly because she knows how important it is to me. Five years ago, I was not quite ready to make a lifestyle change, no matter how much like “them” I longed to be. Fast forward five years, and I’ve come full circle. I am now fit enough to join this run. Many of the officers and civilians with whom I work have asked me this morning if I’m running today, and I can confidently say, “I sure am!” Evidently, my weight loss and training efforts, as well as participation in other events (LETR), have not gone unnoticed.
My eyes brim with (joyful) tears each time I am asked if I’m running today because I’m being recognized . . . as able.