Walking a Thirteen Point One
I was asked to be the sweeper for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon for Team in Training this year. I was honored to do it. A sweeper is the last person across the finish line, so it was a very slow half for me, but I enjoyed it. I was told that there were maybe four or five participants that I would need to be with the entire time. One I met, Amanda from New Mexico, was a dream participant. She was trying really hard not to be "swept" by the official truck. This was her third half marathon and in the other two she was picked up on the course and taken to a point further down the course so she could finish in the time allowed. She really, really didn't want that to happen this time. So I pushed her a little. We had a lovely conversation from mile one to mile 10. It was just at the 10 mile mark when her coach found us and she sort of took her over the finish line.
It was also at that time that I found to other girls from Texas who were walking and they had some problems and were much slower than Amanda. I tried to engage them in conversation. (Amanda and I had told each other our live's stories by now and were best of friends--it makes the time go by so fast.) But these two gals said nothing to me except to tell me their names (I forget) and where they were from. They then told me they didn't want me to talk to them. I would ask them every now and then how they were doing and they would reply with one or two words. Even when I asked where it hurt it was like talking to my teens: grunts, ummms and nope. BORING! So for the last three miles I walked at about a 16 minute mile and said little or nothing. BORING!
Thankfully it was the Rock and Roll event so at every mile there was a band or DJ that I could stop and dance to and let them get ahead of me so I could then walk fast to catch up to them. I got those two across the finish line!
I then found Amanda and found out that she had shaved FIFTY minutes off her PR for a half marathon. That made all the walking worth it!
Would I do it again: YES! It was worth the hug from Amanda.
Jessica is still dancing. We came to it late but she sure does love it. This year she took ballet and contemporary. She still love ballet the most, but she has learned a LOT. In fact she tried out for the Redmond High School Dance team and made the team. It will mean a lot of hard work over the summer and school year, but she is willing and able to put forth her best effort.
She still loves to dance for Kellie Larson's dance studio "Let's Dance" and they had their recital at the beginning of June. Jessie was in a typical white tutu and all the little girls' eyes were big and jealous as her class danced. Of course they did an excellent job and I was so proud of Jessie.
Twenty Five Years Later
It is rare that a marriage lasts 25 years now a days but ours has. I'm not sure the secret but I think it has to do with love, compromise, forgiveness and work.