So Sunday was my Fathers Day 5k. In the last few years my Dad and I have gotten a lot closer. For this I am so very grateful! I never had a great relationship with my family. We had a lot of issues, my weight was the subject of constant ridicule. My dad grew up heavy, he knows how it hurts to be made fun of but still he kept on me about my weight. I now understand that what he wanted was the best life possible for me. I think the way he went about it was wrong, but hindsight is 20/20. He is so proud of the changes that I have made in my life to get healthy and gain control of what I want for myself. I wish that I did not have to let my life spiral so far out of control to get back into control, but there were so many health related issues that went unnoticed for so long that I think there was very little that would have stopped the train before it hit the wall.
It seems that the further I move away physically from my family the healthier I get. I think there is likely a high correlation between the two things. I have found out more about myself who I am, or who I think I am anyway. I am seeing that there are big pieces of my whole life that I can’t remember, this is not normal! As these pieces come back into place I am not sure why they were missing in the first place. I don’t know what they are protecting me from. I would like to find out. The people who are allowing me to find these pieces I know are so critical to my life.
So why a Fathers Day 5k? Well, no matter how good or bad the relationship I had with my father was he will always be my dad. I know that he has always wanted what was best for me, or rather what he thought was best for me. He never wanted presents for Fathers day, as I have been out on my own cards have been the order of the holiday. So now that I have the ability to at least walk/run a 5k I thought what better way to show my dad that the life he gave me is worth saving.
The 5k itself was incredible! The weather which had thunderstorms predicted the entire week up to the race turned at the last moment, being just overcast and in the upper 60’s low 70’s for the race. I chatted before the race with Gary Westlund a little bit, he is the founder and president of Charities Challenge. I also chatted with a few of the CCREW (these are the volunteers at the CC races). As soon as they saw the shirt and #PriorFatPack Bondiband they started asking if there were going to be more of us at the event this time.
I had people from the last race approach me with stories of being inspired by us. I had fathers and grandfathers bringing their wives and kids over to me after hearing the conversation that Gary and I had been having about my weight-loss and challenges. There were people asking where they could get info about the #PriorFatPack it was incredible. I truly felt like I was making my dad proud by being there in the moment talking to people about something I was passionate about.
Race time came, we lined up and off we went. I ran a little walked a lot, ran some more walked a bunch. Discovered that the shorts I have been wearing are getting too big and are starting to fall off me… even though the scale disagrees with that assessment, the pants don’t lie! I also learned that my running shoes desperately need to be replaced, painful blisters now on both feet. I paced myself with a group of girl for the first mile or so. They had been just ahead of me from about 1/2 mile to the 1 1/3 mile area and then it happened. We had already started to be lapped by the runners, 12 mins in by my watch, and faster still because they started their heat ahead of when I crossed the line. I decided I was not going to be last. I felt the power surge through my body, and I started pushing for what I wanted. More than to finish, I wanted to finish strong. I wanted to finish ahead of the “just walkers”. I am not a speed demon but I was not going to let them get ahead of me again! I took a swig of water from the water bottle in my waist pack, and off I pushed!
I gained some ground escaping those girls. I looked back, didn’t see them. I pushed hard, through the pain in my ankle and the growing blisters on my feet (next time blister pads on both feet!) and kept going. The second lap seemed to go much faster than the first. I think it was likely because I wasn’t trying to keep up with the girls in front of me, it was because I was trying to stay ahead of them. I got to about mile 2.75 and was really ready to just call it quits. I was hot and sweaty. I looked back and could see the girls gaining on me. I looked ahead and saw people I recognized form the last race. I kept pushing, I was going to do this. My phone started lighting up with Tweets again telling me I was awesome! My playlist kicked into “Born This Way” the Glee version. I thought about my dad, and myself and my life, I let myself feel the words of the song. I knew that there was a reason why I was here, doing what I was doing and I saw the 3 mile marker. It was almost over. I rounded the corner, saw the timer and got goose bumps… I was going to make it under an hour! I approached the finish line, dodging two cute kids who decided a good place to play was right in the finish lane, and crossed over the line! 55:15 is what my Polar tells me. I wasn’t a blubbering mess this time! Gary said a little bit about me once again, explaining that I have lost a bunch of weight, and that I encourage others to not give up either. I am honored that he thinks so highly of me. It was a bit emotional for me when everyone was cheering at my weight-loss… I can’t believe how far I have come. I then cheered for the girls who I passed along the way! *RAWR!!!!!!*
I got a chance post-race to speak to a few individuals about my weight-loss and my blog. I am hopeful that those that reached out to me today find what it is that they are looking for. Today was such a success for me. I felt strong, the nerves were soothed pretty much as soon as I put my bib on and started talking about who I was. I guess I owe a thanks to my dad, because today I was there because of him, and I am finding huge things about myself in the process.
So that is what I do. I walk/run my way through the 5k as a present to my dad. A way to show him that the life he gave me is not going to go to waste. I have grabbed onto my one chance at this life and I am going for it! I will finally give him something to be proud of me for!