Limping to the Finish Line

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Limping to the Finish Line

I hate running. I have hated it each and every time I have tried it, probably about 100 times in all. Doesn’t matter if I run for 30 seconds or 3 miles – hate it, hate it. hate it. The only time I like running is when I am finished running. I never got the “Runner’s High” and seriously aren’t there easier ways people? I prefer kick-boxing, where I can pretend to beat the crap out of people that annoy me. If you do that while running they’ll call for medical back-up and a psych evaluation.

One especially cold morning this past November, my daughter and I got up painfully early so she could join her Heart & Sole Team and do her first Girls on the Run (GOTR) 5K. I volunteered (because I’m an idiot like that) and was assigned to the Start/Finish line. I was the worst volunteer ever. Apparently my background clearance expired so I needed to renew. I was traveling the prior week and missed the deadline by two days. They still accepted my “help”.

I got there late, 16 oz Wawa coffee cup in hand, wandering aimlessly, shivering and useless. I stumbled around like a drunk in the dark looking for my assigned area. By the time I got there, the reliable volunteers had done their job and set up the start line so I had some time for the caffeine to kick in.

Let me tell you about runners. they are a cheerful group, even in frigid early morning temperatures and they come well prepared. Everyone had hand warmers and blankets on the ready and were happy to share their surplus. In the bathroom line, one avid runner told me how she brings toilet paper to marathons because when you have to go – you have to go. She went on to explain the runner-bathroom mentality which is basically drop your drawers wherever and finish quick so you don’t destroy your finish time. Come again? Runners will piss on the street or behind a building to avoid a Porta Potty line. And if you have to sh*t the same non-rules apply. Alright then, more reasons not to run and lazy, yet efficient me, thought why not just wear Depends?

Well it turns out my daughter also hates running. She wasn’t too fond of the other aspects of the program either – talking about your feelings in a group. It was pretty much a fail all the way around but she finished the season because that’s what we do. At least we don’t have to do it again.

That day wasn’t done with me yet. I was home by 11am, relieved to thaw out. I happily passed the parental baton to my husband who took our son to a soccer game about 50 minutes away. An hour or so later, he texted me that he got a flat tire. Shiz, relaxation was scrapped as I gathered the replacement tire and tools to take to my husband. Don’t be too impressed he had to walk me through it with directions that a chimp could follow (AAA anyone?). I texted him a photo to make sure I had everything needed for him to change the tire. I got the OK and headed over to the soccer field.

By this time there was a torrential downpour and the game was in overtime. Isn’t that always how it happens? You never get overtime when it’s pleasant out. I found the hubs and he got to work on the tire while I walked the 1/4 mile in the freezing rain to check on the boy. The game ended a few minutes after I made it to the field. I asked my son how the game was and he told me he was benched the entire game, dafuq?! It was his first year with this team and most of the other players have played together for 5 or more years. The game was competitive and they won by one point in OT, all the newbies were benched. It just sucked with the crap weather and the flat tire but life goes on.

Later that evening the boys were going to an ice hockey game. I was on Uber duty for our daughter and a handful of her friends who were going to a bat mitzvah. I just got my daughter out the door and was settling into a chick flick and some microwave popcorn (my version of a party) when I got a text from my hubs. He got another flat tire. Geezus are you kidding? Nope another flat tire this time it was 40 minutes east of our house. I had to do the math on the timing to make sure I could fetch 5 girls from the bat mitzvah when it ended.  I would be traveling in a triangle, nothing was close or located in the same direction.

This time I knew the drill. Go into the garage switch out the earlier flat tire for another replacement (my husband keeps an extra set of tires) double check that the necessary tools are in the car and hit the road. This time the added rub was my GPS, which is a consistent idiot with directions. The husband gave me the address and GPS took me to a different location. Luckily, the ice rink wasn’t too far from the wrong location and I was able to Forrest Gump my way to it.

I make sure he gets the tire changed, check the time and head out towards the bat mitzvah. On the way, I get into the Chick-Fil-A drive through 30 seconds before closing. They have the nicest fast food workers around. I didn’t catch a whiff of resentment when I placed my order. Try that at another drive through at closing time and you will get dagger eyes and a mixed up order if they don’t ghost you at the window. I got my take out and made it to the bat mitzvah with time to spare. The girls all had a great time and I loved listening to them talk about their night.

We all made it home by midnight. It was a long day and yet it was satisfying. Starting with the 5K, having my daughter complete it even though she kind of hated it. The next day I got a text from my son’s coach. He apologized for benching him, explained his reasons why and told me what a polite and dedicated young man my son is and he hopes he will be back next year. My husband and I worked together as a team to get things done and we stayed sane and laughed about the ridiculousness of the day. Sure we limped to the finish line that day but we did it together.

 

 

 

 

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