This month I’m participating in #reverb10. Every day a new prompt is issued and I will write my response. The goal is to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011. Want to learn more? Visit www.reverb10.com.
Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I love this prompt. What I love even more, though, is that I can actually identify more than one moment where I felt really alive this year. In years past, I could have seen this question and gotten upset because I really wouldn't be able to think of a moment. I could go multiple years not having a moment where I felt really alive. This goes back to having my Skinny Emmie journey being so much more than weight loss. It's about reclaiming (or finding) a life whose cup is overflowing with joy.
The moment I'm going to pick to write about is the Southern Lights 5K that was just last week. I know people are probably tired of hearing about it, but that's not my problem 🙂
The day of the Southern Lights 5K, I had worked and was frankly tired. The day was cold (high 30's) with showers off and on. I was so hellbent on doing the 5K, that I got upset at my husband when he called me at work to see if we were still going to do the 5K that night. I interpreted his asking as meaning he wasn't going to go with me.
I got home from work, prepared to throw a hissy fit, but instead came across hubs waiting for instructions on when we were leaving and asking advice if we should take the pup or not. I wouldn't be going alone. Not sure why I even jumped to that conclusion since he's never let me down – ever.
We drove the 25 or so minutes out to the Kentucky Horse Park. I got frustrated in the parking lot because it was so dark and we couldn't see where we were supposed to park and register.
Finally, I figured it out, and we went and registered. I remember thinking that I must be crazy because it was so cold outside. Wet pavement glistened under the parking lot lights. Competitive runners jogged past us as they warmed up. Pup Lilly was so overexcited at the people, new place, and other pups around. We walked her back to the car where we stashed our t-shirts and I pinned on my bib number. By the time we had finished that, we had to rush to the start as the gun was about to go off.
I threw my iPod mix on of pumping tunes, forgoing the special Christmas music mix I had made for the events. From the starting line, we couldn't really see any Christmas lights, but I knew they were out there waiting for us.
Hubs started in the back with other people with pups and I started closer to the front with the runners. I had just gotten my earbuds in place when they sounded the horn. I started out with a jog, as I didn't want to slow down anyone behind me who might be racing. I jogged until the really speedy people separated themselves from the pack – right about the time we started going up the first hill, and the scenes from the 12 Days of Christmas came into view ahead. It was then that I realized I hadn't looked at the clock when it started, so I had no idea to track my pace during the race. I was upset that I might not meet my previous time from July. I'm not a runner and not a racer, but I still want to show improvement in myself.
I didn't have time to get upset over the clock though: there were these joggers next to me who had decorated their children's strollers with Christmas lights. I couldn't help but giggle at them. How cool is that? I could see visions of me wrapped in Christmas lights for next years race already.
The first mile was the 12 Days of Christmas, powerwalking and jogging uphill to a dead end where you turn around and head the other way. The bitter cold quickly felt like a welcome friend who was there cheering me on and cooling me off at the same time.
The crowds dispersed pretty quickly, and between miles 1-2 I started working on clearing my mind. It felt great. I inhaled the cold air through my nose, and with each breath, it cleansed my overanxious mind, and refreshed my body. I couldn't believe that I was there in the dark, doing something active and completely selfish. And it was the night before Thanksgiving! How thankful I was to be able to have my body be able to take me through this path.
Miles 2-2.5 turned into cramped legs, and then the rain started coming down even more. Those powerwalkers around me threw up their umbrellas and cut through a shortcut. I squinted my eyes and looked through Christmas light figures of horses jumping, butterflies and stars. I looked up at the sky and thanked the rain for making me go a little faster.
I kept pushing ahead, with a calm resolve. With a cleared head, and with rain effectively cleansing me of the anxiety and self doubt I typically carry around with me.
When I saw the finish line and the clock, I was so happy to almost be finished. When I started jogging to the finish (very slowly, but jogging), I saw the clock was going to reward me for this push. Reward me for doing something good for myself. I beat my previous time. I beat my goal. I made myself so proud that I told strangers how good I did. I found hubs and he and pup celebrated with me in the cold. The rain stopped, and we headed to the car to get warm.
So why do I recount this 5k story when I told it just a little over a week ago? Because it did make me feel ALIVE. I was LIVING. I look forward to many more of these moments in 2011.