Forest Park – Bring It Part 2

With a stretch and a yawn it was painfully clear that my entire backside had been worked. All the glutes were moanin’. The night before in our spin class, Mr. BKM answered my call to “bring it”.  There were more ten and fifteen second sprints than there was music.  With every sprint he was either in front of my bike or D’s bike demanding to know: Is that all you got? You done yet? Can’t you run it out faster than that? I knew why he was in my face but what did D. do? Lesson learned.  Calling out your trainer is something you just don’t do.  Only it wasn’t over just yet.

My eyes were adjusting to the light as I searched for layers to wear, I’d rather be hot and sweaty than cold any day.  It was 41 degrees.  We were meeting at Forest Park.  Mr. BKM wouldn’t say for what, but my guess was either running or up and down hills or stairs.  Whatever the case it was guaranteed to be grueling.

Once we arrived he announced the group of us would run a 6.2 mile course.  I didn’t know whether to cuss or cry as I stood there waiting for the punch line that never came.  I knew this would be hard.  I knew it was more than twice the distance of any run I had ever done this year.  I knew I could do it.  I knew I didn’t wanna.  He said the baseball field would be the halfway mark.  This didn’t help me as the park is huge and I had no idea where I was in relation to the field.  He passed out gum to help with breathing and we were off.

I knew I needed a nice steady pace.  I put on my music and zoned out.  Seena, Patrice and I were at the rear of the pack.  32 and Kiva stayed and looked out for us, Forest Park was 32’s  playground.  She ran it all the time and could have been more toward the front.  I was fine the first hour.  After the dinosaur statues and the live horses along the highway, I started to waver.  My knee started hurting especially on inclines.  The brace had become more of a hinderance than a help so I took it off.   Patrice was in my ear saying we were almost done.  She pointed to the big Amoco sign in the distance.  It didn’t look close.

A silver-haired AARP guy passed me and left only dust.  I was jealous.  Gave Patrice instructions to go knock him down.  Meanwhile, Seena found a second wind and dipped ahead.  My playlist had started over and I had sweat through two of the four layers.  I wondered exactly where was my car.

At the top of the hill Mr. BKM had come back for us.  He paced beside me and told me we were done, it was all down hill and there was only 7 more minutes.  After running for well over an hour, 7 minutes did not sound short. I could only see a short distance in front of me.  My glasses were fogged.  Mr. BKM said he was my guide not to worry about it and pick up the pace.  He said all sorts of encouraging stuff that I just can’t remember.  Things started looking familiar so I knew we were really close.

I heard them before I saw them.  Lots of cheering from the women of BKM in the distance.  Briant said we only had about a quarter mile, to finish strong.  Then they all came running to meet us and we ran the last bit back together.  Sweat running, victory tears flowing, hugs all around.  I was finished, 6.2 miles.  I was done and most of the city was still sleeping.  I love BKM.  

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Vince Lombardi


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