One Legged Warrior – GO STL 5K

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I was supposed to meet her. Honestly I thought she was just eager because it was her first 5k, but when I checked the details of where we were starting I realized I had it all wrong.  I thought the race started at 8:30am.  It started at 8:00am.  Uggh!!  How in the world did I miss that? Failed before starting.

I arrived a little after 8am which would have been fine except there was nowhere to park.  Even the obscure illegal spots were gone.

Once I finally made it to the 5k area I saw the Finish area but I didn’t see the Start area. I asked a friendly looking lady.  “You mean the 5k we just finished?”  I checked the time 8:25am.  “That would be the one.” She pointed in the direction where a crew was busy dismantling the Start gate.

I run over and he radios ahead to let “them” know he has another one.  He smiled and wished me good luck.  Now this is where I had slight anxiety.  There was no other soul in sight.  It was 8:28am now and they would soon open the roads for traffic.  I had no clue which way to go.  Forest Park is huge, you take one wrong turn and you won’t be found until 2019.

I go.  Rhythmic breathing and a steady pace.  About a quarter-mile in I spot 3 ladies walking and I am over the moon.  ‘Cause at least the 4 of us will be lost together.  Once I am in sync with them I realize my pace is a little faster, I move ahead.  Further up the road I see the tail end pack.  Whew!  I started last but I won’t be last or lost.  I feel comfortable in my stride.

That’s when I notice this lady:

warrior

Tears came to my eyes. My God!  Determination in physical form.  She was MOVING.  How awesome was that.  I don’t know her.  I stopped to take a pic because she was motivation in motion.  Now I was fully bawling my eyes out.  I don’t know her story but it involved losing a leg and she was giving it all she had.  She inspired me to do the same.

I focused. Turned up my music and went for it. Just music and breathing.  It wasn’t too bad.  All of a sudden I could hear the announcer.  That meant I was close to the finish.   Once out of the straight away I could see the finish mark to the right but this dude was telling me to go up and over to the left.  Torture.  I just wanted to be done already.  Some finishers were crossing in front of me.  I just kept going.  When I finally get to the turn of the finish line.  One lady was cheering like crazy.  I asked her the time.  She yelled behind me – 9:08!  WHAT?  No shit?!

Unbelievable! I had not participated in a 5k in over 10 months and I had never completed one in 40 minutes.  I was hyped and I was looking for the one-legged warrior to thank but I never saw her again.  I don’t think I will ever forget her.

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This morning I weighed and I am another 2 pounds down.  A total of 9 pounds since the book signing.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”- John Rohn

Until next time….

 

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