I'm running a 5K tomorrow. That shouldn't be a big deal. I've been running much more than a mere 3 miles the past several weeks. But the fact that it's a race. With other people running with me....Other people watching.
It just brings back a memory. One that I find quite funny now....
I played sports in high school. I played volleyball and softball. My senior year, I needed a spring sport since I'd stopped playing softball and had been talked into cross country. Yes, talked into it. Our 'neighbor' and friend, Coach Cole had talked me into it. She assured me I didn't have to be fast....just steady.
And if I'm anything, I'm steady.
Well. Practice with Coach Cole consisted of her driving us in a school van 9 miles away from the school, dropping us off, and saying "See ya back on campus!"
9 miles? Eh, I really don't even know if that's accurate. What I wanted to write was 23 miles, but knew that was an exaggeration. 9 might be as well. But either way- it was a long distance.
At every practice, I was the last one to finish. I didn't really care. I knew I'd been talked into running with the team and knew there was no pressure to be awesome.
The day of my first race came and I had no idea what to expect. I just knew I had on a crappy team outfit with unbearably short shorts and orange and blue running shoes.
We loaded up on the bus, drove to the event, and lined up. The gun went off and we were on our way.
About .3 miles in I realized I needed to pee. I also realized I had quite a ways to go before I'd be finished running. I just decided to focus on something else and do my best.
I ran at my awful slow pace and quickly realized that it's alot different to come in last when you are running with your team. But when other people are involved? Ugh.
The entire race I kept asking myself "How did I get talked into this?!?!"
Well, 3 miles later, I'm approaching the final stretch and to my surprise, everyone was cheering for me and clapping. I'm sure they were just clapping because they were thinking "FINALLY!!! We can go home now!"
I decided I liked having everyone clapping for me so I finished the run with the biggest grin on my face and doing my best "Miss America" wave to everyone. (Have we discussed that I may or may not like being the center of attention?)
Yes, you read that right. I did. I grinned and waved back to everyone.
I'll have you know, thanks to the girl who sprained her ankle, I didn't finish last. ;-)
As I crossed the finish line, I can remember Coach Cole's face with a smirk on it. It wasn't the "oooh silly girl" smirk....It was the "Do you realize you just finished the race with probably the slowest time anyone has ever finished with...and yet you're grinning and waving" smirk.
Well. As I finished, I informed coach that whatever happened next, I HAD to find a bathroom .
She directed me to the bathrooms and as my luck would have it, they were about 2 football fields away, up a hill, and from where I was standing I could see the line OUT THE DOOR for the girls restroom.
People, I had to GO!
I started the "i gotta pee" walk up the hill. You know it. Trying to walk with your legs pressed as tightly together as you can get them in hopes that it will prevent your bladder from exploding. This particular walk creates a sort of 'limp'...All the while, praying I would make it to the bathroom....yet all the while, knowing with every step I took, there was no way I would make it...making the limp even more dramatic.
I got up to the building with the bathrooms and I knew I had no more fight left in me. Yup. Not only am I writing on my very public blog for all to see about how horrifically slow I am at running, but I'm telling you that I wet my pants as a senior in high school.
At this point I started laughing. Because what else is a girl supposed to do? Imagine this...a girl walks up doing the 'i gotta pee' walk, laughing so hard tears start to fall, and yelling at everyone, "PLEASE! PLEASE LET ME GO BEFORE YOU."
Thankfully the girls let me cut in line and I was able to go.
After I cleaned myself up I joined the rest of my team and we headed back home.
At each race the entire season, I never came in last. Maybe always 2nd to last, but never last :-)
So as I run tomorrow, I have 2 prayers.
1.) That I don't come in last. 2nd to last? Eh, I'm ok with that.
2.) That I don't wet my pants.
It's 9:30pm, and I know I need to sleep- but this particular memory is all I can think about tonight.
If you're awake tomorrow at 8am eastern time, think about me and send a few prayers my way.