I was asked by a co-worker if I wanted to participate in a 5k race that the work place would pay for? She would run with me and hang out. I agreed and was looking forward to the event several weeks away. Before the 5k “Trot for Troops” race, my co-worker found other employment and was no longer in the event. I was let down but texted her the night before to inquire if she would be there. She answered yes so we looked forward to seeing each other.
The morning of the race I began to feel anxiety, not sure what to expect, what to do with my thin hair, you know; the little details that daunt you before something you have never done before. So needless to say, I was not looking forward to the task. I left early, got my number and starting seeing my other co-workers who were also running. I noticed I was getting excited and looking forward to the race. I had decided to run to compete not as to run with someone. Although I run on a regular basis, I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out.
My co-workers and I started out all together, the Fort Campbell Army band was there playing live music. We all got a little teary when the Star Spangled Banner was sung so beautifully. This was it, we pledged the allegiance to the flag, the announcements were made, the sirens were blaring and the race was on. It started with the mile fun run followed by the 5K and finally the 10k which would keep running further.
It was cold, cloudy and windy but there was no rain. We started out in a huddle and as we ran on the bypass, the crowd thinned out. Next we turned down Gary Lane which is a country road. People stood on the side as we passed by cheering us on as we went. I could see the runners’ way up ahead and thought, “I have a ways to go, yet.” I was starting to warm up and kept saying to myself not to stop. Once I reached the turn around sight, there was a table with little cups of water. I took one and tried to breathe while drinking, but it only made things worse as I started back the way I came. I was passing my co-workers and slapping them the high five as we encouraged one another. I noticed at this point there were less and less people around me and could hear myself breathing heavily.
After I passed the 2.5 mile mark, I knew I was almost there, but I was hot and my legs and stomach were getting wearisome, I really felt like walking, but I didn’t want the “guy” behind me to pass me. My mind went to Paul in the Bible and how he said to run the race to the finish. I was thinking that this race is like when we stand before God and will answer to Him for our time on earth. Nobody can answer for you; it will just be you and Him on that day. I never want to give up; I never want to give up on me or on anyone who is looking through me for Jesus. I felt like this was not just a physical race but a spiritual race as well.
Now I was on the bypass again and could see the YMCA where we started. I felt like I was alone and wanted to quit, but then I saw a co-worker named Chase, he was smiling so big, clapping and telling me I was doing a good job. I could feel my stomach wanting to throw up anything that was in it, but about that time, I was passing a line of American flags and the band was playing, “You’re amazing just the way you are.” As I noticed some other people I knew, I started to cry because I was so happy that I did it. I looked at the time clock and it read 32:00. I couldn’t believe it, a little over thirty minutes. I had never done anything like this in my whole life. It felt amazing. It was so hard, but I pushed through, and I did it. I am so thankful to Heritage bank for making this happen and for my co-workers who rooted for me. This whole experience has strengthened my faith tremendously.