Friday night as I prepared for the Get Lucky 7K, I’ll admit, I was scared and moping around. As I was unlacing my running shoe to attach the time chip, my wife heard me mumble – “I don’t know why I’m even bothering to put on this stupid thing, it’s not like I want anyone to know my time anyway”. It’s at that moment that she reminded me of all of the things that Gracie will do in her life where she may be the one that is out of place. Being the fat guy in a crowd of runners is hardly a comparison to having Down syndrome, but she really gave me something to think about. When I start to feel bad about where I’m at, I need to get better at not kicking myself for getting there, but instead be proud of what I’m trying to do – I’m out there for the experience and to better myself - I need to enjoy it, and do my best.
I woke up early Saturday to prepare for my day, I followed my shower up with a couple pieces of whole grain toast with peanut butter and bananas and a couple glasses of water – fuel for the run. After getting on all of my stuff, and a few nervous bathroom breaks, I sat on the edge of the couch anxiously awaiting my ride – we got downtown, parked in a ramp near the event and followed the sea of green towards the starting line. I wore my new daddythefatty.com shirt in an attempt to draw some attention to this site and hopefully more specifically to the link to my Boston Children’s hospital fundraising page. I am so out of my element at these things, but was determined to try to enjoy the event. I really have to say, I kind of failed in that department – I was pretty much a whiny baby most of the run –I truly believed that my shins, calves, and arch supports were the reasons I had to walk so often, but in hindsight, I am still questioning my mental toughness – I know darn well there have been many times in my past that I pushed past extreme discomfort and pain to accomplish a lot harder tasks than moving forward at a pace just barely quicker than a walk. My peers used to brag to others about my toughness. I’ll admit, I kind of liked being known as the tough guy and it kills me to mentally struggle the whole time to want to give up and walk – maybe that’s one of the reasons this thing is so emotional to me -- I find that when I get moving, I am consumed by huge rush of emotions thinking about the journey we’ve taken with Gracie. I want so bad for these girls to be a dad that they can be proud of and I get so angry at myself when so much of me is telling me to stop – I’m at the back of the pack and feel like there’s nothing I can do about that. I need to remember that there is something I am doing about it just by being there – putting myself through the embarrassment to hopefully and eventually get to a place physically where I need to be. Even though I’ll never be at the front of any organized run, I will continue this journey and I will work to be proud of where I’m going rather than being upset of where I’m at. I think one of my friend’s said it best when hearing that I was still behind him at the finish line (I’m paraphrasing) – Oh well, there’s no grade in this test, it’s a pass/fail – Meaning, I either did it or I didn’t – and I’m happy to say that I did.