Brace yourselves this is going to be a tad long.
I had to sit on this for almost a week before I could put this into words on paper (yes I write this out), I’m still in disbelief that so many people came together for me.
I don’t know what made me sign up for this run way way back. More so to push myself for goals. This was all before I had major surgery etc. Saturday finally arrived. I prepared myself as best as I could.
Prior to the run, Alex a running family member who I had yet to meet reached out to me and offered to run with me at my pace. I honestly didn’t know how to take this. My guilt kicked in. Was I going to slow her down. Was she going to over push me. My mind was going super fast. Was I going to be too slow for her. So much was going through my mind. Once I met her on Saturday, all the doubts and worries vanished out of my mind. Alex and I worked into a comfortable pattern. We figured out a routine and we went full speed ahead.
Prior to getting myself into the corral, Koren and I walked to see friends. Got the last minute hugs, good lucks and just the encouragement I needed.
JP surprised me and said he would finish and come back out to get me. I was surprised. Shocked. I didn’t really know what to say. I was afraid at this point he’d hate running beside me. I’m a turtle. But his smile and hug gave me encouragement.
So the run has started, I was met by Gillian at King St. with a hug and encouragement. It gave me the sense I got this.
This run was a test to me. A test on my legs. My heart and my mind.
What most of you are unaware is I ran this run 61.5lbs lighter. I busted my ass from the start of this year to achieve this goal. I lead the back of the pack.
Alex who in the end was my saving grace, I never wanted to quit, give up, toss in the towel. I was focused on my breathing, keeping my asthma in check. Alex and I took this run 1km at time. We hit the 5k mark, did a dance and shake out. It was time to start the next 5k.
We passed the finish which was full of runners crossing. I didn’t let it discourage me. I let it fuel me. I wanted to get to the same finish as everyone else. I was not going to quit.
We arrived at the 5.5km and the first cheer station. It was tribe fitness and Melly & JPs crew. At this point it became apart that these people all knew me and were cheering for me. They yelled words to keep me going.
Now the sun was out. It was getting hot. We passed the empty cheering sections as I mentioned in my previous post.
When we came back to the Tribe Fitness cheer station, the tribe was cheering, loud and happy. They were cheering for me. It came apparent to me when we ran passed them and JP and Mary-Anne joined us.
As we kept running more and more people kept joining us who had already finished.
This is when JP let the cat out of bag that a secret FB group had been formed and all these people were here supporting me. Cheering for me. I got tears in my eyes at this point. The tears were falling mixed with my sweat. I was emotional.
The last km I kept looking at all these people wondering how did I get so lucky. How did I find a group of people who believed in me. The home stretch with the finish in sight I looked up and saw Koren and Matt waiting and cheering. At this point my biggest surprise was seeing Mike standing inside the finish line waiting for me. I cried again.
I crossed with a large group of supporters and a group waiting for me. I’ve never had a group of cheerleaders before ever in my runs. I’ve never had anyone wait but Koren.
I crossed the finish with a full heart and beyond emotional.
I had a highschool gym teacher, Mr. Larry, this group of supporters and this run made me think of him and my gym days. How he somehow knew there was a warrior inside of me. He pushed me. He believed in me. He never let me give up. He crossed my mind a few times during this run. I guess I was thinking he would be proud of me.
This group of people from this FB group “Jodies Cheerleaders” was working with the same ideas. They believed in me. They knew I’ve never quit. They never left me behind. To all the people a part of that group who ran Saturday but didn’t stay around. I know you were still supporting me. Some of you reached out afterwards and gave me encouragement and made me feel pretty good. I never knew I had this many supporters.
Melly… I don’t even know how to thank you for organizing this. Besides anyone who knows you, knows your heart is always in the right spot. You truly made me cry, blew me away with doing this. I’m honoured to call you a friend. You’ve been a good cheerleader and a rock in my corner. You can rock a tutu better than any dancer.
Laurie.. Thank you for the video. It was the encouragement I needed. I had that run and I knew I could do it. Thank you for believing in me and I know you were at the finish in spirit.
JP and Mary Anne, thank you for the words of encouragement to get me to the finish. Thank you for being you. You both are kind and loving people. Blessed to have met and created a friendship. It’s an honour.
Alex… You got anything you ever do. You have a cheerleader for life. I’ll be your supporter. You pushed me, got me to the finish and I had a blast. Thank you for giving up a time to run my time. That proves that you are not selfish and the running family comes first. It was an honour to meet you and I’m happy to call you a friend.
Matt.. You always know what to say and how to say it. Thank you for the walk as you said it did help me. You’ve supported me from my first run to my first training adventure. You’ve left words of encouragement and support. Thank you for the video at the finish. It will be forever a memory I can watch. Because I can do anything.
Mike.. No words that you found the time during work to come stand for me and cheer. Your words of support and encouragement has been amazing. You’ve been a rock to me. You’ve listened to my fears. My “I cants”. You’ve been the voice of reasoning on many occasions and you and I both know times in the past I’ve failed to listen. Thank you for being my surprise. My cheerleader. My friend. My family.
Koren.. You surprised me just as much as Melly did with keeping this a secret. You know I don’t do surprises. Thank you as always for waiting for me to finish. I know the weather hasn’t always been the best and Saturday it was hot and sunny. Thank you for pacing me on training runs. Which I know are more jogs/walks. So thank you!
To everyone else, Tracy, Scott, Leanne, Karen, Nancy, Kelly, Allison and Tribe Fitness (Yes I am missing names… But know you’re in my heart). Thank you. Thank you for being kind. For being real. Thank you for supporting the back half of the run. You all made my heart full. Happy and truly made me realize I am part of the family. I am a runner.
This run changed me as a person and as a runner. I still can’t describe the support and what it truly means. I am a back of the pack runner. We face different challenges.
So thank you everyone again.