A Spectator’s Shame: Tunnel to Towers 5k, Part II

A Spectator’s Shame: Tunnel to Towers 5k, Part II

I’ve already posted about that one amazing moment from the Tunnel to Towers race Saturday, but now, I want to post about some of the things I saw that day that made me feel like Lazy McSlackerpants. 

First, moms pushing double strollers, one kid strapped in, one jogging beside her. My kids would out run me after about six steps, assuming I missed the narrow window to trip them. Then they’d pick flowers, try to talk someone out of gum, and pet every dog in the vicinity, all accompanied with the saccharine smile of faux innocence. 

Two moms running a 5k wearing their babies. WEARING their babies, I said. WEARING THEM! That means the babies are small enough to be tied to them while they are running. Which means they are running so soon after delivery that it makes me squirm uncomfortably. See what I mean about feeling like a loser?

Then, there were whole families out there, sweating together. One family was pushing a double stroller, while one kid jogged and one kid got carried, and they had a grandparent running with them.  

The fastest I’ve ever seen my dad run was trying to get to first base in a slow pitch softball game with the VFW in about 1978. That was seriously funny to my 6 year-old self, and he may have even caught his breath by now. Mom? I’ve never seen her run or do anything remotely athletic, but I’ve always been scared to test whether or not she could…Because she brought me into the world, and can definitely take me out of it. Still. 

I saw a grandma carrying her granddaughter. A GRANDMA, for Pete’s sake. Carrying a grandchild on her back, and she was STILL JOGGING. I love my grandparents, but even when I was young enough to be carried by one of them, I’m not sure that a 5k would even have been on the radar. 

Elementary school kids. That’s not as physically impressive as the adults; I have three little kids, and they probably do at least a half marathon in any given day. But some of them were on the race route, and looked like they’d either run slower or faster than whatever grown-up they started out with. 

And there were some really old people, and when I say this, I am saying it with all the love, respect, and outright jealously my heart can produce. These were old enough they could be in a nursing home commercials old people, and there they were, moving faster than I’ve moved in a really long time, and wearing stretchy tight clothes to do it.  

Me + tight stretchy clothes is one of the top reasons I don’t exercise. I’d have to dress like that to exercise, and since I’m a sympathetic puker, I wouldn’t get anything done except for vomiting with the people who saw me in tight stretchy clothes. And since bulimia is unhealthy, I don’t risk it. See? Safer for everyone else. 

There were also a couple of people I know from work. One lady I knew ran a lot, and two I don’t know well enough to know their level of fitness dedication. Now that I do, I carry that lazy shame with me to work, too. 

I saw two women running in full firefighter turnout gear. Talk about fighting off feelings of complete inadequacy and uselessness–those two women are completely badass. (Yes, I know this is cussing, and yes I know I wrote about my cussing problem already, but if you have a better way to express the supreme compliment that is “badass” please tell me.) Those two women are tougher than me and stronger than me by far, and I’m not ashamed in the slightest to admit that. 

And look in the pictures for the firefighter with her kids.  There just aren’t pretty words to describe how awesome she is and how not awesome I am in the same sentence. 

And as I’m writing this, my belly full of buttery spaghetti and ice cold milk, I know I want to be that healthy, that physically fit. But at 43, and at least twice the weight I was back in my college days, it just feels too overwhelming.   

But then, I think about some of the other people who ran that day, and I think that maybe, there might be hope for me if I just get up and move.  Like Cool Blue Running Pants Lady or Pink Rain Boot Lady obviously did. 

So maybe I will. 

After another episode of Doctor Who. 

She wins the all-around badassery award: two kids AND turnout gear. Give this woman a trophy and a black leather jacket. (PS- I know it’s a crappy picture, but I had to share it, because whoever she is, she’s awesome.)
So many reasons she wins: Carrying the flag, smiling at my girls, AND pink rain boots. WIN!
Halfway through the race, this woman gave our Daisy Scouts smiles and fun, and a really cute running outfit. She wins, too,
This lady wins. I’m assuming she’s Grandma, and she was jogging!!
And he’s still smiling. Dad win!