Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Making Strides

I spent all weekend recovering from a 3-mile walk. I napped when Quinn napped, went to bed at 9:15 Saturday night, and developed a spasm in my lower back that lasted for two days. At least I wasn't winded during the walk? It's little consolation for how old I'm apparently getting. Let me explain how a noncompetitive morning stroll turned into a total-body workout.

Quinn and I participated in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides 5K walk in Tempe on Saturday morning. My little - and I use the word "little" only because he's young - snuggle monkey insisted on being carried for the first half of the walk. Every time I tried to put him in his stroller, he'd arch his back like it was filled with snakes, or worse - broccoli. When I tried letting him walk beside me, knowing it would slow my pace but thinking it would at least give my upper body a break, he'd sit down in the middle of the road. Chris and I call this his "riot police" move - his whole body goes limp like he's protesting the 1% and resisting arrest. I'd bend down to pick him up again, apologizing to the walkers who almost tripped over us as we broke their strides. All the carrying, wrestling, and bending to pick up my wiggle monster took its toll.

My chest and shoulder muscles were on fire, but I couldn't resist his cheek on my shoulder, even if we were making awful time, even if I was spoiling him rotten. And then my hat blew off in the wind, but I didn't even mind displaying my bald head to the world. I was hugging my little boy - and we were at a cancer walk, after all.

A few coworkers and friends joined us, including Quinn's best friend from daycare, Sydney. We had to pause often for snack breaks. No joke, I think we walked at about a one mile-per-hour pace. 

Which was good, because the hour leading up to the walk was intense. Chris was out of town, I had to drop my best friend off at the airport for an early-morning flight prior to the walk, and it was also ASU's homecoming on Saturday, so traffic was a nightmare, even at 7 a.m. I was the team leader for my company's team, but showed up fifteen minutes late because I might have bitten off more than I can chew by promising to meet anywhere with a toddler at 7:30 a.m. 

As I was running down Mill Avenue with my bright green stroller and shoeless toddler, trying to catch up with my teammates before the start, a guy in a pink shirt asked me if I was okay. "Just running late," I said. "This'll probably be the most competitive part of my day."

I caught up with my team a couple of blocks up the road; we weren't late for the start, and it probably wouldn't have mattered much anyway, it was such a laid-back event. The guy in the pink shirt came up to me and handed me an extra t-shirt from his team. "Good luck to you," he said, a seriousness in his voice letting me know he wasn't just talking about the walk. This is the shirt he gave me; it was so perfect after the sprint of a morning I'd had...

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