Pretty cool sunglasses, huh? Okay -- truth be told, they were the only
ones I could find that morning. I'm not normally that cool. ;)
It all started with a 5:45am wake-up call. Andy left long before us since he was working for my brother and sister-in-law at their plant sale. (And not just any plant sale. We're talking 3,000 plants, and free consultations by landscape architects/designers!) I had planned ahead, but getting myself and four little ones out the door by 7am was still daunting. We were only a few minutes late, which I considered an accomplishment.
After a brief detour when we couldn't find the right entrance to the park, we rushed to get in line to register. But things were moving slowly. VERY VERY SLOWLY. The poor mama who volunteers to plan the event did not have enough help. The official starting time came and went, and there were still 10 or 15 people to check in. The participants began to get restless.
At 8:15am, we were still checking in and someone decided to signal the start of the 5K. Those of you who have participated in an event like this know that starting just 3 minutes late puts you at a serious disadvantage. Not one participant was in sight when we began. Our motivation to catch up plummeted. Just 5 minutes in, we came across a shady spot and the kiddos were already asking for a break.
I realized the game plan needed to change. The main point was to experience the community effort of supporting these brave and resilient women in Congo. And finishing the race properly was not necessary to do that. We took matters into our own hands, and set out to find the group.
The kids were cracking up as we sprinted across an open field, turned a couple corners, cut through a parking lot, and soon spotted some runners. Going against the flow, we confused a few people, but met our goal -- we found our friends. The kids were suddenly full of motivation. And speed! They took off ahead and crossed the finish line a couple minutes ahead of us. Morale was restored, and memories were made.