Friends are the best medicine. God gives us friends for a reason. Blessings abound when God puts and you accept the right people in your life. With my son’s impending surgery and mom’s illness, life hasn’t been easy. The stress is taking its toll on our family. If ever, my soul needed to be refreshed, it was now.
Every year, I participate in the Hot Chocolate race. Sometimes, Aaron and Georgia join me. With the exception of the first year, Dina joins me. This year, we were all ready to participate and Aaron’s drill schedule changed. How can run to beat my time, if he is not walking with Georgia? Aaron’s solution was to have Jen to come to town. That is not always an easy feat. She is a planting a church – time and funds are limited. However, I really needed her. We talked and husbands made concessions so the trip could happen. I know, you are thinking, you seriously couldn’t find someone local to walk with her. I could have, but I think Aaron knew I was in need of Jen time, and Jason (Jen’s husband) knew she in need of April time.
After everything was settled, I began to have dread. My house is not clean. My life is falling apart. Aaron and the kids reminded me, no walls have to be put for Jen, she will be just fine in our mess and she was. Guys, I don’t know if you know how important it is to have friends that will drop everything and come to town because you are melting down, then not judge you for the state of your life.
Prior to starting, there were two plans being made. Jen and Georgia were strategizing how to not fall behind in time AND catch Pokemon. Yes, I know, I shook my head too. Do you see why she was perfect to walk with Georgia, though? Dina and I on the other hand were strategizing on how to beat our time from the previous year. My coach instructed me to put some effort into this run and not to goof off. ;) He knows me well, and while he doesn’t know Dina, he knows she is a bad influence. HA! So, Dina and I came up with an interval plan – one that would not get me in trouble. One that had a set end time on my phone.
Saturday morning, we got up and headed to meet Dina. We were in different corrals. Don’t ask, we never know how we end up In different corrals. We managed quite a few pictures of the three of us – Georgia was not cooperating. As we took pictures, we laughed. I told her our excuse if we sucked at the run and didn’t beat our time “Sorry, we were busy taking selfies.”
The race started. With both of us not going to Bataan this year, this race held a little more importance than previous years. We talked about our sadness surrounding it. Not long though, because if you know us, you know that Dina and I were bound to find some fun. First, we were supposed to wear snowmen costumes, but it was 60 degrees. No one could understand why we bailed. Dude, we almost suffocated without them. Lying on the couch in the thing is hot enough, try running up that stupid hill in them in the cold – that would be hot. Doing it in 60 degree weather meant I would meet my untimely death. No Thank you!
At one point, Dina is running, and her phone rings. Her husband is calling her in the middle of a race. Yall, get this, she answered! I was cracking up. I got one of those looks, but I laughed more. At this point, we heading up the big hill. She says pretend like this is Bataan. So I give her one of those looks. Ugh, the hills. I have not been working on hills or running really. Ugh. Did I mention, I do like that hill?
After the hill, we turn a couple of corners and they have chocolate. Yes, right in the middle of the run. Of course, I ate some, not much though.
At mile 2, we took a picture, and considered posting, “I think we are going to make it.” That is a throw back to certain spots in Bataan where you finally know you will finish. We laughed and we pushed each other. We ran intervals and we stayed together the whole race except the last few hundred yards. Rude people separated us. And I knew she wasn’t far ahead of me, I just couldn’t see her and that fluffy hat. The fluffy hat, you ask? The fluffy hat that I for a split second that was a new bad hair do. Goodness, I planned out my talk and everything. I was never so relieved that it was a hat as I was in that moment.
Back to the race, I don’t believe I have ever had more fun during a race than I did at this one. Husbands, look at out, next year, you are on your own. We will see you at the finish, because we are going for a repeat! We saw other friends at the finish and had a glorious time. I PR’d that race by 4 minutes. Georgia PR'd as well. Honestly, though, i don't know which time is correct. She has one time, and the official time is quite different. Both numbers are still PRs but I am going to give Georgia the faster of the two. Next year, she can set a goal to officially hit her number!
I have never been a fast runner and I am still not a fast runner. On Saturday though, my friends carried me. They carried me emotionally because they always show up. Dina carried me physically, because the stress lately hurts my body. She wouldn’t let me quit. She reminded me that while I may not run every day, I do train my body. She told me at one point, there is more fight in you – push. While, she may have been talking about a race, I believe she was talking to me about life. I may be tired. I may want to quit, but there is still fight left, and I just have to push through. Fight for the finish. ON the other side of the race was CHOCOLATE. While I don’t know what is on the other side of this phase of life, I can only hope that it is as good as chocolate.
PS – When it was over, Jen wanted to go to Stones River Battlefield. She promised it would be fun, so I took her. This is true friendship because well, it’s not my cup of tea. Apparently, though it was just wanted she needed. She and Georgia worked through a workbook and the history. They had the best time, and that was good enough for me!