If I had written this post yesterday, like I had planned to do, it would have been titled “Cross Country Mama.” You see, I, Judi, age 51, ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Philadelphia in exactly 41 minutes. (Okay, I stopped to get some water a few times, and I also stopped to take off my jacket and roll up my long black leggings. But, other than about two stops and a few brief jog/walk moments when the race was going up hill, I was part of the running crowd instead of the usual yearly walking crowd. Can I say that again? Me, me, me, meeeeeee…I Judi, age 51, was part of the running crowd.)
My soon to be 19 year old son was by my side as he always is each Mother’s Day, only this time, he too was running alongside me instead of walking. “You can do it mom,” he kept cheering me on. “Just keep running,we’re almost to the first mile,” he said as he ran backwards in front of me to make sure I was still standing and my legs were still moving. “Just keep running, there’s water up ahead,” he chimed, as I stopped to get a cup while in motion and almost wet him head to toe. (I think I did get the water volunteers a bit wet as I threw the cup to the ground after taking a few sips.) “You’re doing great, wow mom, I’m impressed,” he said as we rounded the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum on the last leg of the race. “I didn’t think you had it in you,” he yelled back to me.
Frankly, I didn’t think I had it in me either. I don’t know what possessed me. I don’t know how my 51 year old body did it, but it just kept going. I put my iPod buds in my ears and just kept running. I hadn’t run a race in almost 25 years.
I ran alongside those with pink nametags that were breast cancer survivors. I ran alongside families young and old who had pictures on their chest of their mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, nanas, and daughters, who had not survived their battle with breast cancer. It was a bright sunny day and I was glad to be alive…glad that my body was in good enough shape to keep running. Glad that my son and I were running together. Glad that I didn’t fall down or collide with any of the fast moving jogging strollers (at times those kids looked like they were having so much fun that I wished I was in their seat instead of running).
As we neared the end of the race, my favorite Coldplay song Viva la Vida burst in my ears and I picked up the pace. Jumping up and down, my son and I cleared the finishline with our best time ever. We gave each other high-fives and headed for the Wawa tent to eat up all the calories we had burned off during our 41 minute run. We drank full bottles of water, gobbled up full fat blueberry muffins, ate high potassium bananas, and walked back to the car.
I felt like I was flying…flying high. Maybe I will start to run longer races, I thought to myself as I hit the pillow last night.
And then I woke up this morning. Monday morning my alarm went off like clockwork at 6:00 am. Time to get ready for work. OMG, OMG, OMG. I could barely get my body out of bed. My 51 year old knees were wobbly. My 51 year old hips pulsed. My arms and chest felt like I had fought against Million Dollar Baby (remember Hillary Swank? It was a sad movie, but she was a great fighter). Yes, 24 hours later and I no longer felt like like the avid Cross Country Runner I thought I was the day before. Today, yes, today, I felt more like Achy, Breaky Mama with an achy breaky body.
I’m glad I had my moment in the sun (literally) on Mother’s Day. It is likely a day I will remember, or shall I say, my body will remember, for a long, long, long, long time. I did finally get ready for work. I sat at my desk most of the day too, getting up out of my chair only a few times, including to have lunch with a friend. I was sooooooo glad when it was almost 5:30 pm and it was time to go home.
As for this evening. I think I’m going to give my body a nice warm bath. Where is that lavender bath anti-stress oil…I may just have to pour the rest of the bottle in the bath to mend this achy, breaky body. While I dare say that my 51 year old body is still in good shape, it’s definitely not as young as it used to be.