There's No Option for Slacking When You're #1
This past weekend, I had registered to "run" in a 5K race for autism awareness. I'm not an impressive runner, but I do enjoy participating in these types of events.
My primary sport is rowing, so when the day of the 5K road race came, I decided to challenge myself further: I would row 10K and then run the 5K.
Well...my body was not quite on board with the plan. In the days leading up to the race, I was pushing myself physically in my rowing training. I had not had a rest day since the prior Sunday, and many of my training days included two-a-day workouts.
As planned, the Saturday of the 5K road race, I did row 10K. And I was extremely tired and achy afterward. I rehydrated, ate a banana, and then drove to the 5K location. Always mindful of the possibility for injury, I was thinking I would withdraw from the 5K but stay and cheer on the other participants.
However, when I went to the registration table, the race volunteer gave me my t-shirt and a race bib. The race bib, below, was #1.
Never in my days of racing have I received bib #1. It usually goes to participants who are fast. That word does not describe my running. I did not feel worthy to have bib #1.
Oh, the pressure! When life gives you #1, you absolutely must run the race. There is no option for withdrawing: #1 must finish. So, I pinned that number on and off I went.
I did not do that bib number justice. I was not #1. But I did run the full 5K, and what a pleasant surprise to hear people cheering, "Go Number #1" as I hobbled along the course.
I finished with an okay time, given the way my legs complained. Funny, if I'd been given any other bib number, I may not have run that race. But having bib #1 gave me the motivation to start, push through quite a bit of discomfort, and finish the race.
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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador
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