Sunday, May 3, 2009

Volunteering

First, let me preface by stating that I am three glasses into a bottle of wine and in a court of law - I could not enter into a legally binding contract. Ok, so I had a great day volunteering at the Tacoma City Half/Full Marathon. Some observations at the get go

  • Runners come in shapes and sizes
  • No two gaits are alike

I was stationed at mile 6. It was really crazy to see marathoners actually sweating and panting at this point. I wanted to tell them to slow down and chill out because you got a looong ways to go, but I didn't. It was so fascinating seeing what runners were wearing. Some looked like they were going away for the weekend. It was crazy. Seriously, it's one thing to have a camelback but it's an entirely different thing to have a roll of toilet paper, tent, and air mattress slugged into it. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but seriously....whoa. This was the first female coming through for the half marathon. I'm curious to see what her time was. She was hot in a 'your a seriously in shape' competitor kind of way. See how fast she was:

Once I was able to leave my post i was waiting around for one of my girlfriends (who was also volunteering at mile 3 and due to injury hasn't' run since October) to come and meet me and she somehow ended up talking me into walking the rest of the course. It was all good and fine jabbering away until we caught up with this girl: Notice her right foot. Yeah, it's gone. I snapped a picture out of admiration (I was too chicken to get one of her front) when she went through my station. One word - AMAZING. We caught up and walked with her for the last 2miles and it was such and honor. She has done 6 half marathons and one sprint tri. So cool. She was an awesome girl and it was such a privilege to do part of the race with her. To watch marathoners look at her in admiration was seriously incredible. It really makes you appreciate what you have. How can I get upset about a rude driver that cuts me off when some people HAVE NO LIMBS. Seriously, get a grip! I hope I never forget this twenty minutes of my life. Her whole body was aching and she struggled to finish, but you know what - quitting was not an option for her. Her only goal was to finish at least second to last. It was such an honor to even meet her and she probably has no idea how much she inspires people. Spectators were going crazy for her and marathoners were going even more phycho. Hopefully I can find a better picture of her finishing and post it in her honor. That's about it. What a cool day. Sidebar - since we were on the very end of the finishers and the course was almost closed down allowing traffic to go through intermittently- we were still taking up the whole road and there was one driver who actually honked and then proceeded to give us serious attitude with her arms to tell us how mad she was we were taking up one lane (mind you - the other lane was still closed and there was absolutely NO TRAFFIC AROUND, she could have easily rolled into the other lane to pass us gracefully). Clearly she was too ignorant to even understand that there was a major even wrapping up, but aside from all this I ask you this: What kind of person actually gives someone with NO LEG an attitude about being in her way while she is driving and the no leg person is walking in the street. I was appalled that this actually happened. The no leg girl (sorry, I didn't get her name) was strong as nails and simply said, "I wish I had my other leg with me - I would have thrown it at her." What a good sport. I hope someday that driver realizes what a crazy bitch she is and gets her you-know-what handed to her. Unbeliveable.

9 comments:

Niki said...

Wow! That's inspiring!! Great post:)

Jamie said...

Glad you had fun volunteering! Cool you got to meet and walk with that girl, very inspiring!

the gazelle said...

ha! I love that she was going to throw her leg at the rude driver! That's such an inspiring story - thanks for sharing!

SinGal said...

Thanks for the blog love! I love reading...er stalking yours! :)

When I ran Dublin, Ireland I hit my wall hard and fast at mile 22. A guy came to pass me and was missing both legs from the knees down. He was running for the wounded soilders coming home from the war (I think he was one too). He had no legs, and he still had a bigger smile than me. That man will never know this, but he was the reason I got up off the sildwalk and finished that race. He is also the reaon I have never hit a runner's wall since that race, because all I ahve to do is think of him. I will never forget him, or the smile he gave me when he passed. People like that are so inspiring even if they don't try to be! Thanks for giving that women some blog love too! They make our sport so beautiful!

Amy said...

Wow, that lady is incredible. I love at the beginning of the post you write "and in a court of law I could not enter into a legally binding contract." Seriously, so funny.

Sounds like you had an awesome experience volunteering. It's so fun to people watch and give back to events!

Alisa said...

What an inspiring story!

In my very first half marathon, I passed a lady with two prosthetic legs. I hung with her for a little while, she was amazing.

Marlene said...

That's so inspiring!

I love volunteering at races. It's such a fun and motivating way to give back a little. Makes for great people-watching too. :)

Sarah said...

Volunteering is so awesome! Good job!! I volunteered at packet pick up once, and it's amazing to see all the people that run!

seejessrun said...

I agree, people like that are pure inspiration and put everything in perspective. I complain about a little knee pain and she doesn't even have a foot...