Some time ago, my super groovy wonderful creative friend Kor said, "Hey, let's do a 5k and raise money for our school."
And Rosemary agreed.
So, with the two of them working together, I was more than happy to sign on.
Then I wondered what on earth I was thinking.
The Allegan County Great Start Collaborative (who also gave us the great bag we took Superman chickie to school in) had a brilliant idea. They would have a competition amoungst the schools to see who could get the most people out for a 5K. The school with the most registered participents would get half the money of all the registrants fees.
Now, our little school is just that. Little. Our elementary, middle school and highschool are all in one school building, that is one floor high.
I sent in my $20 dollars to register myself and not any for the boys because
A. I hoped to go alone
B. 20 times five is more money than I want to (or can) spend
The day of the 5K - the first ever, I might add - was lovely. And my hard working husband was doing just that - working. So I loaded all the boys up in the suburban packed with water bottles and we headed off to my first ever 5K.
Because it was my first 5K, because I had forgotten about it (after panicking when I first sent the money in that I had COMMITTED TO DO THIS), I was a true fashionista in my strawberry shortcake socks (all my others are wool winter socks, who wears shoes when you can wear flip flops in the summer?), ripped in the butt (so I had to keep my shirt pulled down so one couldn't see the color of my panties) jean shorts, a school themed shirt I used as pj's, and my boys all time favorite thing for me to wear - a camo hat (that also sports butterflies) that I got at Cabela's.
Jake laughed at me. He is cruel.
See, fashionista I am not.
(but my strawberry shortcake socks were a hit ;) )
We had no idea what to expect. I had never partaken in such an event. And other than picking asparagus and using the push mower to mow the lawn, I have not walked since the snow got too deep.
And now I had four boys with me to worry over too.
They sounded the horn and we were off.
At a walk.
But it was a good quick walk, I felt. S4 HAD to beat his Moma so he was up ahead of me with Alicia and (could be his future mother in law) Mandy. I was walking with Kor and Tammy. S1 took off with Tammy's older daughter and a group of his friends along with S3. But S2? He and Alicia's son didn't wait for anyone. They took off running - fast.
At the halfway point, we were sweaty. And I could see S4 up ahead of me having a harder time keeping up. We also came across S1, his whole group had left him behind because he couldn't keep up. I felt bad for him, and worse when I realized he was wearing steel toed boots because they are the only shoes that fit him anymore.
I didn't know that.
About a mile and half from the ending, S4 was sure he was going to die. His tummy hurt. His feet hurt. His head was hot.
A mile from the finishing line, S4 couldn't go on. So I hitched him up on my back. S1 offered to carry his brother for me, how sweet is that? We plodded on.
Near the end of the line, Kor and Tammy along with Rosemary and her daughters finished with us so we I wouldn't have to finish alone.
So very kind of them.
And S4 ran and leaped and played football for the rest of the afternoon after he slid off my back as I fell to the ground in a heap.
S2 greeted me. He had come in EIGHTH of ALL the participants. Eighth. And he can't wait to do a 5k again. S3 ran up and greeted me with a kiss, he was still with the group he had started with, he had kept up with all the 5th grade and older kids.
S1 felt like a failure. I reminded him he can fix tractors while others can't. We all have our strengths - along with our weaknesses.
And when the numbers were tallied (I was sweating it - literally, of course, too - because if we lost the most participants number by one or four I'd forever kick myself in the butt for having four unregistered kiddos with me...), our itty bitty smallest by far school HAD WON.
We were cheering and jumping and shocked all at once.
I'm the 5th one in on the right of the standing moms in the back. S3 is in the John Deere hat first on the ground on the right. S4 is in red and seventh in on from the right. S3 is two over in an orange Dukes hat (he had "01 Dukes of Hazzard" written on a piece of paper he clipped to his back). S1 is the first on the left on the ground by the stroller.
We grinned huge for our picture, thankful we would look small and therefore not as sweaty and exhausted for our sure to run in the paper pic.
After the 5K, we went to Rosemary's and caught chickens she was getting rid of, picked rhubarb and chatted while the kids ran around like hooligans. When we got home we scarfed down hot dogs and chips like we had never seen food before in our entire lives. Then we went and picked asparagus - in the hot hot sun - followed by eating ice cream.
Then we fell exhausted in a heap.
It was a good time.
My husband was super proud of us. He hopes to see me keep it up, he hopes that S2 and I can bond over runs this summer. I hope he's right.
I did a lot of reflecting on the 5K. I know I may look too much into it, and it may have a lot to do with my new love of the show Army Wives, but I looked over all these women who came together to make our school shine and I was so proud of them. To know them. To be one of them. To have bonded over this with them.
I am blessed by my friends.
I am a mom who keeps my boys close to me. I don't like letting them out of my sight when we are out and about. But having all these friends with me at all stages of the route made me relax (helps that there were police officers helping us all along the way too). I had no qualms about who the boys were running with. I was so proud of Kor and Rosemary and all the hard work they had done. I was proud of Katy, Alicia, Mandy and Tammy for making it there on a super busy weekend. I was happy to finally talk to Kim, who I have admired as the runner and mom she is but have never had a chance to talk to her.
I am blessed to have this circle of friends - truly blessed. And when I reflected on it, I actually got all teary eyed.
I can't wait for next year! Maybe we'll even run!
But I really can't wait to join all my mom friends and KICK THE OTHER SCHOOLS BUTTS AGAIN!!! ;)