Finding My Place in the Superdome

This past weekend, I attended the Saints run with my husband and a couple of friends. It’s a race around the city of New Orleans that ends inside the Superdome on the fifty yard line. Let me tell you about a passion I don’t have…running. I will never understand how people can just jog or run sprints for fun. Even in the stage of my life where I was the most fit and most in shape my body had ever been….I still couldn’t run. Let me not say that I can’t run, but I choose not to. It’s an activity I was never interested in, and as much as I try to like it, I just accept that I don’t. I struggle running to my mailbox. I only run if I’m chasing one of the kids, or if I’m getting chased by a wild animal.

Ya’ll, I had to borrow tennis shoes for a 5K, because I did not own a pair. So why on God’s earth did by friend sign me up for a freaking race around the city of New Orleans?

We left our house and headed for the race at 5:00am. Seriously, tell me again who does this for fun? We arrived and I immediately felt like an elephant at a mouse convention…out of place. There were people stretching, listening to motivational songs on their earphones, and putting tape in weird places on their legs and ankles. Some were drinking protein shakes, some had special running gear, expensive tennis shoes, and fancy running apps on their phones and watches.

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I was in awe of the time and practice these people were obviously putting into this race. I was standing there, with my fancy runner’s number safety pinned to my shirt, wondering what the hell I would do when that buzzer sounded to start the race. I would get trampled on and probably die from the stampede of the seven thousand people who were in line.

The buzzer sounded, and I took off with the rest of the crowd. I positioned myself to the far left so I would not be in anyone’s way. I saw my husband and friends way ahead of me, and I was so proud of them. But then, I stopped.

I got off of the path and I stopped, because I knew I did not want to keep on going. I knew I would get crap for not finishing. I knew I would get “I knew you wouldn’t do it” smack talk. But then I had an epiphany. Maybe my place there was not to be a runner, but to be a supporter.

I immediately started up the side ramp to enter the Superdome. I headed down to the field straight to the finish line. I hung out with the mascot for a while, and I waited for my tribe to come inside and do what they came to do…finish.

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I was able to video each of them crossing the finish line – something they would not have if I wasn’t their cheerleader friend. I was there cheering as loud as I could for each of them, and I had goosebumps when they came through the finishing arch. Did I feel like a failure, or secretly want to cross the finish line myself? Actually, no. I felt so much peace that day being exactly where I needed to be at that time.

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We all have our abilities, and obviously running is not one of mine…but maybe that’s why I like to write or take pictures. Accept your weaknesses, because there’s a reason why you have them in the first place.

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