5K Race and Kayaking on the Potomac
Sunday, June 20, 2010
This weekend has been awesome! I am among the luckiest humans on earth. I have such marvelous friends and the love of life wells up in me.
I'll start with Saturday. I have a wonderful friend named Mary who told me about a 5K race at her church. I arrived early and parked in a nice shady spot. It was pretty warm already. I went into the church hall and went to pick up my info on the race. I was given a green teeshirt with "LOSING TO LIVE" on the front. There were more people arriving and the large parking lot was filling up. I walked over and saw my friend Mary. We hugged and I met several of her church friends. We did a few minutes of stretching and then it was time to go. We started off and I began to run. I think that was a mistake, since it was a pretty big hill and I got winded fast. Most of the rest of the race I walked, as fast as I can but I did run a little bit here and there. I had a friend with me during the race and we supported and encouraged one another. My time was not bad - 56 minutes. It was a hot day and I pushed hard to get the final part. When we went through the finish line, we headed for the church's healthy brunch. I was VERY impressed with the great organization. The brunch was incredible! I ate Waldorf Salad, Chic Fil-a wrap, a deviled egg and more. It was delish and I had under 400 calories. The Pastor there is so inspirational!
He has lost 117 lbs and has written a book, called Bod For God. He is a good speaker and awarded prizes for the winners. We cheered for each winner. Maybe next year I will be one of the winners. Finally we went home happy and thoughtful over such a great time.
Saturday night I got to bed early since I had a big day ahead. My trainer that I often mention, Rachel, had made me a promise. I love this woman very much and she has been the #1 inspiration to my healthy journey. But the promise she made this time, excited and thrilled me. She wanted to give me a birthday present, even though we had to wait til our schedules meshed. This Sunday we were going to go to a place where we could rent kayaks and she and I would go kayaking! I had mentioned to her a few times that I would love to learn to kayak. She told me she loved to kayak. My morning was as usual but Rachel arrived at 2PM and after showing her around our new house, we set off to DC. She drove us to a part of the city I remembered well although it had changed a lot. We finally found the place and we parked. Jack's Boathouse was a smallish place and Rachel walked up and paid for the
rental. We went down to the dock, put on the life jackets and the attendants got 2 kayaks ready. The attendant was so gentle with a beginner like me. He showed me how to slide into the kayak and I was nice and comfy in the craft. I always thought of a kayak as one of those with a opening where you fit snugly but this boat looked a lot less like that and kind of a flat boat. My feet were stretched out in front and I could move around easily. Rachel is a pro at this, and she was in the boat in no time. The attendant gave me the paddle with an oar at each end and off we went.
I was surprised that I was not the least apprehensive. Rachel was with me only a few feet away. She guaranteed me that she would not let me get hurt and I knew she would do what she said. I at first had a little trouble working the paddle but I soon figured the right moves. We could easily talk and we decided to go up towards the Key Bridge and come back with the current. I started to paddle with the two ends and I was delighted to move out to the middle of The Potomac. We stroked and chatted and I looked around. It felt so amazing! I could hear sounds from others and the river was full of people, but I felt such a surge of peace and serenity. I looked up in the beautiful blue sky and actually laughed aloud in pure joy!
The wind on my face kept the temperature perfect. I sailed along, getting more comfortable with the paddle. The river was full at first, but we continued until we left most behind. We chatted some but mostly I was wrapped in the pleasure of seeing everything. Several ducks were close and quacked as we sailed. I saw several boats and even a few swimmers. We passed a fisherman who greeted us. I loved it when we were in an area where there were trees all around us. The wonderful green curtain was almost breathtaking. I want to do this again when it is autumn. The colors must be spectacular! I was not worried for one minute while we were there. Rachel was never too far away. We finally decided to turn around and go back. Very mixed feelings. I loved the experience but my arms felt very tired. The current carried us back and I was sorry when it was over. Rachel went in first and stepped easily out of the boat. I was a little worried I might not be able to do that, but it turned out to not be necessary. As I got to the pier, the same attendant came up and with one mighty pull, he dragged the boat right up on the deck! All I had to do is stand up and walk out. I was glad I was on land but I will never forget that time on the water.
We headed home and I tried to let Rachel know how wonderful was her gift. I will never forget that experience, no matter what!