For the first time, I ran a race with my parents and every member of my family (Charlotte and Owen did the 4K, but I'm counting it!).
Charlotte was the first to take off. She sprinted down the grass hill, her blond hair flying behind her. We cheered from the top of the hill. Oh the bitter cold! We hopped, skipped, and bounced to stay warm before our starting time. We followed the fitness trainer's instructions to dance to the music (some more enthusiastically than others) as we waited. Grandma was a dancing genius! She and Poppy were darling as they partnered up, danced toward each other, and do-si-doed arm in arm.
Right before our start, I frantically looked for Maria and was thrilled when she and her boys ran up to join us at the starting line. Madi and Elise started the race at the front of the line, pumped and ready to win. Gift certificates are powerful motivators.
On to the awards ceremony! We cheered as each person claimed their prize. Madi 1st overall girl, Elise 2nd overall girl, me (yes, slow me!) 3rd overall girl. Grandma 1st in her age category. Poppy 1st in his age category. Paul 3rd overall for the 10K--he's the true athlete amongst us! My favorite moment was when Paul told the announcer, "I'm a friend of the Abbes" to round out the ongoing joke of the Abbes sweeping the awards.
We pooled our winning certificates and celebrated at Shenanigans in Leesburg for dinner.
Here are my race-life-connections:
1. I try harder when someone encourages me.
2. I try even harder when someone stays by my side through the hardest part.
3. A finish line is better with friends and family. The shared-experience. The shared-accomplishment. The shared-celebration.
4. Family is everything. How I love sharing this race/this life with them!