Every once in a while, it’s really nice to go back to old hobbies–hobbies I’ve hoarded, for life, in the past. Like old friends, they tend to welcome us back in with open arms when we let them.
I’ve been running races for just over three years now. In the spring of 2009, I ran my first 5k in Rhode Island, and just two months later, I ran my first half-marathon–which for a long period of time, I considered the proudest moment of my life. Since then, I’ve ran a number of 5ks, several 5 milers, a 4 miler, and a second half-marathon. Post second half-marathon, my legs yearned for a break. I went a month without running–and then another month. In June, I took my first run again–and still my legs said, “What do you think we are? Machines.” And thus began my longest hiatus from running, since my field hockey team was cut in college.
At this point, I had already signed up for the much anticipated Color Run. Nervous, I began to run three weeks before today’s run–to try and get back into 5k shape. I woke up early during my work trip, I ran, I walked for an extra work out, and today, on race day I woke up with an excitement that I knew very well beating in my chest. I threw on my white shirt, my white shirts, and slid on my bright new yellow socks:
If you could see my face at the same time as I took this photo-you would know that I totally had my game face on. While my friends and I made our trek out to Floyd Bennett Field and the Aviator Complex, I continued to spontaneously yell about how we were heading to the “Happiest 5k On the Planet.” And the truth was–we did end up at the happiest 5k on the planet. (Even the post color run patterns on my shirt said so!—Check out THAT smile on the back of my T)
As my friends and I made our way through the thousands of color runners, we stopped for free samples–happiness mingling–and special photos (which I am sure we will have a great laugh about later). When we reached the race track, I already felt a huge smile forming across my face–it could have been because “Call Me Maybe” was playing, but I have a feeling it was because I was surrounded by tens of thousands of people who signed up to have BRIGHT COLORS thrown at them in a city that tends to stick to it’s blacks and grays. I spotted neon sunglasses, much like my own (I went with the blues today instead of the yellows–for color stain reasons), neon socks, neon wristlets, neon shorts, neon everything. New York was already looking happier!
As our wave approached the starting line, I watched smiles turn to grins. It felt much different than many of the road races I’d done before, where everyone paced at the start line, worrying if their clip on their shoe to record their time was attached right. This was much more relaxed–much more anticipated–much more happy. We weren’t racing for medals–we were racing for bright yellows, pinks, greens, oranges, and blues. We were racing for happiness–and it was clear that, even in the early moments–we had won. As I ran and rolled through (YES ROLLED THROUGH) color stations, I felt life begin to feel a bit brighter–a bit more beautiful–a bit more happier. (Just call me a hippie already 😉 ) But really–it truly was–the happiest 5k on the planet.
In the words of the Muppets: “Life’s a happy song–when there’s someone by my side to sing along”–or in this case: Run along.
On another “Happiness” note, my good friend, fellow comic, and ventriloquism teacher April Brucker will be releasing her book this week entitled:
I came, I saw, I sang: Memoirs of a New York City Singing Telegram Girl
Join her fanpage HERE – and PURCHASE the book next week. I know I will!