Last Sunday I ran my third Parkinson’s SuperWalk 10km. My running buddy did it with me and my husband, bless his heart, did the 5km walk with our nine year old daughters. Guess who had more fun?
My day started at 6:00 am when I dragged myself out of bed, pulled on my running clothes and crept out of the house. I had volunteer to help with set up for the event and I needed to be at 2nd Beach in Stanley Park by 7:00. Having never really been a morning person I was astounded at how many other people were on the roads at that God forsaken hour. Had they volunteered too? It was the only reason I could think of that anybody would be awake and out of bed at that time.
When I arrived a small crowd was huddled around a coffee urn at the event site waiting for instructions from the event coordinator. Once she showed up things stared happening quickly. If you have ever volunteered or worked on an event you will know that the start is typically organized chaos. Instruction is given quickly and if you don’t get it the first time around you need to find somebody else who looks confused and ask them. I’m not saying they will know what to do, but at least you will have company in your confusion.
One of the first announcement was that we were waiting on the park ranger. The night before a beaver had chewed through a tree and it had fallen over the walk route. There were some rumblings about finding said beaver and making a nice hat but it was quickly shut down and everybody went back to work. Only in Canada.
At 10:00 the walk/run began. My shift of volunteering was over and we headed out into the route. About 2km in we fell into pace with a nice man named Jim. Jim’s wife Peggy has Parkinson’s and they both do what they can to volunteer and get involved. The three of us spent the next hour running and chatting about running. Good runs to try, how to train properly, what to eat. You know, boring stuff that runners think is cool and the rest of the world could care less about. Oh, did I mention that at 18 degrees and sunny it was the penultimate running weather.
As we closed in on the finish line I thought, once again, about my mom. How she struggles with daily activities because of Parkinson’s Disease. Her life irreversibly changed. She would have loved to be out on the seawall on a day like today.
That’s why I participate in this event every year. To remember that I am fit and able and to bring awareness to the disease that cripples so many. The Best Thing in Life is that participation and donations were both up this year.