Today, I took part in the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for WOMEN in Unionville, Ontario and it was an uplifting experience. My daughter ran in the Little Steps 1K last year, but she wanted the challenge of the 5K run this year. Several months ago, she asked me, my sister, and a friend of ours to join her in the Run for WOMEN. We are all middle-aged, fairly sedentary people who grudgingly said yes because, quite frankly, how can you say no to a 9-year-old?
Our friend cancelled due to injury, but the three of us forged on. What a morning! I hadn’t felt this empowered since giving birth. I was like the Little Train That Could: “I think I can, I think I can.” For those of you who are physically active and mentally strong, you may not understand why completing a 5 kilometre run is such an accomplishment. If you’re anything like me, thoughts of running 5K creates a rising panic and you start thinking negative thoughts like:
- 5 km is a long distance.
- The event will be over by the time I finish.
- I’m going to embarrass myself because emergency responders will have to scrape me off the road.
I forced myself to squelch my nerves and I’m incredibly proud of my daughter for being a positive person and not inheriting my neuroses. The fact that we were running to support women’s mental health programs made this event even closer to my heart. I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment when we held hands and crossed the finish line together! It was also amazing to have volunteers encouraging us along the route and the rest of my family cheering at the home stretch.
The Run for Women event is very well organized and completing the race only meant continuing the celebration. We received a Foxy bracelet at the finish line, picked up our Life brand goodie bag courtesy of Shoppers Drug Mart, and noshed on nutritious snacks such as bagels, fruit, and protein bars. I even mustered up my courage to approach and say hello to the Master of Ceremonies, Meredith Shaw, who is one of my favourite radio personalities. (Yes, I have many. I am such a radio nerd.)
Sisterhood really is epic. We are already planning to run again next year. Moreover, I’ve decided to mark today as the start of my journey to physical and mental well-being, and I have a very special 9 year old to thank for that.