The world is an eerily quiet place at 8am on Sunday.
The scene is almost fitting for a Western film, such that I could almost picture a tumbleweed bouncing down a usually busy street in unison with the echoes of my footsteps.
I certainly was nowhere near experiencing the stillness of a weekend morning the day prior. The only movement I was capable of before noon was a stilted dash for the kitchen sink after being awoken by a mouth the consistency of the Gobi. Why everyone decided I should be drinking double rum and cokes was beyond me, but they seemed so convinced that I went along with it. It did certainly make the random transition from two hours of 60s soul a la Temptations to random modern rock a la Metric by the bar DJ seem much more reasonable.
I am highly versatile in my ability to bust a move.
But Sunday I was more prepared. I'd foregone another partying opportunity for a quiet dinner, crawling into bed straight after my Tina Fey fix (I have a serious girl crush, I'm afraid), in order to be prepared for my alarm clock.
As some of you may remember, I am not the biggest fan of running. There are a few occasions when I find it appropriate-- namely, whilst pursued by rabid beasts of the devouring type, or when for a good cause. Thankfully, my shoes were laced up for the latter, as a group of us participated in the Run for the Cure on the behalf of a friend's mother recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
(And a special shout out to Surfergrrl and Dan Mega for being kind enough to donate!! Believe it or not, I was my team's #1 fundraiser! Probably because people would pay big money for the sheer humour of seeing me run...)
Having not participated in a big city fundraiser (my HomeTown fundraisers usually involved me volunteering at a snack bar at the Legion for a local cover band), this was certainly a new experience. There were literally thousands of people, ranging from toddlers to the elderly, serious runners to casual strollers, clad in wigs and wings, even men in pink dresses. Even more overwhelming, though, was the positivity. Everyone was smiling, cheering, and there were rows of people with loud yellow "Free hugs!" signs, doling out enthusiastic embraces. One couldn't help but feel heart pangs at times, seeing too many names written under "Who I'm running for", too many "my mom, my best friend, my sister", along with photos of beautiful smiling women pinned to their shirt. But, still, amongst all the tragedy, there was an air of optimism and hope that flowed along with the pounding music.
And, yes, I ran-- nearly the whole five kilometres, when I wasn't too clustered within the crowd. Though sometimes it felt as though my breath was stabbing at my throat, and I still didn't experience this mythical runner's high, as I came down the last stretch, sloping towards the finish line with people cheering from the sidelines, I could imagine why people would find the experience a little invigorating.
(Though I'm a little convinced I pulled my groin.)