Sunday, June 21, 2015

Come Out and Play

The sun did not shine but it wasn't too wet to play
because it was time to run Boston's BAA 10K.
When it comes to running Boston won't be outdone
organizers, runners and spectators sure know how to have fun.
Tom Grilk, the announcer said yes it's soggy and wet
go out and have fun make it your best race yet.
Splash in the puddles just like when you were a child
pay no attention to the time be safe but feel wild.
No lightning cells on the horizon do we see
go out and run feeling happy and free.
We make our own weather so enjoy every mile
we'll see you crossing the finish line with a wonderful smile.

At 5:30 am the rain pelted the windows as our alarm clock went off. Tom and I pondered but only briefly about whether or not he was going to run the BAA 10K today. He is signed up for the Distance Medley so if the race was going on - so was he.

I usually volunteer at BAA races and was really glad that I hadn't volunteered at today's race. We thanked every volunteer we saw for their dedication to supporting the runners despite the weather. I was delighted to be at the start/finish line again to enjoy Tom Grilk's banter before and during the race.

He said there was no getting around the fact that it was a miserable weather day but nothing stops Boston from running. He suggested that runners go out and just enjoy the day feeling like a kid again splashing in the puddles. He did say that if there were any signs of lightning or thunder to get into a building and be safe; that there would be other races to run but there were no lightning cells on the weather map.

There was a sense of reckless abandon and pure joy among runners and spectators.

Being out in the rain and feeling a sense of unbridled joy among my community of runners is a special feeling for me. I contracted paralytic polio when I was 5 and never experienced that feeling of running through puddles as a child. I didn't start running until 2007.

When I was still in a leg brace 8 1/2 years ago, I had a dream about splashing in the puddles without my leg brace a la Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain. That dream prompted me to write a poem:

Come Out and Play
Arms flung open wide dancing in the rain
pure abiding joy to feel alive again
healing tears fall and blend in God’s puddle
no time to sit in a corner and huddle
all the old rules driven by fears
washed away now by God’s loving tears
the imprint dad left no longer remains
rain washes away all of the stains
baptized with love, Truth lights my way
the sun shines through on this rainy day
splashing and laughing my heart opens wide
embracing and flowing I’m one with the tide
God takes my hand release the old way
bathe in my glory come out and play!

So what's a little rain - okay a whole lot of rain with downpours - with soaking wet feet splashing through puddles whether running or spectating ... There was something magical, exhilarating and uplifting about the day thanks in large part to Tom Grilk's playful banter about Make Way for Ducklings and bringing out the child in everyone; making the best of the weather and not allowing the weather to dictate how we would experience the day. The focus shifted from the clock and the competition to embracing running in the rain and inviting runners and spectators to just come out and play.

The apres race atmosphere was one of celebration as runners milled around sharing stories of their run. We met up with several members of our Club, L Street. There was a mild drizzle and we put down the umbrellas. We were all kids again hanging out in the rain with not a care in the world enjoying being together, feeling so grateful that we can come out and play.

It's definitely something we should all do more often!

Here are some photos to capture the day including a meet and greet with today's BAA 10K winner, Daniel Saleel and Boston Marathon champs Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel at the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase store:

Cheers! To Life! Love yourself well!

I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.

In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.

50% of book proceeds from all of my books, available on Amazon are donated to the Arredondo Family Foundation whose mission is to provide a helping hand to those experiencing a tragedy and to provide education on matters relating to military, veterans, military families, and the issue of suicide.

I am working on my new book, Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems which brings together my best poems of the last 8 years and will include my latest poems as I continue to feel the heal and move forward in my life.

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