Gratitude

This past month I have been reminded about how lucky I am to be apart of the Toronto Power Walker’s and the power walking community in general
My involvement in walking has given me so much.  This past month I took a class with Lee Scott on the basics of powerwalking . I signed up as a friend new to power walking is planning to do the Goofy in Disney is a few years and I thought introducing her to Lee Scott and WOW power was a good way to start.
Last week I was in Boston to volunteer at the Marathon finish chute, on the Gatorade station. Water, Medals, Space Blanket and then Gatorade. I was close to the finish without having to do the 26.2 miles .  It was a new perspective for me. I am usually the participant crossing the finish line , upright and smiling and very tired . 
Helen and Shirley at Boston Marathon finish line

 This time I was there to support thousands as they made their way from the finish. Most were happy, some their pain was evident. A few required medical help and others were enthusiastic in communicating. No Gatorade for me,” I had enough on the course”.  Many asked for beer, “Is that Gatorbeer?” (I told them go to Chicago, they will give you a large glass of beer at the finish – I took two large sips of mine and tossed it when I did Chicago a few years ago).  One racer said he preferred a mojito over gatorade.  I especially liked when I handed gatorade to a runner and he magically pulled out a straw and began drinking the gatorade.

I was surprised that some participants did Boston as their first marathon, being offered a race bib, by a friend or business contact. Before last week, I expected the runners to be all “wicked fast” and most were from my perspective.  I stayed in a B&B where guests were discussing finishing times in the 2:27 to 2:36 range
Runners finishing around 5:30 – 6:30  were the participants I would expect to finish with. I found here were less of them needing medical attention (though I could be wrong)  There was less wheelchair movement at that time.
I was tired at the end of my shift as was Shirley but made our way to Fenway Park and the post marathon party.  It was an adventure and hopefully one that can be repeated next year.
I walked one loop around the cemetery Saturday morning and I was very happy to be out with the group. It had been too long.  I enjoy the solitude of walking alone but there is great benefit in being with the group Saturday mornings. I loved the way everyone was chatting loudly and enthusiastically and then Diane began they warm up stretches and in few moments the chatter had disappeared and the group was focused on their stretches and  lunges ..
I look forward to walking next week in High Park and the lakeshore.  I look forward to doing the Sporting Life 10K with my friend and being with her as she walks down Yonge St in a race for her first time. 
I look foward to Montreal in September for my chance to cross a Marathon finish line.  I look forward to starting the Marathon even more knowing I could have one or two TPW’ers there doing the first half of the marathon with me.
I really do have a lot to be thankful for ….See you in High Park (starting May 7).

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