Learning to Run – The Red Hat

Teen Daughters #1 and #2
Greetings, Chickies!   Saturday’s Fun Run was, well, FUN!!!  It wasn’t a full 5K, the weatherman cooperated and provided us with a sun damping cloud cover, and the company – Husband, Teen Daughters #1 and #2, Teen Son #2, Husband’s fellow employees – was unmatched. 
Did I make it?  You betcha. I also learned that running in an organized fun run is not as easy as it looks.  There are a lot of people in your way, and you really have to pay attention so that you don’t run over someone or get trampled yourself!  I finished in 23 minutes, alternating tripping over dogs and strollers, speedwalking, and then sprinting the last quarter mile.  That finish line – what an amazing thing to cross my first finish line!  There was a cheering squad there smiles, high fives, “Way to Gos” and a drink of water. 
And I was wearing a red hat.
That red hat meant something.  Something to everyone who saw me, a symbol to the world. You see, when we signed in, we were all asked, “Have you had a heart attack or a stroke?”  I responded honestly, “Yes.  I had a minor stroke eighteen months ago,” and the gentleman handed me the hat.  “Wear This”, he said, “Let everyone know you’re a surrvivor!”.  A surrvivor?  Me? I purposely never think about the stroke.  I push it out of my mind, stifle the memory, ignore it. I recovered, except for a small balance problem and occasional lost words. Stroke?  What stroke?

Yep.  That’s me in the red hat.
Then I looked around, and noticed the red hats everywhere. Red hats on people who look like Iron Man competitors, red hats on folks like me who are still working on rebuilding their health.  Red hats on elderly walkers, even a red hat on a baby in a stroller.  These red hats represent all these people who have had a heart attack or a stroke – and I’m one of them.  It can’t be denied.  I have an MRI that shows that spot in my brain where it happened.  Something came undone in my gut as I crossed that finish line wearing my red hat.  I finally recognize that I have come a l-o-n-g way in these eighteen months.  I’ve lost more than twenty pounds, bringing my grand total to fifty eight pounds from my all time high weight. I can make it through an entire Body Pump or Zumba class without stopping, I can speedwalk 5K in less than 45 minutes.  

I wear a red hat.  I am a surrvivor…and I have Learned to Run!

3 thoughts on “Learning to Run – The Red Hat

  1. Congratulations! You look wonderful! And you are such an inspiration. To answer your question that you left on my blog today, I haven't disappeared or given up. I've just been really busy. September is a BIG (and busy) month in Mexico, and this year it's even busier with the Bicentennial celebration. And thank you for you inspiring and motivating words that you left on my blog. Believe me, they helped me a lot! 🙂 I hope all is well with you and your family.

  2. Angela: that is wonderful, what a touching post about being a survivor. Thanks for your encouragement on my blog too. I try not to lift too many boxes…I'm the master of scootching…or getting someone else to do it.

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