This weekend I participated in my first charity race, the CIBC Run for the Cure supporting Breast Cancer research. It was an amazing morning and an incredible event. It was absolutely freezing! It was only 2C, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people from running/walking/strutting for a worthy cause.
I have to admit going into this event I was ticked off. miffed. pissed. I thought the race would be a great bonding experience for my office. I sent out e-mail blasts, talked to people personally, invited approximately 100 people and only two of my co-workers signed up.
I work with my mother…and even she didn’t sign up!
By Friday, I was begging people to participate. I was laying on the Italian Catholic guilt as best as a I could but there were no takers. I was crushed.
Everything changed on Sunday morning when I met up with my team. The energy at the race was electric.The crowd was a sea of pink! People were dressed up in costumes, they wore wigs, capes and some men dressed in drag! Even though it was an upbeat event, it was very emotional to see people with t-shirts with the smiling faces of loved ones who had lost their fight to breast cancer on them. There were survivors and women undergoing treatment throughout the crowd, hugging and kissing one another, dancing in the street and showing love to complete strangers. It was overwhelming and beautiful (I’m a total sap).
The 5 km walk felt like it took ten minutes. Everywhere you turned there were people cheering from the streets, shaking tambourines and blowing horns to cheer us on. As someone who was born without shame, I cheered back, hooting and hollering and causing a scene. For once it didn’t matter if I looked like a fool – it was all for a good cause!
I linked arms with my teammates and we skipped across the finish line. We gave each other big hugs and thanked one another for participating. I thought about everyone who chose not to participate with our team and I was no longer angry; I felt bad for them. They had missed the opportunity to see what happens when people come together out of love and support to help one another. It was such a connecting experience and the hippie in me felt such a sense of community with all the women who participated.
Like all things in my life this was a lesson in surrendering control. Despite wanting my entire office to participate I had to let go of expectations and accept the fact that I can only control my own actions. My intentions were good – and that’s all that matters!
I’ll definitely be participating in the Run for the Cure next year. With the help of my friends and family I was able to surpass my personal fundraising goal. Collectively our team was able to raise $805 and the donations are STILL rolling in.
I’m very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends (and co-workers, who I guilt-tripped) who .
Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
One day there will be a cure. Until then, we run!