The Kickoff – 7/28/07

I couldn’t really sleep the night before. I had butterflies in my stomach. Butterflies. I haven’t felt butterflies in my stomach for a long time so I must really be excited about this.

I wake up. I’m ready. Do I have the right address? Is it correctly keyed into my GPS? God, I hope there’s no traffic. Shouldn’t be. It’s a weekend. Duh. Just focus already.

I had arrived at my destination says the GPS. Good. It’s a middle school. When was the last time I was at middle school? When I was enrolled in one? When I was 13. Oh boy. Memories of Kerman come flooding back and I almost want to cry but I don’t. That was then, this is now. I am much older now. Time to face the music. Breathe. Don’t know why I’m so damn nervous. It’s not like I’m running the damn thing right now. It’s just a silly little meeting.

I quickly spot the green and purple tents and hear lots of “hoorays” and “go team.” Are we running already? I thought that was 5 months from now. I can’t take this. I’m not a “happy, cheery” person. I can’t “hooray” this early in the morning. I just can’t. I haven’t even had breakfast yet or coffee.

I almost want to turn around but my feet keep moving slowly forward. Slowly. Very slowly and the whole time I’m smiling like an idiot at the two registration ladies who are giving me a curious look.

“Oh’s just a little too early for me.”

She smiles. She knows. Oh well. What can you do?

Suck it up kiddo. This is your life now. Don’t give up. Keep moving forward. And so I do and grab my training shirt and look who’s here? My personal trainer! Imagine that! She’s a mentor for the triathlon team – somewhere I’ll never be but OK. I spot the “OC Coast” banner and proceed to find my coach, mentor, and honored team member. Hooray! I have arrived and I’m here to stay.

We move collectively as a new team into the gym. Gym. More memories of P.E. and whatnot. I feel so old at this point. They show us a video of blood cancer patients in the hospital receiving treatments, hugging their loved ones, and getting better. I think of Sukhwinder, my cousin and how he dealt with this and none of us even understood what he was going through and what was wrong with him. We were all so young and now he’s no longer here. Something rips at me inside – the injustice of losing my cousin – someone the family could really use right now. *sigh* I leave the gym a little sore and rejoin my team. Training schedules are passed out for the month of August and we take a group picture.

I feel good about this. I know I can do this if I put my mind to it. Sounds lame and cliché but it’s true. It’s for a cause, it’s for my cousin, and a cure and for the added benefit of running a marathon and losing all those stubborn pounds.

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