I don’t have a bucket list. When I was in my 20’s, I did, but as I got older, I realized that so many cool experiences exist in the world that I don’t even know about, why limit myself to only the things that I know? Life is my bucket list. Since adopting that philosophy, the most amazing things have happened to me. Most recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a Fun Run with runDisney and run through Disneyland and California Adventure before they opened as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! First of all, I’m not a runner. Second of all, the Fun Run started at 6:00 a.m. But, I did it. Two miles in less than 30 minutes may not seem like a big deal to some folks, but for me, it signified something really important.
Gosh, y’all. I’m the Queen of the Procrastinators. I start things all of the time, and don’t finish. I’ve shared before about the half-written scripts, books, etc. that I have sitting in folders and notebooks all over the place. It’s really getting out of hand. I needed a complete. I didn’t train like I was supposed to before the run. Didn’t get to bed early the night before. I was operating on fumes when I met the rest of the Disney Social Media Moms at Downtown Disney on the Sunday morning of the run. Once I got there, though, the adrenaline kicked in, and the positive energy of the runDisney staff, the other runners, and the folks from New Balance who supported us with new sneakers and a short running form clinic, gave me the boost that I needed. I made up my mind that I was definitely going to run across that finish line.
I started with the run/walk group led by Faith from the Disney Mom Panel. She shared runDisney Consultant Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run training plan which gave those of us weren’t runners a chance to actually make it to the end. As we ran into Disneyland, cast members cheered us on, encouraging us right from the beginning. Running through a pristine and silent Disneyland felt surreal and so peaceful. After a few minutes, I ran away from the group a bit, lost in my thoughts and willing my body not to stop. Faith was amazing, yelling out “Run!”, “Walk!” during each pace change. I kept up even as I ran alone, and knowing the group was there behind me (and later, in front of me), served as my lifeline along the way.
It’s really great to feel a part of something and to know that we all have the same goal.
As we made our way through California Adventure to our final destination at Cars Land, I felt myself starting to lose steam. I had a little cramp in my stomach, finding my breath was starting to get difficult, but I wanted to run, not walk, across the finish line. Right at the moment where I thought I might not be able to do it, a whole gang of Disney cast members, and the runDisney photographer, Uma, were off to the side cheering me on.
“Come on, girl! You can do it!”
“Run! Run! You’re almost there!”
“The end is right there! You can make it.”
I started running again, and as I crossed into Cars Land, there were dozens of people at the finish line congratulating all of the runners. As I ran up, I searched the crowd for Terrence and Ayva. They were right there, big smiles on their faces, waiting for me. It was at that point that I had the answer to the question that we were asked to ponder before we started our run. Why do we runDisney? The reason I signed up for the Fun Run, the reason I got up at the crack of dawn and pushed until I made it to the end, was because I knew they’d be waiting for me at the end.
My family supports me in everything that I do, even when they don’t quite understand what I do. Blog posts, tweeting, Hangouts…they don’t always get that. My husband, after I told him about an idea for a new project, only had one request; complete the project. Don’t start it and then abandon it. See it through to the end. And so I did the Fun Run, to prove to him, and myself, that I do have it in me to finish. Finally. It’s exactly the confirmation that I needed.
People run for different reasons. In 2013, nearly 36,000 runners participated in Disney-themed Family 5K runs, and almost 10,000 kids ran in kids’ races. I think I have a sense of why folks love to runDisney so much. It’s not just about the awesome medals at the end (those are really cool, too), but it’s about starting and finishing something. It’s that sense of accomplishment that you get from seeing something through to the end. The camaraderie of the other runners, and the cheers when you cross that finish line is just icing on the cake!
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Disclosure: I was invited to participate in the runDisney Fun Run as an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. All opinions are my own.