Sunday, October 2, 2011

Red Balloon Run

The second annual Red Balloon Run & Relay is set for Saturday, Oct. 22. The race benefits Children's Medical Center (Steve's former employer) and takes place at the hospital's Plano campus.

For about a year I've been hoping to run the 5K. I even established a Run for Steve team and registered myself for the race.

But I've decided that I can't do it this year.

For one, I haven't been running enough lately to feel ready for it. And I can't devote the time right now to coordinate all the details for our Run for Steve team. 

What pushed me over the edge, though, was being on the Plano campus two weeks ago.

Katie and I were in the ophthalmology clinic at Children's Legacy, waiting for her eye exam. I was completing a stack of forms and was just overwhelmed with missing Steve. The Children's logo was all over the place, and then there was the form describing electronic medical records, which I knew was based on software that Steve had worked on.

Then another mom in the clinic was telling me about her older children, now adults, who had a hard time growing up because their dad ran off. "It sure was hard raising those girls without their dad," she said. "That's why my girls ran so wild. There was no dad in the house."

I just listened. I didn't share anything myself. (She definitely needed someone just to listen to her.)

The appointment itself was exhausting. Katie is no fan of anything medical. When she heard that she would need eyedrops (for dilation), she freaked out. She screamed and cried, and it took two nurses plus me to hold her still for the drops. 

Katie left with a prescription for lenses for nearsightedness. And I left with the strong sense that this year isn't the right year for me to run for Children's. I love the hospital and the people who work there and the families the organization serves. And I'm hoping that next year I can gather a whole bunch of you to run with me.

This year, though, I'm going to be content as a phantom runner. 

At first I thought of myself as a failure for backing out. But now I'm considering it a victory that I've recognized what I'm not capable of doing just now.

If any of you would like to join the Red Balloon Run and need a team, feel free to join the Run for Steve team (already established). Click here for the team page.

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