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Monday, June 01, 2015

Year Twenty-Eight - The Miracle of Walking

Hey, everyone!  It seems hard to believe, but we're already at the first day of June!  Summer is almost here (though in my area, you'd never know it because the temperature dropped so much today), and I am definitely looking forward to seeing it arrive.

But with the month of June comes the final stretch of the retrospective celebration.  This is the final week of the retrospective and I have but only a few stories left to tell.

Today, we take a look at year twenty-eight in this post, and we left off at a period in which I looked at a holiday picture and I ended up being disgusted with what I saw.

2009 was the year in which I decided to get into shape and I lost quite a bit of weight.  Unfortunately, that weight loss lead to having my gall bladder go bye bye, and since that happened, my metabolism has been completely out of whack.  I tell myself that I will get back to my fighting weight once more, but I have come to learn that getting in shape is a lot easier when you're doing it with friends and family instead of alone.

So, I guess I'm saying this.  Does anyone reading this want to work out with me?  If you don't mind seeing me sweating through my shirt and showing off my hairy legs in shorts, let's set up a gym date!  I'm game if you are!

Ponder this for a moment while I dig up a snapshot from 2009...

Yeah, get a good look at this photo.  I'll talk more about it later in this post.

#1 SONG THE WEEK OF 5/18/2009

I won't beat around the bush here.  I HATE this song.  It's easily the worst song to ever hit #1 the week of my birthday.  Even more hard to believe?  Between this and "I Gotta Feeling", this band was on the top of the charts for HALF OF 2009.  Then again, the whole period between 2007 and 2010 is one of my least favourite music periods to date.

"Angels & Demons"

This is the sequel to "The DaVinci Code"...and it wasn't as good as the original movie.  Then again, what sequel is?  Oh, and the movie was so controversial that it was banned in Samoa!

"American Idol"

Sigh...when will this show die?  I can't wait until 2016!

Okay, so anyway, 2009 was the year that I got into shape, thanks to a wonderful support system at work, as well as the support of family and friends.  And, as you can see from the photo above, it was like night and day from 2008.  What a difference a year makes, huh?

Now, this photo was taken at a charity event that I took part in.  It was taken at Confederation Park in Ottawa, and hundreds of people from all the stores in my district flocked there to take part in a cause that was near and dear to all of our hearts.

It was also going to be my major test.

Now, if you've read this blog over the month of May, you'll know that I have shared a lot of secrets over the last few days.  One of them was that I was not an athlete.  I hated gym class, sucked at sports, and nearly had an asthma attack whenever I tried to run more than a kilometer at a time.  Jack LaLanne, I was not.

So, after the weight started coming off, I thought that I needed a test of some sort.  A test that would prove to myself that I could do anything if I could put my mind to it.

I think that's what prompted me to sign up for a charity event called the Walk for Miracles.  We would raise lots of money for children's hospitals all over the country, and have a fun time going the distance doing it.

It was a real fun event filled with live bands, activities for the children, free food and beverages, and sometimes there would even be celebrity appearances.

(Well, if you consider Ottawa Senators players and people dressed like Star Wars characters to be celebrities.)

But here was the clincher.  The reason why the event was called the Walk For Miracles was because you had to walk.  Five kilometers, to be exact.

And while five kilometers doesn't seem like a lot to most of you reading this, for me it was a real challenge.  Prior to 2009, I was lucky if I walked one kilometer.  And keep in mind that prior to 2009, I was huge.

But I started preparing for the event as early as March of 2009 (the event was held in June), and by the time the day of the walk came around, I was more than ready to take on the challenge.

It was a beautiful walk too.  Confederation Park in Ottawa is situated right by the Rideau Canal, and there was a lot of things to see on our walk.  There were joggers, people having garage sales, rollerbladers, cyclists...and of course hundreds of people in white T-shirts walking down the pathways raising money for children's hospitals and having fun doing it.

And as I completed the walk, I realized that walking five kilometers was no big deal at all.  At first, everyone from our store stayed together, but somehow I found myself sprinting past them, and I was at the bridge crossing well ahead of everyone else. 

Would you like to know how long it took for me to do the whole course?  50 minutes.  Walking five kilometers in 50 minutes is AWESOME!  I had expected to be one of the last ones to finish the leg, but instead I ended up being one of the first!  I was never more proud of myself than I was at that moment.

You know, it was fantastic to raise money for the kids, and I was very happy to see that my whole team crossed that finish line.  But you know what?  When I crossed that line without feeling winded, I have to tell you, that moment was so emotional.  All my life, I never believed in myself enough to be able to accomplish such a great feat, and the fact that I did it - it's an indescribable feeling.

Let's put it like this.  Twenty-eight was really great!

And twenty-nine was just as fine...despite the surgery that I underwent.

But that story will have to wait to be told on Wednesday. 

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