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Hotter Than Hell

While on vacation a few weeks ago, I worked out every day until my knee started getting sore. Everyday it got worse until I found myself in the medical unit of the cruise ship. The doctor said I had bursitis, he gave me meds then sent me on my way. I hadn't been doing much since we got back from vacation, in fact I honestly hadn't been doing anything. My knee was getting better but this wasn't your every day sore, it hurt. I didn't want to start back too soon or cause more damage.

The time was drawing near to my next 5K, Hotter Than Hell. Living in Louisiana, it truly was HOT! Don't forget I hadn't exercised at all for going on two weeks but I had made up my mind I was going to race. As we were waiting at the start line, I was already dripping sweat. I was prepared, I had my small bottle of water and a wet rag in my fanny pack. Yes, I said fanny pack, you can be jealous. The race started and we were off! It wasn't long before I had to walk.

Within the first mile, my feet were not cooperating, they didn't want to be out on the hot pavement. They were starting to go numb earlier than usual but I wasn't going to let that stop me, I never have so I wasn't started now. I pressed on, by the time I was approaching the second mile, I realized I had dropped my arms. This was the hardest race I'd faced. I could hardly breath. I couldn't hold my arms up in my normal walking position. I was losing heart. I wanted this to be over. I wanted to stop, I really wanted to stop. I was ready to give up when I saw my police friend that always cheers me on. I would like to say I got a spring in my step but I didn't. I did continue to put one foot in front of the other even though I didn't know if I would make it to the finish line.

I saw the race director at a corner, he asked how I was doing. I told him, I didn't think I could make it. Without hesitation, he said yes you can, you are almost there. His words gave me a glimmer of hope, that maybe just maybe I would be able to finish. I continued pushing and taking one step at a time. I felt so alone on the course. I knew I had to dig deep if I was going to finish. I had to encourage myself just to take a step, my body was crashing, my feet hurt and I was starting to get light headed. BUT! I was too close to stop. I could do this!

The finish line was finally in sight. I wanted to pick up the pace and try to run but I was doing good to still be moving in a forward motion. I crossed the finish line, grabbed some water and sat down with a friend. As I sat there, I knew I had to get to my car. I had pushed myself to my physical limit and then some. Once in my car, I turned on the air-condition and played my seat back. I put the rage over my face and took one breath at at time. I believe I laid there for fifteen or twenty minutes. I slowly started feeling better. This race was the hottest and hardest so far but I'm glad didn't give up.

Reflections: This near death experience actually made me feel more alive, about an hour after it was over. While I was in the middle of it, I had to believe I could. Never have I wanted to give up so badly. In those moments I had to trust in my abilities, listen to the words I've encouraged other with, "You can do it!" I had to coach myself through most of this race however I did do it. I did finish. Although I thought it was impossible because I didn't give up, it was possible.

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