Tuesday, August 28, 2012


This past weekend marked my six monthiversary as a non-smoker. To celebrate, I ran my first ever 5k. And I did it in a big, colorful way. 

Let me make one thing clear: I am not a runner. It’s not that I don’t like physical activity; I love to be outdoors, to push the limits of what I can do, to challenge myself physically and mentally. I have strength and flexibility in spades, and my lung capacity is finally recovering after eight years of smoking being a vital part of my cardio regimen.

But running, just plain old running, is something I find to be unbearable. Not only does it mean wearing shoes, to which I am generally opposed, but it is tedious and boring. I am just not athletic or competitive enough to have the desire to run. Where's the variety? Where's the fun?

And then a beautiful event crossed my path, scheduled for six months, to the day, after I quit smoking. The Color Run. It looked awesome, even if running was inherently part of the deal. So I got some friends together to form a team. I figured, support and commitment to others is important when you’re doing something you’re not naturally inclined toward.

As the day came, bright and early, six thousand color runners decked out in crisp, clean white t-shirts waited at the starting line. Young and old, in strollers, on foot and in wheelchairs, color runners came in all shapes and sizes. Donning knee socks, tutus, wigs, and wedding dresses, this crowd was ready to celebrate life.

Five kilometers, hundreds of barrels of colored powder, and a dash of early morning cardio later, and there was nothing clean or white to be seen. And then, just to be certain, we all rejoiced by throwing color up in the air, again and again, because you can never be colorful enough. 

Vibrant, multi-hued, full of joy and celebration about having healthy, beautiful human bodies. Non-competitive, full of high fiving and support. Totally worth a little bit of running and one helluva scrub-down post-run shower.