Sep 5, 2012

Color Run!

My boys aren’t that into exercise. This is shocking, given their genetics, I know.

I mean, if you come looking for me in bed on Saturday morning, you won’t find me there. I’ll be out on the streets, jogging my heart out by 7 a.m.


So when I found out that The Color Run was coming to the outskirts of Birmingham, I signed myself, Nathaniel and Nick up to participate. They weren’t totally thrilled about it, but they agreed to do it.

When I woke them up at 5:50 on Saturday morning, they reiterated their protests and basically only got in the van because I made them. We loaded up and left the house at 6:30 to make the 25-minute drive, which I thought would give us plenty of time to meet my friends at 7:15. And then the rain started.

And when we were two miles away from the exit, traffic came to a complete stand-still. I will spare you the details of the following TWO HOURS we spent inching toward the exit. But if you have ever spent an unexpected, extended amount of time in a minivan with a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old who don’t really want to be going where you’re going, didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t eat breakfast that was offered, are thirsty AND WHO HAVE TO POOP, you can appreciate my predicament.

As we pulled onto the Barber Motor Speedway property, Nick announced that he felt sick.
Me: “Sick like you have a fever sick? Or sick like you’re going to throw up sick?”
Nick: “Like I’m gonna throw up.”

I parked the van and looked back at Nick’s green face. Approximately three seconds later, he leaned over into the trash can we keep back there and threw up. Three times. He starts crying. He tells me we have to go home.

Me: “Honey. Home is at least 30 minutes in the other direction; I don’t know HOW long it will be in this traffic. Let’s just sit here for a few minutes and see how you do.”

[Cue Nathaniel to start crying.]
Nathaniel: [sobbing]  “I want to do the race. I want to do the race. I don’t wanna go home.”
Internet, at that very moment – AT THAT VERY MOMENT – I wanted to get out of the van and run a 5K less than almost anything I’ve ever wanted to do anything in the whole of my life. Having an unexpected C-section probably ranks right above it, but I would be hard-pressed to come up with anything else I’ve dreaded more.

To make a long story only slightly shorter than the Old Testament, Nick said he thought his vomiting was from motion sickness, not from the stomach bug, and I somewhat convinced him to get out of the van and try to go to the bathroom, hoping it would help him feel better. I told him there was no pressure to do the race, that he was my top priority and once he went to the bathroom, if he still wanted to go home, we would. [Cue Nathaniel crying even more obviously at that statement. ]

We got out of the van into the driving rain, trekked half a mile up a hill to the entrance and arrived sopping wet at the Port-o-Potties. Where Nick said that there was no way he could perform in one of those. So we walked over to the Starting Line “just to look.” And although it was already closed off, we bravely stepped around the ropes and stood on the track.

Me: “Nick, do you think you can do it?”
Nick: “No. But I am starting to feel better now.”

Me: “Can we try to make it JUST to the first color station, for Nathaniel? And then if you’re done, we’re done? We’ll go home. I promise.”
Nick: “Yes.”

So off we went, walking at first. From across the track, we could see runners being pelted with color, the colorful, chalky cloud rising above the track. Nathaniel was dying to take off at a jog, Nick grudgingly agreeing that it looked pretty cool.

I asked the boys if I could open my red color packet and douse them with it, in case by the time we got to the color stations, they were out of colors. They said yes, so I obliged. They grinned. And asked for more.

On and on we walked, me periodically asking Nick if he wanted to keep going. His grin growing wider and wider, he kept saying yes, that this was “the funnest thing EVER.”

He even moved up to a jog and ran ahead with Nathaniel to the last two color stations, begging for more color at each stop. By the time we reached three miles, they were both asking about next year’s race, how soon we could sign up, whether Jake would “have enough stamina to do it with us,” and if “Daddy could come and push Amelia in the stroller.”

In short, I think it was a hit.

At the Finish Line, we hugged it out, and I told Nick he was my hero for going from vomiting to jogging in the span of 20 minutes.

I also praised their changes in attitude, because quite frankly, if we’d continued through the race the way we’d endured the long car ride TO the race, I might have just left them there in a cloud of colorful dust.

But they were so excited to finish up the morning participating in the Color Toss, where the DJ counted down from five to one, and everyone in the crowd threw their personal color packets into the air.

The boys ended up saying that was their favorite part. And also, it finally quit raining! During our last five minutes at the event.

I don’t know … Was I too tough in prodding Nick to try it out? Possibly. But I truly would have packed it all in and headed home if he’d pushed me on it, and he knew that.

He and I , we know each other well. We know each other’s limits, and we regularly test them.

I do know this: When we’d gotten home and I’d scrubbed him relatively clean in the bathtub, he said, “Mommy, even though I threw up three times and it rained so hard that I was freezing, I had a good time today. No, A GREAT TIME. Thank you, Mommy.”



Tracey said...

I think this is one of the funniest, sweetest posts you have written!! I love it. [Cue Nathaniel to start crying]...sad, but hilarious! I'm so glad that you guys ended up having a great day. :) Oh, and you look adorable. :)

Jami said...

Wow. Rough morning, huh? I heard other cities had traffic problems too. I totally understand on testing limits, Cooper & I are that way too. Glad it turned out to be a success. It was a ton of fun. Amelia in the stroller would be Adorbs!

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