Thanks to the best kind of peer pressure, I walked around Chicago without pants and now I am posting the photographic evidence on the internet.
I love my Awestomy undies, and I love everything The Great Bowel Movement stands for, so I was pretty intrigued when I got the invitation to show off my ostomy/IBD awareness gear at the Chicago Undie Dash. Apparently I will do almost anything to publicize some of my favorite things.
Given my health situation and some quirky foot injuries, I was nervous about this race but I chose to go and do as much as I could without seriously hurting myself. I am not a runner, so I’m using the term “race” loosely here. It took a while before I could use stairs without cursing my muscles. I started wheezing early on, and I had to drink more water than most participants. Sometimes I felt tempted to lay down and take a nap on the grass. BUT I took care of myself, enjoyed talking with other walkers, and I did it. I went out and finished that 5K!
My team did not won any prizes for costumes, but they are the best cheerleaders anyone could ever ask for. While I was still walking toward the turnaround point, my teammates cheered me on as they sped toward the finish line, and that made me feel great. As I tried to jog the last stretch of the race, I did not expect to see all of them waiting for me and cheering near the finish line! They probably had to stand around for a long time. I didn’t realize it until later, but before I got there, this delightful show of support happened:
The shirt on the right is the IBD Empowerment Tech Tee, available here: http://ibdawareness.bigcartel.com/product/ibd-empowerment-tech-tee
I talked to fun people along the way, including a nice lady who just wanted her picture taken with me and another random person. After the picture was taken, she walked with me for a few minutes because she had a lot of questions about my ostomy and Crohn’s disease.
A segway tour stopped to ask me about my awesome underwear and shirt, because one of them had an ostomy and because even among all the creative outfits at this event, my undies attracted a lot of attention. I also got to show off my pins from The Great Bowel Movement, because a few people were looking close enough to notice that I didn’t use safety pins to affix my race bib to my shorts. The people who noticed the details of my ensemble weren’t creepers, just fellow walkers. The creepers were too busy laughing and filming videos with their cell phones.
I’m pretty psyched about getting through my second 5K, but sometimes I get frustrated when I see stories of athletic people who used to be sick because they make me wonder if I have a willpower problem, so I want to offer some clarification here. It’s okay if you can’t do this, and I want you to remember that we are all very different and we all need to carefully consider our individual abilities, needs, and past physical trauma. For those of you who are in reasonably decent health you can probably do this if you start training with short walks and build up, so seriously consider signing up for a race sometime. You might surprise yourself.
For walking/running inspiration (please don’t be intimidated):
Ali on the Run http://www.aliontherunblog.com/
Forward is a Pace http://forwardisapace.com/
Run Stronger Everyday http://runstrongereveryday.com/
Here are the links if you are interested in what I wore:
A note to readers who don’t see me on a regular basis: I didn’t forget about correspondence or blogging, I’ve just been dealing with constant viruses and infections that kept me away from coherent reading and writing.