I've finally de-thawed from my morning Girls on the Run race. GOTR is a fabulous organization that trains elementary and middle school girls for a 5k while also working on their self-esteem. As a former college (D3) cross country runner it combines two of my great loves- working with kids and running. I absolutely love the program and the twice-a-year races always prove to be true adventures. (They tend to make me very, very thankful that I work with the students I do- every year I am horrified by how the upper class parents treat each other, their girls, and the teachers out helping.)
This year I ran with Fabulous Friend's big sister, who is equally fabulous. However, Fabulous-Sister forgot to run. Not the whole time- I mean, we'd start running and then she'd get distracted by something and stop.
"What's the school bus doing here?" she asked, slowing her jog to a walk, "I wonder what's heavier, an elephant or a school bus. You know how to find out? We need a lever. So let's get a see-saw. And we'll put a rock in the middle of the see-saw and we'll put a school bus on one side but we'll have to go to the zoo to get the elephant. Do you think they'd let us borrow the elephant? Well, if they did, then we'd put the elephant on the other side and we'd see which one is heavier. Hmmmm...."
Somewhere in this monologue she actually started walking backwards. It's amazing we finished at all.
The ubber-competitive parents pushed their daughters past us yelling things like "This isn't girls running like slugs! Run, Run!" but Fabulous-Sister didn't notice at all.
"Hmmmm... why do they call that Best Buy and not Buy Best?" she asked, slowing down again.
"Why are we throwing our cups on the floor? That hurts the Earth's heart. We have to take care of the Earth. I saw it on a movie. Ew, that man spit- that is disgusting. Thing what would happen if we all spit. Instead of spitting you need to swallow. My heart told me."
"This is so weird. All these people are throwing things on the ground, they don't care that they are losing their expensive things like gloves, we are running in the road and the police are not arresting us, and men are spitting."
"This is the best race ever! This is so fun!"
"I don't want to win. Sometimes when you win you hurt someone's feelings. What does that sign say? Oh, This is fun!"
"That guy cheering- he didn't say the right thing- he left off the ing. Do you know other words with ing?"
"Maybe I should take my hat off so people will know who I am. Oh, you don't have to hold it for me- you're not my mom! I'll hold it myself!"
For over an hour.
It was a glorious- yet cold- hour inside Fabulous Sister's head, which I learned is a very busy but imaginative place.
Fabulous Sister fell twice- the first time she picked herself right up and brushed herself off. A parent running by smiled, "What a trooper!" she commented.
Fabulous Sister looked at me. "I was a tripper!" she laughed, not at all hurt that a complete stranger had just called her a 'tripper'. I tried my best to explain the phrase trooper, as well as why Best Buy is called Best Buy, why it was ok to throw the water cups just this once, why the water on the ground was freezing, why I said "Oh, man!" when she pointed out the many lost gloves on the course, or why we were running at all.
All I can say is that it was fabulous, and was even better to watch Fabulous Friend herself give her sister a bear hug at the end.