It's no joke when I say that what Queen Elizabeth in 1992 called her "Annus Horribilis" was nothing compared to what I went through in 2012. So what if three of her kids separated and/or divorced and one of her daughters-in-law wrote a tell-all book? Big deal that she had a castle fire and had to charge admission at Buckingham Palace to pay for it! Didn't she still have her husband (pompous, arrogant jerk that he is), a job that's only requirement is to wear pretty party hats and a couple of other castles to escape to?
From July to the middle of October, there were days that I felt pretty good about my life and where it was going. I had great friends and family who were constantly there for me, my oldest son and daughter-in-law were expecting right around my birthday and I found out that I was going to be a grandmother for the second time this April, complements of son and daughter-in-law number two. Then, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, my world was picked up, spun around and dropped into uncharted FEMA territory. Only in my version of Oz, the movie was filmed in reverse-the color went out and everything changed to black and white-heavy on the black.
Add into my movie version that Dorothy went to live with her 80 something parents for six months: 26 weeks of your dad continually watching the Military Channel's World War II documentaries. (Me: "DAD!!! We know who won...") 180 days of listening to your mother repeat verbatim every episode of "Everyone Loves Raymond". Flying Monkeys, take me away.
Somewhere on Facebook an ad came up for The Color Run and I was intrigued. After all, they ask you if you want to add some happiness in your life-how can you refuse? Now, back in 2003 Wingman and I decided to take up jogging and planned on running the Spring Lake 5 that May. He would get up and go to the gym to put in his miles, and on clear days he'd throw on heavy sweats and head out on the local roads. Me on the other hand put on my excuse jammies. Youngest son was diagnosed with diabetes-how could I leave him alone? Sister-in-law developed breast cancer-I had to worry for her! Fortunately for me, there was a tropical storm the same day as the SL5K, so "we" decided not to run. Wingman however, secretly entered us in the George Sheehan Classic in June.
The only thing I will tell you about that travesty was that I got my picture on the front page of the Asbury Park Press. Not for finishing first...but for finishing in the bottom 100 of close to a thousand runners with a subsequent story about the woman with Cerebral Palsy running next to me. Wingman, who left me at the first turn, was not amused.
So back to the Color Run and the black hole, or rather my three black holes in 2012. I found three Color Runs and quickly signed up. Brooklyn, Raceway Park and Atlantic City. Black holes out-color in.
Last Saturday was my first, and like 2003, I can assure the Kenyans that they have nothing to worry about. I set my alarm for 5 for the drive to Brooklyn-which I didn't need to do since youngest son decided to have a $%#@ party at 2:30 AM. It was 98 degrees when we started at 8 AM. My sweat was causing puddles of new color combinations with the dousing at each color zone.
In the last half kilometer, as I jogged past two young women walkers whose shirts were still mostly pristine white, (you can choose to run outside the color zone) I heard one say to the other "what a showoff-she must be trying to prove something looking like that". I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around, and said in my very best Taxi Driver imitation voice, "Are you talking to ME???" They quickly learned that road rage is not limited just to cars. As I pointed my green finger in one's shiny clear face I screamed "I lost my husband, my job and my house and you think I'm SHOWING OFF? I'm trying to be H-A-P-P-Y." When you're jogging in 98 degree heat, happiness is only an option.
The look of fear on their faces was probably due more to my blue lips, orange snot and the colored sweat that was being flung in their direction that what I actually said. I trotted off to the end of the run, had an ice pop to cool off and headed home. On the drive back all I kept thinking about was those two women who didn't want to get full of color. Why the hell go if you don't want to get dirty?
I hope I see them at Raceway Park. I'm gonna give them a great big hot, sweaty colorful hug and make them happy. Just like me. If not, I'm calling the Flying Monkeys.