The day dawned with an early and rude alarm clock sounding at 4:30. I got dressed and geared up for the long day ahead. I woke 12 shortly before we were to leave. Once she was dressed, we loaded up the car and once TC arrived, we headed towards the Lake. Early morning means little or no traffic on the expressway so we flew towards the Soldier Field. We unloaded the coach bins, gifts and tutus from the truck and set up our ‘camp’ under our SPC banner in the grassy field outside the stadium.
Eventually the girls and families began to arrive. My coach team of 12, TC and I prepped each girl as she arrived with her runner number, tutu, “rockstar” ribbon ties on their tshirts, and glitter hair spray. Girl power was the name of the game.
Soon all the girls were dressed and ready to get started. We were in a very late start corral and the day was already beginning to warm up so I had a ‘discussion’ with those at the entry of the corrals and we were eventually allowed to start much ahead of schedule.
The girls were soon off on their 3 mile journey. It had taken them 8 weeks to prepare for this day but now they were running….the rubber had met the road. As the girls ran, my team and I gathered the season ending gifts for the girls as well as taking photos and before I knew it, girls were finishing! WOW! For a hot day, they were running FAST!
As the girls finished they returned to ‘camp’ red and sweating from the distance. Parents and running buddies soon followed beaming with pride. As the morning wore on the heat intensified and finishing became more difficult but all the girls from our team finished as did their running buddies.
I could not have been prouder of these little dynamos! They not only ran with tutu spirit but with pride….pride that comes from knowing they did their best. The feeling they have now is one I hope they soon don’t forget….the feeling that they are powerful. The feeling that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. The feeling of pride in a job well done. The feeling that they are strong, beautiful human beings.
Deja Vu you say? Yes, hours later I returned to Soldier Field and it looked as though my sparkly girls had never set foot on the grounds. The place was all clean and there was no sign that earlier hundreds of girls had crossed more than a finish line.
We waited in a beautiful room overlooking the Lake before being escorted to the Skyline room for a wedding. To one side was a view of the south side of the City and McCormick Place as well as the Planetarium. To the other side was a view of the playing field and the skyline of the city. My BRF (best running friend) was marrying her BFF(best flipping fiance). Her dream was coming true today as well. As the bride and groom entered the room, I could first feel her excitement and joy before I could see it. The love in the room was palpable. We danced and ate and ate some more. The food was wonderful but the company and views of the city as the sun set were magnificent.
At dark we all exited the room and met on the south lawn. It was time to light Chinese Lanterns. What a magnificent sight to watch then float up into the night sky carrying prayers for a long and happy life for bride and groom.
What a day! A day filled with dreams coming true and goals being met. A day of love and power and positive energy. A day that filled this woman’s heart with emotion to last a long time. Peace.