Sunday, April 17, 2011

In the SPIRIT of Volunteerism

The weather totally funked my pink from top to bottom plan with the wind, rain, chill that came up the east coast, but on Saturday, I showed up to volunteer for my local Road Runners club.  They were doing a contract race, which means they hired out their equipment and volunteers to wrangle the finish line of a 5K/15K. 

As some of you may recall, my last outing with this group of volunteers was a bit sketchy.  Like.  You’re wearing a lot of pink”, sketchy.  I was nervous, but not really.  Here’s how the day went down, and I think you’ll probably catch on to the major change that led to success.

I got up, and went for a run.  I showed up for the volunteer duties, freshly showered, still glowing from my endorphin high.

I wore H’s windbreaker that completely covered me from my neck to my hips, as well as my navy/pink “B” Boston Red Sox cap.  I had a hunch that there would be sox fan out there.  And I was right.  (by the way, I actually hate baseball, it’s so not my thing, but wearing a red sox hat is license to act like an a** if you want… no I’m being serious)

I arrived about 10 minutes late, but I had cleared the late arrival with a friend on the board so it wasn’t a BFD.  *See above note about endorphin high. 

I arrived, said hi to a friend, nodded at another familiar, and turned around to sign in… and there he was.  The person who completely stumped me at the last volunteer outing.

Isn’tcool.  Only, I may have to change his name after yesterday.

Isn’tcool was standing at the volunteer sign-in sheet when I got there, and damn if a) he didn’t recognize me or b) he read my blog and has a wicked sense of humor or c) he recognized me and remembered exactly what he said word for word from a month ago and has a wicked sense of humor. 

Because as soon as I walked up to him his eyes widened, his face broke in HALF with a huge smile and he said, “Are you here for us?!”

*See above note about endorphin high.

As some of you know I have a deep voice.  It’s not a man’s voice.  But, it’s not a little voice either.  It’s radio quality (true story), low and can be snarky and off key, or, if I choose, very much like butter over hot toast.  I made a call at the moment Isn’tcool asked the fated question, probably a bad one, but see above note about endorphin high…., I poured a little warm honey on, “Yes, Isn'tcool," I purred, "I’m here for you.”

He tipped his head back, cracked up laughing, and when his eyes came back to me he took in my Sox hat, grinned and said, “I almost wore my Red Sox hat today too.”  And just like that, we were cool, names exchanged.

Setting up the finish line turned into a competition over who could give each other the most crap.  I could never win that competition, I’m just not quick enough on my feet, and I don’t know the people that well so I had a shallow well of ammunition.  But I’m getting there.  I made friends with some very tall people.  Like, seriously, am I a hobbit?  Mom, it’s ok, you can tell me…

I know my strengths….  So I got a clipboard and joined the gang under the tent.

And we had wicked fun mocking each other.
Mocking ourselves.
Mocking various people doing stupid things on the street. 

Like, parking their cars behind the finish line tents while saying, “I’m leaving early”.  Well, Dude, good luck with that, because we’re not leaving for hours

The weather once again demonstrated the concept that no experience is more connecting than shared misery.  Seriously, we were soaked, cold, listing to praise music… soothing praise music that didn’t work with dancing,…   while standing under a tent with blowing rain soaking us while we called out 3 and 4 digit numbers as runners/walkers/runners went by…. 

To be honest, I wouldn’t have traded the day for anything.  See above note about endorphin high.

It is such a great way to pass the morning.  Surrounded by socially awkward non-running runners, watching non-runners running. 

Every time I join this group of people for a few hours, I learn something.  Sometimes the lessons are harsh and not running related.  Sometimes they’re running centric and educational.  

No matter, I think that today's lesson was, choose to have a good attitude, be prepared to work hard and laugh harder, and show up to volunteer when you’re still glowing off an endorphin high.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I am so happy that this experience was better for you. Yay... and if your a hobbit... I am too!