Caren Ware's Blog

June 28, 2010

Happy Feet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:46 pm

We were zinging around setting up transition areas and finish line mats for the Tinman Triathlon and 5K at Cal State San Bernardino when this groups of kids bopped over and started laying out towels, lounge chairs, and running shoes.  They had brilliant green singlets on and they were cute, cute, cute.  A group of enthusiastic young kids ranging from 5 to 12 that were ‘happy’ to be at this race. They hung a banner on their easy up, “Happy feet”.  I liked them instantly.  And I liked their leader instantly.  She was an involved mom that wanted these kids to get a chance to be thrilled about running.  It was visibly working.

What a fun 'feat' for little feet!

 
Hi Caren,
 
It was nice meeting you at the race yesterday.  I am the Happy Feet Running Club coach, Michele Epps.
The one with all the “bright” Happy Faced kids out there running the 5k yesterday.
 
I am ever-so-proud of all these kids.  As I told you, I only started the group this January.  I truly am a novice to the sport, having only run for 4 years now.  I’ve done many 1/2 and full marathons myself, but nothing as rewarding as seeing these kids cross the finish line.  Yesterday I had 10 of my Happy Feet kids there, 7 of them took 1st – 3rd place in their age divisions.  They all had a wonderful time at the race and most importantly they had FUN running. 
 
My motto with the kids is You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying!  My fourth grade teacher, 35 years ago told me I’d never amount to anything!  My mother told me differently!  I graduated college with honors, danced in a Superbowl, was a broker at Merrill Lynch, started running marathons at 39,  now I am a proud mother of 3 and a coach to many!  I’d have to say my MOM wins!  I try to instill this same drive into the children on my team.  I tell them they don’t have to be “the” best…But, they have to be “their” best!  That’s all I ask for.
 
Thank you again for taking the time to introduce yourself, It was an honor to meet you!
 
Respectfully,
Michele~
 
Way to go Michelle!  I had to put in 18 miles today.  My feet were not happy before I even took a step. It was grueling.  It was long.  I did laps around Lake Gregory.  The faithful Ipod and I. On the last long run I did at Lake Gregory I had taken in the sounds…the birds, the wind in the trees, the sound of canoes paddling.  Not this time. I wasn’t that courageous.  I was tired in more ways than one.  I didn’t particularly want to do these miles.  Knowing that they would grind I used the Ipod to pump life and feeling into the miles. It did a little of both.  On random, some songs came up with a beat that got a rhythmic pace going.  But some artists came up and sang the sad songs of my heart in words better than I could.  I felt them.  And I felt my aloneness as the miles drifted by.  Just is how it is for now, Caren.  One foot in front of the other.  And somehow the running  felt better as the miles chalked off.  Somehow, I kept up a fluid strong pace.  I rounded the last bend to the truck and felt furiously hungry.  I was going to go into the grocery store and lament over what to eat when I got a txt invite to replenish by having a salad at a friend’s.  They knew I had been running all those miles and thoughtfully put together the biggest pile of protein replacement a salad could hold…avocados, boiled eggs, turkey, etc.. It was so appreciatedly devoured.  And so was the thoughtful act of friendship.  I hope to remember to look out for others and do acts of friendship.  A thought out act that would put “happy feet” in  a day.  
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