A View from the Other Side

I spent this afternoon, my day off, volunteering for the Marin County Half Marathon that is taking place tomorrow. I decided after the marathon last month (seems like 6 months ago) that I would volunteer since I couldn’t run. I’ll have to say, last night after work I was thinking… “what am I thinking? 4.5 hours of working on my day off… for free? Nuts! Right?

pretty in pink

I love how the Universe works. I really believe that things happen for a reason and staying positive will always enable good things to happen to you. A few days ago at work a woman came in wearing my favorite run skirt, the Swagger Skort. In Pink. It was so cute. I wanted it. But it was from last season and unavailable. I kept thinking about it. I already have one in black and another in purple. The pink was so pretty though. I wished I could have one. Then yesterday a woman comes in the store and is returning a pink swagger skort. I’m standing at the register and low and behold… it’s my size! Bingo! She had never worn it and the tag was still on. This is where our great return policy, which is an anytime guarantee, comes in handy. I scooped that skirt up before the return reciept was finished printing. This is actually the second time that has happened at work. The first time was when I was talking to a co-worker about a boot I wanted that was only available online but sold out in all sizes/colors, and I’m not making this up, two seconds later a woman walks up and is returning a pair of these boots in the color I wanted and the size was mine. Sometimes when things like this happen I think I’m a witch… brewing up what I desire. But I truly believe it’s the Universe talking to me. So of course I make these purchases, because it was as if I was meant to get them. You can think I’m weird, I don’t care. I think it’s awesome when that stuff happens to me. You can say it doesn’t work, but you have to have an open mind. It’s like having a vision board, only the visions are just in my head.

Naturally, I ran in my pink swagger skort this morning. I had a great run on my usual loop. It was a gorgeous day and as always a great way for it to start. I think running outfits can be just as motivational as any other inspiration. Check out this very article I happened upon before I ran this morning. Runner’s World-The Science Behind ‘Fastinistas’.

So back to volunteering this afternoon. It was really fun. I landed the apparel job, which I thought was funny since I now work in woman’s apparel at Athleta. I passed out the T-shirts in the Swag Bags–the swag was mediocre. I worked with two young men (8th graders) who were getting their community service hours for school. They were checking off the minutes on their watches constantly, and probably wondered why I was doing this when I didn’t have to. One day they will understand.

the race t... a parting gift for my time

What I learned from the other side of racing events is this: There are a freaking lot of  people who do these races just to do it. I was so surprised how many seemed like non-runners. One woman asked me if a tighter T-shirt was better for running. I said, “what have you been training in?” She didn’t answer, just waited for me to give her a clue. The boys and I just looked at one another with laughter in our eyes. Then I said she should take the one with the performance fabric over the cotton one. She said… good idea. I was thinking Huh? Is she for real? Then there were so many who were like… “How much are the T-shirts?” Only a new racer would ask that as the registration form usually asks what size T you wear. I think it’s just crazy to sign up for a race and not be a runner. Why would you do it? Maybe she was going to walk. I want to warn my running group buddies to beware of the newbies out there. I think there will be a lot of them!

When I first got there I saw my friend Maili, who is running the half tomorrow. She had just gotten her bib a few moments before I arrived. Then not long after, I saw one of my co-workers from Athleta, Stephanie who just happened to be shopping at the mall and in the store I was in- SE Sports Authority. I saw some folks who I knew from the local grocery market who had left over a year ago, but remembered me. They were running the race. And I saw Mike, a friend from high school who I am connected to via FaceBook. He is running the 10K. I also met a nice man, who I chatted with a bit. He made a joke… “People pay money to go run?” I think he was just flirting. It worked… I gave him my number! Fancy that!! He wasn’t even participating in the race, but was visiting one of the other volunteers. Maybe I’ll keep you posted on that… if anything comes of it. 😉

As a racer, I made sure to tell everyone to have a great race tomorrow or good luck. I appreciated those who thanked me for volunteering. I need to make sure I do more of that next time I’m at a race, something I haven’t done. Poo poo on me! As a runner, we forget how much effort goes into putting these events together. When I was finished, I was in a fantastic mood. It really felt good to help out. I think I will volunteer again at another event. After the volunteering was completed, (four hours later!!) I walked around the corner to PF Changs to get dinner for my kids. I ordered a whole crap load of food, and only asked for 3 fortune cookies. This is what mine said:

or maybe more than a friend?? we'll see.

Then when I got in the car I heard a new song on the radio and liked it enough to download and add it to my running playlist. It is certainly a ‘feel good’ song. The good mood ensued.

Never heard of this artist before—Jessie J, but here is her song, Domino (pardon the pre-video advertisement):

I believe that volunteering is a great way to bring joy into your own life. Giving to others always make me feel good whether it’s monitary or of my time. I wish someone had told me earlier in life just how satisfying volunteering can be. At least now I know and plan to do more.

Do you ever volunteer? How do you feel afterwards?

Do you believe that there is a greater power (the Universe) working in our favor? 

Do you ever think of people you haven’t seen in a long while and then suddenly you run into them? (This happens to me all the time.)

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