Sep 26

Earning that Pink Tutu

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

It started simply enough.  In February, my daughter-in-law sent me a link to the Diva 5K and said, “we should do this”.  Within a few minutes, I wrote back, “we are signed up”.

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Turns out she was only joking.

I wasn’t.  After 5 years, she should have known better 🙂



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Two weeks later, I asked her mother to join us.

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Ashleigh started training.  In July we found out she was pregnant so she ended up racing for two.  Seeing mother/daughter teams out there, in matching outfits, supporting and encouraging each other, was especially touching for her.  We heard moms say, “we can walk any time you want to, honey, but I think we should stick to our plan of intervals” and heard daughters say, “Ok.  I can do this!”  We saw one woman receive a video from her two-year old son.  He said, “run fast, mommy, you can do this”.  We watched that video propel her from walking to jogging.  It was awesome!

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Speaking of mothers and their children, it was that relationship that ultimately caused Jackie to agree to run, too.




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Every Sunday she would call me, and text her walk/run time for the week.  She learned about wicking clothing, and bought her first pair of running shoes!!  She downloaded Endomondo (awesome app if you’re interested in tracking your progress/time) and started doing virtual 5Ks.  I frequently posted this stuff on Family & F.I.T. because I was so proud of her, but “Jackie” became “Diane”.

It was fun to see Ashleigh like those posts without knowing that it was her mom.





On Thursday afternoon, I picked up Ash from one airport while my husband picked up her mom and step-dad from another.  She knew absolutely nothing about it and the surprise on her face when she turned to go to the bathroom; running smack dab into them, was awesome!







The 5K was Friday evening.  Decked out in the tiara rings, charm bracelets, and headbands that Jackie bought each of us, we picked up our numbers and headed to the coral.

Start race

There were women, everywhere, dressed in pink tee shirts and tutus.  It was something to see!!

…it was also something to experience.  Life may be like a box of chocolates, but your first 5K is like life.

Lessons learned:

  • Agreeing to do something outside of your comfort zone is scary…
    • But if you push yourself, when accomplish your goal, it feels pretty amazing!
  • Talking about it.  Planning for it.  Dreaming about it are all nice…
    • But when the starting gun goes off, that’s when the real shit happens.  You have to start if you want to finish.
  • There may be hills that you don’t expect.  Some of them come at the worst possible time, and can seem insurmountable…
    • But if you just look down, focus on the small distance directly in front of you, and keep going, you WILL get to to the top of that hill!
  • Looking too far ahead can be over-whelming…   FullSizeRender
    • But if you put one foot in front of the other, you will get there.  Just take the next step, and then the next, and the next.
  • The road can be crowded.  People might try to push you, bump you, or get in your way.
    • Pick your own path and commit to it, Be aware that it might not be a straight line:  sometimes to have to go around in order to find your opening.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people.  Your challenge is yours.  It’s an individual and personal thing.
    • Other people have different challenges.  That doesn’t mean they have it, nor that they are, better or worse than you.
  • The biggest battle is in your head.  There will be times when you feel like you want to give up and quit.
    • Keep your own cadence.  Focus on whatever keeps you going.  When you need it most, though, family, friends (and sometimes total strangers) are there to push, pull, or do whatever they can to help you. It’s okay to let them help you.
  • You might be a little messy at the end.  It doesn’t matter.
    • Straighten your crown, unbunch your tutu and be proud of the fact that you accomplished the goal you set for yourself.  You did it!!!


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