It was the morning of June 10, 2010, when my son Jay called all excited and said, “You will not believe what just happened? I was on my computer feeling bummed because I wasn’t going to participate in the Ragnar Relay. I went to their website and they still had openings.”
Jay had ran this relay twice before, once in Arizona, and he was really looking forward to running this year. He had worked on getting sponsorship through the Old Spaghetti Factory where he worked at the time. He had two teams together but because of communication problems with Ragnar the sponsorship fell through. When he saw the opening, which is unusual being so close to the race, he called them and explained what had happened. Ragnar staff told Jay to get a team together at no cost. The problem was Jay’s two teams had already gone on to other teams and he had eight days to put a team of 12 together.
I had been jogging for over a year, and two weeks before Jay called I had jogged my farthest. When Jay called, I asked if I could join the team. He was not sure I could do it. I then asked if I could walk. He said yes and if I really wanted to do it, it was okay with him.
Ragnar’s motto, “Think of it as a 178-mile party.” You start in Logan and end in Park City. The team of 12 is in two decorated vehicles. Our team was called Super Heroes, I was Super Mom. Our team was comprised of 11 cute gay men and me. One teammate was dressed in Superman underwear. He turned heads of men and women.
I was leg #6, the first one in the second van. My first leg, I started off jogging much too fast and was quickly out of breath. After I had ran a mile, I caught up to our van and my cheerleaders. It was fun to have my team cheering and telling me what a great job I was doing.
My next leg was at the bottom of East Canyon Reservoir. I thought I would be running around the lake, but instead was diverted up the mountain. When I hit the turn, I was looking at a very steep grade. I jogged, then began walking up the mountain. I kept my head down and as runners passed me they said, “Keep your head down, you can do it.” Each time I looked up, I felt like I was walking backward. The top didn’t look like it would ever come. I must have looked like a red tomato ready to burst.
Jay parked the van illegally and ran over to me. Then he walked with me, telling me what a great job I was doing, and he handed me water and and an energy bar. My energy started coming back. Not only did I make the steep hill but also a second smaller hill before I passed off to the next runner. Everyone was hugging me, saying “great job, you did it.” I was so happy for me and for not disappointing my team.
Each one of us had a hill we had to battle. One of our teammates had to conquer “Ragnar Hill,” termed “Hell Hill,” and it was. He was struggling and a different team’s runner went to him and said, “Let’s do this hill together.”
I learned that everyone has a hill in his or her life to climb, and if you keep your head down and have the support of your team and cheerleaders, not only will you make the hill, you will also go farther.
Never give up on yourself or your dreams!