I believe every walker or runner who participated was moved by it. It's almost impossible not to be. The sun was shining in the bluest sky. You're part of something bigger than just yourself. You can feel that at the starting line. It is very different than a three mile walk or run on your own.
Everything about it feels so alive. Lining up at the start, the National Anthem, then the starting gun. Running up Cleveland Avenue with hundreds of runners ahead of me, I was overcome by a feeling of being part of something really special. Something bigger than just me.
After we ran through the fire station and Heritage Park, we crossed under Cleveland Avenue and headed towards the finish line. I looked ahead to see if I could find my brother, who was running his first 5K. I didn't see him, but I could see the flags waving in the slight breeze in front of 708 white crosses.
On this fitness journey, my soul is often moved in such a way, I realize I would have missed out on something special, had I not shown up. Running through over 3,000 flags, with people cheering and clapping, finish line in sight, was one of those times. These symbols of sacrifice and loss, standing tall as walkers and runners passed by in reverence. It was stunning.
I will forever be in awe at the power of a walk or run to change me. To shift a belief from lie to truth. Or to bring a bit more light into my heart. But I know it to be true. I am changed when I show up. I am lifted up.
I am thankful for this, because all those years of trying to change myself, weren't working. Turns out it had to be done for me, by powers bigger than me. A crowd of walkers moving down Cleveland Avenue, celebrating health and fitness. Runner friends sharing hugs at the finish line. A brother and sister taking selfies of our first medal earned together. And a field of flags and crosses, reminding us what showing up is really about.