As the summer games draw near consider giving yourself a challenge. Stop giving negative self-talk by saying “I could never do that”. Regardless of whether you decide to start table tennis, learn a new card game, ride a bicycle, or walk in your age group you can benefit from trying new things, meeting new people, and confronting your fear of failure. Do not be surprised if people around you inspire you simply because you decided to try and were brave enough to do so.
Sometimes a thought occurs to you, and you ask yourself if you can accomplish a new task. On February 27, 2023, a young 74 years-old youngster from Condo 2 contacted me through his MSC-OST walking group with members all around the world. Hiram wondered if he could walk/run the 5K Toronto Marathon May 7, 2023, and “finish in a descent time”. As weeks passed by Hiram challenged himself to walk longer distances, and even do some jogging. Because this young man inspired me, I signed up for the 5K run/walk and sent my registration confirmation to him. Shortly after that time Hiram stuck his toe in the pond and signed up for the event as well.
On a cold Sunday morning, May 7th, I picked up Hiram and his lovely supportive wife Sachiko, because the roads around the Toronto Marathon course were closing at 6:30 am. We arrived near the BMO field, scoped out the starting line, and watched some of the thousands of participants arrive on site. After lining up at the porta potties, crazy long lines indeed, we lined up in the starting gate after the 10K runners and walkers had departed. We were packed in a large group of people and Hiram discussed his plan of running one minute and walking four minutes for the duration of the race. Amid the excitement, runners, spectators, first responders, course marshals, and support staff we began to move, and the race was on.
With 1,694 participants in the 5K event alone at our combined goal was not to be accidentally tripped and taken down in the first kilometer because it was like an intense moving obstacle course as we maneuvered our way around the Queen Elizabeth building at the Exhibition grounds. People of all ages, sizes, and wearing a vast array of outfits were our constant companions along the route. I am so proud to say that we both completed the 5K event and Hiram came in first overall in his age group-70+. What an accomplishment when an idea leads to an action resulting in completing your first ever walk/run race at the age of seventy-four. I also give credit to Sachiko who was incredibly supportive of our effort both before and after the event. Never say never unless you don’t try.