Speaking of pink ribbons, my wife asked me to join her at the Susan Korman race for the cure in Denver. Due to my love for my wife, whose good friend Gracie recently died of breast cancer and due to my un-dyeing support for the female breast I eagerly said yes. I do not regret going and will go again; however, I found that there were two things that I didn’t give any thought to, my height and why I don’t go to Church.
The race was yesterday, and no I didn’t run in the 5k race. I walked the 5k with my son, my wife, and her friends. Actually, walk is too strong a word, for me it was a 5k mosey. I am unusually tall, so my stride is about a half a foot longer than the average person. The maximum speed that 50,000 people walk would be considered average. Realistically, since no one wants to run over the person in front of them, walking speed was below average. So I had to take what I would consider baby steps, for about an hour and a half. This in of itself is not a big deal; I am frequently confronted with situations where I have to slow down to match the speed of others around me.
Did you catch the big number? Over 50,000 people walked, shambled, jogged, rolled, moseyed, ran, and otherwise transported themselves for five kilometers. We were closer to the front of the line, maybe 8,000 people in front of us and 42,000 people behind us. Did I mention I have a fear of crowds? I looked it up, it’s called Demophobia. I may also have Ecclesiophobia, or the fear of church. The reason for the Ecclesiophobia is that I have an intense feeling of Demophobia when ever I am around like minded people, crammed into a tight space with no polite way to exit. Maybe I was lynched in a previous life.
Whenever I looked behind me I saw such a mass of moving human beings I had an almost uncontrollable desire to walk faster, until I looked ahead and saw endless more people walking along at half speed. Then I looked behind me again and noticed that everyone was smiling and having a good time.
I managed to snap this photo.
Here is a photo of the starting line, a much cheerier and light hearted look at the crowd.
My wife is the one right in front of the camera with the pink hair. She did a wonderful job of keeping me focused on walking by showing me all the other men in the crowd with pink hair, boas, capes, boots, etc… I think this was an effort to convince me to dress a little more outrageously next year. Sorry sweetheart it won’t work.
There were only two asshole protest groups hanging around. One was a bunch of loons trying to perpetuate the myth of a connection between abortions and breast cancer and the other was guy and his truck that just seems to show up wherever large crowds are. He wanted to make everyone aware of how great god is and how he approves of babies. Usually this protester displays many graphic photographs proving his point. This time he was much more tactful, this was much appreciated.
Everyone was happy, enthusiastic, cheerful, and generally full of good will. There were quite a few (thousands) who either had loved ones die of breast cancer, or survive breast cancer.
It is an important cause and I am glad that I came to participate. My wife’s friend and co-worker, Gracie, was a wonderful person and shouldn’t have died such a horrible death so young. We were walking to honor her memory and to help prevent more of the same.
My selfish feelings and fears are nothing in contrast to the experiences of many thousands of women and men that surround me. I will come back next year and do my part, walk or run the 5k and suck up my irrational fears for a greater cause. No, I will not be wearing any more pink than absolutely necessary.
There was a woman in front of me for about a mile who wore a sweatshirt that summed up my feeling in one catchy phrase.
“Boobs, they need your support”