Tag Archives: NFL

My First 5k Saints Kick-Off Run

Yesterday I briefly mentioned how uncomfortable it is to weigh as much as I do right now, and I mentioned how much easier certain things would be if I were smaller. I’m really looking forward to proving myself right about that over the next 12 months. My journey to a healthy weight will be much longer than that, but my goal is to participate in the same race I did over the weekend again next year.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30 am, and I did a little cleaning, showered and prepared for the 5k that my boyfriend, his brother and I were doing later that morning.

When Michael arrived at my place we walked to the Superdome, and I kept a pretty good pace getting there. We had walked about a mile in total before the race began, and we started in wave 19. (There were people who had finished he 5k before we even started.)

When we crossed the starting line we walked down the same street we had just walked to get to the race, then we continued into the French Quarter. I live two blocks from the Quarter, and I love to walk through it early in the morning. It was beautiful, but it was already sweltering too.

french-quarter-5kAs I made it to the halfway mark I was sweating my guts out, but my heart rate was fine. I felt good, but I soon realized that I would be the last person to finish the race.

Michael refused to run ahead of me even though he could have completed the race a few times in the amount of time it took me to finish, and at that point I was glad he was there. I knew I was going to be last, but I also knew I had to finish.

I didn’t talk, and I didn’t stop to take in the scenery. I just walked. At that moment I had to face the reality that the weight I’m carrying was weighing me down. Most of the time I don’t notice. I mean, I’m always aware of my weight, but I don’t think about it often. I walk slower and make stops more frequently, and for years I’ve oscillated between trying to lose it and just dealing with it.

It was important for me to get the medal at the end of this race. It looked cool, but the closer I got to the Superdome the more I wanted to be on the 50-yard line. I wanted the medal at the end too because it would become a daily reminder that I can do hard things, and I figured as long as the police escort was behind me I’d make it to the finish line (and get the medal.)

The second half of the race was quiet, but as I approached the Superdome I got discouraged. My body felt fine, but I had blisters. I wanted to cry as I saw droves of people walking out wearing their medals, but I never once considered not finishing.

In the last mile I told myself that we could just take an Uber home even though it wasn’t far at all. I told Michael too, and he said we could do whatever I wanted to do. He also encouraged me, of course, which made my want to cry tears of joy too.

Seriously, God gave me exactly the kind of man I dreamed of being with, and He placed him in my life at precisely the right time. These are the things that got me through the last mile of my short, yet blister-inducing race.

As we walked around the Superdome the last few hundred yards felt nearly impossible, but people cheered me along as they walked out. I stopped a few times for a few seconds, and Michael lovingly reminded me that I could do it and that I wasn’t quitting.

superdomeWhen I finally entered the Superdome the air conditioner made me feel like I had just reached
heaven. At that point I said, “Go run the last 40 yards. I need to do this by myself,” and after some convincing he ran. The jerk wasn’t even sweating. Ha

I tried to make myself rally, but I didn’t run at all. I simply walked the last 40 yards, just as I had walked the rest of the race, and when I crossed the finish line Michael was waiting there to place my medal around my neck.

That was an amazing moment for me. I felt tired, my feet hurt from the blisters, but I felt proud too. As I saw myself on the Jumbotron I heard that announcers talking about me as I finished, and there were people cheering for me as I crossed. It was a good moment, but all I could think about was how thankful I was that Jesus gave me strength to finish and that Michael never left my side except when he ran ahead to get water for me. He even held it, so I could just drink it as I needed it.

saints-kick-off-2016After I downed the Gatorade that Michael got for me I realized that he and his brother weren’t wearing medals. Apparently, there were people going up and getting multiple medals when they  finished, so his brother got one for me because he knew how much it would mean to me to receive it. Michael is awesome, and his entire family is just as wonderful. They could have gotten in line and had medals mailed to them later, but it didn’t matter to them. They just wanted me to have mine, and I got it thanks to his big bro.

If I had known how challenging this race would be for me I would have made excuses to not do it, so I’m glad I didn’t know. Michael and I walk around the same path often, but we stop to look at pretty things and often walk through the Riverwalk Outlet Mall so I can cool off.

I wore my new sneakers too, which were largely responsible for the blisters. (Rookie mistake, I guess,) but I felt tired after the 4.75 miles of walking I did, including the race. I can definitely walk that far without feeling achy or needing to stop, which makes me feel good about my body. It was also much harder than it needed to be because of the extra weight I’m carrying.

img_3808It feels so good to know that I completed the race and that I’m loved by a man who understands exactly where I am. (He used to weigh 140 pounds more than he does now.) It also felt good to know that his brother grabbed the medal because he knew how much it would mean to me.

I wouldn’t have done this race if Michael hadn’t asked me to and signed us up for it before I had a chance to say no. I’m so glad he signed me up for it, and I’m already looking forward to doing the same race next year.

I’ve wanted to do it every year since I lived here, and now I can say I did it! The medal and my blisters are both reminders that I can accomplish things even when they’re not easy, and I need that reminder right now more than ever.

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Super Bowl XLVII Events Recap, or An Onslaught of Pictures

Living in downtown New Orleans has been amazing so far, and the last week has been the most exciting week so far!  I attended a phenomenal concert, ate at fabulous restaurants, attended several memorable events and met countless professional athletes, including some of the greats.  I spoke to politicians and public figures and spent time enjoying all of it with my friends.

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One of my favorite parts of the week was seeing Train perform live for VH1.  Shannon scored free tickets for us, and we were only a few rows from the stage.  I adore this band, specifically Patrick Monohan, and sounded just as incredible live as he does in the studio.  And there was definitely no lip-synching going on at this show.  We also saw a local Jazz sensation, Rebirth, who played before Train.

18985_300196426770433_1267484154_n(Photo above: Courtesy of Matt)

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I mentioned last week that Clint and I went behind the scenes at ESPN, near Jax Brewery, in the French Quarter.  We stood in the front row for ESPN Sports Nation, and we saw Eli Manning’s shy side when a band came on stage to sing an original song about him.  Eli’s smile and demeanor was endearing, but I’ll admit that I drank the Manning kool-aid a long time ago.  I experienced the Manning trifecta last week!  Clint and I spoke to Archie the following day, and I smiled and acted silly in front of Peyton Sunday as well. 20130130_141428 (2)

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20130201_221036 (2) Giant Jenga at Barcadia!

Sunday I worked as a publicist since Leslie couldn’t be in New Orleans and New York at the same time, and I found myself at the NFL’s official tailgate party which was hoested by Courtyard Marriot.  I already liked Courtyard, but after visiting with many of their top executives from around the nation, I love it.  I met some fantastic people including my new favorite Saints football player, Lance Moore.  (Seriously, what is it about people named Lance?!  They’re all so handsome and nice to me! 😉 Ha..)  Darren Sproles was sweet too.  They made everyone feel like the most important person in the room, and that’s a cool feeling – especially when it comes from handsome, professional athletes from your favorite football team!

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My friend, Ally Burguieres who owns a gallery on Royal St. in the French Quarter,  designed the NFL’s limited edition official Super Bowl Mardi Gras beads which were commissioned by Courtyard Marriot, and they’re beautiful!  I couldn’t resist asking the guys to wear them so they did.  They also singed a couple for Ally and Me.  How cool is that? Mine are hanging on the ladder bookshelf in my living room now as a priceless reminder of the fun times I had last week.

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In addition to Saints players, I also got a chance to hear from the man who will likely go down in history as the greatest quarter back of all time, Peyton Manning.  He was at the tailgate, and he spoke about how difficult this game would be for the Harbough family, especially their parents.  His dad spoke candidly about that earlier in the week during the CNN Bleacher Report.  He also presented two lucky people with tickets to the Super Bowl which was only a few hours later.  (Seriously, Peyton…Would it have been too much trouble to call out my raffle ticket number?  It’s okay.  I forgive you because I adore you.)

Drew Brees was there as well, but we missed him because reporters were there filming a piece about Ally’s beads.  It was so much fun, and I know I’ll have opportunities to meet Drew in March so I won’t sweat it too much. 😉

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After finishing up at CNN, where we saw Howie Long and Chris Collinsworth among others, Matt, Shannon, Clint and I were ravenous so we searched for a restaurant that wouldn’t have a two hour wait like Manning’s.  We made our way to a snazzy little restaurant called Cafe Adelaide across from Harrah’s Casino. Clint and I were reluctant to go there because we felt the buffet at Harrah’s calling us, but as usual, Shannon was right!  She made the call to eat there, and we dined next to my favorite political figure, Chris Christie.  He and his wife, Mary Pat, were incredibly gracious, and speaking to him was really the highlight of my week.

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In addition to everyone I mentioned above, I saw Steve Gleason and Scott Fujita, who plays for the Saints.  I also stood next to Eric Decker from the Denver Broncos, arguably the sexiest man in the NFL.  Thinking about hot NFL players makes me think about the one person I wish I could have met last week, Tim Tebow.  It’s okay though.  I’m guessing I’ll have a chance to take a picture with him at some point too. 😉

There’s so much more I could say about last week, but I covered all of my favorite parts here.  I realize this post will likely bore many of you, but it was fun to write because I relived the moments I enjoyed again in my mind.  Thanks for indulging me!

I escaped to Mom’s house for the night so I could rest, recuperate and get some work done, and I’m glad I did.  Now it’s almost time to head to class, and I’m proud of the four-page essay that I completed before writing this post.

I’m still tired, but I have a few days to catch up before the craziness begins again.  There’s still a week of Mardi Gras left, and I’m trying to pace myself.  We’ll see how that goes.  Until then, as they say on the bayou, Laissez le bon temps rouler!