Sunday, June 21, 2015

Juneteenth 5k

This 5k was supposed to be a celebration of the 150th anniversary of word getting to blacks in Texas about the abolition of slavery two years late. Well little could anyone imagine that racism would rear it's ugly head and that a horrific tragedy would occur in South Carolina.
A twenty one year old white supremacist walked into a African Methodist Episcopal churches bible study on a Wednesday night. He was welcomed in and sat through prayer with them then got up and shot nine of them dead. This was no ordinary church, it's roots run back to slavery and in the early 1800s a white mob burned the orginal structure to the ground. It was part of the underground railroad and held church when it was illegal to do so for blacks in this building.After hearing of this horrible event early at 1am on thursday morning  i knew i had to do something.
My juneteenth walk was supposed to be private but i reached out to my running group where i am the only diversity posting. We have a few latinas but they are mostly not from this country and have no knowledge of America's southern history. Still I thought id share a healing walk with them something to strengthen not divide us. I knew it was late notice and father's day weekend but i made an event on our facebook group anyway.
Early Saturday morning i arrived to no one at the meeting place. I got out of the car, retrieved my flag and said a prayer. I thanked God for the beautiful day too and then i set off.
After one mile my phone started buzzing. I had messages and as usaul i thought they could wait, im walking lol. When the phone vibrated i wondered if it was my mom and hurried to answer. Nope,
it was surprise rewarded with two sole sisters calling to say they were driving over to walk with me after they completed a training run. A third sent her love and promised to run with me in spirit doing her  Sunday miles.
So I started the first two miles alone before my sister MRTT crew showed up. I took that time to slowly warm up the knee. I tried something new by not wearing any socks. It was great for two miles but i would not do it again. In fact the only reason i did it was that all of my running sock were drying  after being washed the night before. The decision didn't effect my speed but my knee did begin to give me warning pains that i should not go on. I was stupid to ignore them but i did slow down and trudged on.
Then I was blessed with many who were out walking showing their support. One lady made the sign of the cross when she talked about the tradegy,another wanted a picture.
I started to feel the heat around thirty minutes in but i wasn't keeping time. When the running group ladies finally found me we had an enjoyable conversation.  I felt honored to have caring people come out and share with me. This is who Iam, a woman who is determined to live a life of joy not hate. The best way i can show honor to those that suffered the middle passage, slavery, jim crow and lingering racism is to meet the world with peace in my heart. Yes i was hurting but the simple act of those who walked with me showed i was not alone. Good truimps evil everytime. Thank you ladies you are awesome.