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I am not exactly what one would call an athlete. I did my requisite period of recreational town soccer as a child, tried fencing for a few months, and then came to the conclusion that maybe I should try other things

Despite my lack of athletic prowess, a few weekends ago I was somehow convinced to register for a Color Run 5k being held on campus by one of the student groups. I know what you’re thinking. Me? Run? Voluntarily? In front of…. People?

Yes.

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I guess my life involves a lot of jumping pictures.

College is about self-growth, right? Or at least that’s what I’ve been told, and this seems to fall under that umbrella. Yes, my friends, my floor mates, and even my mother laughed at me. But hey even if it was a total failure, there were free shirts and food promised to justify making a fool out of myself.

Going into the event, I only had a few goals in mind.

The first was to not trip, fall, or otherwise injure others or myself (see also: that time I was trampled by a conga line at a summer camp dance). The second was to not embarrass myself and maybe give off the appearance of athleticism. The third and final goal was to at least attempt to run the whole thing and disprove the haters who said I couldn’t.

So with these goals and the image of Phoebe from Friends playing in my head, I began the run.

The first mile wasn’t bad, and it was kind of cool to run around the campus in a new, not late-for-class kind of way. I triumphantly completed the first mile with paint to prove it and embarked on the second.

The second was a bit more of a struggle. It was also almost ninety degrees outside on this fine Baltimore Saturday in October, and I started to feel it. Whoever said that sweat feels good was definitely lying because the heat was making running a bit of a struggle. But still I persevered like the little biomedical engineer that could and finished mile two.

With more behind me than ahead, I was feeling good about beginning the final stretch. Images of the promised free bagels danced around my head, like the sugarplums in The Night Before Christmas. I could do it. So, after running down the final hill by the Rec Center, I was splashed with the final color of paint and finished the run.

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Nothing says “tough” quite like a fanny pack

Yes. I, JHU_Emily who one time broke her toe running for the ice cream truck, finished a 5k without some sort of slightly amusing horror story. I found my friends who had long passed me in the race, found some bagels, photographed the accomplishment, and set off to take what would be one of the longest showers of my life.

What did I learn from this?

  1. Running on cobblestones is a struggle.
  2. Paint is very hard to get off.
  3. Free t-shirts and food are always worth it.
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We were not embracing the S in this photo. Unless that S stands for sweat.