Monday, December 3, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

My mind and body are still on that "just went on a little trip" high that one can only get after ... well, "going on a little trip" and I just wanted to take a second to get all my thoughts out about it before this feeling goes away.... Let me just start out by saying- it was one of the most easy going (kid free) and enjoyable weekends I have had in a long time. I mean, helping Steve clean out the storage unit was fun- but nothing compared to the fun I had this weekend. Although it was a quick trip (9 am Saturday morning until 5 pm Sunday night) the weekend was packed and left me recharged for the upcoming busy months ahead! We made it to Vegas in record time (3 hours!) even with Sharalyn complaining the whole time that she had lost her headband and had to pee. As we arrived in Vegas we were welcomed by wind gust in upwards of 40 mph. Shar was NOT happy. But Co-pilot Janelle (who aslo doubled as weather girl) really sold the "It's always the most windy in the afternoon" like it was nobodys business! Sharalyn was happy with her prediction and we were off to packet pick up and dinner with the 'rents. Nothing like being greeted by your "diabetic drunk" dad who is wandering around the Mandalay Hotel looking for food. Lovely dinner (with no high chairs thank you very much) and we were off to drive the course and then go to bed. Well, Sharalyn was off to bed (thanks to a sleeping pill) - Janelle and I were off to color coordinate the map (we would make Steve proud with how organized we were) and make posters. The alarm goes off at a VERY early 4:15 am and the room was quickly filled with excitment! Sharalyn had everything she needed (including extra ipods, shorts, kleenex, gum, etc....) and we were off to the START line. Things were going like clock work! Steve and Suey (who we renamed Stuey for the sake of time) were enjoying their eggs and toast breakfast at Hooters waiting for our (Janelle and I- not Sharalyn- she was running the marathon) arrival after mile 1. After Elvis sang the National Anthem we were off running to the amazing sight and sounds of fire works for a good 10 minutes. After the first mile we had to say goodbye to her and let her run on her own. I felt like a mama bird waiting for her baby to fly. Even as I write this- reliving that moment- I get teary eyed. She waved goodbye an we made our turn on Tropicana Street to get into the heated car! Lucky us!A little mishap at mile 1 (which I will leave out of the story for the sake of everyone involved) and we got to mile 4 without a blip. Saw Sharalyn who was doing awesome and we quickly constructed our posters into a port-a-potty so she could pee in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd! Off to mile 10 without a problem (thanks to the color coded map) and she was still looking great. Suey had decorated herself in tinsel and caught the eye of a reporter from a local newspaper and was quickly interviewed and finally got the props she has deserved for so long. Mile 15 was just as good as the other two stops and she didn't even look like she had broken a sweat yet. (probably due to the 35 degree weather we were blessed with) At mile 20 there was a look in her eye of determination and heart like I had never seen. She KNEW she was going to do this and she KNEW she was going to accomplish a goal she had set such a long time before. After a few tears and hugs were exchanged it was off for the final 6. Even with her calves being "hard as rocks," her mind was focused and she was running strong! I got the chance to run with her the last 6 miles (just to keep her company) and I have to say it was such an honor! As we rounded the final corner and saw the finish line we saw Stuey and Janelle waving the tinsel and the tears were flowing....I jumped off the course and she was alone running a race that was ALL HERS! She was interviewed by a local newspaper ( and then we met up with her with hugs and love surrounding! As I watched Sue kneel down and rub her legs I couldn't help but notice the father right next to them who was removing the lower half of his daughters prosthetic legs equally as proud and happy of his little girl! It was such a good day! I am proud of my sister for all that she has accomplished. She is an example to me like no one else. At the Chicago Marathon Sharalyn made me buy a shirt that says "Freakishly Strong." It is a term that she has used to describe me for most of my life but I can say without hesitation- She is the one that should be wearing that shirt today! She is the one who is Freakishly Strong.