Zombie Buffet 5K
I hate running. Probably more than you can imagine. So, getting me to sign up for a 5K run was like trying to stir the mighty leviathan with a worm. It just wasn’t going to happen. I love supporting good causes, but me and physical activity are enemies like many of the Greek gods were enemies (if my antipathy toward exercise isn’t yet clear)—except I can’t do anything cool like throw lightning. After weeks of arm twisting and positive reinforcement, my co-ENAers convinced me that running a 5K was simply the best thing since sliced bread … which is weird because I was never impressed with the idea of sliced bread. I digress.
I signed up for the only 5K in Nashville, TN, that sounded like an idea I could get behind: the 5K Zombie Buffet. Half the people are “surviviors” and the other half are “zombies.” It was like a giant game of flag football with 200-plus strangers. Survivors had two flags on our waist. Zombies were tasked with trying to take our flags. For a non-runner, what could be more motivating than having to run from more than 100 living dead chasing you for 3.1 miles? I was shocked at how much people really got into this thing. This 5K looked like a set from the movie 28 Days Later. In order to train, I ran with some coworkers during our lunch break prior to the event. Needless to say, I was not ready by the time the 5K rolled around. It ended up being closer to four miles and mostly uphill. It felt like I was running for my life! It was awful. But it was also great. The 5K is over and yet I find myself still running at lunch time with my colleagues. If I don’t watch it, I might even become—gasp!—a habitual jogger!
To digress—this time on purpose—a little bit from zombies and brainsssssss, running really got me thinking about how much of life is affected by our smallest decisions. We measure life by all these giant events like pursuing the right career, getting married and doing all the right things … when in actuality it’s the little decisions we make every day that affect who we are. Sometimes taking a small step like starting to run (from zombies!) may have huge implications on our future. Seemingly insignificant things, like bringing a little extra kindness to your coworkers or choosing to stay late to help tutor someone, are all tiny decisions that define us. I believe they are also the moments people will remember us the most by. I’ll never forget the first time a teacher believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. It’s more life-changing than you can imagine.