The ABA TECHSHOW is right around the corner, and this year there’s some good news for fitness buffs: On March 17th, Rocket Matter and Ruby Receptionists are co-hosting the first-ever ABA TECHSHOW 5K. We’re meeting in the lobby of the Chicago Hilton at 7 a.m. You can walk or run past Grant Park, Soldier Field, and the Shedd Aquarium. Plus, you’ll get a free headband for participating. What’s better than that!
But do you really want to do a 5K? For those of you who have never done one, I get that you might resist the idea of it. Here’s why I urge you to do the race if you can: It can change your life.
Growing up, I never considered myself an athlete. I had little to no coordination. Team sports weren’t my thing. So when I moved to New York City in my early 20s, I never took up running even though Central Park was just a few blocks away.
That all changed one morning when my good friend called me begging me to join her for a 5K. I didn’t want to do it (I was out really late the night before.) Plus, I was scared. 3.1 miles just seemed like such a long distance. I had never run more than a mile at a time. 3.1 miles seemed impossible.
However, I wanted to be there for my friend, so I went to the race. I pinned the bib on the front of my shirt. I attached a chip to to my shoe to track my time. And once I started running, I didn’t let myself stop. The race itself was fun for the most part (well, except for that extra .1 mile which never seemed to end.) But crossing the finish line changed my life.
With one race, I proved to myself that I could accomplish something I thought was physically impossible. With one race, I found a new passion. I had experienced that runner’s high, and I was hooked. Within a few months, I ran a few more 5Ks. I then completed several 10Ks and even a half-marathon.
Then, on November 5th, 2001, I finished the New York City Marathon. It was less than two months after September 11th, and people came out in droves to support us. Thousands of people were waving American flags, while runners were dressed in red, white, and blue. As we ran past firemen and policemen—the heroes of our city and country during that nightmarish time—we cheered for them. We wore “United we run” ribbons.
In other words, the spirit of resilience in the city was palpable. It was truly one of the best days of my life, and I know I would have never had that experience if I hadn’t run that first 5K more than a year earlier. What’s more, 16 years later, I’m still running. That one race led to a lifelong love.
So if you’ve never completed a 5K, I urge you to consider doing this one with us (of course, health and doctor’s approval considered.) Whether you’re running or walking, a 5K is a 5K and an accomplishment either way. You never know—doing so can change your life, too.
Of course, if you’re already a seasoned runner, I’m preaching to the choir. You get it. Each race is special in its own way. For me, nothing will ever compare to the New York City marathon in 2001, but I remember every race I’ve run for a different reason.
Another reason you should get up early on March 17th and run the 5K at TECHSHOW: After a few days of sitting around in conference sessions and spending night after night staying out too late eating and drinking too much, your body will thank you. Plus, there’s the free headband.