The Time I Accidentally Trolled a Charity Run.

  1. My good friend decided we should run the Susan Koman 8k together. I agree.
  2. This is 2003, I think?
  3. I'm feeling good about this.
    Jogging in the mornings around the city to prepare. Casually mentioning it at work to seem more adult and benevolent.
  4. On the morning of the big race I take the metro down to where we said we'd meet before the race.
    AHAHAHA! Remember before texting? Also it's cold and early.
  5. We get our bib numbers at the check in place. Everyone is so friendly! Everyone is so nice!
  6. I get pats on the back.
  7. I get a hug?
  8. We move with the giant mass of people near the start, and I get like 3 high fives in a row.
  9. We jog along feeling super proud of ourselves. We're not hungover in bed like all our friends. WE'RE OUT HERE! FOR A GOOD CAUSE!
  10. We run by a few people who are cheering us on, holding posters, and handing out water.
    It's such a nice supportive community! I'm tearing up thinking about it while I run! So many people have been touched by this stupid disease, look at all these strong women and supporters!
  11. Someone jogs by us and sorta pats my back/puts her arm around me! She says something like "keep it up, sister!" Do I know her?
  12. She has short hair and is wearing a pink shirt like I am, but I definitely don't know her.
  13. I spend approximately 3 quiet minutes in my head.
  14. Through labored breath, I test a terrifying theory out with my friend.
  15. "Hey, Cass...
  16. Do you think...
  17. That wearing a pink shirt...
  18. Means you're...
  19. <A SURVIVOR>
  20. of breast cancer?"
  21. My shirt is this color pink:
  22. I AM REWINDING THE WHOLE MORNING IN MY HEAD.
  23. oh god. oh god. oh god.
  24. I slow to a walk with what must have been a panic induced cramp
  25. And then the worst thing that can happen, happens.
  26. I start getting LOTS of encouragement to keep going.
    From the sidelines, from fellow runners.
  27. I am being told incredibly wonderful words of encouragement from strangers.
    STRANGERS THAT I'VE LED TO BELIEVE A VERY VERY FALSE THING.
  28. I AM AN AWFUL HUMAN, I DESERVE NOTHING!!!! STOP! PLEASE!
    But how can you walk when there's all these cheering people? And all these strong women who beat cancer and are still running?!
  29. We start running again. I pray for a pothole to appear so I can curl up in it and wait for everyone to leave.
    Cass talks me out of peeling off at some random street before the finish line. But this is what she looked like the rest of the time: 😬
  30. I make it to the finish line. Amid cheers and another high five or two.
  31. There's a special cool down zone for breast cancer survivors with food and water and gift bags. They are all wearing pink shirts.
  32. I give one last high five to the lady trying to wave me into that section and power walk to the metro.
  33. On that day I committed the only real fashion faux pas in the entire world.