Running for tiaras

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I have been challenged. BigHouse Foundation is participating in the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2014 at Disney World. The organization is recruiting runners for their team. I was seriously doubtful that I would be able to participate due to my creaky joints and chronic pain in my feet, but today I have received good news. There will be a 10k (6.2 miles) for those of us who don’t think we can make it 13.1 miles. I seriously think I could crawl six miles if I had to.

Last year, my daughter Micah, the director of BigHouse, ran the half marathon with one of her best friends and two cousins. I was there with the rest of our family as the cheer squad but part of me wanted to be out there collecting that medal and sweating in princess attire with her. I tossed around the idea of actually running the half next year.

When the news came in that there would be another opportunity to join the fun without crippling myself and having to be pushed in a wheelchair for the remainder of our trip, I jumped at it.

I am not a runner. I used to jog a bit when I was younger but I haven’t done that in years. I know it isn’t impossible to get back into it, but the desire to enjoy my couch has become a priority. I like to watch people run on TV. That’s as close as I’ve gotten in a while.

I have made peace with my age. I am a grandmother, I don’t have to look like Jamie Lee Curtis (although I wouldn’t mind). I am soft around the middle, scarred from a lifetime of sun exposure and I sag in places I never appreciated before they sagged.

I also realize I am way beyond “princess” age. I am more like the queen mother, minus the guards, palace, and perfectly adorable hats. I can, however, nail the wave.

But, the beauty of this Princess Half Marathon and 10k is all sorts of people participate.

Most dress in princess attire. This includes all ages, all colors, all sizes. I saw men dressed as princesses (most intentionally comical) and some Prince Charmings running. There were also Peter Pan costumes and a few evil queens, scary! There were pregnant princesses, twin princesses, mother daughter duos and organizations running for causes.

This year BigHouse will take a team to make others aware of the great need for foster families. The slogan is, “Every little girl deserves to be a princess”.

I haven’t given much thought to my costume, I will probably be a very basic grandma princess, I will probably just wear my BigHouse t-shirt and long shorts. Maybe a sweatband tiara. I do plan to run, walk, crawl to the finish line. It is for a wonderful cause, at the happiest place on Earth. Who could resist that challenge?

To register for the Princess Half Marathon/10k go to: www.rundisney.com

To sign up for or to receive more information about the BigHouse team go to www.ourbighouse.org.

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