One of my first memories is about penguins.
My parents very
foolishly bravely decided moving to Australia with three children ages 5 and under was a good idea. So when I was 3, we went on a day trip from Melbourne to Phillip Island. I distinctly remember quite a few things about the trip…but most vivid of all: watching penguins pop out of the ocean and gather on the beach. I remember it better than any 3 year old has a right to remember anything and I’ve been smitten with penguins ever since.
A few other people are smitten with Mr Penguin, which is how he got roped into the crazy Year of the Muskrat. Poor Mr Penguin hasn’t left the house since I bought it in 2005…and the day I picked just happened to be the coldest day of the year. I was FREEZING, but I assume it’s a sacrifice one has to make while running with a penguin.
My stroller hook up bailed due to a flat tire, but who needs a stroller when you can use a farmer’s market/bag lady shopping cart?! I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t so sure about full 6.2 that day. It was a Fat Ass race, so there was no course to cut. Luckily my friend Ellie decided she needed to participate.
She assured me we were not going to cut corners. Mr Penguin was coming along for all 6.2 miles. Pulling seemed easier than pushing, so we each grabbed side and dragged him along…attracting quite a few looks and questions.
“What’s up with the penguin?”
“Do you always run with a penguin?”
“WTF is wrong with you?”
I was surprised to learn saying “I have to do a 10k with a penguin” usually got an “Oh” with no follow up. As if that answer made sense. BECAUSE THAT TOTALLY ANSWERS THEIR QUESTION!
The miles ticked by faster than I anticipated. It really was a great day to be running…
We switched sides every half mile, which broke up the run and corrected any imbalances (at least the physical ones). Since we both wear our garmins on our left wrist, it was the responsibility of the person with the free left hand to keep track of the distance. ..and as long as we stayed moving it wasn’t too cold.
Before we knew it, 10k was done and I got to check off one of the hardest items from the muskrat list. But more than just an item on a list, this was an experience than means as much and will stay with me as long as that first penguin encounter almost 30 years ago. It was pretty darn cool.
Thank you Ellie. you definitely get half credit for this one! Thank you Mike and Julie, organizers of the Greenway Gobbler. And thank you Garbo…your creativity is very much appreciated 🙂