Monday, November 5, 2012

My First Volunteer Job

I should clarify that this is not my first volunteer job ever; it's just my first volunteer job within the running world. I'm really trying to get involved with programs like Girls on the Run where they teach young girls confidence through training for a 5K. In order to do that, I have to start volunteering. So, I signed up for the 12-2 p.m. slot at the Gritty Goddess all female obstacle course at Moody Gardens on November 4, 2012.

On a side note, I signed up for two 5k events:  Oxy Fun Run on October 27 and the Run in the Park November 4. I opted out of the Oxy run, because my stomach was just not ready (still brought things for the military care packages). However, I was looking forward to running for the first time in months at the Run in the Park. I had every intention to go, but I was still a wee bit nervous. I ran (okay, super light jog) up and down the stairs at work just to prepare for it, but I could feel every bounce in my tummy. It wasn't always feeling great. Needless to say, I opted out of this run, too, but not before I picked up my free water bottle and koozie.

Anyways, back to my volunteer job. I made my long way to Moody Gardens from Tomball (whew, that's just long typing it) and realized that I stupidly volunteered on the same weekend of the Lonestar Bike Rally in Galveston. There were so many motorcycles (and if you saw my posts, you know why I was annoyed) and so many cops (mostly pulling over the bikers...if only for driving slow in the fast lane).

I finally made it to the really packed event at Moody Gardens. There were lots of girl groups in their costumes ready to tackle the mud in all its' glory. I didn't really know where to go, because the Volunteer sign was not near the main area. Eventually, I made it there and it was mass confusion on where to put me. So, they put me at the finish line handing out dog tags (instead of medals) and water. Apparently, the dog tags that were put together were all knotted in to one big ball. They spent that time undoing them and had a whole bunch ready to go for the competitors. When I got there, they had very few hanging on the rack and the dog tags were in baggies.

My job: Open baggies and put them together to hand to the ladies. Oh and say, "Good job" or "Congrats ladies!" When I got there, it was the busiest time of the day. Groups and groups and groups of ladies came in a continuous flow. We couldn't keep up and there were six of us helping. We would catch up and then two groups would wipe us out of dog tags. And of course, most of the ladies wanted to be presented with their tags of survival. I obliged, while one girl just handed them the bags if they didn't want to wait. A family ended up helping us out at the end, which did. The lady thought I was much younger than I was since she was sure I wouldn't know this song from the 80s (can't remember it for the life of me...see I am getting old). I guessed we were about the same age. I thanked her for such a nice compliment though.

I have never put together so many necklaces in such a short amount of time. It was tiring and my back hurt at the end from slumping over. I stayed 30 minutes after my end time, but I didn't care. I also met another runner named Christy (I told her that she spelled it wrong). I gave her my number if she ever wanted to run with me some time. I sound like a girl waiting for the crush to call, but I hope she calls. We had a great time together and I can easily see us running an event like this one. She was running in the 3 p.m. heat. I would have ran if I wasn't recovering and if I would have known it was free to volunteers. The Gritty Goddess looks amazing, but it's expensive and the money doesn't go to any charity. I pay that price for half marathons and this was only a 5K.

The starting line for the Gritty Goddess...I was no where near this line.

I was next to foam pit, which I find ironic since I hate foam pits.

This is where I was stationed.

Look at all those dog tags. Oh and I was muddy from putting the tags on the survivors.
Anyways, I had a great time and I'm glad I did it. And I look forward to volunteering for more events.

This weekend, I'm running. I don't care. If you want to join me on what will probably be a slow and painful run, please join me. I like the company. It's World Running Day on Sunday, but not sure I want to pay for a virtual run (even though you get a t-shirt). I may just run anyways and claim I did it.

Also, I'm toying with doing the MS 150 in April and my first marathon sometime between February and May. It would be like training for an ironman I presume without the swimming piece to it. Thoughts? Suggestions? This is only a thought (a strong one though), because this might be the last time I get an opportunity to do the MS 150 and I do want to do it. And I think I might want to do my first marathon here in Houston (sorry Dawn, but I may have to bow out of the Paris Marathon in April). Plus, if I wait any later for the marathon, I will be doing it in the summer and I just don't want to run a marathon in that much heat. I'm still talking through everything. So, any advice would be much appreciated, especially if you done both.


  1. Here's a thought . . . go down, mill around, snapping photos of you at the event, and then DON'T RUN! Oh, and about the MS 150, DON"T DO IT!

    And, did you mention that a world class underwater photographer has her photos on display at Moody Gardens Aquarium?

  2. That's what volunteering is all about and why no MS 150? I meant people that actually do things like the MS 150. Besides, you can photograph me and get lots of comments.

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that Kandace Heimer of has her awesome photography displayed at Moody Gardens. Go check it out if you haven't yet.

  3. Hello.. first time commenting :) And Tomball, maybe you live closer than I thought :) like way closer. Umm, anyways. I'm going to comment on the MS 150. I'm sure the MS 150 is wonderful and fun and amazing, IF you train properly. If you do it, be sure to do as many long training rides as possible and probably most importantly, ride two days in a row. I did the MS 150 last year and the biggest thing was getting up a going again on day 2. Oh and I got a claw hand.. that kinda sucked too. I'd be happy to discuss this more if you'd like. And I'm up for doing pre MS 150 bike races if you need company but be warned, I'm not fast and I'll get cranky if you leave me in the dust.

  4. I'm not fast at all biking. Thanks for the advice. I didn't think about that whole getting up the next day thing.


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