I’ve never been interested in running a 5K. I’ve never been interested in running anything. Because I’m predisposed to asthma attacks and have been my entire life. 

Remember gym class in school when you had to run the 600-yard dash? The 80s were hell with the President’s Physical Fitness Awards. I never ran the 600-yard dash; I gasped and hacked the 600-yard dash. I would rather be lined up and brutally bruised in dodge ball or battle ball all day long than to be subjected to the 600-yard dash those two horrendous gym periods each school year. Especially when the gym teacher, inevitably some attractive football coach, was standing at the finish line, screaming, “Suck it up, Anderson! You’re holding up the rest of the class. We’ve got other things to do.” Yes, I was always last. Although, I had a thin girlfriend named Lela, who would walk the whole thing with me if I needed her to, just so I wouldn’t be last, just so I wouldn’t be the fat girl bringing up the rear. That always meant so much to me. Just to have some company as I wheezed my way around the pre-measured course of our middle school parking lot, or the track once we were in high school. Those days took a toll on me, making certain impressions about coaches, about exercising, and especially about running that never really went away. I’ve always said, “If you ever see me running, you better run, too, because surely something or someone is trying to kill me.”

Flash forward to 2024. Someone on the 80s Cruise is organizing a 5K on the ship one day while we’re at sea to benefit Wounded Warriors Project. They advertised it with a line from an Eddie Money song (of course — it’s the 80s Cruise): “‘If I Could Walk On Water’ — Or Run!” The concept of walking on water made me giggle and really kinda grabbed my attention. 

I’ve lost seventy-five pounds since last November. I can walk the tread mill for more than thirty minutes without having an asthma attack. I have increased my speed to 2.6 miles per hour. Before my surgery, 2.0 mph wore me out for days at a time. I don’t know that I have the stamina to walk a 5K — I’d definitely refrain from trying to run it, especially in the heat of the Caribbean — but I’d kinda like to try to walk it. Sure, it would take over 90 minutes, maybe closer to two hours, and I could miss a lot of things onboard during those two hours, so scheduling will matter. But I’m thinking about it. And if I start, but can’t finish, there’s not going to be a football coach at the end screaming at me, right? I could always just stop and go collapse if the need arises. Although, I also think to myself, “The hell you say! If you start a 5K, you can finish a 5K! You can do this now.” So I’m trying to lengthen my walks at the gym a little each time I go. Do they call that training? If so, I’m a little frightened to think that Chrissie Anderson, President and Co-Founder of The Lazy Girls Club at Emory & Henry College, is contemplating such a thing. As for walking on water… The prospects of me walking on water would qualify as something of Biblical proportions, in my mind. To conjure up another 80s favorite, “It’s a Miracle” I’m even thinking about it after all those traumatic 600-yard dashes!