This past Saturday morning was the annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk for the Pittsburgh Arthritis Foundation. Obviously not the best place for a person on crutches, I still wanted to be apart of it! Arthritis has played a huge role in my life – especially within the past year. So instead of running or walking – I volunteered. I had a ball and will definitely be volunteering for more events in the future.
Sitting at the registration table I assisted in the pick up of tee-shirts and bibs for the participants. The foundation had almost 1,500 registered for the event! Each of the participants looked so festive in their red and green, jingle bells, hats, tutus and even strings of lit up christmas lights! There was even a bride-to-be and all of her bridesmaids dressed up to run in the 5k! Some of the costumes were funny, others were out there and some of them were just plain cute!
It was freezing the morning of the race. The weather forecast had called for snow the night before so I was worried what would happen! My family was out of town for the weekend and I knew that if it did snow a lot I wouldn’t be able to shovel the driveway to get out .. therefore I wouldn’t be able to go. Plus, if it did snow a lot traipsing in the snow downtown probably wouldn’t be the best idea
for me anyways. I went to bed praying that the snow would hold off and that everything would be just fine! My alarm went off at 5am and I immediately noticed how cold it was in my “room”. Turning on the TV the traffic anchor was just announcing what a great job Penn Dot had done clearing the roads and that it hadn’t snowed as much as they were anticipating. At that hour I was torn in emotion – part of me reallllly wanted to cozy on back in bed and go to sleep, but the other part was excited to go take part in the Christmas festivities!
When we showed up to the North Shore it was still pitch dark and it was pretty dang cold. Thinking that it would warm up once the sun came up I was hopeful. Welllllllll, unfortunately it didn’t seem to get warmer as the morning went on! I swear it got colder. The computers we were working on were the google laptops and had the track mouse pad. Because of that you couldn’t wear gloves when registering the runners. Some had already registered and just needed to pick up their shirts and bibs. Others were registering for the run/walk that morning. For the ones that were registering that day you had to go through several screens, filling out all kinds of contact information for the participant. I swear, my hands were frozen. It was so hard registering some of the participants because my hands didn’t want to work! I joked with some of the volunteers saying it was ironic that the Arthritis foundation picked a time of the year to have a run/walk when our joints usually didn’t work anyways!
After the run/walk there was a big celebration at McFaddens. I’ll be honest, by the time the race started I couldn’t feel my hands, my feet or my legs. (And yes Mom, I had 3 pairs of thick socks on, my uggs, 4 shirts, a winter coat, a knit scarf/hat and had a blanket over my legs!) So once we cleaned up I checked out the vendor tent and then headed on home. I knew that I was going to need to slather my entire body in some deep blue and take it easy for the rest of the day.
It was great meeting new faces at the event. Some who unfortunately are afflicted by arthritis and other wonderful souls who just volunteered for the cause. This definitely won’t be the first and last event I volunteer for with the foundation. It’s a great cause and it definitely was fun 🙂 Total amount fundraised was $100,472! Way to go!
Want to donate to the great cause? Check out this site to make your contribution.
Wishing you a pain free day!