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Adventures in Modeling!

Posted Jun 13 2013 1:22pm

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Melissa who works with Team Hole in the Wall saying that she was coming to me with a unique Team experience. She said that a group of photographers from Grey Advertising Group in NYC were doing a free promo photo shoot at Camp and they wanted to know if I would like to volunteer to be a Team model!!!!?? Me? Okay, my first reaction was, " they want ME to do this as a way to show that no matter HOW old or FAT you can STILL participate in a running event with THITW!!?" Okay, no...they wouldn't do that to me (would they?) because they are nice people!! I was not given much info...only that they needed me to bring my running attire since most of the shots would likely be action shots. Since Ray and I are both still out of work and have some time on our hands, and because I would do pretty much ANYTHING for Camp--I said, "Sure, why not!!" This would DEFINITELY be a unique experience!!!

I had the choice of doing a morning or afternoon shoot and I picked morning since Ray and I had something to do later in the afternoon.

As always, upon arriving at Camp, I got such a warm and peaceful feeling (even though I was a LITTLE apprehensive about the modeling thing--since I usually RUN the other way when someone has a camera pointed at me!!) and it was a beautiful, although warm morning.

After we said "hello" to everyone, I was directed to the stylist and then I had to sign a model's release, which I thought was pretty funny! I told the lady that my family members were all amused by the idea of ME being a model! She asked if I wanted to take a copy of the agreement to show them that I was INDEED a model!! Ray had brought his laptop along with him and had planned to hang out in the dining hall or someplace outside to do a little work on his website while I was doing my "supermodel" duties!!! LOL!!

The photographers decided that they wanted to do the cyclists session first, because of the lighting being good where they were planning to shoot them. I was asked to be a part of the cheering zone for the bikers and I happily agreed! There were only 4 cyclists and they had them come riding through our cheer zone while we cheered and screamed for them. They did this OVER and OVER and OVER and......It SLOWLY started to dawn on me that I might ALSO have to run...OVER and OVER and.....OMG...I was NOT up to running a lot! My back was BETTER, but not great and I had not run more than a couple of miles at a time since well before Boston and that was at a VERY slow pace! Well, maybe it won't be THAT bad?!!

When I first heard about the photo shoot, I was under the impression that there would be a lot of runners and I figured I could just sort of be lost in the middle of the pack. I also figured that these would be mostly still shots.....WRONG on both counts!!!

The photographer explained that they would have someone driving a small truck with a trailer on the back and the photographers would be laying on the trailer with the cameras and we would be running behind them...??!!! OMG.....Okay, no time to'll be okay!!

Next came the REALLY scary part! I would be running with 3 men and 1 woman. One of the men does biking events, triathlons and marathons all the time. The other 2 guys were very young and very athletic....and then there was the other woman, Dorian. Dorian looks like she weighs maybe 85 pounds soaking wet and is in fantastic shape. Did I mention that she is a personal trainer who trains people to run half marathons and full marathons??? Okay, NOW it might be time to panic!!

So, we lined up, with the guys in back, Dorian in front and myself just behind her and we were told to RUN...and CHEER?!! Um, CHEER?? Yes, we were supposed to run and pump our fists, scream and yell like we were yelling back at spectators and we were PUMPED!!?? WHAT? We can't possibly do that, can we? Well, I'm pretty sure that Dorian must have been a cheerleader in high school and maybe college because she didn't have ANY problem running and cheering!! So, we ran...and ran...and ran...stopped and turned around and did it again...and AGAIN. The first time wasn't too bad, other than struggling to run at a pace that allowed me to keep up with the others, but it didn't take long for my back to start hurting pretty badly and I was struggling to run at all, much less keep up with Ms. Perky Cheerleader!! I felt SOOO bad! David (director of THITW and SUPER nice guy) told me not to feel bad if I couldn't keep up and everyone kept saying I was doing fine. David also told me to take it easy and not hurt myself. They were being SO nice, but I felt really bad. At one point I asked if it would be better if I just quit and let the other's keep running because I kept dropping behind so much. They insisted it was fine.

After we stopped running for a bit, I was talking to one of the male runners and he said that he was a chiropractor and he asked if I would like for him to try to do something for my back. I had never been to a chiropractor before, but at this point my back was hurting pretty badly and I was ready to try ANYTHING! He only spent a couple of minutes and it felt like he was just feeling the one spot on my back and then he told me to take a deep breath....and, felt better! I felt a twinge of soreness where he had worked on the one spot, but the PAIN WAS GONE?!! WOW! I figured since he spent such a short amount of time working on it that the magic would only last for a short time and that by nighttime I would once again be in pain. I assumed that after sitting for any length of time, I would be like a 90  y/o getting up from my chair...the way I had been for weeks. Well, it has been several weeks now and I have NOT HAD ANY PAIN!!!  AMAZING!!

So, maybe it was WORTH chasing that skinny little runner/cheerleader through the woods? Maybe it was WORTH the humiliation of feeling like a BLIMP trying to run? Yes, I think maybe it WAS!!! Now, if I could just find someone who specializes in knee pain....I would be all set!!

I haven't seen any pictures from the shoot and I'm pretty sure that if I looked half as bad as I felt, that I don't WANT to see them!

I have to say here that even with all of the joking about the "skinny little perky runner"....Dorian is a very lovely, kind woman and it's not really HER fault that she's so freaking amazing!! Well, actually....I guess it IS, because it takes a LOT of work to get that fit!! Also, let me clarify here that I in NO WAY think that my wonderful Team family  wanted in any way to make me feel bad! They are the most warm hearted, kind people I know and I love them all dearly! I did tease Melissa a bit about blaming her for my misery, but I was only joking....Melissa is the best!

Soooo, after a bit of feeling pretty humiliated, fat and old-- I was wondering if I should just give up on running? What would my life be like without running? I could take up knitting? Quilting? No, although both seem to be really awesome and rewarding past times, I'm not really the sitting still patiently creating something type of person!

I guess the reason I have waited until now to even write about this experience is that it has taken me awhile to truly process my thoughts and feelings. I have to admit that my feelings on the subject of running have changed from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour.

I have come to the conclusion though, that-- sure I could just give up--I could be a quitter, OR I could work as hard as I can to be the BEST runner that I can be! I can sit back and whine about not being in shape....or I can spend that time GETTING in shape!! No, I won't ever be the young, skinny, fast runner that Dorian is, and I will always have the arthritis in my knee to deal with, but I can commit to doing everything in my power to reach MY goals. I will NOT stop running!!

Maybe some of this comes from sheer stubbornness, but sometimes I think stubbornness is necessary! After being called "an old used car without that many more good miles left in me" by a doctor (yeah, he's still alive) and having him ask if I really wanted to waste any remaining miles by running marathons, I just became more determined to run marathons!! And after having an experience with being hospitalized with hyponatremia for 36 hours after a marathon and being told by my sweet husband that I WOULD NOT RUN ANYMORE MARATHONS--well, I love the man but did he REALLY tell me that I was not ALLOWED to run another marathon??? Yeah, well....I think that was 7 marathons ago!!!

I have started back on my diet and healthy eating plan and I have been running, stretching and lifting weights. When I run NYC this fall, first and foremost I will be running for the kids and Camp, but I will also be running for ME....a BETTER me!! So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really did benefit from this whole modeling experience! Yeah, my pride took a bit of a hit initially, but hey--I am a tough, sassy, (sometimes mistaken for bitchy!), determined Southern woman who REFUSES to sit around and just let old age take over without a hell of a fight!!

Now, if I could just convince my family that now that I'm a "supermodel" I shouldn't have to do laundry, clean floors or wash dishes! Oh, and I'm pretty sure most supermodels don't clean toilets!!!??? Guess they will just have to take over those chores! Yeah, I don't see that happening anytime soon! Mainly because we ALL know that I'm not REALLY by ANY stretch of the imagination...a supermodel! I AM however a RUNNER and as long as I can keep moving forward, I will REMAIN a runner! Not a fast runner, but hey....I'm okay with that!! Anyway, if I stopped running, I would have to change the name of my website!! !!!

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