Rainbow Connection

I never enjoyed painting by numbers as a kid. To me, adding that kind of limitation to art just seemed beyond a bore. Coloring books were fine; the lines were proverbial ‘speed limit’ signs I merely paid no attention to. Now glitter? Glitter is an entirely different story. Glitter goes with everything, on everything, and somehow finds its way into the primordial crevices of all it encounters.  And I love it.  Much to my parents’ dismay, even as an adult who pays her bills, gets maintenance on her car, and can even schedule her own doctor’s appointment, I have a fascination with art and glitter. Today was equal to buckets of glitter.

I get it honest enough.  Today was the Color Run in Albuquerque and in the middle of the 5k, I received a picture from my mother; she painted the living room a new color. My mom always said that there is nothing like a coat of paint. Maybe I shouldn’t always take my mom so literally.

The Color Run is considered the ‘happiest 5k’ around (aside from the Ronald McDonald character who was more stranger-danger than kid-friendly) and lieu of the gobs of paint still left on my skin, I am more than inclined to agree. In Albuquerque, we weaved through downtown’s pseudo-skyscrapers and inhaled the thrill right before we entered the coloring-zones.  Yes, we paid hard-earned cash to not only run a 5k, but be coated and covered in chalky paint. I danced because I could not contain my happiness. Maybe I also serenaded some strangers. And maybe some aerobic exercises happened too. Maybe.

The rules are to wear white and have fun. So we (and by we I mean my boss and athlete-extradionaire friend who is a fellow blogger) arrived in our finest outfits and the matching tutus I hand sewed last night. (Yes– my thrilling Friday night plans included a thimble.) Fresh slates were the attire and prismatic fun was to be thrown! I think racing events are the only times adults ever want their photograph in a bib. This one got a little messy.

Before and the fantastic after

The race itself was glorious in nature. “Remember to pace yourself,” was the advice given from a family member to another standing in front of us. Pace ourselves? Really? I could barely contain myself from running into a sprint just to get to the paint stations! I can tell my training for my triathlon is finally paying off due to the fact a 5k felt easy and I wanted to do it again. The best parts, big surprise, were when we got coated with paint. The air was colored in rich powders of blue, yellow, red, and orange; in which instead of what appeared to be violence with screams and our hands in the air, it was a slow-motion waltz of sheer joy where the world slowed down a moment as chalk-paint was being thrown in your face. Waltz by colors. Beats painting by numbers. Down, up, up went the containers of paint onto our hair and skin. Down, up, up; we twirled in the swirls of color.

“Run my little cheetos!” echoed through the air as we made our way through the last color station (Orange you glad I went there?). And as we rounded the last corner did it hit me: 3.1 miles doesn’t seem long enough.  I will eat those words in two weeks during my triathlon when I am sucking wind trying to finish the ‘easy 3.1 miles’ running. Yet right as I started to berate myself with the idea that I will ultimately fail at my triathlon, the run was over! We had survived (and our lungs were truly a rainbow connection). We moseyed over to the finale tent where magic was in store.  There was dancing, singing, more paint being thrown (naturally), and a marriage proposal.  Good thing she said yes.

Me and Shannon in the midst of happiness

After yet another color fight, we jogged back to our separate cars, leaving a trail of pink dust in the midst. My tutu is pink, my sneakers are orange, and my body is absolutely covered in paint.  And though, naturally, I want the paint to wash off and keep the vivid imagery in memories and photographs only, I cannot help but revel in the thrill of rolling in the rainbow. Fitness sometimes is not only fun, it is a piece of art. Sometimes you just need the right tulle. Today was my version of the rainbow connection. Connecting great things together: helping children, fitness, and gobs of artistic bamboozlement.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

**Note: Thank goodness most of the paint did come off in the shower. The very shower in which my hair produced pinks, purples, and oranges every time it was touched. (Yes, I washed it three times). However, I found out that one gets this chalky paint in places one would not want to find chalky paint. It can permeate clothing too, apparently. My skin is a bright pink, though I know not if that is left-over residue from the paint or from me scrubbing so hard in my rainbow shower. The only downside– no sleeveless shirts until my one blue armpit and pairing other purple armpit leave the skittles factory.

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