When my good friend Carolyn asked me if I’d do The Color Run with her back at the beginning of the year, I agreed to do it, even though I didn’t understand what it was. I mean, it had the word run in it. That was cool with me.
When I looked it up, I saw people dancing and throwing powdered color at each other. Lots of people, actually. And walkers are encouraged, it was not to be a timed run. None of this sounded very much like ‘me’, per se. But I like Carolyn a lot, and if she wanted to do it and wanted a buddy, I was gonna do it for her. Grin and bear it.
When registration time rolled around, I posted a link to the information page on Facebook, and asked if anyone else wanted to do this with us to make our duo a team. We only needed two more.
14 other people joined us. 14. And somehow, I ended up in charge of coordinating this fiasco. *shifty-eyes* I smell foul-play.
It was a disaster. It was utter chaos. People dropping out and wanting to sell their tickets, people wanting to find someone who wanted to sell them a ticket, people needing hotel rooms, people who turned down the hotel rooms I researched and found for all of us and then wanted them at the last minute, people who thought the traffic created by THOUSANDS of people going to the same place at the same time the morning of wouldn’t affect *them* and were shocked when it did, people who never read a single. ever-loving. word. of any kind that either I or the Color Run staff put together and sent to everybody to properly inform and prepare everyone for the event and who decided it was my sole responsibility to spend every second of my life for the entire week before the run answering their questions that they had as a result of that.
I cried a lot last week. This run was probably the biggest reason.
But once we were all together, once we finally all found each other and began to make our way to the giant line-up (read: herding) of Color Runners, all of that melted away. It didn’t matter anymore. This was a group of 16 of my closest friends and family, all dressed in full nerd gear, complete with headband and nerd goggles (we were the Color Me Crazy Nerd Herd…the price they paid for putting me in charge;), ready to go be crazy, be active, and just have a wonderful time together, JUST BECAUSE it was going to be fun.
You can’t even see the starting line up there.
But hold up. Did I just say that I…as in ME…I was going to do something, JUST because it was fun? Not because I was obligated. Not because of some responsibility somewhere…just because it was fun. That’s what I was there for. What a novel concept!! The last time I can remember doing something like that was my way-too-short honeymoon…a little over 2 years ago (I think…is that right, honey?).
And it was wonderful. It was beautiful. It was even rejuvenating.
And the best part about it wasn’t even the color being thrown everywhere. That was just the inspiration for the awesome. The best part, really, was just the overwhelmingly large group of people, all together for that one reason – to have pure, unadulterated, clean-but-dirty fun. Everybody was there for that same reason. We were all on the same level playing field. Every random person I bumped into had a smile on their face. Everybody dressed as crazy as they could imagine. Nobody judged anybody. Even I danced, several times, through several Color Zones and in the end at the final party. Because it didn’t matter at all. Nothing did.
Well, okay, maybe right before we left, it started to matter that we find food SOON, cuz we was some hungray fools after that, but you get the idea.
This was the feeling that overwhelmed me at the beginning of the race, as we were waiting our turn to start (we were in the last wave of people to start, due to my awesome organization and leadership skills), when I posted on Twitter that I wished I had thought to submit an assignment for ds106.
— Crystal Rose (@CrystalRose0784) September 9, 2012
And ever since then, I’ve wanted to make a blog post about the run, and wished I’d been able to submit this assignment idea. Then, tonight, I saw this conversation.
— Crystal Rose (@CrystalRose0784) September 13, 2012
Holy goodness. Well, fine then. If it’s an assignment you want, cogdog, then an assignment you shall have. Because #Section01kicksSection01sbutt
We learned a lot about the Color Run event itself this year. We learned that the shirts they give you don’t catch the color as well as plain cotton t-shirts, for starters. We learned how to get the best pictures with the most color…by reviewing our pictures after the fact.
So in my opinion, our pictures aren’t the very best at showing the amount of color that was there that day. But I have cautiously avoided my Color Run tattoo on my hand ever since the run, and I’m trying to preserve it as long as possible, and I hold our pictures very near and dear to my heart. Because reflecting on this run reminds me of what matters in this life, and reminds me of what it feels like to be truly happy, and how to enjoy life on a very basic level with those around you, no matter who it is, and no matter what differences or annoyances you may have shared in times passed.
So, here’s my photo with the absolute most amount of color I was possibly able to squeeze into a photo myself. I will do better next time, and I encourage you to do better in the meantime as well. (FYI, I think the Richmond Color Run this Saturday is still open…if you’re interested and able;) But even if not at a Color Run event, I challenge you to find a beautiful, joy-filled opportunity to fill your camera lens with as much color as humanly possible, and then to share it with me and the others here. Because for me, from now on, color will forever be my reminder to slow down and smile and appreciate life. And my hope through sharing this assignment is to pass that sentiment on to you.