I wish I could tell you all every single moment of today’s Heart Walk, but I don’t know that there’s the time or space. To be honest, the day was overwhelming for my emotions and I am thankful that the kids are down for chilling at the house.
You see, I opted to go it alone (without the help of another adult) and attempt to complete the 5k walk with the kids. I’ve already said that I’m not cut out for caring for the kids 24/7, but thought it would be an okay thing to try. And it might have been.
It all started when I got a call from my boss on my walk through the parking lot (as we were missing the Company photo – I am so bummed out about missing it thanks to crazy traffic around Heinz Field). Actually, correction. First I got a call from the desk, making me think there was an issue with today’s coverage schedule or a major outage. That’s the call that alerted me that my boss was looking for me.
And he wanted me to meet him at the main stage of the Heart Walk.
Because I had been awarded the Pittsburgh American Heart Association’s Lifestyle Change Award (but didn’t know it yet). Perhaps the photos with the Heart Walk Chair (also from my Company) and Iceburgh were a tip off. Or…the film crew that asked if they could follow the kids and I as we walked today. I started to feel overwhelmed (with happiness and surprise), but tried my best to keep my cool.
After the National Anthem was sung, my award was announced. I still haven’t taken it all in, but feel blessed to be recognized for my efforts to change my habits to live a healthier life, and even more so, to know others are proud of and inspired by that.
The Walk began, and Arianna (in her typical “Daddy’s out of town” style) demanded to do all of the bounce house runs instead of the Walk. The folks with us were kind enough to let her do so and even helped me out with the stroller. (I really don’t know what I was thinking, trying to make a 5-year-old stay entertained for a 5k.)
Eventually, after most of the walkers had started the course, we brought up the end. We stopped for an interview, and I decided to just meet up with some friends versus trying to do the whole course. (Arianna wanted to sit in the stroller and Evan in my arms – I bet the footage is a lot of me huffing and puffing to even make it since I’m still not feeling 100%.)
The whole day was exciting on so many levels. It’s incredible to see 15,000-ish people from our city come out in support of putting a stop to Heart Disease. After losing my grandfather 26 years ago and watching so many others I love be impacted by the disease, I hope that our efforts can bring a cure. I’ve been able to see the impact of simple changes in my life and how that’s helped my heart be healthier so I can be around for my family. Perhaps even just to take the steps of the walk today will inspire others to make changes, too.
And thanks to the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk fundraising efforts, they’ll be able to support projects like:
Putting up-to-the-minute research into doctors’ hands so they can better prevent and treat heart disease among patients.
Groundbreaking pediatric heart and stroke research.About 36,000 babies are born with heart defects each year —research is the key to saving babies’ lives.
Getting life-saving information to those who need it most – information that can save a life, like how to eat better, how to recognize the warning signs of heart attack, and how to talk to a doctor about critical health choices.
(Source: American Heart Association)
Wishing you all a long, happy, and healthy life!
What did you do for your heart today?