I'm not comfortable being in the limelight. I hate being centre of attention and I'm always going to be this way. But there are moments that attention is thrust on you and you have to run with it with poise and grace and a great deal of blushing.
I had one of those moments two nights ago. It was our running squad's Christmas/End of Year party and I'd been looking forward to it for about a month. It's held at the Chalk Hotel which is one of the club's sponsors and they always put on a pretty good buffet. But that wasn't the only reason I was looking forward to it. I was getting a night out - no kids and no husband. I was being driven there by my Tuesday breakfast friend and running companion, Jenny. And I was going to spend time with my wonderful running group.
We arrived and settled into conversation. I got to chat to Leanne who'd just run her first marathon over in Athens! Amazing stories and an incredible race. We were deep in conversation when Coach Chris tapped me on the shoulder and said "Look who I found."
Talk about confused!! When I looked around there was my husband, Iven, who I'd left at home cooking dinner and hanging out washing. Huh?? What was he doing here? Iven explained that Jenny had organised for him to come to surprise me. I still was a little baffled but what the hell...
Dinner was served. Yum! My only complaint was that the plates were too small. I wanted to try everything and everything that I tried tasted really nice.
Once dinner was over the formalities began. Coach Chris presents awards every year. Encouragement awards, supporters awards, performance awards and the two top awards - Member's Member and Member of the Year. The first of these is voted on by all the members and the second is selected by C.C. He worked his way through them all and got to the Member's Member. He explained that it was the first year and it had been organised by one of our sponsors. The sponsor had tabulated the results and he had no idea who was to receive it. I was sitting right at the back and Mike, one of the runners, turned and pointed to me and said that he'd voted for me. And then C.C. was announcing the winner - apparently Mike wasn't the only one who voted for me.
I had to give a little speech. I have no idea what I said - just that I was dying a little inside. (I spent hours later on that night not able to sleep wondering if I'd said something stupid and embarrassed myself)Photos were taken and then, mercifully, I escaped down to the back of the room.
And then C.C. announced the Member of the Year. Me?!! Again! OMG - it felt like I had won an Oscar. There was a huge round of applause, more photos but I was allowed to get away without a speech this time.
After all of that I was surrounded by people wanting to congratulate me, hug me, kiss me, buy me drinks and tell me how well deserved my win was. I have NEVER felt more important, influential and loved. It was actually quite a heady experience (and not because I accepted all those drinks). It was a fantastic night!
I've been basking in the warm glow ever since. The thing is - I know I'm pretty ordinary, definitely not exciting. I work from home, have raised my boys and I live a quiet, uneventful life. I don't see myself as special so it astounds me that other people do. It's so nice to know that I can be who I am and be accepted by people from all walks of life. They haven't put the labels on me that I put on myself.
But the nicest thing that happened to me that evening was a comment from Iven. He told me that he was really happy that other people were acknowledging what he had known for years - that I was really special. Iven - you don't often say a lot but when you make comments like that you just make me melt. Love ya Hon!
So my trophy shelf is looking REALLY cluttered and full now. I'm thinking that we may have to build an extension!