Although it was before dawn, the crisp thin air gave the morning a refreshing jolt. Perhaps it was the morning air, or maybe it was the prospect of walking in solidarity for God that lifted everyone’s spirits that Sunday. It was October 20th, the day of the 2013 Walk with God in support of FLL.
As we entered the FLL office, I could not help but notice the genuine smiles of all who were there. It was obvious that these smiles were not plastered onto their faces, but rather, they were the product of hard work, enthusiasm, and sense of accomplishment achieved by all 125 members registered for the walk.
The three buses pulled in front of the office at 6:30am. The rush of excited chatter followed everybody onto the bus. I was able to get onto the wheelchair accessible school bus. At that moment, I was greeted with an overwhelming sense of inclusivity; it was the textbook definition of team spirit. I felt like I was part of a very large family, one that transcends all barriers and disagreements.
As the buses cruised down the highway towards our destination, I could see the early rays of sunshine set in the background of a picturesque sky filled with beautiful shades of purples, pinks and oranges. The sunrise perfectly complimented the tranquil atmosphere of the relaxed group. This sublime backdrop highlighted by its simple grandeur became etched in my mind, even as the buses slowed down, and dropped us off in front of the Direct Energy Centre to start our walk.
Our group started the event shortly after 8:00 am. The most memorable parts of the run were the numerous interactions that we experienced. Conversations arose with other participants from both FLL and other charities taking part. These human interactions solidified our intentions to spread the word of God, both as individuals and as part of a greater community.
Dressed in our blue FLL shirts, we walked east on Lakeshore Boulevard and then turned north towards Nathan Phillips Square. When we crossed the finish line, exhilaration was paired with an overall sense of satisfaction that went beyond the walk itself. The greatest fulfillment for me was that FLL was able to reach its fundraising goal of $150,000, and knowing that these funds would be used towards ongoing evangelization.
When we returned to the office for a post-run party, we were in even greater spirits than the morning. After lunch, many of us shared feelings that we experienced during the event. The harmonious mixture of these feelings from the heart with the eloquence of words spoken from the mouth was synonymous with the overall atmosphere that was present that afternoon. It was this final moment of feeling like a family that accentuated the overall team spirit and camaraderie that was largely prevalent throughout the day.
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon event drew over 25,000 participants from 60 countries. Our tiny group of 125 was like a single raindrop in the vast Pacific, but somehow, this family felt like so much more. Congratulations to everyone!