Let Us Go

Jene is my pretend big sister. Not as in an imaginary friend, but because when I was little she thought I was hers — and I thought I was her. Our mothers and my grandmother were very good friends, all about 10 years apart. The summer I was six and Jene 11, we went to Disney World. I had four-month-old twin baby brothers — who were not planned when the trip was. So my grandmother watched them. #fullcircle

As I have mentioned, I thought I was Jene when I was little. It just so happens that as we grew, we were a similar size, with similar vocal ranges. While she is an extremely talented dancer, at least we both love bangs. I was even her understudy a few times at my first semi-pro theatre gig.

two women in the wine section of a Trader Joe's. Both have wavy hair and bangs, with sunglasses on top of their heads. The one on the left has auburn hair and a green floral top. The one on the right has rose gold hair with a pink tank top and blue floral kimono.

So when Jene decided that since this year’s Disney Princess Half Marathon was virtual and her dancer hips and back could do the race when timing wasn’t an issue [they pick you up on a golf cart if you’re too slow in person], I was in.

Now, 2021 being the continuation of 2020 that it is thus far, the weather where Jene is did not cooperate for the technical race day. But it sure did here in Winston-Salem, NC. I had a hard time narrowing down which princess to celebrate, but in the end, I questioned the temp and realized a cheap old wig I had on hand would fit well under my winter running hat and help keep me warm. Because why not do a half-marathon in a wig and full face — including the first time I’ve worn contacts in over a year. 

My dear friends Jenny and Suzanne, the dynamic duo who keep me sane on the daily with our Introvert Social Club, were super excited to expend their unused theater energy into costumes and signs to meet me along the way.

Women in Olaf and reindeer onesies outside a coffee shop. Olaf holds a sign saying "the cold bothers us, run faster", the deer's sign says "worst Disney parade ever".

We stopped first at the coffee shop where Suzanne used to work and then at the brewery featuring cans designed by and whose sale proceeds go to a coworker of Hampton’s who’s battling colon cancer. And, of course, we finished at one of the best spots in town, the patio outside of Incendiary Brewing and Cugino Forno — whose ridiculously fantastic wood-fired pizza means my (unhandy) husband and I don’t *really* need to build our own backyard oven.

Jenny and Suzanne got held up by a train, but ironically passed me on Patterson Ave. just as my timer ticked over. My Garmin watch didn’t account for the stops at Ardmore Coffee and Hoots, but it syncs with Strava which recorded a time closer to my slow-and-steady usual.

Don’t worry, we recreated the finish line. Please enjoy, along with the rest of the race pics!

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