So, I ran a 5K in Chapel Hill this past weekend. It was great. Oh, and the Tar Heels won the National Championship.
I’m struggling to put words to this weekend. So, I made a video. You can watch it by clicking the link below:
The Cleft Palate Gallop 5K has turned into a family tradition. We run for my cousin Henry, who was born with a cleft palate and has chased down many challenging goals in his life.
You know how I feel about goals – they’re important. Set goals and chase them down. Got it. But in all this goal setting and goal chasing, don’t forget to HAVE SOME FUN. I’m grateful for the time spent on Saturday with my family and my friend, Travis, who joined us this year. Sure, it’s great to crush a goal, but this time, it didn’t really matter if we ran a PR, won the race, finished the race, walked the race – we enjoyed ourselves. It was a gorgeous day in Chapel Hill. We had a BLAST just participating, taking pictures by the Old Well, cracking jokes, not taking ourselves too seriously.
After the race, Travis and I ran the stairs at Kenan Stadium. Cousin Jack brought his drone. Kenan is undergoing some renovations, so the field wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. But game footage was playing on the scoreboards, pump up music blasting from the big speakers, and the stairs were calling our names.
We ate breakfast at Sutton’s Drug Store on Franklin Street and BLTs for lunch at Merritt’s. In the afternoon, we sipped out of blue cups at He’s Not Here, and celebrated a friend’s birthday in Raleigh.
Then the Heels.
*Warning: If you are not a Carolina fan, absolutely no pressure to continue reading. Please understand the sheer excitement of the weekend and my desire to recap. I promise, we can still be friends.*
Did anyone else NOT enjoy watching the game Monday night? I’m not talking about the company you were with, or the food you ate, or the drinks you drank. I’m talking about the act of watching the game – it hurt a little. The stress of it all! The ups, the downs, the screaming, the praying. What a scene.
“Go where you go, do what you do,” a common, household phrase during basketball season. If you don’t know Woody Durham, and you didn’t grow up turning down the TV volume during Carolina basketball games and turning up the radio, I’ll break this down for you. It means whatever lucky, superstitious thing you do during the game – do that.
Go Where You Go: The last time Carolina won a National Championship, I was a junior in college, rushed Franklin both Saturday and Monday nights with my friends, and basked in all of the excitement and glory. Seemed only appropriate to be in Chapel Hill this time around too. After all, last year I didn’t come to Chapel Hill for the Final Four, and we lost. So. I may have packed a box of work to do on Monday, in the event the Heels won Saturday night. Go where you go.
Do What You Do: I wore the same Asics Gel Lyte III shoes every game during the tournament. My cousin, Kristin and her friends wore the exact same outfits Monday night as they wore Saturday night – UNC basketball jerseys, black workout leggings and tennis shoes. Another example: The Heels have lost every year the Chapel Hill Police Department took down the street signs prior to the game (to avoid them being damaged or removed during the mad dash to Franklin). This year, the CH Police allowed the signs to stay up. Because do what you do, people.
Wherever you went and whatever you did, it worked. So, THANK YOU!
My girl cousins – Jenny, Kristin and Amy – are like sisters to me. It’s rare that we get all four girls together at the same time. But Monday night, we watched the game in Chapel Hill together, rushed Franklin together, spent the night in the same house together. We went where we went and did what we did. We basked in all the excitement and glory.
“At the end, when you’re watching your kids jump around and the excitement,” Roy Williams said, in the post-game press conference, “the thrill they have – there’s no better feeling in the world.”
I’ll never forget it. This was everything I could ask for in a Chapel Hill weekend. Activities, exercise, family, friends—a National Championship!
Nothing could be finer.
**Huge thank you to Jack Baddour. In addition to his serious dance moves, Jack is a budding photographer on the drone, the iPhone and the camera. He took many of the shots in the video above. Thanks for sharing your drone, your time and your talent, Jack!
**Henry Baddour is 17 years old and a junior in high school. He’s extremely inspiring. You can check out Cleft Proud, a business he created to encourage and support kids across the world who were born with a cleft palate, here.