#27 Kona coffee

Last year Rick and I went to Hawaii for a visit with his brother Raymond. I wasn’t sure what we should do while we were there so I asked Rick’s brother to help me find things that Rick and I could do that would be fun and Ray thought it would be fun to sign the three of us up for the 5k Great Aloha  Run that is a yearly thing on the island because growing up they went on runs with their dad. Ray has kept on doing walks and runs all the time, he even walks to work every day and because everything is near his house he also walks when he goes out at night…which is most nights. Rick wasn’t in any shape to do a run because he had just had a heart attack a few months before and me being in a wheelchair and being overweight didn’t help either but I thought we should give it an honest try. We planned on being at Ray’s house for ten days and Rick’s birthday was the day before the run so we had been going all over the island for almost a week before we started getting ready for the GAR. The night before we all went out to dinner and loaded up on carbs so we would have more energy to burn but I think what helped me the most was the Kona coffee I had that morning. Ray has a nice little Lanai where we would all get up and sit outside to have a cigarette in the morning while drinking coffee and I remember the smell of the island mixed with the smell of the coffee in the morning…there is nothing better. We made it to the start line at like 4am with thousands of other people, many of them were military people and their families, I was surprised at the number of kids that were doing this run too. Ray has a backpack that is camo print and he hung it on the back of my wheelchair during the run so that none of us had to carry the water bottles, but what I didn’t know until almost half of the way into it was that the people around us thought that I was an injured vet. I guess if I saw a person with one leg in a wheelchair doing a charity run with tons of military people around I might make that same assumption. The whole time I couldn’t figure out why photographers kept jumping in front of me to take my picture. Rick did really great considering his health at the time and we finished in two hours and twenty-three minutes. Ray stayed next to me right up until the last mile then he started running because he said he wasn’t going to let me beat him. I never would have believed that we would have ever been able to finish a run at all and we finished ahead of thousands of other people…go figure. I had a reminder notice sent to me a few days ago about doing the run again this year, I know we won’t be able to go but we’re planning to go back the following year to do the GAR again. For now I’ll have to settle for drinking my Kona coffee and remembering what a blast we all had last year.


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