I really hadn’t planned to go to Vancouver late in November. It’s not usually a time I drive down unless I have to because the roads can be very hit or miss. After meeting Gord Kurenoff from the Vancouver Sun at the Rock n Roll 10K, though, I suddenly realized I needed to do something a little spontaneous. He invited me down for the Moustache Miler – a fundraiser for prostate cancer and part of the activities planned for Movember. The idea is you run, you wear a moustache, and you have fun… all for a good cause. I realized I could get some business done as well when I came down so I threw caution to the wind and registered. I didn’t plan a lot, I felt very disorganized, and yet I just went for it. I planned two business meetings for the same trip to maximize my time and then I enjoyed two solo nights in a hotel with no schedule other than running the race on Saturday.
Gord and I had became friends on social media and he nudged me into coming and wearing a costume for the event. He was running as a moose with a moustache – a moostache (Gord is bursting with puns!).
Deciding on a costume that Gord suggested, I promptly got busy doing other things and didn’t get my costume together much before the event. In fact, the important elements in the costume didn’t come together until the night before.
My costume? The Swedish Chef from the Muppets! Gord had listed off a pile of famous moustaches for potential costumes and when he said the Swedish Chef a lightbulb went off in my brain! I love the muppets, I love the Swedish Chef… and hey… I’m Swedish!
Aside from a chef’s hat I got at Value Village in the Halloween area, a white apron from Krista Dick, and a plaid shirt I already owned, I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. How would I make my moustache and eyebrows? They were the key element in the costume. It wouldn’t be a Movember costume without a moustache!
It wasn’t until the day before the race that I was walking around downtown Vancouver looking for an idea when I finally came up with it in a cheap Vancouver souvenir store. I felt bad, for like a minute, but the colour was perfect, the price was right, and I had brought a sewing kit just for this purpose. That night in the hotel room I got to work.
I skinned the little guy, one of the Vancouver Olympic mascots, and made eyebrow shaped pieces that I sewed right to the chef’s hat (stroke of brilliance)… I had started out thinking I would tape them to my eyebrows or my glasses but this worked way better. After a few attempts that didn’t look right I finally got a pair that worked. I had to wonder if Vanoc (the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee) or the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was going to come after me for desecrating a sacred mascot from an event that happened five years earlier… they have spies everywhere! And who knew my hair is the exact same colour as Squatchi?
Next, the moustache. I carefully studied pictures of my hero and finally came up with an appropriate mustache shape. There was so much mascot hair all over my room I’m sure the cleaning staff were going to be seriously confused… or maybe they were just too smart to ask questions.
I used double sided tape for my moustache, which worked in the beginning but by the end of the run had no stick left. Gord told me later that the moustaches always fall off due to the sweat factor and the best results came from using the glue that people stick false eyelashes on with. Obviously, I’ve never used false eyelashes… that seems pretty obvious.
Gord the Moose and I had fun. I met his awesome (and very tolerant) wife, and his mom and step dad who were doing their first 5K walk that day.
As a run it sucked – don’t wear flannel when running… I also can’t believe how poorly I run whenever I’m in Vancouver, it’s like I can’t breathe because of the humidity. But, I finished, got lots of high fives, lots of laughs, and had a really good time.
I still know nobody there except Gord and his family but I had a lot of fun.
Why was this crazy?
I don’t usually go to small events like this alone when I don’t know anybody. My introvert self kicks in and wants to hide in the corner and wish it would all go away. Not saying I didn’t do that, but at least I showed up! I didn’t say no just because I knew exactly how I would react. I forced myself to interact with strangers, have fun, and be lighthearted. Leaving the after party in the early afternoon I was exhausted… mingling is very hard work for an introvert!
Would I do it again?
Ugh. Yes. I will probably never like being in that position but every time I put myself out there it will likely be a lot easier. The run itself was great fun – I’d love to see one in Kamloops, and I’d definitely go do it again… but maybe not wear flannel next time!
Oh, and did you see Gord’s blog? I made two of his blogs this year and even his year end review… gotta up my game next year to three or more!