We were ready! Yesterday was the Smithsonian's annual SHAPE Walk (Smithsonian Healthy and Active Program for Employees). About 500 SI walkers, clad in an array of costumes, converged on the plaza outside of the Hirshhorn to register and get a little encouragement from Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Cristián Samper, himself an avid walker.
Made up of Denise Schelin, Michelle Brown, Robin Mays, Heather Shelton, Steve Arnold, Shermane Boudreaux, and Aoife Toomey, SITES' team was appropriately called the "Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitionists." Odd name you say? The name reflected the stunning and ultra-classy t-shirts we sported. You've probably seen them before in such beach boutiques as Wings and Sunsensations--the eye-catching shirts with the shapely bikini babes or six-pack muscle men, hence the "Exhibitionists." Don't worry, we were all covered, thank goodness.
"The Mighty Winds" of Smithsonian Folkways took home the coveted first prize in the costume contest, and we came in a close second. (Folkways' presentation was a multi-media event, complete with a little jig about computer gov-trip training, and this IS very funny to federal employees, believe you me. Who can compete with that?).
The real event was the walk itself, two laps around the lovely leaf-swept National Mall on a 70-degree day. And our team made good time (I won't mention names, but we lapped several other SI units. Sorry, red team.) In the end, we had a great time and even had a chance to have our picture taken with the Secretary before he jetted off to lap the red team.
-Heather Shelton, SITES writer/editor