I met some women today who inspired me. Two of them are multiple year walkers of the 3-day. One is a repeater from 9 years ago. We walked 8 ½ miles together on a training walk. Along the way, I told my story, and listened to theirs. The woman who is repeating this year after a nine year absence, told me about her mom. She fought a brave fight against breast cancer, but it was caught too late to make a difference. This woman and her sister walked in memory of their mom nine years ago when the route took them right past the school where she taught and the cemetery where she is buried. Of course you don’t know the route when you sign up…you just follow the pink crowd. They did it in tribute to her and got to be together as they took steps to find a cure. Now this woman is the age her mom was when she was diagnosed, and she is wondering about her own children. That is a common issue among survivor’s kids…wanting to know what the chances are they will have to face the dreaded enemy themselves. One of the goals of the 3-day is to make early detection a priority among women. To her the memory and pain of her mom’s death lingers nineteen years after, but she is walking because she is strong and wants to make a difference.
The woman who organized this training walk works with a team of six people. Two are walkers, the rest are crew. She told me about her husband who picks up the trash on the walk. Others on her team help with the camp. Think of two to three thousand people camping…the logistics of pulling off such an event is staggering when you think about it. This team has been doing this for many years, every October, rain or shine, cold or hot. I guess I never really thought about the behind the scenes group being volunteers as well. The enthusiasm of this woman helped to keep me going today. She shared tips for first-timers since I am a rooky. She told me how the schedule works, when the “prepare” events are, what the weather is like, and how much fun it is to be caught up in a parade of pink with cars honking at you all along the way. (We had a few of those honkers today as a matter of fact…much different training on a four lane than in the woods).
The power walker of our group today didn’t stay with us too long. She prefers to move along at a quick clip. She has walked in numerous cities where they have events. She said she doesn’t know what she would do in October if she ever stopped walking. She has raised over $25,000 dollars on her own. That inspired me to keep on trying to get donations, and I also found out I am not the only one having trouble. While the two veterans have already met their minimums, the other two of us are barely started. Part of the problem is that we both hate to ask for money. I know people have it rough right now, and I don’t want them to feel obligated. But then when I got home today Peter said something that stuck with me. He said, “Mom, its not like you are asking for the money for yourself. You are trying to help other people not have to go through cancer like you did. That is an okay reason to ask for money. I think it is great what you are doing.” That made me smile.
I think that what happened to me today was a beginning of what the 3-day is all about. Sharing each other’s stories…validation of the pain of the disease as well as the desire to help others avoid that pain. I made it 8.5 miles today in a little over 2 and half hours. For me this is part of my journey through cancer, for fitness, and for the future.
Please consider sponsoring my walk…I promise the money doesn’t go to me. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s