It always takes a few days to collect my thoughts and reflect on the emotional and overwhelming experience of walking 60 miles over 3 days. This year was my 4th 3-Day, and I loved it just as much as past years. I feel a great sense of purpose, comradarie and love over those 3 days–it’s a different feeling from everyday life. 362 days a year, we live in the real world and 3 days a year, we live in 3-Day world.
In 3-Day world, it’s perfectly acceptable for people to wear bras outside of their shirts, on their heads or anywhere else they’d like. In 3-Day world, words like boobs, jugs and breasts are part of our everyday vocabulary. In 3-Day world, we are happy to see a relatively clean port-a-pottie and not shy about discussing our bathroom experiences. In 3-Day world, we learn more about our fellow walkers than people we’ve known a lifetime. In 3-Day world, thank yous flow freely from everyone’s mouths and we feel like celebrities walking down the street. In 3-Day world, we are all sisters and brothers connected by a common bond to see an end to breast cancer. More than anything, in 3-Day world, we feel powerful and determined that with each step and each passing day, we are getting closer to beating this disease. And that is why we walk and we raise money and we never ever give up.
While I’m back in the real world, I hang on to the emotions, thoughts and feelings I experienced last weekend. I will never stop fighting on behalf of far too many women who’ve lost their battle this year and every year. I will never stop fighting for my daughter, my friends, my extended family and all of our future generations. I am confident we can beat this disease and happy to share this journey with so many others. One year from today, I will once again enter 3-Day world and experience my 5th journey. Join me and experience the life-changing journey of 3 days, 60 miles and one common goal.
It’s been 3 weeks since my 3rd 3-Day experience ended. This year, I had the honor of carrying a flag into opening and closing ceremonies and standing in the Survivor Circle with 7 other survivors. This was, without a doubt, the coolest part of any 3-Day walk.
It started the day before when I had to go to OCC and rehearse. The stage was set up, the crew was there and the place was buzzing. If you’ve ever walked before, you will have a deep appreciation for how I felt when I drove into the parking lot and saw the stage. Kind of like Halloween morning when you were a child or the first day of summer camp. I look forward to seeing that stage every year and I got a sneak peak on Thursday. So after we rehearsed and I learned the plan for opening ceremonies, I went over to crew day to join my dad (the official photographer of Michigan’s 3-Day). I must admit, it was about that time when I started to get a little sad about sharing my personal and team photographer with the 1900 other walkers but on the flip side, he was around the whole weekend. We even ate lunch and dinner together on Friday and he could easily track us down in his official 3-Day vehicle.
Friday morning could not come quick enough. Although I’m pretty sure the Huntington Woods crew thought it came a little too quickly. Yes we were among the first walkers to show up to opening ceremonies. I like to be on time, actually early, and I was hoping to get some good pics with the team before I had to sneak back stage.
Fast forward 2 hours (told you we were there early), I proudly walked out with my commitment flag (smiling ear to ear–with pictures and videos to prove it). And I stood in the circle holding hands with the other 7 survivors as Jenne Fromm led us through opening ceremonies. As soon as opening ceremonies were over, we were off and guess who got to lead the walkers–me. OK, I was 2nd in line but still it was super cool, and I danced my way out of there as the music blared. Afterwards, I circled back, met up with my team and started the 60 mile walk.
And we walked and walked and walked. And it was the hottest three days ever. And I loved every minute of it (ok not exactly every minute) but I loved the walk, the feeling of doing something so powerful, the feeling that I am making a difference with each step. It’s intense and it’s great. No words can describe the feeling that runs through me throughout the entire weekend. I walked with old friends, new friends, coworkers, family and countless survivors. I met new people and shared stories and we encouraged each other along the way.
60 miles, gallons of Gatorade and many blisters later, I marched into closing ceremonies. Back to the survivor circle, back to Jenne’s powerful voice and back where I started 3-Days earlier. And as I left Ford World Headquarters, I looked forward to jumping in the pool, sleeping in my bed and planning for my 2011 journey.
The walk is 2 weeks away. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by but it has, and we are almost there. We’ve raised nearly $100,000 for the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day. And I am so incredibly proud of my hard-working 3-Day teammates for planning fundraisers, training, buying lots of gear and working so hard to win this battle.
This is a big huge thank you message to my team, my supporters, my blog readers and the ones who I spam with countless emails about my fundraising and other activities. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and helping me reach my goals. I am touched beyond belief each day at the generosity of all of you.