October 31rst! Last day of the Pink Ribbon month, and less than one week before the 3-Day here in my city! (If you'd live near Tampa Bay, FL and would like to know how to help cheer their walkers on this weekend, please go to crevette's LJ and read about cheering station locations here.)
Remember: every single penny given will go directly to the fight! Nothing goes to pay for an administrator. Nothing goes to pay for stickers or pamphlets or corporate lunches, every single penny goes to the fight. 85% to individual treatment costs and 15% to fund research. I'm paying my own way: food, tents, beverages, band aids, motrin... Every walker and volunteer pays for the privilege to be involved. I'm paying in sore hips and shin splints, too, oy. It's worth it, though!
Let me put these links out here: My donation page, my walking partner's donation page. It doesn't matter who you donate to, it's the donation that counts!
Time is running out: I have less than one week to get us both up to our goals of $2200, or I'm footing the bill for the difference. Mind, I will gladly do it, but don't you want to be a part of this amazing event? *G*
Now, regardless of how schmaltzy I sound with all of this 3-Day talk, I'm not a sappy person. I'm not a pink wearer, I'm not a glitter pen/ladies night/scented candles while we all hold hands and share our feelings kind of gal. Not that there's anything wrong with it, I'm just not that girl.
I'm a complete and utter boob (har) when it comes to women finding their own inner strength, though. This was one that had me happily crying and cheering on the last day, though, and I'm not ashamed to say I was bawling. :)
It's Day Three, I'd partially torn my Achilles the day before at mile 32 (of 60), and had my whole foot wrapped up to my shin. I'm still trying to keep my 10 minute mile pace, but recognizing that I probably won't be able to keep that up. I'm feeling down, because I had made a personal fitness goal, aside from the fund raising goal. We're about half-way through the final 20 miles, and I'm on a trail through a wooded part of the Trinity Forest with a group way out in front, and a single woman way behind me. After twenty minutes or so, I look back and the single walker is significantly closer. I speed up because - I'll admit - I'm competitive. I wanted to sail through, injuries and all!
Another twenty minutes or so go by, I'm keeping my pace, and I feel a tug on my elbow. It's the single walker. She's completely red in the face, but she's also smiling fit to beat the band. We start talking, and she tells me that she'd been trying to "catch me" since yesterday. She had just turned 45, she had NEVER EXERCISED BEFORE, and decided that the 3-Day would be a great way to kick start a physical fitness regime.
After I picked my jaw off the floor, she kept going. Her doctor had told her that she was severely out of shape, had too much body fat, yadda yadda. Something in her woke up and she was determined to change things. I kept asking her over and over, "You've never exercised before? Walking? Nothing?? Didn't you train for the 3-Day at least??"
"Nope, I never did."
She kept up with my pace for a good half hour, telling me about her sisters, all overweight and diabetic, her worries for the example she'd set for her daughter, and how THIS was going to change things. She would show her sisters and her daughter that it's never too late to care about yourself.
I'm not trying to brag on myself with this, but just stating a fact: out of 2600+ walkers, I never fell back further than the top 45 walkers. And this woman who had been in poor health, who had never owned a pair of exercise shoes before (!!!) laced up the Friday before and told herself to not quit. And my god, she didn't. We lost each other at a rest stop (I got my foot re-wrapped and filled my Gatorade) and I didn't see her again until the finish line.
I crossed over, elated, and immediately sat down. Then I saw more people crossing the line, so I jumped back up and cheered for them, as I had been cheered. About an hour later, guess who I saw beaming from ear to ear? My friend from earlier, in the top 100 finishers. And guess who was waiting for her? Her sisters and her daughter, jumping up and down, screaming encouragement in Spanish, wanting to rush past the barricade to grab her up in a bone-crunching squeeze.
I got to her, first. :) We both cried, and I told her how much of an inspiration she was to me. She showed me (and anyone else) that it is never too late to care! It's never too late to try and make a difference! If you are determined to do something, then by god, you can do it! I believe that with every fiber of my being.
No complaining, no whining, no buts! If a woman who never walked further than the sofa to the fridge, or from her car to her desk for 45 years can walk 60 miles in a weekend, and do it with panache, then there's nothing that can't be done. I KNOW that a cure will be found. (We're close!) I know that we, as a community of women (and some very loving men that read this journal) can lift each other help, support each other, build up each other's confidence to know that we CAN change things! I think this current political environment is testament to that. If enough people try, it will happen!
Now, I know that finances are tight (beyond tight for some of us.) Even if you can't give any money (and I'll take a dollar, I'm not proud!) please consider being a part of a 3-Day near you. Be a person that gives POSITIVE energy to the world around you. Be a person that LIFTS OTHERS UP, not finds excuses or arguments. Find a way to carry someone when they can't keep going, find a way to bring joy or happiness to someone. I think about Lois (my 45 year old first time walker friend) and realize that any complaint I may want to make... Lois didn't complain once, and you have to know how much pain she was in. But her sense of accomplishment washed all that away.
YOU CAN DO IT! More importantly WE CAN DO THINGS TOGETHER!
Don't forget to go to this post to give me names of loved ones you'd like for me to carry to the end of this journey!
And finally, in the words of Rod and Tod Flanders, "I've got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart! [Where?] Down in my heart! [Where?] Down in my heart!" Have a fabulous and safe Halloween, for those celebrating, and I'll have loads of picspam for you next week. DIG DEEP AND GIVE!!! <3 <3 <3