Soon after the walk started I saw Barbara and Nancy. As usual they were walking at a pretty fast pace. I really wish that we had taken a minute to get a picture together since that would be the last time that I would see them during The 3-Day event.
We walked through some beautiful neighborhoods that I had never seen before. I loved seeing the older homes that were being restored into more modern homes. We walked past one home that had a stunning pumpkin patch on the corner of its lot. The pumpkins were so big and the mums really made it feel like Fall. Although I am certain the pumpkins were not there for us to sit on and take pictures, we couldn't help ourselves:
By lunchtime time we were all starting to get pretty tired. Also, happy that we were finally in downtown Dallas and closer to our goal. We started walking through Turtle Creek and I just took in the Fall day. The sun was shinning, the weather was not too warm, and I noticed the leaves had changed colors and were starting to fall. It was finally Fall in Dallas!
We walked to the American Airlines Center (home of the Dallas Mavericks) and the it was on The West End. Here is where we would have our last official cheering station. When we entered The West End, spectators were already lined up. But when we turned the corner, I don't think any of us were prepared for all of the people that we out there! I got the chance to see my family and Tanya again. Although my family had been a pretty quiet cheering group, they were finally really getting into the spirit of things. (I have a feeling that if they had been at a Notre Dame football game, it would have been a lot different!).
We continued walking past the Grassy Knoll, Deep Ellum and finally to Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park was the very last pit stop for the 3-day walk. We knew that from here we only had about 3 miles to the end.
I believe that it was during the last miles of the walk that I finally realized what I had done...I had really walked 60 miles! I kept saying to myself 'I can't believe I just walked 60 miles! I can't believe I just walked 60 miles!'. And then I began to think about what a statement myself and all of the other 3-Day Walkers were making...we were willing to take a stand for something that we believed in.
One of my biggest surprises came as I was walking into Fair Park, our final destination. I ended up meeting Team California. Team California is a wife and her husband who walk all (and yes, I mean ALL, each and every one) of the 3-Day events each year. She started walking when she was 60 years old, and she told me the Dallas 3-Day was her 110th walk! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
When I rounded the corner and I could actually see the end in site, I was moved beyond words. We each grabbed hands and began our victory walk in. Some of the Angels that had made it in before us were standing there cheering us on. It was at that moment that I could no longer hold back my emotions and I began to cry. I began to cry for so many reasons, reasons that I cannot even articulate here. I couldn't believe that I had been a part of something so much bigger than myself.
I saw a quote that said 'A perfect day is when you do something for someone else, and that they will never know you or what you did for them.' And that is what the 3-Day Walk was for me: committing to do something important to me but that would benefit someone that I will never know.
During the walk spectators constantly thanked us for walking. I felt so humbled because I was honored to be able to walk. To be able to participate in the walk had been a goal of mine for such a long, long time. What started out as something very personal for me has changed me in ways that I may never be able to tell others. The only thing that matters is that we are one step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer.