Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Tampa 3 Day for the Cure Walk

By now everyone who knows me knows that the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure is 'just my thing'. Who knew that walking 60 miles over 3 days would be something that I would enjoy doing?

This year I decided to walk in Tampa and Dallas. Although I knew the walks were back to back weekends (yes, that means walking 120 miles over the course of 10 days), I don't think I realized that I would have so much going on in my life right before the Tampa walk (the last week of classes for my masters program and ending a seven month work assignment). Nonetheless, I was looking forward to each and every step! I walked in Tampa with three friends from my Dallas 3 Day team, Angels for the Cure. In the end, I can't think of three better people to have shared this 120 mile journey with.
Getting ready to leave for Opening Ceremony

Day 1 of the walk started with rain although it would take a lot more than rain to dampen our spirits...we came too far for rain to keep us inside! The first day of the walk was beautiful walking in the Clearwater area. The spectators were pretty awesome too!

After a good first day of walking, we headed into camp to set up our tents for the night. Unfortunately the cot I rented to sleep on didn't have all of its parts, and I ended up sleeping on a pile of sleeping bags for comfort. Once I was able to get comfortable I was able to drift right off to sleep.

Our tents

Day 2 of the walk also started with a little rain, and some fatigue. Sleeping on sleeping bags didn't allow for the most comfortable night of sleep that I've ever had. One of the bright spots of the day was meeting Judy, one of my 'I've never met before Facebook friends'. Judy and I 'met' through a mutual 3 Day and Facebook friend Barbara (who I actually have met - long story - although Judy has never met Barbara in person) and had hopes of meeting up during the walk. Judy found me by the pink sock monkey that was attached to my fanny pack. We were able to talk and walk for several miles which helped the time to pass.

The Day 2 scenery was as equally beautiful as the day before, yet my tootsies were beginning to say 'Do you really think we can walk the next 80 miles ahead of us?'. I was beginning to have my own doubts too. By time I got to camp, I knew the tent wasn't going to work for me. I ended up getting a hotel room for the night which certainly helped! I asked my teammates to join me, but they wanted to stay to camp.

Day 3 was met with much excitement since it meant that half of our 120 mile journey would be completed! The four of us took our time and just enjoyed the walk. Although our happiest moment was probably seeing the sign that said we were one mile from holding also known as the end of the walk!

1 mile to go!
Walking Tampa was an awesome and emotional experience that I will never forget. It started with seeing a male survivor at Opening Ceremony in the Survivors Circle, all of the people I encountered during the three days, and ended knowing that I helped to create awareness for breast cancer education and finding a cure.
Finished with our 3 Day shirts

On the flight home, I couldn't help but think 'The Dallas 3 Day Walk is in 4 days...can I do this again???'

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some of you might know that for the past 18 months I have been pursuing my Master's in Education. Well I'm happy to say that I am finished!

Interesting thing is that I actually completed my last course a month ago. Two days after my last class I was on a plane to Tampa to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk. Once I returned from that walk, four days later I was participating in the Dallas 3 Day Walk. And the day after that walk was finished, I was on a plane for business reasons to Jacksonville, FL and then on to Chicago, IL. Whew! I hope you're getting the idea that my life kept moving once my last course was completed!

Well, yesterday is when it all hit me. As I was going through weeks worth of mail (remember all of the travel), a good friend who lives into another state sent me a congratulations card for completing my degree (when she asked for an updated address a few weeks ago, I never thought about why she asked). I was blown away that she even knew I had completed my degree (maybe I mentioned it on Facebook?) and the kind words that she shared with me.

Also in the stack of packages was my actual diploma. Once I opened the package and looked at my diploma, all of the emotions from the past 18 months came flooding forward: happiness (that I was finally finished!), sadness (for the relationships that suffered during that time), and exhaustion (from the long hours of studying, the late nights, and balancing a demanding career that has lots of travel). But mainly I was proud of myself for achieving something that was important to me and the sacrifices I made along the way to achieve my goal. There were so many times that I just wanted to crawl in my bed and give up. In the end, I'm glad that I didn't.

So, you might be thinking 'What's next?'. Right now I'm just going to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family, walk the Las Vegas Rock 'n Roll 1/2 marathon next week with family and friends, and then go to Hawaii at the end of December for some rest and relaxation!

We'll see what 2012 has in store for me...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November NaBloPoMo

What better way to revive my blog than to participate in NaBloPoMo for November!

My few dedicated followers already know that I have been pretty busy the past 18 months working on my masters degree. I am happy to report that I have finally obtained it! Hopefully now I will have more time to focus on blogging which is something that I have always wanted to do. Please be patient as I find my voice and the focus for my blog. At the very least hopefully you'll find some entertaining stories to make you laugh!

Well, here's to the next 30 days of blogging to get me back on track!