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???'


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