Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 Dallas 3 Day Walk

The night before every 3 Day Walk is kinda like the night before Christmas for me. There is so much excitement, anticipation, and anxiousness for what the next three days will bring! I was feeling a lot of anxiousness since I had just walked in Tampa the previous weekend, and I didn't know if I would be able to walk all of the miles in Dallas. I was excited to walk in Dallas with my team, Angels for the Cure, and my friend (and first time walker!) Adrianne.

Adrianne and I arrived at Opening Ceremony and it was cold! But like the rain in Tampa couldn't dampen my spirit, neither could the cold temperatures in Dallas. There was so much excitement in the air! We took pictures, danced and waited for Opening Ceremony to begin. Four members of my team participated in Opening Ceremony which was really awesome!

One of my team members in the Survivors Circle

Walking out from Opening Ceremony there were so many people there to support and and cheer everyone on! The spectators in Dallas really come out, especially with the first day being a Friday. The schools are kind and they allow the students to come out to cheer us on. The angel wings we wear are always a hit with the kids (heck, even the adults too!).

When we arrived at camp I was able to show Adrianne around since we wouldn't be spending the night at camp. I'm not a camper and neither is Adrianne, so we opted to stay at the Crowne Plaza. We ate dinner at camp and then headed to our 'camp' for the night. Just the thought of a comfortable bed was all that I needed!

Day 2 started nice and early for us. We arrived at camp in time to have breakfast and talk to other walkers. One of the walkers shared a story with us about the fall he had on Day 1 (very soon this will become quite coincidental). From the scrapes he had on his head I could tell it was a painful fall. Yet he was there to walk on behalf of his wife who was fighting breast cancer. As Adrianne and I left camp, I was was talking to her when I decided to walk right off the track we were walking on and took a tumble myself! I hit the ground hard,and thankfully I aimed for the grass and not the track we were walking on. As I lay there I was silently praying that nothing was broken since I put my hand out to brace my fall (I know, bad move!). My right hand was in a lot of pain, yet I could kind of slowly bend my fingers and move my hand and wrist so I knew nothing was broken. I decided to forgo seeing Medical (I had miles to walk and wasn't going down over being clumsy!) and keep pressing on.

Adrianne was beginning to feel some of the affects from walking Day 1. She wanted to walk slower which was fine with me since I was starting on mile 80 of my 120 mile journey (in a weird way I think my painful hand helped me forget about my sore tootsies). Thankfully I had some personal spectators in the crowd today! My friends Tanya and Claire came out with fabulous signs and smiles to cheer us on.
Adrianne, Clare, and Tanya
As the day progressed on, we were moving slower and slower and I started worrying about staying on pace with the route time. Adrianne started experiencing blisters that she had been self treating but wanted to go to Medical to have them treat them. I encouraged her to take one of the sweep vans to go to the next Pit Stop and gain us some time on the route. But by time I made it to the Pit Stop, she decided she was done walking for the day. I decided to continue on since it was important to me to walk all 120 miles. So I set off to finish the remaining 10 miles. During the 3 Day one is never walking alone, and I met up with some other walkers to finish out the day. Then it was off to the Crowne Plaza for a hot shower and a good nights sleep!

Day 3 started and I knew we were in for a long day. My body was starting to feel like it had walked 100 miles and Adrianne's blisters were giving her lots of problems. Thankfully we only had 15 miles to walk (ok, I know that's still a loooong distance!) and I knew we could get through it. I did meet an amazing man, Jim, who is walking all 14 cities this year! Yes, that means 840 miles....unbelievable!!! So when I want to complain about anything, I just think about Jim and what he is accomplishing one step at a time.
The amazing Jim!
As we continued walking Adrianne and her tootsies were not doing well. She decided to take a sweep van and I would met her at lunch. We fueled up and decided we had plenty of time to walk leisurely to make it in. As always it is such a wonderful feeling to see that there is only one mile left to go!

1 mile to go! I can hardly believe that I have walked 120 miles!
We made it to Fair Park and then waited for the rest of the team to make it in. Then a big group of us walked in together. I can never explain what a wonderful feeling it is to walk into holding. This year it was a mix of emotions for me: I thought about all of the people I met during the 3 Day, actually walking 120 miles, the survivors that I walk for, the people frightening this disease that I will never know, and just doing something amazing to make a difference!

In case you're wondering, yes I am going to walk next year AND I have already signed up. I've already decided that I will only walk one city. Stay tuned to see which city that will be!


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