The 3 Day Walk

What can I say about The 3 Day?  If you have seen my pictures on Facebook or Flickr than you know most of what I want to talk about.  So… sorry for the repeats.  But there are some things I want to talk about that I don’t have pictures for.

It was really an amazing three days.  I was worried because of my back pain from earlier in the week.  It did affect my walking, and I wasn’t able to walk ALL 60 miles, but I got most of it.  The first day started strong.  After opening ceremonies, we were off and walking.  It was about 7:30 in the morning.  The morning was actually quite chilly, so I had my jacket on for the first couple of miles, but once the sun was really up, it felt a lot hotter than it was.  And yes, I got sunburned. 

It was really cool to see how many people were actually doing the walk, and it was even more cool to see how many people came out to cheer us on.  All weekend long people lined the streets. Many had cold water for us.  Some had Otter Pops, candy, chocolate, or fruit.  Girl Scouts came out to cheer for us and give us cards that said thank you.  One guy in Scottsdale handed out Trivial Pursuit cards (which at first we thought was kind of odd, but then we started reading the questions to each other and it was very entertaining. When some other walkers passed us, we traded cards so we had new questions. I thought it was a lot of fun!). Some people handed out buisness-like cards with someone’s name on it and a thank you for walking for that person and in honor of that person.  I saw one woman passing out water who was obviously in the middle of chemo.  She had no hair and she was very emotional as we walked and she yelled her thanks to us.  It was also very emotional for us to walk by her.  Some of the people lined up on the street carried signs or dressed up.  Some people drove by, honking and yelling.  It’s now ingrained in me to wave whenever I hear a car horn honk.  The people driving by over and over had signs and balloons… as one car so proudly announced, they were “Walker Stalkers”.  It made it easier to walk.  Really!
Save Our Boobs!

There were about five Pit Stops each day that had water and Gatorade for us to refill our water bottles with, food for us to snack on, a medical tent to take care of our blistered feet and aching knees, and, of course, tons and tons of port-a-potties. I’ll tell ya, after three days of using nothing but port-a-potties and hand wipes, I sure LOVE my flushing toilet and my sink with warm water and soap!!

We walked through many cities: Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Guadalupe, Awatukee, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. We walked on busy roads and through quiet neighborhoods. They all knew we were coming, and the turnout was amazing. Some people met us at several Pit Stops. They dressed up and were very entertaining. We walked by a lot of schools. On Friday, when school was in session, we were met by students and teachers, all wearing pink, who were cheering like mad. I don’t know if some of those kids really knew what we were doing, but it sure felt good to have that support. We went by this school on a Saturday, and while no one was there, I loved the support they still gave:
Middle School Support

At another middle school, where we had a pit stop, the cheerleaders were there for hours on end on a Saturday, wearing their bras on the outside of their uniforms, and cheering for us as we walked into the pit stop. Cheers like, “Big or small… Save them all!” and “1,2,3… Shake your boobie!”

It’s funny because normally I’m not the type to talk about certain parts of your body. I think I’m a pretty modest person, but I’m not a prude. I just don’t talk about it. And I told Ches very early in our marriage and I hate the word “boobies”. But being on the walk, well, you kind of just throw all that out the window. Walkers were wearing bras on their shirts or as hats. Walkers and crew members made fake boobs and wore them on their shirts or as a hat (sorry, I didn’t get any pictures of that). Teams had names like “Los Bombas”, “Breast Man Walking”, “Thanks for the Mammories”, “Tough Titties”, “Save the Ta-tas”, and “Walking for Boobs”. There is no being modest here. It’s all about the boobs! 🙂

The first day, once I was back in camp, I went to the shower trailer to take my shower. I had ordered the towel service, which meant instead of bringing my own towel and hoping it would dry, I was given two fresh towels each morning and each evening. It’s great… except that the towels are a little small. And the showers, while on a trailer, aren’t that private. So there I am, overweight, self-concious about stretchmarks and such, and trying to be modest while I dressed, but my towels were falling and I was frustrated. Finally I said out loud, “Man! There is just no being modest here is there??” The lady next to me chuckled and said, “This is your first walk, isn’t it?” I guess I gave it away! Heh. Anyway, the second day, I got on the trailer, took my shower, and when I was drying and dressing, I didn’t care about how naked I was. I realized that just as I wasn’t watching anyone else, no one else was watching me. AND it wasn’t like I was the only one there who was overweight or had obvious scars from having children. The women on this walk were definitely of all shapes and sizes. We weren’t there to compare perfect bodies. We were there to fight breast cancer!!

Camp was a cool place. There was the sleeping section, which was just a sea of pink tents. Then there was the eating area… it was one giant tent with tons and tons of long tables. The stage was set up there and we got entertainment the first night, then a kaorake contest. The second night we got to hear the stories of a couple of walkers, then watched a video made by the son of the founder of the Susan G. Komen foundation. This guy is Susan G. Koman’s nephew, and this year was his first year to do the 3 Day Walk, which he did in Chicago. After all the emotions of that night, there was a dance party (I went to bed to ice my knee, however). Another section of camp was kind of like a marketplace. Our sponsers (La Croix, New Balance, and Pepperidge Farms) each had a tent there for us to visit and relax and shop, as well as a tent to buy “Official 3 Day Gear”, a Post Office, and the “3 Day Cafe”, which had snacks for us to grab. That was a fun place to hang out and relax at night. The medical tent was a huge area with different sections for self-help (blisters), chiropractic care, sports therapists, and a section for the really serious injuries.Camp

Then there was the Remebrance tent. Outside of this tent were small white tents which were the same size as the pink tents we were sleeping in… one for each city that held a walk. All the previous tents were written on by the participants of that city, except for the San Diego tent. Their walk is this weekend. The Arizona tent was inside a large tent. This tent held pictures of women who had been walkers and crew members but have lost their battle with breast cancer. There were journals for us to write our thoughts in. It was very moving, and not one person walked out of there with a dry eye.

Well, this post is far too long. To be continued… 😉

So Brave!

I am so proud of myself! I was just at the store, buying some milk, when the grocery checker asked if I’d like to donate a dollar for the Race for the Cure. I said, “No, I’m doing the 3 Day Walk in November, so I’m putting my money for that.” The checker imediately knew what I was talking about and said, “Oh, don’t you have to raise like, $2200?” I replied, “Yes, exactly. Sooooo… would you like to donate towards my goal?” And she said YES!!!!!!!! I got brave and threw it out there, and she said yes!! So I gave her my online information and talked to her for a minute (turns out she’s a breast cancer survivor and is donating money “all over town” to people. Heh.) and now I feel really, really good.

I’ve got less than a month and a half and a loooooong way to go. You can still donate, too! Click here. Tell your friends and family. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month or something. Why not celebrate by helping me reach my goals?! Remember, if I don’t raise that money, I don’t get to walk. While the purpose of the walk isn’t for me to walk, it’s for me to raise as much money as I can, I really want to be able to walk. I can’t do it without you!!  Together, we can make a difference!

Early Detection

I just wanted to add my prayers to the millions of other people for Christina Applegate who recently announced her battle with breast cancer. Three weeks ago she had a double mastectomy and says she is 100% cancer free. YAY! Christina (yeah, I’m on a first name basis with her. Gotta problem with that??) is only 36, which seems awfully young, but because of her family history she has been diligent in her checkups and such, and through early detection was able deal with this at a very early stage.

You all know that I am doing the 3 Day Walk here in Arizona to raise money for research for a cure. I have learned quite a bit since becoming involved in this cause. Breast cancer does not know age. At my Getting Started meeting, I was told stories of women of all ages who were diagnosed with breast cancer. I think the youngest was 19 (don’t quote me on this, however). Breast cancer is not just for old women, so waiting to get a mammogram at age 50 or whatever should NOT be an option, especially if you have any risk factors. My grandmother had breast cancer, so while my likelihood of getting breast cancer isn’t as great as say, my own mother’s, I also know she was not the first in the family.  It is still important for me to be checking. Breast cancer also just isn’t for women. According to the Susan G. Komen website, 1.4 of 100,000 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. It may not seem like a lot (especially in comparison with the 124 out of 100,000 women), but I just want to let you know it IS there. Breast cancer is a very real thing, not just something that happens to other people… to old women that we don’t know.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw out that my thoughts and prayers are with Christina Applegate and her family as well as a number of other people that are fighting this disease in one way or another. It’s refreshing to hear such a positive outcome of a scary situation, and I love that Christina has kept a good sense of humor and a positive outlook.

Oh, and I’m desperately needing donations for my 3 Day Walk!  My goal is $3000, and so far I have raised $550.  I have a long way to go, I know.  You can donate online or you can send in a check.  Go here, to my personal site, to do just that.  Thanks!!

They Make Me Run Fast, Like Dash!

After dinner, scripture reading, and family prayer, the boys were just bouncing off the walls, so Ches said “Get your shoes on.  We’re going outside.”  He took the boys to the playground across the street.  I headed upstairs to the computer to finally get a turn without someone begging to play Marble Blast Gold or Word Twist.  First, I checked on my personal page at the3day.org, then just as I logged in to Facebook, the phone rang.

It was Ches.  “You should go to Payless and get yourself some new shoes so you can get back to training for your walk.”

Big pause.

“Huh? Now?”  I was so confused because we haven’t even talked about me getting new shoes in a while, and this just seemed to come randomly out of nowhere.

“Yeah, I mean, I know there isn’t much time, but you can go if you want.  You don’t have to.  Whatever.”  Ches was so nonchalant about the whole thing.  I was still confused and I don’t think anything comprehensible came out of my mouth at that point.

“Well, I don’t mean to interrupt your computer time,” Ches continued.  “I just thought you’d like to get yourself some new running shoes.  Just don’t bankrupt us.”

So I headed to Payless.  Now, I know I’m not going to get any top of the line cross trainers there, but I know I could find SOMETHING that should last for a little while, at least.  I tried on several cute pairs (that weren’t so cute once they got on my ugly feet), and I tried on some pink runners (I really, really want pink runners for my walk!  I just think it’s appropriate, don’t you??), but I didn’t like the way they felt.  Finally, I tried on some cute, lime green Champions.  They breathe well, fit well, and didn’t rub any part of my feet in any odd way.  Oh, and they were on sale, so they only cost $9.70!!!  How awesome is that????  

I showed my new, awesome, cute, cheap, fun shoes to Ches, and he smiled and said, “How girly.”

But they aren’t the pink ones!!!  🙂

We’re In! (And Other Randomness)

So we’re in the house.  yay!  We still have boxes everywhere and it feels super chaotic here, but that will sort it out soon enough.  The kitchen is a lot smaller than my last few kitchens, so I’m trying to get it all set comfortably for me.  That’s probably the hardest job right now.  At least we have an actual pantry here.

*****

Dallin is having the hardest time adjusting.  The first couple of days he kept saying he wanted to go home now, and when we said “But this is our home now” he would start to cry and yell, “No!  It’s not home!”  He’s doing better, and last night was the first night he didn’t wake up screaming and freaking out in the middle of the night.

*****

We got our phone and internet hooked back up on Tuesday.  It’s nice to feel connected to the world again, even if all the phone calls we’ve received are from telemarketers.

*****

My stepmom’s father passed away last weekend.  The viewing is tomorrow and the funeral is Saturday.  I feel awful that we can’t be there, all because of the price of gas.  Lancaster is definitely within a day’s drive from here, so it would be do-able, but we just plain don’t have the money.  Money sucks.

What’s that quote?  Something like, “Money only matters to those that don’t have it.”  How true that is.

*****

We rented some movies recently with a gift card a friend gave us.  We read about the story of Noah and the ark for Family Home Evening on Monday, then planned to watch “Evan Almighty”, but the kids were horrible and we sent them to bed.  Ches and I watched the movie.  It was really cute.  Definitely good for a family.  Steve Carrell is hilarious.  I’m really starting to enjoy his work (I’ve ever really watched him before and no, I don’t watch “The Office”.  Flame me later for that, ‘kay?).  I especially liked the scene where Evan starts telling God that this isn’t in his plans, then he tells God what all his plans were and God starts laughing.  It made me think of one of my favorite quotes:  “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  It has certainly held true in my life.

At the end of the movie I told Ches,”I sure hope God is like Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of God.  He’s kind, loving, and really funny.  I’d like to think that is was God is really like.”  Both of these “Almighty” movies (Evan and Bruce) just make me happy to have some faith.  Probably silly, but still.  That’s just me.

*****

In case anyone was wondering… yes, it is hot here.  And yes, it’s going to get hotter.  How do we stand it?  We have air conditioning.  And we drink lots of water.  And eat lots of ice cream and Otter Pops.

*****

I’m all signed up for The 3 Day walk.  I’m working on my personal page (I thought it was all set up, but I guess not).  You can visit it at http://08.the3day.org/goto/Sariah.Sharp 

Feel free to make a donation online, or just keep up with my progress.  I’ll be keeping a blog there, as well as on my personal fitness/weight loss blog (“So Long, Fatty!”) that will mark most of my journey through training and fundraising.

*****

Ches just told me that some friends of ours who are moving to Wisconsin are loading their truck tonight.  I didn’t think they were leaving until next week!!  Anyway, looks like we’ll be driving out to Tempe tonight.  Aiden has to at least say goodbye to Carter!

*****

I’m thinking of setting up an email account for Aiden.  He has enough long-distance friends now.  He loves letters — both giving and receiving — but is horrible about sitting down and actually writing.  He loves being on the computer, though.  I don’t know.  He’s only 5, but if I monitor it well, maybe it could be a good thing?  I don’t know.  I keep going back and forth on this.

*****

Well, back to unpacking and such.  Fun fun fun.  😛