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!
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:
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.
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… 😉