You know what happens in just over three weeks? The 2009 3 Day Walk. Bet you didn’t even think I was doing it this year, huh? My bad.
The 3 Day started out as just a personal challenge to myself when I did for the first time 2005. I flew out to Boston and walked with an incredibly supportive group of friends. We walked from Nashua, NH, to the campus of MIT in Boston. If there’s one way to get to know a city/state, it’s gotta be walking 60 miles through it.
I walked a couple more years here in Minneapolis, which involved things like two trips to Urgent Care in one day after the walk had ended or shaving my head after raising $5000 with the help of so many other people. To say participating in The 3 Day has changed my life is nothing short of the truth.
Last year, Jenni and I commandeered a 15-passenger van as part of the Sweep Team. We knew we needed a physical break from walking, but I knew there was no way I could avoid participating somehow in this event. On the day before the event actually happened, one of our co-captains pulled us aside and let us know how awesome we were. We spent the next three days trying to figure out what we were doing that made us so awesome and when it was all said and done, I’m pretty sure we didn’t care. We just knew what we’d done over the course of the past three days was awesome. So incredibly awesome.
We spent 14 hour days driving back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth) along the route the walkers were on, making sure they were hydrated, medically sound enough to keep on walking, and, above all, reassuring them that every single step they were taking was making a difference. No way was it as physically exhausting as walking – not even close. Mentally? It was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. One person we’d encounter could be a breast cancer survivor having the best day of her life, because she was just able to walk five miles before she needed us to pick her up. The next person could be someone in tears because they’d let down everyone that has sponsored them. When the walk was over and there were walkers that recognized us, thanked us, and told them we really helped them, that’s when I knew I had to jump behind the wheel of that 15 passenger van again.
Breast cancer continues to affect so many people in my life both directly and indirectly. It’s a disease that doesn’t care how caring someone is or how supportive they are of The 3 Day; it doesn’t care how many kids a person has or how young someone might be. I honestly believe that breast cancer is something we can cure. If I didn’t honestly believe that, I wouldn’t have spent the last five years walking 180+ miles, recruiting dozens of people to join in the cause, raising over $10,000 myself to support the cause, and continue to beg for donations each and every year.
This year’s event will be held August 21-23. If you’re in the Minneapolis, be on the lookout for a large van driven by two sleep-deprived 30-somethings. We’ll have it all decked out to match our “Vegas or BUST” theme and would love to see you out there supporting the walkers, too.
Thanks so much for anything you can donate. We can make a difference. We can find a cure. We just need a little help from you in doing it.
Please let me know if you have any questions at all. You know I’ll be more than happy to answer them.