Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Day 3--Finally!

I know everyone has probably been on pins and needles waiting to hear the synopsis of the last day of my 3-Day adventure. :) I honestly haven't been very motivated lately, but tonight I'm finally going to try to finish my exciting story. Maybe the problem was that it really wasn't very exciting.

Day 3
Sunday began in the warehouse where we had slept, when someone's alarm went off at 4:00 a.m., even though there was no place to shower, dress, etc., and buses weren't supposed to come get us until 5:00. I'm not sure what people are thinking sometimes. After struggling to sleep for another hour, we packed up our sleeping bags and went to sit in line for almost 90 minutes. Ugh. They couldn't take us back to camp because there was still so much lightning in the area. We finally got back on the bus for the ride back to camp, but when we arrived, there was all this crazy traffic and a couple of vehicles stuck in the mud. Our bus couldn't get through the traffic, nor would the driver let us off the bus because the door was on the wrong side of the road. After sitting in the same spot for over 30 minutes, the driver was finally able to turn around, but then the "organizers" wouldn't let her drive us up to camp. We exited the bus and walked the almost half mile up a hill to our tents, which were filled with about an inch of water. At that point, I was actually very thankful for the concrete floor of the warehouse!

Thankfully, I had followed the packing instructions provided and had placed all of my clothing in plastic bags, and also packed a tarp to cover my suitcase. Although it still got a little damp, everything inside was dry, thankfully! Unfortunately, unless we wanted to stand in water, we had to go get dressed in port-a-potties. Ugh again. As soon as I was dressed, we heard the announcement--the route would be CLOSING in 45 minutes. This meant that we had to pack our stuff, take down our tents, eat our breakfast, and get on the road before it closed, or else we would be bused to lunch and not allowed to walk at all (they want to make sure everyone is finished in plenty of time for closing ceremonies). I kicked it into high gear and made it on the course with about 15 minutes to spare, although I left Cindy and Carla at camp in order to do so. They ended up starting their walk just minutes before the route closed at 8:45!

I think the obstacles of the morning only increased my determination to walk that day. I took off at a quick pace, caught up with a woman who walking at a good clip, and we began talking, walking, and passing people left and right! It was the first day that the route was really crowded, but also the first day that the weather was actually cool. The temperature had dropped at least 20 degrees overnight and the cloud cover made it almost chilly. We got sprinkled on from time to time, but thankfully there were no significant showers.

Just before we got to the lunch stop, I lost my walking partner Stacy, who didn't want to continue as such a fast pace. A 57-year-old woman named Regina took her place, and she was all about getting finished ASAP, which was right up my alley! Regina had also left her team behind the day before, citing slow walking and general crankiness. We were on a mission to the finish line, so after a quick lunch, we took off again and powered through the pit stops and remaining cheering stations. By the time we arrived on the grounds of the Liberty Memorial it was right around 2:00, but since there were only 70+ people who had finished ahead of us, it was honestly rather anticlimactic. There were a few crew members to cheer us across the finish line, but there were very few spectators. I had invited Mom and Chad to be there at 5:00 for opening ceremonies, since I had no idea that spectators were even allowed before then. While I felt great physically, it was a little lonely emotinally! The nice thing was that I was able to relax and cheer on the hundreds of other walkers as they came across the finish line, which was an emotional experience for many. It was great to be there for Carla and Cindy, who walked the entire day without getting "swept", despite Carla's blisters and sore hip.

The closing ceremonies were definitely emotional, as we were able to see how many of the women we had been walking with for the last 3 days were actually breast cancer survivors (donning the pink shirts). The youngest survivor who walked was 29. The oldest was 65. It just reinforced the fact that this horrible disease affects women of all ages, from all walks of life. While I wouldn't say that the 3-day was the most emotional or physically challenging thing I've done in my life, I still definitely think it is a worthwhile and important event. You can't argue with $2.8 million raised--by the K.C. walkers alone. When next year rolls around, if I'm still physically able, I'll probably do it all over again. It's a great way to honor my mom and the 200,000 other women who will be diagnosed this year, and it definitely makes me feel like I'm doing my part to help eradicate this deadly disease.

For more pictures of the event, view my pictures on Shutterfly.com!

1 comment:

CW said...

If you decide to do the 3-day again, I'll be cheering you on (again) from the relative comfort of the cheering stations.

Congrats again on your dedication!