A Fantastic DC Walk!!

There is no denying that the parallels between the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Walk and childbirth are inescapable. Of course, anytime you put 1,900 women into the same community, that kind of observation is bound to pop up, but that does nothing to alter its validity.

Take training. Twenty-four weeks of walking, fitness training and preparation. It may not be 39 weeks of gestation,  but all one’s efforts are aimed at preparation for the big event. Blisters, muscle pulls, fatigue all have their pregnancy parallels.

But enough of that…the walk was fantastic. Once we hit the holding pen before the Closing Ceremony, the cold, fatigue and aches faded and all that was left was the ecstatic feeling of having completed the walk, of having spent three days with a group of strong, committed women (and men)  helping to bring an end to breast cancer throughout the world. There were tough moments, both physically and emotionally, but it was a phenomenal experience.

On Friday we arrived for the Opening Ceremony at 5:30, It was dark and cold, but the Washington Nationals Stadium was buzzing. We dropped our bags at the trucks to be ferried to the camp. Everything was clearly well organized. As we were waiting for the opening, the crowd hit large pink and white beach balls around and there was lots of excitement and enthusiasm. It was very festive. The Opening Ceremony was brief, but moving and, after the ceremony, we were under way. Friday we walked around D.C  proper and saw the sights. It was the fantastic sightseeing tour I had anticipated it would be.  In the afternoon we headed up to Chevy Chase and Bethesda. We finished walking and got to camp about 6. Once at camp, we found our luggage and set up our cute pink tent. (Actually, we had some volunteer help which was a godsend). After a warm shower and dinner, we hit the sleeping bags.

 Saturday was a complete killer. We were under way at 7:30 and walked up around Germantown. Twenty-three miles of walking and they found every up hill in Maryland. It was uncanny that there were no down hills. After a very long day, we hit camp at 6:30. Dinner and a shower were on the agenda. The wait for the showers was 45 minutes, but the hot water was revivifying. We went to sleep knowing Sunday would be a piece of cake. They bussed us back down to the Bethesda area first thing Sunday. We only had 15 miles and we knew we would be back in D.C. We had perfect weather for all three days and Sunday was a celebration of all the miles we had covered. The last few miles were tough on Sunday as they had us loop through the downtown even though we had the Washington Monument in our sights the whole time. It was worth it because Closing Ceremony was a gorgeous late afternoon at the foot of the monument.  

 There were moments of great sadness. The stories of the survivors and the families and friends of survivors walking in memory of those they loved and lost are heartbreaking. There were the three burly guys and their sister walking in memory of their mother. They walk every year. That sadness was harder to take than the physical pain of sore feet and aching hips and knees. One blog I have found which illustrates the stories is http://mybiggirlpants.blogspot.com/2010/10/susan-g-komen-3-day-for-cure.html. It is worth checking out.

 There were also moments of great fun. The crazy outfits for both walkers and crew, the decorated tents, the kindness and support extending from everyone and the supporters lining sidewalks and corners shouting encouragement with their own crazy signs and outfits. These all created an atmosphere of celebration and joy.

And there were moments which will in our memories forever: lying in our tent at night cuddled up in sleeping bags feeling each little twinge or giant pain from the day’s miles, the rows of colorful pink tents in twilight, waiting in line for a hot shower in the port-a-showers, holding hands as we walked along, the rows of welcome port-a-potties and enjoying lunch under the shade with thousands of other walkers, the beauty and monumental buildings of Washington, D.C. These memories will stay with us forever.

Also not to be forgotten is the amazing support we have received from so many people. It is fantastic to have raised over $15,000 to fight and end breast cancer. We have many people to thank for their generous giving and financial support. It made the days and days devoted to training and making this walk worthwhile. And the many, many notes and expressions of support will always be remembered. We knew we had a legion of friends and supporters making the walk spiritually with us. What a tremendous gift to have.

And I would also like to thank my team mate–the other Bobbie’s Girl. I am so very lucky and blessed to have such a delightful, inteligent and beautiful daughter who is so loving and thoughtful. It was so tremendous spending time with my girl and I think we held hands for half the walk. Aside from all the other gifts associated with this undertaking, being with Ellie was the best gift of all.

Will we walk again? Can we face all that training? If we walk, will we find the same amazing support from family and friends? Can it be as good yet again? These are all big questions in my mind. Only time will answer these questions, but I am so glad to have done this walk and I won’t forget all that it has meant no matter what the future brings.

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2 Comments to “A Fantastic DC Walk!!”

  1. Jenny your walk with Ellie and your writing about it has given me a new insight into the impact Susan Korman’s Breast Cancer Walks have. I’ll be thinking about you when i do the simple 5 k walk in Florida next spring.
    Love and Congratulations to you both 🙂
    Dawn

  2. Congratulations to Bobbie’s Girl’s… what an outstanding accomplishment..and inspiration..on so many levels. Thank you for youe commitment and leadership in raising money to fund this critical research.. and reminding me that, yes, we can make a difference, one step at a time… and that together, holding hands, we can make even more of a difference!! With warmest thoughts, Sara

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