Thursday, September 18

3 Days, 60 Miles and $86 Million

I walked the walk this past weekend and have the blistered feet to prove it. It's hard to believe that all those months of training and fundraising are over. It was an amazing event. I have never experienced anything else like it.

Imagine more than 3,200 women and men dressed in pink (including a lifetime of wonderfully bizarre pink and breast-related accessories) pounding the pavement of the neighborhoods and city streets. Along with the walkers was the unstoppable crew. They were out there every day with us, helping us cross busy streets, cheering us on, feeding us,
giving us water, helping us fix our blisters and aching bodies and basically keeping us all going. Their outfits were even more outrageous than ours.
One of my favorites: The Texas Cowbelles. These two women dressed themselves and their convertible VW bug like cows. They drove up and down the route honking their horn and cheering. They'd stop along the route and do the same. They also lined the entire route with cow jokes. My personal favorite: Why do cows use bells?.......Because their horns don't work! My other favorite was the crewman who was part of the motorcycle gang. Not only was he decked out, but his motorcycle sported a pair of tatas over its headlight. Hilarious.

We started out before the crack of dawn on Friday. We walked a little more than 20 miles until we got to Marymoor Park, our camp for the event. Thousands of pink tents scattered the park along with a circus-like tent, shower trucks and little shops for us to use and peruse (one of the sponsors set up a spot for us to sit and use cool foot massaging machines). The second day we walked a big loop around Redmond and Kirkland. I actually cut the second day a little short. My feet developed some pretty monstrous blisters (I have pictures but I'll save you from that nastiness. I'll just show you the pic of my taped feet) - they were so awesome that my team members and I even named them. The biggest one was Henry VIII. Sadly for him, he was beheaded (lanced)....twice. The last day we were bussed over to Seattle and walked from the UW campus to Green Lake, down to the water/Gasworks Park and then around the city until we made it to Seattle Center. Coming into the end of the course was unreal. People lined the sidewalks and cheered us all across the finish line. When we finally walked into the stadium for closing ceremonies, the place was packed! Thousands of people were in the stands applauding. Felt like a rock star or something.

Even more memorable than the rock star vibes were the people I met over the weekend. I walked a couple miles with a woman who's fighting her second battle with breast cancer - she had a mastectomy 21 days ago and was still there walking with us. One woman completed the entire first day on crutches. A family whose mother had walked the 3-Day for years decided to take up her mantle after she passed away from breast cancer in May. One group we lovingly dubbed the "Whoop Whoops" (because of a contagious cheer they shouted with pride - it included hand movements too)....I ended up walking at about the same pace and they did. It was a group of friends who rallied around an inspiring woman (a breast cancer survivor). Many of them flew into Seattle specifically to walk with (and for) her. They kept me going for miles. And my new friend Makida who happens to live down here near me. She and I met up as we walked and really found a great kinship. So many great, kind, motivated people all focused on one find a cure and an end to breast cancer.

Thanks to everyone who supported me in this event....whether through funds, letters, e-mails, text messages or in person (thanks dad!). I literally could not have done it without you.
Now, as my feet heal up and my muscles relax I'm trying to decide if I'm going to join the crew next year (there's a crew that dresses up like pirates -- yarrrrr) or if I'll hit the pavement for a full 60 miles. Good times.