A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend, Marilyn, asked me if I wanted to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk in 2010. I didn't hesitate and said yes. I officially registered earlier this week. Then I had flashbacks from 2005. In 2005 I walked 60 miles in three days to raise awareness for breast cancer. It was an amazing event and something I will never forget.
I was flipping through my scrapbook looking at the 2005 walk and came across the letter I wrote the day after and wanted to share some of it with you all.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day/60 Mile walk has now come and gone. How was it? Hard. Very hard, but well worth every step. It was an amazing journey! I cried a lot, laughed a lot, learned a lot and walked a lot.
We started the journey at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning. The first day was the easiest - imagine that. We walked about 23 miles that first day - through the zoo and the beautiful trails in Eagan. Along the route we are inspired by the people cheering on the sidelines. They bring us popsicles and treats and thank us over and over for walking. Some are survivors. They follow us from cheer station to cheer station to keep us motivated. Incredible!
They did a revised opening ceremony that evening due to the rain in the morning. How emotional! Some of the walkers got up on stage to say why they walk. Some walk because they are survivors, some walk because they have lost somebody they love and some walk because they have been told they can no longer be treated and most likely won't be at the 2006 Breast Cancer Walk. Makes you feel guilty about complaining about the newest blister you realized you've gotten.
Day 2 - ugh, my feet are a little swollen and I've realized that I have a blister between by big toe and my second toe on each foot. My team (Fight Like A Girl) is off to a little slower start today. The pain and my emotions get the best of me. I broke down in tears thinking that I wouldn't be able to walk the remaining 10 miles of the day because of the blisters. My team swooped me up, found me some different band-aides, gave me some Motrin and I finished the day.
Day 3 - My feet feel pretty good and it's hard to believe it's day 3. We're all feeling pretty good and make it lunch at the 12.7 mile marker. We know we only have 5 miles left for the day before we reach the end. The balls of our feet are on fire, blisters start to hurt and your calf muscles are so tight, they've become numb. Be we've made it 55 miles. We cross the finish line to see the smiling faces of our friends and families. We just broke down in tears - so happy to see everybody, so happy, yet so sad to be done.
People have asked me - how do you keep walking? Why not jump into the sweep van to the next pit stop if you hurt so bad or get tired? Here are my reasons to keep walking when I could have given in:
*You look next to you and there is a elderly lady walking right next to you
*You look over and see somebody who has jut finished chemo treatment
*You look at the back of a walker's shirt and there is a picture of somebody that they are walking in memory for
*You look over and there is a girl who is 7 months pregnant walking with her mom who is now cancer free
*You walk because you have amazing teammates who you keep you motivated
*You walk because your Great-Grandmother, Grandmother and Aunt-In-Law are all survivors
*You walk because the 3 sisters on your team lost their mother to breast cancer 3 years ago
*You walk because you believe in a world without breast cancer

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

If you want to join our team, we would love to have you! Just leave me a message (as well as a way to contact you) in the comment section and I can fill you in with the details.


Jill said...

I remember this letter! You sent it out to us and I cried when reading it. It also inspired me to want to do this walk in the future. I had said I wanted to in 2010, so please keep me in mind for the future when you ladies want to do this again. I would LOVE us to be on a team together!

I'll donate to your team for sure, and will root you on, and KNOW you can do it!!!!

Swanson Family said...
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Swanson Family said...

I love this. I am so happy to have you to walk with. I am anxiously awaiting the training and of course the walk itself!

Thanks Leah!

Sara Wicht said...

Thank you for bringing back these wonderful memories. I remember receiving this after the 2005 event--an experience that has marked my life forever!! Congratulations to you for committing again!