Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The two day breast cancer walk I participated in this past weekend was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, as well as one of the hardest and most exhausting. I was actually a bit surprised by how emotional I got over the weekend.
I am not a very emotional person and I do not like people to see me cry, but I was brought to tears several times throughout the weekend and not only sad tears but tears that came with the immense pride I felt to be a woman and among those who were so strong. I will never forget the goose bumps and tears that flowed when we made a path for all of the survivors to run through at the beginning of the walk each morning. Watching the women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors with their short hair, missing hair, and hats and scarves on just overwhelmed me. Their eyes welled with tears that came from the pride of beating the disease and memories of what they had gone through just to get to where they were that day and what our walk and fundraising would do for finding a cure for breast cancer. It made me proud to be a woman, proud to be a part of something so huge, proud to have a grandmother who has fought and won her fight against breast cancer, proud to have an aunt who is currently fighting the disease, proud to have friends and family who care enough about this cause to contribute financially and emotionally to my insanity.
It made me take a step back and realize how blessed I am. So many of the survivors were so young, it made me realize how easy it could be me, my best friends, my mom. I felt so silly complaining about it taking 15 minutes to get each shoe on Sunday morning because my feet were so bruised or the fact that every time I went to squat on the toilet a small whimper would escape because my body hated me! I felt I was a little quieter than normal this past weekend, and I think it was a good thing. It was a time to reflect, get past my little issues and focus on what was really important.
There were fun times too. I have never been around so many people talking about boobies before in my life! Everywhere you turned you saw boobies or a new terminology for boobies. There were some really inventive names for teams. We are the Happy Hooters. I saw the Ta-Ta Task Force, Titty Titty Bang Bang, Save Second Base, and my personal favorite Operation Save Our Rack (cute camoflauge t shirts with this group!). My mom and I had some real quality time together, even though we were pretty tired. I made a joke that if we were any more "bonded" we might kill each other! It is true. I am thankful to her for dragging me along this year.
I am proud to say that I completed all 30 plus miles of the walk and ended up with only one blister. My mom and her friend also completed the entire walk with me, we were all very tired to say the least. I was surprised at how sore I was before day one was even over. The second 10 miles on Saturday were hellish but I am a very stubborn person and was NOT going to stop just because I could no longer feel my feet and my knees were screaming at me with every step I took. My running simply did not prepare me for the pain in my shins. Sunday morning was pretty rough and I slowed down quite a bit until I could warm up enough to not be so stiff. I was so happy to be finished and to be able to sit down, as hard as it was to get back up!!
I think that anyone anywhere near Atlanta next October, should plan on participating, it is so rewarding. Sherry and Lacy - you should jump on board!