Do you have a bucket list, or any set number of experiences you want to have in your lifetime? Well, since its inception I have wanted to participate in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day event, but for one reason or another the timing of the event did not make it possible. The 3 Day is when thousands of women and men walk 60 miles over 3 days in an effort to raise money to end breast cancer. This year it will take place in 7 cities across the country during September and October.
This year, finally, I was able to participate. Ready to accept the challenge and mark this off my bucket list. Despite going on training walks over the past few weeks, I nervously watched the days on the calendar come closer to the event. My friend Trina and I were anxiously wondering if or how we could complete those sixty miles.
And suddenly it was time to find out. Here’s a look at my 3 Day experience:
Here we are at the starting point of the 2014 Susan G. Komen 3 Day, excited though still not quite sure what to expect.
Waiting for the opening ceremony to begin.
Getting a poignant reminder of why we are all here.
Feeling grateful for the support of the communities through which we walked. They truly helped push us through our first day.
Finally getting back to Tent City, where walkers and crew stay during their 3 Day experience. It is a view I will never forget.
Throughout the fun, we never forgot why we were walking, and we felt for those walking in memory of loved ones lost too soon.
Early Saturday morning in Fairmount Park as we arrived at our stop the ovarian cancer 5k was about to begin several yards away. When the runners started up the path nearby, the 3 Day walkers stood up and gave them an ovation and a round of applause. It will forever be one of my most favorite moments of my 3 Day experience.
Just after lunch on Day 2, about 10 miles in to our 23+ mile day, it started to pour.
And in spite of the rain and the pain, we made it.
Throughout Day 3 I was able to reflect on what makes this event so special, so life-changing. It’s not just about the walkers, but about the equally passionate crew.
It’s about the support you get from people all along the route.
It’s about the quiet moments.
It is about the friends you have and those you make along the way.
It is about keeping it positive, even with a deep passion for the cause.
It is about honoring the lost, the survivors, and those who are still fighting.
It is about accomplishing something huge.
It is about finding a cure.
And raising the flag on the fight against breast cancer one last time.
So that one day we will no longer have to walk towards a cure.
Early on the first day Trina and I got to chatting with other walkers along the route, as we did often during the event. One woman asked us if it was our first time participating, and we responded that indeed it was our first. She looked at us, smiled and said, “Welcome to the family.” Trina and I smiled back and went on our way. It was not until finishing that brutal Day 2 did I understand what she meant. This past weekend I did get to mark an item off my life list, though I also added another one to it. Next up is to do several more Susan G. Komen 3 Day events.
After all, we are in the family now.
75% of the net proceeds raised by the Komen 3-Day help support Susan G. Komen’s Research and Training Grant Program and large public health outreach programs for women and men facing breast cancer, while the remaining 25% helps fund local community and Affiliate support and outreach programs. To find out more, to sign up to volunteer or walk, or to make a donation, go to http://www.the3day.org/.