Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carol: End of the Line

[The following article was first published as The End of the Line on Technorati.]

I returned home exhausted from the 3-day for the Cure 60 mile walk. I along with the other three members of my team--the Pink Me Out team--walked every inch of the course, and yes, we have the sore feet to prove it.
According to The Dallas Morning News, there were more than 2,700 walkers who participated in the Susan G. Komen walk to battle cancer. Organizers told us Dallas alone raised  $7 million. All in all, I suppose you can put a big check mark in the win-win column.
In my 3-day journey, I discovered lots of things (including Thing 1 who posed for pictures at one of the pit stops). And while I found Thing 1 rather amusing, it's really the other things that were more interesting and/or surprising. Things like…
•How well an event like this runs… It's well-orchestrated, well-planned and well-done--except for whoever thought it was a good idea to throw in some steps on the last day.
•My teammates and I were surprised at the number of participants who don't actually walk the entire course instead opting for a ride in the sweep van to the next pit stop or a bus back to camp. No judgments here. I do understand why some cannot complete the course. It was difficult to do. We just figured our level of being uncomfortable didn't come close to what cancer patients face.
•I was amazed at the generosity of some people. The people who I least expected to donate for us to walk donated a lot. The people who I thought would donate or who I thought would donated substantially didn't. I'm still surprised that our team did not get one donation from anyone on the Internet as a result of this or any other blog posting made. (But then, I'm still waiting for Oprah to read my book and "discover" me. Ah, if only wishes were horses, beggars would ride…")
•I learned I can technically "rough" it. I survived frigid  temperatures in a tent with wet hair (no electricity for blow dryers). I succumbed to three days of portable toilets (except for that one incident when I hobbled into a Starbucks for coffee and running water).
But most importantly, I learned firsthand that life as a participant beats life as a spectator. Hands--make that feet--down.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Carol: Ready or Not the Walk Begins

[This article was first published as Ready or Not: The 3-day for the Cure Walk Begins in Dallas on Technorati.]

With the 3-day for the Cure in Dallas scheduled to get underway tomorrow, November 5,  I wish I could sing that Peter, Paul & Mary's song, "…all my bags are packed and I'm ready to go," but sadly I can't, as my bags aren't packed and I'm not ready to go.

How am I supposed to squeeze all my stuff into a 35" or so bag that weights less than 35 pounds?  It's not that I'm high maintenance and need a lot of stuff, it's just my tendency to over-think things. What if it gets hot...or too cold?  What if I fall in a puddle of water? What if…See what I mean?

Then, of course, there's the sock issue. My teammates and I purchased those "guaranteed to be blister free" socks. But how is that going to work? We'll be walking around for three days. So even if they don't work, we'll need to wear those socks. Is the guarantee good for 60 miles? Will they take back our stinky socks if we get blisters? See what I mean--over thinking it.

Even though our jobs as teachers got in the way of our training, I think we still managed to train well enough that we will survive the 60 mile walk. Still, I worry that we may have undertrained. Of course, we may have to call the school nurse to come roll us in on Monday from the parking lot.

Now that my first challenge is almost over, I've been thinking a lot lately about what to do next. (Remember the entire point of this little feature was to quit living life as a spectator.) On our last 10 mile training walk I suggested to my tent mate that perhaps we should look into the Hotter Than Hell 100.

Let's just say I had to duck over that one. But between us, I haven't entirely given up on that idea --at least not yet.