Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Progress Update

So, in addition to starting training, I've had a few noteworthy achievements:

1) I found a team to join. Initially I tried to get some of my friends to join me in walking the 3-Day, but when they couldn't be persuaded, I decided to find a team to join. I think it really helps to have other people you know on the journey with you. Teams help motivate you in training and fundraising and provide you companionship on the journey that is walking the 3-Day. Plus, walking can get boring sometimes, and they give you someone to talk to other than yourself!

2) I am officially over 25% of the way to reaching my fundraising minimum. That's right, on January 15, I sent my first round of donation e-mails. On January 17, I received my first donation. On January 28, I surpassed the $500 milestone and as of February 8, I was more than a quarter of the way to reaching my fundraising goal. Wow! Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far. Every donation received is a truly heart-warming moment that usually results in a few happy tears. It means EVERYTHING to know that I have people supporting me and recognizing how important the cause is. And if you haven't donated yet, it's not too late! Just go to www.the3day.org/goto/jessie3day to donate! Even though I'm already a quarter of the way there, I'm continuing to seek out donations in every manner I can think of (in fact, family and friends should expect a card in the mail shortly).

3) I signed up to be a training walk leader. This is something that I am VERY excited to do. Basically, I'll scout out a route in advance (I already have a Fresh Pond loop and some Boston Commons action in mind. Not to mention the Charles River!), figure out how to optimize it for 3-Day walkers (i.e., find plenty of places to stop for bathroom breaks-- hydration rocks!), and then invite other 3-Day walkers to join me. I'm hoping to use it as an opportunity to meet lots of new people as well as see more of the city more often!

645 miles to go, starting today!

So today feels like the day in which my journey will actually, officially be starting. Today is the first day of the 24-week training schedule that has a walk! So today I start my journey with a 3 mile walk. 3 miles isn't too intimidating. And then I stopped to look at how many miles I'd be walking during the next 24-weeks and it is a large number! 645 miles! That includes the 60-miles that I'll walk over the course of the 3-Day event, but still, it is kind of an intimidating number.

So I stopped to think about it. I know that each mile I walk in training is going to bring me closer to my goal of finishing the 3-Day. And I know that every mile of the event is going to be a worthwhile, fun experience and it is for such an important cause. All of this makes the 645 miles seem less intimidating because the net result I'm aiming for isn't just miles walked, it is lives saved. It is 100% worth walking 645 miles if it can make even one person more aware of breast cancer-- enough so to say, "hey, maybe I should talk to my doctor about risk factors" or "you know what, I really should go get a mammogram". And it will be even more worth it if it helps one person detect the disease early and receive life-saving treatment. Raising money for the cause helps fund community programs (which will help in detection and treatment) and research, but the walking is 100% about raising awareness and showing support.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beginning the Fundraising Push

As you may or may not know, the Breast Cancer 3-Day requires all walkers to raise at least $2300 in donations in order to participate. And that always seems like such a daunting task to me on many levels. One, it is just a large amount of money, and this time around, times are particularly financially tight for everyone, so I'm not sure how much (or if) people will be able to donate. And two, it just always feels kind of awkward two ask friends and loved ones for money-- especially when you know that things are tight for some of them.

But what it has and always will come down to is the fact that it is such a good cause. Yes, I need to raise the money in order to participate in an event, but the money raised goes straight to helping fund breast cancer awareness events/campaigns, breast cancer research, screening for people who cannot afford it, and many other very important things. I'm walking to draw attention to breast cancer and help make people aware, but I'm raising money to help stop people from dying from breast cancer. And that's what it really comes down to. So, no matter how awkward it may feel to request money from people, I think of the lives it can and will save, and that makes it worthwhile.

If you're reading this, then you're probably a friend or family member, so don't be surprised when you get a message from me soon asking for money! Just remember, it is for a good cause! I'll try my best to keep everyone posted with how fundraising is going!


p.s. There is a link to the right that will let you donate in my name and help me reach the fundraising minimum $2300. (If I can, I actually want to raise $3,000, but I figure start small and build from there)

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Journey Begins

I can't explain exactly what it is, but when I woke up Saturday morning this understanding filled me. I am going to walk the Boston Breast Cancer 3-Day this year.

In 2007, I was a registered walker and the first day of the walk happened to be the hottest day of the summer. Now, I don't know how many of you are familiar with Boston summers, but they are hot and sticky. Even if the air temperature is only in the 90s, the humidity will make it feel much hotter. So as I began my journey, with new friends in tow I knew hydration was going to be very important. I had a fanny pack that held two water bottles-- one that was filled with water and one that was filled with diluted sports drink-- which should have been a very good start. The problem came when I realized that I was starting to get dehydrated. Knowing that I didn't want dehydration to stop me, I started pumping the sports drink into me as fast as I could. The only problem being that at times, the electrolytes in sports drink can actually dehydrate you more. I made it about 12 miles that day to lunch where I ended up having to be bussed back to camp. Once I started setting up my tent, I felt really sick again and had to go to the first aid tent. Two IVs of fluid later I had been medically dismissed and told I couldn't walk the final two days unless I brought a note from my doctor (I could go to closing ceremonies though).

I tell you this not for sympathy, but to explain that signing up to walk the 2010 3-Day was not an easy choice for me. I hadn't figured on walking Boston again-- maybe San Diego in 2011 (which takes place in November), but not Boston. So when I woke up on Saturday knowing that I was going to walk this year, I stopped and thought about it for a while. Was I completely insane? But what it all boils down to is the fact that I'm going to be just a little bit smarter about it this time around (and how could I not be). And the ultimate reason behind it-- the cause. 2009, for me, was a good year-- I graduated from college, started a new job, and crewed the Boston 3-Day. And during my time spent crewing, I met some amazing people-- particularly the women who are survivors of breast cancer. I thought about them, I thought about the members of my own family who have battled breast cancer, and I thought about my boyfriend's aunt who had been diagnosed not long before the 2009 Boston 3-Day and I realized that walking doesn't seem so scary anymore.

So, I switched my registration for the 2010 Breast Cancer 3-Day from crew to walker effective 10:30 AM this morning. I'm armed with the best kind of knowledge-- the kind that comes from experience-- this time and let me tell you, if something stops me, it won't be dehydration! Now it is time to pick out my winter training gear, buy the first of several pairs of walking shoes, plan my first batch of fundraising efforts, and start hitting the road. I walk for Winifred, Nana, Nancy, Eileen, and every other survivor out there. And this time, I'm making it the full 60 miles.