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.

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