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.