Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3 Day Walk - Day One

We all popped out of bed, full of energy and ready to go. Not really, but it sure sounds better than we tossed and turned and barely got any sleep before the stupid alarm went off and it was time to walk twenty miles!

We actually got it together pretty quick, got dressed, smeared feet with Vaseline, packed up our luggage, snacks, gifts and took them out to Martha's car. We had a little breakfast bread on the tailgate and then were off to the shuttle bus!

Megan and Callie.

Connie, Karen and Brittany. Look at all the smiles.

Me and Martha! Let's do this!

We arrive at Opening Ceremonies and it is downright chilly! BRRR!

This year Opening Ceremonies were held in a Mall parking lot. It was so much nicer than the grassy field they used last year. It was very spread out.

There was snuggling to keep warm.

Megan had a faulty camelback water pack that poured nice cold water down her back. Talk about enjoyable on a freezing morning. Not happy about that!

They were passing out bunny ears again and we all grabbed a pair. We need to keep going and going and going and going. We also broke out some of the thermal blankets to keep the chill away. They work like a charm!

Our team by the stage! Enough with the music already let's get this thing going! Real life funny story:
Callie was busting out her dance moves from the eighties, trying to stay warm and entertain herself and others while we waited. People were moving back and giving her some room to boogie. Karen looks at Megan and says "Is this the good or the bad of walking with your mother?" Megan deadpans "Is my mother here?" We just cracked up.

Finally, we start to have some activity. The sun is just starting to light the morning sky so we know we will be ready to walk soon.

Favorite part of Opening Ceremonies: They had this big banner of white paper strips at a table when you first walked in. On it they wanted you to write the name of someone who had lost the battle to breast cancer. I wrote the name "Jade", who is a young woman my age who was a friend of a friend who died a few days before our walk. In fact, her funeral was on Saturday. As this banner with all the names was being raised at the center stage they asked walkers to give a voice to those that had lost the battle. Say their name out loud. Don't let them be forgotten. It was so beautiful to be standing in the dawn of that chilly morning, with no music, no sounds, just the names of people floating over the air. Belinda, Emily, Sarah, Mom....I said Jade's name and I hope she could hear it.

Then the survivors took to the stage. Those who are battling the disease and winning.

They are but just a few of the survivors who will be walking among us for the next three days. So very inspiring.

AND WE ARE OFF!!! It felt so good to get moving and get warmed up!

We start spotting all of the crazy sweet vans that pick up tired, sore, broken walkers along the route. This one says "We pick up street walkers!"

One of the first big cheering stations we came to was an elementary school. It is so nice to hear these kids hollering for us. This year we came prepared. We had beads, stickers, tattoos, little pink rubber ducks to share with some of the kids. They were like paranas trying to get something. Kind of felt like a rock star a bit with paparazzi all around me.

We zoomed past a couple of pit stops. Trying to get done a little quicker than last year. Trying to get off of our feet a little bit sooner. Save the arches!!! We did pick several to stop at and get some fuel and water!

Snacks were great again!

More cheering stations on Day One. Dallas showed up big time! They were awesome. These two guys were back from last year.

Made it to lunch. The weather is warming up and we are shedding some clothes. We are way at the front of the pack. Everyone is feeling pretty good. Karen is just starting to discover some blisters trying to start. She covers half her foot with moleskin and we charge on!


Walking and walking and walking and walking and walking. About mile 16, Megan pulled something behind her knee and was in some pretty good pain.

We got to camp about 4:00! Woo Hoo! Doesn't even look like half the tents are up! We made great time!

Take it easy! Look there is going to be BINGO! Peggy is going to hate that she missed this! We are back early enough to go get Martha's car at the Hyatt from last night. Oh no, Callie forgot her keys. They are also at the Hyatt. Plan A is squashed so we resort to Plan B. It involved sitting on a bench "quietly" waiting on Ahmed the cab driver. He finally arrived and took us to the Hyatt for Martha's car. We ravaged through the banana bread on the drive back and almost felt human!

Just a few minutes to rest and then we were back to camp for dinner and the show.

Jenne, the national spokeswoman for the 3 Day, was amazing as always. This girl is a natural speaker and terribly funny and entertaining.

We enjoyed some hot beverages and thanked our lucky stars that we would be staying at the DoubleTree just a short walk across the street instead of camping out in the the cold temperatures.

We visited the Remembrance Tents on the way back to the hotel. Each city that does a walk has a tent where walkers write messages about why the walk and the people they love. They line them all up and they light them with warm light every night. Very peaceful and moving to see.

This is the main tent where they display the current city tent. Above the tent is the banner with the names that were raised at Opening Ceremony.

Jade.


We checked the post office and I had lots of mail. My favorite was from my sweet little niece Elizabeth. It says "Thank you for helping others." So sweet! Made my night.

Back at the hotel, Megan took a hot bath and rubbed down her entire body with Icy Hot. Their room smelled like a gym locker room. Karen starts to examine her feet a little closer. Look at the size of this blister on her heel.

Now, look at the one between her toes - YIKES!!! That was not all of them, but just the two main culprits.
Regardless of the blisters and pulled muscles, everyone felt like Day One had been a huge success. Hot showers a little chit chat and then it was lights out. Oh, the beauty of the soft bed.
Good night. Twenty more miles tomorrow. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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