Posts Tagged ‘Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk’


Lessons Learned from the 2009 Dallas Breast Cancer 3 Day…

Pink Ribbon 

A mere 4 years ago (2009) I walked, along with 3 wonderful women, 60 miles in 3 days. Yes, back-to-back-to-back days. If I can do it while closing in on the big 5-0, you can, too. (And I wasn’t the oldest chick on the course…by a long shot!) All you need is determination, love, compassion and support from your family and friends. Here’s what I learned from my 3 Day:

1. Pink foam bunny ears can be a hot commodity. Do not get in my teammate’s way when she’s hunting for them.

2. I still remember how to do the Bump to Kool & the Gang…unfortunately, I did not remember how inflexible and slow I am at doing it now.

3. Don’t get mesmerized by the pretty pink flags at the Opening Ceremony and wind up at the back of the walker crowd.

4. You can take any theme and turn it into something about boobs…the favorites? “Boobstock” by the 60s hippie push van, “We’re Busted” by the Jailhouse Rock push van, and “No booty, just ta-ta’s” by the Pirate push van.

5. When your feet get tired, walk past an elementary school, complete with a wide variety of cute pink ribbon pictures, tiny hands desperately trying to reach above their playground fence to give you a high five, and teachers with pink wigs and ties on.

6. Dallas cops are the best…they will stand, in their uniforms, in the hot, Texas sun all day to hold up traffic so you can get through busy intersections and still wave their pink foam bunny ears at you (and wear pink wigs and beads and flowers). They’ll even stage photos for you of them arresting you.

7. The orange safety crew is the most tireless group of people I’ve ever seen.

8. 3 Day mileage is not calculated the same way my car and my pedometer does it. Apparently, it’s computed twice as long.

9. Pink tents up ahead is your salvation.

10. The port-a-pots with the shortest lines are the farthest away from where you are standing.

11. It only takes 2 days to forget how to flush a toilet.

12. No matter how hard you try to keep from tearing the wipies, you’ll tear the wipies.

13. Actual soap and actual water is a luxury. Purex is a necessity.

14. Toilet paper is a luxury.

15. Take Imodium AD with you on the 3 Day…let’s not go into why.

16. I can retie my shoelaces, call the hubby, re-stretch my lower extremities and eat a package of baby carrots all during one light cycle at a Dallas intersection.

17. When you get winded, drink water.

18. When you get lightheaded, drink Gatorade.

19. When you get nauseous, suck it up, Princess.

20. The next great innovation for the 3 Day will be portable morphine IVs.

21. I want the adhesive tape concession next year.

22. My teammate is not very fond of  eating chicken for lunch.

23. Another teammate doesn’t like peel on her apples.

24. Sitting on acorns is actually comfy.

25. A curb is your friend at the pit stop…it’s your enemy while walking. (And who designed those mile-high versions????)

26. I have a new appreciation for handicap accessible sidewalks.

27. Warning signs need warnings.

28. Nowhere else will the pack of walkers ahead warn you of bikers, acorns, traffic sign poles, and uneven sidewalks.

29. It doesn’t matter what collegiate team you root for on the 3 Day…there is someone else there who roots for them as well.

30. When you think you can’t take it anymore, a cheer station complete with dogs in pink bandannas saying “Dogs for the Cure”, toddling little girls in tutus, the craziest signs, cold water, bubblegum, Twizzlers, Snickers, Starbursts, Starbucks, stickers, high fives, and your family and friends will do the trick. (I was ready to walk up mountains after that!)

31. Only at the 3 Day is it normal for the most macho men to wear pink boxers, pink sox, tutus and pink fanny packs.

32. Harley bikers are the most compassionate people in the world.

33. Smuckers PB and J’s, pocket bananas, and trail mix are da bomb.

34. A sea of hot pink tents is home.

35. Young, handsome, virile men walk on eggshells after the 2nd day of the 3 Day.

36. Your feet going numb is actually a good thing.

37. Speed is not the key on the 3rd day.

38. Irony is walking past the Hooters during the 3 day and no waitresses in orange shorts come out to greet you…as every other restaurant’s staff did.

39. The Dallas West End cheer station will make you feel like a rock star.

40. When the sign says, “Uptown”, it means it. Where the heck was the sign for “Downtown”?

41. Going down hurts as much as going up…pray for even sidewalks.

42. Narrow sidewalks are just annoying.

43. Homeowners who don’t trim their prickly bushes are now targeted for their trees getting TPed…that is, if we can find any TP.

44. Homeowners who don’t trim off their lower tree branches should see # 43.

45. Preston Hollow is one pretty neighborhood…no wonder George and Laura decided to move there.

46. Little girls in pink PJs on a Sunday morning will automatically make you smile and go Awww.

47. There is a little 3 year old boy who hit his daddy’s pitched ball “out of the park” and already has a 2900 member cheering base. He even knows how to tip his cap to his fans. Tell the Rangers to sign him now.

48. Yes, MaryAnn can be quiet…it’s called she’s composing her next FB note.

49. We now know my teammate’s  middle name…don’t ask.

50. Don’t ask the tall guy in the green, pink and white tutu to demonstrate his stretching techniques.

51. The Bra Bug is a photo op.

52. I am now a street walker…but no one wanted to pick me up this weekend, for some reason…oh, it might be my stench….and the Grand Canyons under my eyes.

53. Remind your teammates to put their underwear on right side out.

54. Remind yourself to put on deodorant.

55. Masseuses could make a fortune massaging feet and my kids can find the prettiest pink roses.

56. Nobody cares that your pedicure is 19 years old at lunchtime on the 3rd Day…they’re more impressed if you don’t have blister Band-Aids all over your foot.

57. Want applause? Do the entire Thriller dance at lunchtime on the 3rd Day of the 3 Day.

58. Don’t play “Party in the USA” around my teammates unless you wanna get slugged.

59. Amusing texts from family and friends are the only way to survive while on the 3 Day.

60. Your family and friends are now officially “Walker Stalkers”. 🙂

61. Where you walk on the 3 Day is apparently a national secret.

62. Daily route cards are more valuable than gold.

63. Dallas 3 Day walkers raised $ 7.5 million. Yet, there were only 2900 walkers (they’ll take 5000).

64. The number of volunteer crew members needed to run a 3 Day? 450.

65. The number of volunteer crew members with smiles on their faces and still shaking “their tail feathers” after 3 days? 450.

66. Kim can do Chemo on Friday, cheer for her team on Saturday and Sunday and be too sick to party with you afterward…she’s my hero.

67. You know your shoes stink when your husband sprays them with enough Axe for a third world country.

68. You know you stink when even you would prefer not to be around you.

69. Don’t get between my teammates and the wine.

70. I have the most supportive friends and family in the world, including those who wrote us all notes which we found at the 3 Day post office on Day 2.

71. The most beautiful sights in the world are an overweight woman and a pregnant woman limping along for the lumps.

72. You can jay walk for jugs!

73. 10 years ago I had trouble walking around the block after 2 heart attacks…this weekend I walked 60 miles….God is good. And yes, that will bring tears to my eyes.

74. Yes, I will cry at the opening and closing ceremonies…yes, me.

75. Breast Cancer still hasn’t been cured, but we’re making progress. Doing something that matters….matters.

In early November a friend of a friend, Ms. Janet Carter, will be walking her 2nd 3 Day. She walks in memory of a friend who lost her battle with breast cancer at the tender age of 24. Please donate so that she can qualify to walk for her by going to her page here.

I am shocked that Americans haven’t risen up and maxed out the limit for walkers at every 3 Day. Let’s show them how big the heart of America is. There is no such thing as too old, too fat, too creaky, too sick. There is no such thing as unable to raise the funds (It just takes some perseverance and some audacity and last time I checked, Americans are audacious.). There is no such thing as “It’s a bad time for me.” Four women with 7 jobs, families and working on 3 degrees managed to find the time. Start early, start now…the site is:

Love you all…thanks for what you did to try and stop breast cancer from harming those we love (and what you continue to do)…I’m sure you have saved a life….maybe more than one. Maybe you saved your own.

Friday’s Post: What took me so blessedly long to read this book?

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Walking 18 Miles and 15 Miles Back-to-Back and Lessons Learned from Walking 18.2 Miles…in the Rain


Lessons Learned from Walking 18 miles and 15 miles back-to-back…

treadmill training

treadmill training

This is “Part 2” of the stupid weekend of doing 33 miles in 2 days to prepare for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk in 2009. After trying to unwrinkle every wet digit on my body, I chose to do the 15 mile (2nd day) part on my trusty INDOOR treadmill. So, what more could I learn from doing 15 more miles? Plenty:

1. 60 miles in 3 days seems REALLY far. I’m thinking a trip to the moon is closer.

2. Blister Band-Aids also work on sore toes.

3. It’s easier to walk outside in the rain than it is on a dry treadmill (ummm…perhaps that was because 18 miles had been walked outside first?)

4. No tennies on the planet will keep you from having sore feet afterward.

5. Forget Vicodin…just open a vein and give me morphine….STAT!

6. There aren’t enough ice packs in the world for all of your aching body parts.

7. Having access to over 500 channels isn’t enough to keep you from being focused on the aching body part of the moment.

8. 15 miles actually seems farther than 18….it’s Susan G. Komen math…’nuf said.

9. Even your favorite flavor of G2 doesn’t quite bring a smile to your face.

10. One wonders how one will find a tent, set it up, find his or her luggage and drag oneself to the shower after 40 miles of walking. Where is my magic lamp and that infernal genie???

11. Paul Bettany is the villain in The Secret Life of Bees? I didn’t recognize him with a southern accent. Kinda like hearing House with a British accent.

12. You can watch 4 movies start to finish while walking 15 miles.

13. Forget the incline on the treadmill…the distance is enough for you to decide against applying for the Biggest Loser and suggesting that Jillian be your trainer.

14. If people ask you a question while you are huffing and puffing, it doesn’t matter what the question is…you still consider it an insult.

15. Your thought that you might do the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk 5 years from now goes right out the window. (2013 update: So glad I read # 15 again!)

Monday’s Post: WOW time!

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Walking 18.2 miles…in the Rain… and Lessons Learned from the Breast Cancer 3 Day Garage Sale


Lessons Learned from the Breast Cancer 3 Day Garage Sale…

yard sale

In 2009 I made the really faulty decision to walk the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness 3 Day Walk. One walks 60 miles in 3 days and pledges to raise $ 2300 for breast cancer research. Many people walk in teams and I was no exception. I walked with 3 women who all wanted to support my dear friend, Kim, who was battling Stage IV breast cancer valiantly. While the walk was in early November, we were still approximately $ 2300 shy of the $ 9200 we needed to raise in order for all of us to walk.

We then made another faulty decision: to have a garage sale at my home in hot August. Did I mention that my garages are not air-conditioned??? I put up a Facebook event page and regularly let folks know the interesting items that were also regularly being deposited in our driveway each day.  We had so many clothing items that we eventually just made signs that said, “All clothing items $ 1.” We’d probably still be pricing items individually, if we hadn’t.

Tomorrow our little church is also endeavoring to raise money for good causes in our area by throwing a garage sale inside our church (where it IS air-conditioned). If you live in “my neck of the woods, ” do me a favor and drop by from 8 am to noon either today or Saturday, grab a few items you can’t live without, and help out some great children and people. Thanks! For those of us who have waged battle with “all things Garage Sale,” here’s what I penned in August of 2009:

  1. Start a year sooner. 
  2. Get another garage. Two double car garages aren’t enough.
  3. Sell all cars, Sea-doos, lawn mowers and lawn sweepers prior to garage sale.
  4. No matter how many times you sweep the floor of your spare garage, there will be grass clippings inside.
  5. You can make a merchandise display out of bricks, a skateboard ramp, sawhorses, a trailer, shoe bags, a dehumidifier, a microwave cart, a TV stand, and a TV.
  6. One rented round rack will hold 218 shirts.
  7. Unfortunately, you will need 3 round racks, 3 t-racks and 2 straight racks.
  8. Bags of clothes will multiply like rabbits and mysteriously show up on your doorstep before you leave for work at 8 am.
  9. To hang said bags of clothes, you will need 1 retired teacher hanging clothes for about 8 hours a day for 5 days.
  10. When she poops out, you will need 1 bank teller/teacher, 2 college students and 2 high school students to take over.
  11. Don’t show the retired teacher a newly discovered bag of clothes the night before a garage sale…she might pronounce it, well, you know, something I can’t say online.
  12. If the retired teacher won’t call it welllll….you know….something I can’t say online, the hubby will say worse.
  13. Someone other than Imelda Marcos can have over a 1000 pairs of shoes.
  14. To pick up a dryer, a mattress and box spring, a computer table and chair, an overstuffed chair, a dinette set, a desk, and a love seat, you will need the retired teacher, her husband, your husband’s colleague’s trailer, an aging Explorer, a Mercury sedan, a Ford Escape, your daughter, your son, the daughter’s boyfriend, a full tank of gas, a tarp, some tangled rope, some Boy Scout knots, 3 dollies, a peanut butter sandwich, a glass of milk and a trip to McDonald’s.
  15. You can completely outfit an apartment or dorm room from the “junk” in people’s homes in our little town…and nicely!
  16. Even if you say “No Early Sales”, there will be early sales. Just deal with it.
  17. Countrytime Pink Lemonade is not only festive…it’s downright tasty on a hot, Texas day.
  18. Don’t have a mega garage sale in Texas in August….let’s just say major farmer’s tan and the need for a lot of cool showers. (I think I physically wrung out my hair and shirt about 3 times per day.)
  19. Those new sneakers and fancy socks you bought for the 3 Day do not lessen your Aleve consumption at the end of the day.
  20. You can fit 2 mattress sets, 3 sofas, 4 tables, 15 chairs, 7 clothes racks, a TV stand, 2 desks, a laundry cart, and a lot of assorted miscellaneous all in our driveway. That is, unfortunately, only about 1/3 of what you have to sell.
  21. Hangers get thrown out a lot…but to those with 218 shirts on a round rack, they are more valuable than gold.
  22. There is a lot of humorous fodder for Sunday morning’s sermon to be found at a garage sale. See our pastor for more details.
  23. What you think will sell immediately will be what you have left at the end of the day. As a counselor, this may be a great topic for a dissertation some day.
  24. The surest way to get more shoppers is to consolidate all of your “remains” and make it impossible for your shoppers to get to all the leftovers in your garage.
  25. The only way to survive a hot August garage sale in Texas is to have a meal out, preferably not at McDonald’s.
  26. The Susan G. Komen organization is gravely mistaken about what is possible for fundraising purposes from 1 garage sale (They told us the max would be $ 1800… there!)
  27. Our little town takes care of its own.
  28. Our little town never fails to help those who aren’t their own.
  29. Facebook, a church newsletter, a church bulletin, an announcement at church, Craigslist and word-of-mouth are the cheapest, easiest and best ways to promote fundraising endeavors.
  30. The memories I have of this garage sale I took with me as I walked 60 miles in 3 days with 3 of the best ladies I know and then, forever after that. I was, and am, blessed.


The final amount raised? Drum roll, please….$ 2300 +!

Monday’s Post: Word of the Week time!

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8 Women Who Changed My Life…

Pink Ribbon

Warning: You might want to get your favorite beverage first. 

Note: The MIP Book Club started yesterday. Haven’t started reading yet? That’s okay…you’re only fashionably late. Go here to find out what you’re missing!

The FB Faithful will know this one practically by heart, but it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again and I hate what this awful disease is doing and has done to those who have made me what I am today. When I wrote this in 2009, I only knew these eight women suffered or survived breast cancer, but now, I could, unfortunately, add to the list. But these eight women and their families are what motivated me to do something crazy back then. Read on…

1. She is one of the sweetest women on the planet, but if you cross her, watch out…she was a mom to 4 very different children and grandmother and great grandmother to too many to count….she made the best homemade pies on the planet and could feed 2 as easily as she could feed 100 (all of them would be related to her in some way.) She was the wayward daughter who found her niche and found it important to live all of her life by her mom’s and her mentally impaired older brother’s side. She is one of the most caring women I know and she wouldn’t tell her family she was losing her battle until after her 90th birthday. Her name is Maribelle and she was my aunt.

2. She is art personified, in every aspect of her life and yet she has lived her life with a disability. However, you would never know that…that wouldn’t be artful, now would it? She is brilliant and she sees the unique talents of everyone around her and puts them to good use. She is a visionary, making connections no one else can. She believes in the worth of each person, no matter what hinders them and believes in you becoming more than worthy of what God called you to be. She was my mentor for 8 years. She is Mary and she was my boss.

3. She led a school as a principal. She once put her troubles aside to be at the bedside of her granddaughter when said granddaughter was forced to be in the hospital on the eve of her prom. The only telltale sign of her own troubles was a perfectly coiffed wig. She’s a serious woman, but you can tell that her family and those in her charge are her priority. She is Nelda and she is Laura Ann’s mother-in-law and Shayla, Miranda and Landon’s grandmother.

4. She is beauty personified, as well as grace. She is as content in an evening gown as she is in a cotton skirt and flip flops. Her smile lights up a room, not because it is a pretty smile, but because warmth and caring are behind it. She can laugh at the world when others would cry and charm others into doing her bidding in the most unassuming way. (It’s usually for a good cause!) She readily welcomes others into her home and they are welcome to stay as long as they like. When she makes you her friend, that friendship is for forever…you know? That Heaven kind of forever. She is Michaux and I’m blessed to have her as my forever friend.

5. She is the mother of my son’s childhood buddy. She is my Bible Study buddy and wisdom is her watchword. When I need knowledge, when I need a well-thought-out opinion, this is who I call. When I need a calming voice, she is also there for that, too. We may be worlds apart from each other in terms of logistical distance, but we are only a moment away from each other in our hearts. She is southern hospitality and an educator at heart. She is the mother of a very impressive young man, one she largely educated herself. She is Nancy and I’m blessed that Facebook has brought me closer to her son, Kyle.

6. She is my pregnancy buddy…you know…the pregnancy that was equivalent to the Immaculate Conception in terms of miracles? She, too, is my Bible Study buddy, and I can count on her for telling me the most ridiculous joke and being blatantly honest all at the same time. She nurtures little children all day long and considers it both a nightmare and a blessing all at the same time (well, who wouldn’t!). Her life has been anything but predictable, but you would never know it. She deals with it as if it were an everyday occurrence. She is April and she is my friend.

7. She was a virtual stranger to me just a few short years ago, but now I don’t think she would flinch if I just called her Mom. She broke down watching her daughter dealing with a ridiculous ordeal, all the while getting over her own ridiculous ordeal and dealing with her husband’s ongoing ridiculous ordeal. She bravely, angrily stared all of them in the face and her slim body wouldn’t take no for an answer. She is compassion and she is courage and I want so much to make it all go away for her. Her name is Shirley and she is Kim’s mom and BriAnne and Ben’s grandmother.

8. At a time when I thought there were no more best friends left in the world for a crazy person like me, this woman embraced my nuttiness calmly and actually allowed it to continue. She is a great mom, a wonderful wife, the hostess with the mostest, a phenomenal cook, the most efficient President of a volunteer organization I know and can run entire departments while battling a nasty disease on only 20 hours a week. When I think she can’t take any more, she calmly, resolutely walks onward, through the storm, and deals with each new blow with dignity, charm, and a little bit of humor. She was Kim and she was more than my friend…she was my inspiration to walk 60 miles to end this stupid disease called Breast Cancer.

Some lost their battles, but the rest continue on. They have families counting on them…they help more people in one day than I could ever hope to help in a decade…they deserve and deserved a lifetime. Pray for them…comfort them…cheer for them…I know I do.

Point to Ponder: Who are the 8 women in your life? What would you be willing to do for them?

Friday’s Post: Lessons Lessons Learned from a Garage Sale…

You might also enjoy: Best Quotes from the Dallas Women of Faith Conference and Lessons Learned from Attending Women of Faith