There is so much I want to say about this experience so far…and I have no idea where to start. I feel like there is no way I can give back to the 3-Day what it’s already given to me. So much in so little time. I agreed to join a 3-Day team last October. I was very hesitant. With good reason. I was out of shape, overweight and about to have major surgery on December 4. How in the world would I be anywhere near the kind of shape I needed to be in by October 2009? Honestly, I did think about it, but obviously had other things on my mind. So, I took a leap of faith. Something told me to do it. I sent out emails to friends and clients to start raising my $2300 before my surgery. I had my surgery on December 4th as planned, was in the hospital for two days and everything went very well. I spent four weeks at home recovering, returning to work part time on January 5th, working my way back to full time by January 19th. The whole time I was recovering, in the back of my mind I knew I had to get moving as soon as possible to start training.
On Sunday, January 11th, my husband and I went to one of the local parks and I committed to walking one lap around the 1.25 mile loop. We planned it, but that day was very cold. I would not be deterred! Scott whined and complained the whole time we walked. It probably took 20 minutes to make that loop because I was still moving slowly, but complete the loop we did.
January 11, 2009, Briscoe Park, Snellville, GA
After this walk, I never turned back. On January 12th three of our team members met at my boss’s house after work and walked 2 miles. On Monday, January 19th our team went to Big Peach Running Company, took advantage of their “FIT Process,” and bought new walking shoes.
Big Peach Running Company, January 2009
Sometime between January 12th and the end of Janauary, I decided to walk a 10K near my house, “Run the Reagan.” They actually shut down a 6-mile stretch of freeway connector and there is a 1-mile fun run, a 5K, a 10K and a Half Marathon. Serious runners can vie for a Peachtree Road Race number, but most people are just doing it for fun, to raise money for a good cause, and for the exercise. So, even though I was near the end of the 10K folks to come in, I did it! I walked 6.2 miles…and I was darn proud of those miles!
Finish line of "Run the Reagan" 10K 2009
Catherine Baker, myself, Jennifer Taylor
Even though we got rained on a bit and it was cold, the three of us did it. We are the original three members of “The Rack Pack!” After the walk, because of Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband took me to SC and we stayed at the Hilton in Anderson. What a treat! Great dinner, great company and a hot bath…what a sweet husband!
So…what’s next? Well, fundraising. Unexpectedly, fundraising has actually been the most rewarding and easy part of the 3-Day. I expected raising $2300 in this economy to be very difficult; I was happily surprised by people’s generousity for such a good cause. My $2300 was raised by April; my part of the fundraisers we’ve had since then has gone to other team members to help them raise their $2300. If you are reading this and want to help, please let me know. We have three team members who haven’t reached their goal yet; if you want to help me, please help them!
The Rack Pack @ Martinis for Tatas, Urban Flats, Lawrenceville, GA
Crop for the Cure, Archiver's, August 2009
In March we even had an article written about us in The Gwinnett Daily Post! Great press for us and The 3-Day!
Picture for article in The Gwinnett Daily Post, March 2009
As time went on, we walked at work during lunch. I was doing great and very proud of myself. I had actually thrown some running into my walks! Me?! Yes, me! God has a way of knocking us down a peg or two when we get too “high and mighty,” as they say. Around the end of May, my mother-in-law had two strokes and a bout of congestive heart failure which nearly killed her. During this time, I also had a hormonal “crash,” as they call it, after being thrown into surgical menopause after my surgery last December. My body used up its stores of hormones, and although the hormone therapy I had been on had worked thus far, now it wasn’t working so well at all. I was depressed, I was agitated, I was anxious, I couldn’t concentrate, I had no short-term memory, and my work and personal life was suffering. I had physical symptoms too which were driving me over the edge. It took a little while, but after talking to the doctors a lot, both my family physician and my gyn., we came up with a therapy that has me back on track. Those were not a good few weeks to go through, but thankfully I have a wonderful husband and wonderful family and friends to support me and lift me in prayer. I felt prayer so much during that time; I craved it and yearned for it. I truly felt like only prayer could help…and it did. I called out in my darkest hour and God answered me. Not quickly, not miraculously, but in his time and his way. And I felt it. I still feel it and am glad every day that he has helped me along this not-so-pleasant menopausal path.
During this time, I completely quit walking. If you look at my Nike+ online, you will see a gap. Between May 31st and July 5th I only walked two times for a total of 5.14 miles. In July, it gradually dawned on me that if I didn’t get my butt out there and walk and start building up stamina, I would NOT be walking in the event that I had so diligently trained for thus far and raised money for. So, on July 5th, I got going again. Slow but sure, I built up to last Saturday when I walked 8.19 miles with two other friends doing The 3-Day. I came out with two blisters and got nauseated, but I learned and I’ll keep going. I learned how to doctor my blisters, what not to do on the next long walk and what TO do on the next long walk. I have a lot of training left to do, but I am happily on my way again!
Emily Armistead, Cindy Haislip and me! Tribble Mill Park, August 8th, 2009 - 9 Miles!
There is still much to do and much to learn in the next 2 1/2 months. Tomorrow I will walk another two miles to test out the blisters on my feet. But they’ll get tougher, and I’ll get tougher. I’ll wear my fanny, uh, 3-Day pack, and I’ll carry extra socks and change my socks. I’ll get hot and sweaty. I’ll eat snacks, I’ll make new friends at other training walks and by October 23rd, whether I’m “ready” or not, I’ll walk 60 miles in three days. Will you be there when I finish? You are invited, in person, in spirit, on Facebook, via email, via my blog, via text, via phone and however else you want to be there, but come October 25th, you will know that I finished my 60 miles and I’ll be happy to tell you all about it!