Sunday, September 7, 2014

Catching Up: May

In May, I participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer for the second time. It was held in DC, so I drove down on Friday night and slept at my aunt's place. Saturday morning I woke up around 4AM and drove in to DC. As with last time, I had a good deal of trouble finding the appropriate parking garage, but eventually I found it and made it onto the shuttle bus. The walk started in front of the Washington Monument and wove through much of DC and Chevy Chase. On Saturday I walked more than 26 miles. It was tiring, of course. I lost both of my big toenails and dealt with several minor blisters. My legs ached. But, it was quite nice to be back in DC and MD. It was peaceful, yet energizing. The weather was perfect and I especially loved seeing the azaleas blooming. That area is just gorgeous and the route took us past many of the popular sites. Towards the end, the volunteers (crossing guards and rest stops) kept saying, "Only 'X' more miles," but us walkers started to think they were outright lying to us. Those last two miles just had to be five. I think I was probably asleep in my tent before 7PM.

On Sunday morning as I walked into the food tent for breakfast, a volunteer placed a pink sash/ribbon in my hand. Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, so sashes were distributed every three minutes as a visual reminder of this. Over the course of the weekend, an ever larger percentage of walkers wore a sash. One woman, a survivor, described to me how hard it hit her when the volunteer seemed to pop out of nowhere to hand her the "diagnosis." She said she felt it was too similar to her actual diagnosis, which also seemed to come out of nowhere. Her only relief was that it hadn't been her (adult) daughter, who was walking with her. Even though those sashes didn't mean we'd actually been diagnosed, she said she still was relieved that her daughter wasn't handed one.

On Sunday I walked another 14 miles, and eventually just laid in the grass at the end of the course relaxing before I caught the shuttle bus back to my car and drove home. Thanks again to all my donors, who together donated more than $2,000 to help in the fight against breast cancer. 

(Pink because I was in my pink tent)

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