How can you stay motivated after so many months of training? Your body is screaming out...ok, you've done enough I'm tired! You have exceeded the minimum in everything, fundraising , suggested training and time committed. It's summer, so you just came back from your vacation where you remembered the other side of life; the side where you sit and drink wine and eat food and take short walks on perfect days. And that was pretty nice to tell you the truth. But here we are one month from the 3 day - 60 mile walk and it is time to get back on the road (regardless of weather and scheduling conflicts) and walk.
This weekend our suggested walking schedule calls for a 18 mile walk followed the next day by a 15 mile walk. This back to back walk is key to prepare you for the event. It will be challenging. I could stay home and bar-b-que ribs instead. I could be watching all the TV shows I missed during vacation on the DVR. I could be doing a lot of other things this Labor Day weekend but I will walk, why?
I walk, because I can't walk away.
Fifteen years ago I had two options when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I could fight this disease, or I could die. That was it. Today every 3 minutes in this world a woman or man will hear they have Breast Cancer. The hear that news and then their choices become just as limiting. Fight this disease or die.
How can anyone who has been in this fight not continue to fight after the "treatment" is finally over? I was that person until two years ago. After finishing with the surgeries, the chemo and the followup of Tamoxifen, I didn't want to hear the word Cancer again. Kind of like when I was on my vacation I didn't want to hear about Foreclosures or Short Sales. I would watch the ads for the 3 day and turn the channel. Each time the word Cancer was brought up, it brought me closer to the reality that I almost died. I didn't want to think about it. In not thinking about it maybe that would make it so it didn't ever happen to me at all. But somehow, Cancer didn't care. Cancer began stealing the lives of more and more people who I loved. Cancer put too many of my friends and families in the battle of the lives. When Patti was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and an ad came on for the SF 3 day, then I knew the pretending was over. I was still in a battle, and I had better start fighting if I ever expected to win.
So our team was started and I became its captain. And ever since, I have felt more alive than I have for 15 years. I feel more powerful than I have ever felt in my life. I see on a daily basis what passion and tenacity can do. I hear form people across the country how our efforts, (the 3 day walkers) have inspired them We had given hope to people who have stage IV Cancer. We cannot turn away. I cannot turn away. I cannot give up.
So tomorrow bright and early we will be meeting to start our 18 mile walk. Two women who have had Breast Cancer and a man who believes he can help us win this war. Three warriors in the fight against Cancer walking up hills and over the bridge and back to prepare for the battle October 1-3. Then the next day we will walk again, because we will never give up.
To my family, clients and co-workers. I thank you for your support and understanding. Each and every person who has donated is walking with me. But beyond that with each step I think, I am walking for those who can't. I am walking for my Mother, I am walking for bright eyed Susan, I am walking for Lyn and thousands of others. I am walking for all of those who lost their battle to this beast. I am also walking for those people, who like me after my treatment was over, are not ready to come back to the battlefield. And each day I am walking for Katie and Allison (Even though they both will be there in October walking with me) and their children's children and yours. I will not give up until this is a world without Breast Cancer, and even then I still may walk in a joyful celebration of victory.