Thursday, July 5, 2012

17.5 miles that end with a bang

Independence.
Its a wonderful thing. How often in life do we feel held captive by circumstance, by our jobs, our relationships, our health? Short of divine intervention people are many times lost and held back by things we feel out of our control.

Then there is the 3 day.

I only have to look back at when I first decided to walk. I did not think it was within my birthright to walk 60 miles. Heck, I was over weight, I was out of shape. My first walk was a mile and I was breathless. I walked up a freeway pedestrian over pass and had to stop 3 times. I kept pushing through the barriers that had been surrounding me. Each time I would push a little further and with each barrier 2 miles, 5 miles, double digit numbers and finally understood I was free to be whatever I wanted to be. I was as much or more of an athlete as many of the people who float through Marin on their bikes, or pilates or even a marathon or simply the wearer of spandex in Whole Foods. It was a revelation.

How much independence is built on our own opinions of what is possible.


Yesterday on Independence day my two new team mates are discovering in their own ways how much is truly possible. Patty owns a linen shop and spends time in Maryland with her Mother. She is a lot like me when I started training for the 3 day. I do not think, she thought it possible, but each and every day she is surprising herself.

Leslie coming out of a year of hell, with her daughter's Cancer is celebrating her own third year of survival. A mother of 3 she is doing it all. How could she possibly fit in training and by the way..... 60 miles?
"I hope I can do that".

On this independence day I saw in each, that look in their eye that says they have realized the walls have come down. 60 Miles? I WILL DO THAT!
We started a little later than we had planned. And even a wee bit longer than that as we stopped for coffee along with many parade goers in Sausalito. We took some time to snap a few shots of the parade as we passed.



And I looked at my phone for the time and realized... we were running way behind. We had planned to be on a 2:20 ferry to Tiburon so we could see Patty's husband Mike and Go Kat Go perform at the Corinthian Yacht Club at 3. So we pressed on. Onward to the BIG hill up to the bridge.
There's no doubt this ascent was one that makes most walkers a little nervous. Some walkers wish for the day they install a tow rope to help walkers get up the hill.
And as we approached the bridge we knew the hill was close at hand.
Right after the Coast Guard station where we will be greeted during the 3 day by pink shirts and smiles.
Until before you know it ... Voila! we are there. One more barrier vaulted over.
Then on to crossing the bridge. The 2 mile span is noisy and full of bikes, people and craziness.
But the tourists give us a chance to get our picture taken together.
And there we are on the other side. The smiles get bigger as the goal seems close at hand.
But we were late late late. I poured on my power walk and Patty and Leslie were jogging to keep up. But we still missed the ferry to Tiburon which operates near Pier 39. That left us with choices, keep walking or take a cab. If we kept walking we could (if we didn't slow down too much) make the ferry to Sausalito.

Excitement when we realize we did it! 17.5 miles. 17.5 miles of busting down barriers and declaring our independence from the "I can'ts"

Rewarding ourselves with some gelato.
And icy beer on the ferry.

Glenn picked us up and drove us to the club in Tiburon where Rob and the kids met us. The Purchase children are a reflection of their parents. They are full of love and a joy of life. When they see me they run and give me big hugs. It makes my spirit just soar.

At the club Olivia twirled and danced much to the delight of everyone who saw her. She radiates a pure joy that is hard to ignore.
Oh yes, I think I know where that comes from.

And Jack and Joe.
Jack lights up like a Christmas tree, and despite how "cool" older brother Joe may try to be, he is right there with his brother.
Olivia discovered my phone could take her picture (and she took about 30) here are a couple.


Then she took a couple of the table cloth and the glass of water and several of my hat and... a few people.
We waited for the fireworks and as they exploded is bursts of jeweled color, I thought about the day. I thought about how far we all have come to stand up and say I AM FREE! I am free of Cancer. I will make a world that is FREE of Cancer and I will not be held back by anything!

There is nothing more powerful than someone who has claimed their own independence.

It was a good day.