As we approached the camp, I had no idea what to expect, but what's new? The entire experience up to this point had been full of unknowns, new experiences and trepidation over what lie ahead. The view all around me was a sea of pink. Pink bubbles as far as the eye could see. I assessed the situation and tried to figure out where my pink bubble was located. I found a man walking around with an official looking name tag on and asked him where my pink bubble was set up.
"All the tents are laying over there. Just grab one and set it up."
He had to be kidding. There is no way they expected us to set up our own tent after just completing a twenty mile walk in weather that was so hot my armpits were stuck to my body. I had sticky Popsicle goop all down the front of my shirt and Gatorade stains made me look like my whole body had been dipped in tie dye. If I thought too long and hard about it I could feel a blister working hard to develop on the back of my left heel. If I thought at all, I could feel every muscle in my body screaming at me to go take a hot shower and get a massage.
And then I stopped.
I thought about the women and men who had undergone weeks and months of chemotherapy, radiation, invasive surgeries. I thought about the pain, the fear, the side effects they live with every day as they fight to survive. I thought about the friends I have lost to this dread disease. I thought about how hard so many of my friends had fought to survive. I thought about my mom and her battle with breast cancer 24 years ago and how thankful I am that she survived. I gave myself a good bitch slap, ended my pity party, walked over and grabbed my pink bubble tent. I proudly set it up in the field with all of the thousands of other Susan G. Komen participants who were walking with me in the 3 Day, 60 mile walk.
That was in 2007. I had the privilege of walking in the Susan G Komen 3 Day for the Cure walk with five wonderful friends. Our team name was 'Melons with Moxie'. We raised over $15,000. for the cause. I was Major Melon and the other teammates were Senior Melon, Math Melon, Ellen Melon, Motivating Melon and Stylin' Melon. We walked, laughed, sang, cried, danced and were dedicated to this life changing event. I don't type that lightly. It was a life changing event for each of us in very personal ways. Have you ever had the privilege to participate in something that is so much bigger than yourself? A chance to make a positive difference in someone's life? For three intense days we were surrounded by powerfully positive attitudes, mind boggling motivation and lots of love. These weren't just invisible concepts. These were tangible, 'you could feel it in the air' actions that were happening all around us. We never felt that we were walking on concrete or cement. We felt that we were walking on clouds and sunshine for sixty miles over three days.
Don't get me wrong. We all had our moments. Blisters, nasty blisters like I had never seen before developed on many heels and toes. Moments of missing our loved ones sometimes overwhelmed us. Many emotions surged through our bodies as we walked, hoping and praying that the cure for this disease be found and no one would ever need to walk for this cause again.
And now I have made the decision to walk again. On October 8, 9 and 10th I will be walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure in Washington, DC. I will walk hard and steady, knowing that I am making a difference, knowing that I am part of something so much bigger than myself. I am once again putting together a team of Melons who have Moxie. Not sure who will be my side, but no worries. I know that I will not be alone because I am walking for so many and I will carry them in my heart and soul.
If you have an extra moment and are able to make a donation I invite you to visit my web page by clicking on the 3 Day button on my sidebar. Interested in walking with our 'Melons with Moxie' team, please email me. Aren't able to walk with us or make a donation? Then please send positive energy and hold us in your thoughts and prayers as we train over the next few months. And know that by doing so, you are also part of something so much bigger than yourself. Thank you.