I could not have done it without many of your emotional and financial help or without my "Avon Girls": Sarah, Christina, Chelsy and Jamie (Christina's mom).
For the last 3-4 years I have volunteered at both Avon and Susan G Komen walks, and this year I decided it was finally time to walk!!! I signed up, sent out an email requesting donations and was able to raise over $1800!!!! And then I started training for the walk.
That's how I met Sarah, Christina and Chelsy! It was so much more fun walking with these girls instead of on my own. And it was great to have their support last weekend. Plus, Christina's mom flew in from NY and walked with us, taking great care to make sure we were all good!
Below is my bracelet: I had to wear it during the entire walk. The funny thing was that when I received the bracelet in the mail, I thought they wrote down my gender wrong because it said M instead of F....turns out it was the size of my t-shirt :)
The Friday before the walk we all met up for dinner in Adams Morgan. It was nice and relaxing. I then stayed over at Sarah's, and her husband Nick was really nice to drive us to the opening ceremony: we got there at 5:30 in the MORNING! Bright and early! It was still dark outside. People gathered around, checked in their luggage (we were staying in a "wellness village" overnight...that means TENTS people!), ate breakfast and chatted.
The opening ceremony started around 6:30 and it SO got me crying! There were people sharing their personal connections with breast cancer: it is a horrendous disease. That is why all of us raised money and were ready to walk to raise awareness and to find cure for breast cancer!
(one of the photos below shows a line to porta-potties....we saw quite a bit of them during the weekend!)
(above: me, Chelsy, Sarah, Christina, Jamie)
And then it was time to walk!!!! Our pace was rather slow at the beginning because there were just too many walkers. The five of us stuck together for the first part of the walk, but then Sarah had to leave and play a concert (she's in the Marine band!!!) and rejoined us later that day.
The weather was perfect: overcast, slightly cool: perfect for walking for 11 hours: yes, that's how long it took us to walk 26.2 miles (that included bathroom breaks, snack breaks and lunch).
The walking was made easier by entertaining signs (see below) and a funny van (see above) that kept on following us around. There were so many people on the streets cheering us on and thanking us for what we were doing! And of course we had each other :)
Woo hoo! Mile 18!!! Don't I look thrilled? :) (you can see my new sunglasses and a balloon I carried the entire 1st day and most of the 2nd day before it popped on a branch of a tree)
We are done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (well, with the first day!) I felt like I accomplished quite a bit. We were tired, but proud! And we had hot showers waiting for us...but first we had to set up tents. Say what?! Luckily, one of the volunteers helped me out.
Below is Sarah's and my tent. Cozy :) And the picture next to it is our Saturday dinner. We ended up going to bed at 9, and I slept like a baby.
I woke up at 6:15 am on Sunday to the sound of rain. The first word out of my mouth was "sh*t" (or Shrimp!!! (inside joke)). I so did not want to walk in the rain. But walk we did! All 13 miles in a down pour! We were soaked through and through, and yet we kept on moving, putting one foot in front of the other. It took us almost 6 hours, but we made it!!!! (Oh, the pictures below are the tents in the rain, line for breakfast, and breakfast).
I think Sarah took the photo below around mile 8. That's when we found out that we would have to eat lunch in the rain...on the ground...in the wet rain. Do I look thrilled or what? We ended up finding a bank that had an overhanging "thing" and we all stood/sat there while eating our cold sandwiches.
But like I said, we all made it! I will post the pictures from the Finish Line once I get them. I'm so proud of myself and of everyone who has completed this walk! There were people of all ages, races, genders (ok, just women and men), and physical abilities. We all walked together, cheering each other, and knowing that the money we raised will go to a great cause.
Will I do this walk next year? Right now my answer is No, but you never know!