I've been home for several weeks now from the Atlanta Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure 2010. I have been processing the impact of the event over the past several weeks and I'm still overwhelmed when I think of it. It was, quite simply, one of the most amazing things I've ever been privileged to do. I had so many folks supporting me, and all throughout the event it was evident to see the impact it has on nearly everyone's life. Unfortunately, most everyone knows a survivor of breast cancer.
A few of my favorite things:
Day 1--Sugar Hill Elementary School (the ENTIRE school) was lined along the street cheering for the walkers. By the time I had finished high-fiving every grade schooler out there, I couldn't contain my tears. I'm glad I had on sunglasses. There was something so touching about seeing children cheering for us. I hope it made as big of an impact on their life as it did mine in that moment.
Day 2--seeing camp at the end of the Day was a highlight. What a LONG day! Also, I received sooo many texts from family and friends on Day 2. I felt very loved and then I returned to camp to find my camp mail! My sneaky, but loving husband had gotten friends to write me letters of encouragement. I got to enjoy my mail while sitting in a foot and back massage chair. It was a truly special time.
After opening my mail, I visited the Remembrance Tent. This is an area of camp where there are white tents set up from each 3-Day city. Walkers and crew from each city write names of those they remember who have lost their battle from breast cancer. I could hardly stand to write Mindy McCann's name on Atlanta's tent, but I knew I had to for her and her memory. Although special, it was the hardest part of my 3-Day journey.
Day 3--Walking through downtown Atlanta to Turner Field was very neat. Celebrating with my 2700 newest friends at closing ceremony was tremendous. I can't even describe the feeling of being physically and emotionally exhausted, yet feeling so alive and part of something so much bigger than myself. I was in awe the entire weekend of how many people came out to support us. There were many cheering stations, and if I had taken candy from every person I think I could have filled up 3 suitcases! I felt very unworthy and uncomfortable to have people cheering for me, as I felt like I should not be the one getting the attention. So, I walked through most cheering areas crying and telling everyone "thank you for supporting us!" It was a very humbling experience.
Below are some photos. I've been asked many times if I'm going to walk again, to which my answer is "yes, but not next year!" I loved every minute of it, but I need this next year to spend Saturdays with my family again. However, I'm not done walking! I've got a few more rounds of 60 miles left in me, I think.