Monday, November 16, 2009

Floppy Boob Power!

Aaaaaaaaand I'm back!  Swinies be damned! Now, to get this party started off with a bang(!), my belated 3 Day Recap!  Instead of being all "conventional" with the sequential photo review, I give you a theme...



Things I Learned Whilst Walking 60 Miles
& Sleeping in a Pink Tent:


(1) Women Get Shit Done.  Its been mentioned by several (well-meaning) men that there is no awareness month or 60 mile trek or special ribbon or race for the cure dedicated to prostate cancer.  Which, admittedly, is a shame (although... what color would that ribbon be?), but I also don't see droves of men rushing out to share their stories, promote awareness or organize events to raise money for more male-oriented maladies.  In the face of a disease that - while not wholly gender-specific - strikes at women 99 times out of 100, the ladies have freakin' rallied!  Not even considering the hundreds of other events that benefit breast cancer each year, the Breast Cancer 3 Day is a massive undertaking.  This year in Dallas alone, 3,000 walkers and 450 crew members raised 7.5 Million Dollars for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Over the course of 2009, fourteen other cities hosted the 3 Day.  And the scope of this thing... MASSIVE!  2,000 pink tents! Towel service for 5,000!  Pounds upon pounds of spaghetti!  5 full-service Pit Stops per day, each with its own ta-ta-tastic theme (my favorite was Hogwarts for Hooters)!  And I don't even want to think about how many Port-a-Potties - I'm sure the number would boggle the mind!  You get the picture... This event runs like a well-oiled machine, and maybe I'm giving credit unfairly to the fairer sex, but its incredible to see the "planning" and "nurturing" qualities of women harnessed to pull-off one hell of an event!


Opening Ceremonies

Entrance to Camp

Dining Tent, Survivor Flags, and the Ever-Present Port-o-Potties

Pink Tent City

Leaving Camp Day 3

(2) Men Who Love the Women Who Get Shit Done Are Pretty Amazing Too.  Be it the Marines who walked all 60 miles in fatigues with 40 lb combat packs, the volunteer who either walked in or crewed 12 walks in 2009, or the husbands, sons, boyfriends, and brothers who wore pink and yelled at each and every cheer station, the menfolk supporting the ladies in their lives got me every single time!


My Favorites: Pink Beard + Pink Westie... at EVERY Cheering Station!


(3) If You Want Your Husband to Cheer for You, You Might Want to Print Out a Copy of the Cheer Station Times and Locations and Give It To Him.  Because you know he won't find it on his own.  And you can't really yell at him if he doesn't show up to someplace he didn't know he was supposed to be.  Well, you can.  But you're going to look like a passive-aggressive bitch... which kind of takes the fun out of it.


Bra Beetle





Elefantita Hood Ornament

(4) My Mother is Simply the Breast!  {Oh, I have an entire menagerie of breast puns up my sleeve now, yessireebob!}  I became motivated to participate in the 3 Day after a silly little blog incident got me thinking that I'd like to be a part of something with a little pro-women pizazz.  Needing a partner in crime, I recruited mi madre, who (a) is a champion walker (you should see this woman tackle Town Lake in ATX) and (b) I can totally hang with for 72 hours straight.  Seeing as November (Saturday the 14th to be exact!) marks her 60th birthday, we thought it fitting to walk 60 miles for an equal number of years.  In true "Monitor" (a loving nickname bequeathed to her by CSP when we were in high school) Fashion, Jan approached the 3 Day meticulously.  Jan took one month to carefully consider whether she should sign up, posting her questions on the message boards and calling the hotline who-knows-how-many-times (I heard the radio ad a couple of times, had 3 glasses of wine and impulsively paid my entrance fee online in a period of about 36 hours).  Jan followed the training guide to a T (I faithfully tabbed and archived the training guides with a special "3 Day" label in my Gmail).  Her endless inquiries as to what type of socks I had purchased might have driven me a little nutty in the interim, but she was my rock, every step of the way.  When I forgot my book, she read to me about Hero Pets and Natalie Cole (different articles) from her AARP Magazine until I fell asleep. On Day 2, when I cried about 8 gazillion times and seriously considered sawing my ankles off with a nail file (See #7), she got me through the last 5 miles, even after I snapped at her several times.  Entering Closing Ceremonies together will remain one of the best moments of my life. There's no one else who I would have rather shared this experience with... I love you, Mom!


In her Energizer Bunny Ears



Oh, and she finished 60 miles with only 1 blister, which I'm pretty sure is a record of some sort.

(5) Maybe Remember to Pack a Hairbrush.  Or at least remind your tent-mate to pack one.  'Cause y'all's gonna look like real frizzy hobos at the end of three days if you don't have a hairbrush.



(6) There Are Eighteen Wheelers with Showers Inside of Them!  Seriously.  And they have hot water.  How smart are humans?



(7) There is a Right and a Wrong Way to Step onto a Curb.  Did you know this?  Apparently I did not.  The correct way to tackle a curb is to get very close to the curb and lift your leg up high from the thigh.  The incorrect approach is to reach out with your toe and push up from your ankle.  Guess which way I roll?  Quiz Question No. 2: Guess what happens to your ankles after two days, 40 miles and something like 300 curbs?

Exhibit A:


Duly noted.

(8) Fanny Packs Are the Shit.  If you did not have a fanny pack on the 3 Day, you were not cool.  The bigger and more tricked out, the better (meaning that I, with my two-zipper, one carabiner pack was not the coolest cat in the bunch by a long shot).  Also, Stickers = The Best Thing in the World.  If someone is giving out stickers, you want to be there.  If the stickers are glitter stickers, then THIS IS THE BEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE.


I heart you Marmot Fanny Pack.  And you too, Ring Pop.

(9) If You See Thousands of People Walking for a Cause and You Want to Show Your Support, For the Love of All Things Holy, Do Not Honk Your Horn.  Roll down your window, turn up your tunes, and yell "You Can Do It!"  Shoe polish your car!  Go to a Cheer Station!  Bring Tootsie Rolls!  Paint a sign!  But unless you want me to curse the day of your conception, lay off your fucking horn.  The horns are fun until about Mile 12.  Then they made me want to throw myself into on-coming traffic and give someone something to really honk about.  Surely Jan and I are not the only walkers who felt this way, although at the point during Day 2 when Jan yelled "SHUT THE HELL UP," we did get some pretty evil stares from our fellow walkers who were feeling a bit more chipper than we were.  Apparently poor spirit is not welcome with Seasoned 3 Day-ers, even when aimed at obnoxious Hummer Honkers (and you KNOW how I feel about Hummers).


Local Elementary School, Cheering Us On!

(10) Don't Piss Off the Walkers By Asking Stupid Questions.  Scene: End of Day 2... 40 miles down, hobbling into camp and metaphorically wanting to crawl into a hole and cry (See #4, 7, and 11).  Like the awesome Horns Fan that I am, I've forgone the pink for a little burnt orange on Gameday.  A man (non-walker and non-crew) stops me (which, first mistake - do NOT come between a crazy woman, her Ibuprofen, and carbs at this point in the game, Buster Brown) and inquires "Do you know the final score?"  Assuming he was trying to be nice and meant "Has anyone told you the final score? If not, let me offer my knowledge, dear philanthropist!," I replied "Nope - what was it?"  To which he retorts "No - I was hoping you knew."  Um, Newsflash, Buckoo, I've been a little bit preoccupied today... you know... WITH THE WALKING OF SIXTY MILES FOR CANCER AND SUCH.





(11) Even the Most Positive of Pollys Has Her Moments... a/k/a Its All About Perspective. I like to think of myself as a Glass Half Full Gal. But there were times during these 60 miles that I wanted to punch the next person in I saw in pink right in the kisser.  The motivational signs along the route ("A Blister Never Needed Chemo!") steeled my resolve during the morning hours.  About two o'clock however, I usually felt like shouting "At least you get to SIT DOWN when you get chemo!"  (Awesome. I am the worst person in the world.).  And then I'd cross the finish line into camp each day and see those who walked in between chemo sessions, and feel extremely humbled and honored to walk beside them.  Or right around Mile 48, when I had my eye out for pot holes in which I might accidentally, on-purpose break my ankle... 24 hours later, I entered Closing Ceremonies arm-in-arm with a woman who did break her ankle on Mile 22... she walked 5 miles further - alone - until she caught a ride to the hospital where she told the doctor that she would be walking the last 20 miles, thankyouverymuchandwhere'smywalkingcast?  Last weekend, I witnessed two daughters take turns pushing their kerchiefed mother's wheelchair 60 miles.  Last Sunday, we watched a Survivor as she crossed the finish line of her 125th 3 Day...7,500 miles in the face of a disease that nearly killed her.  We all have our struggles.  Whatever they may be, however silly, they can seem insurmountable.  I think a point of reference, every now and again, works wonders.


Walking into Closing Ceremonies...

... at Fair Park!

Survivors' Circle


60 Miles in 3 Days!

(12) If You Were Wondering If Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" Gets Old... It Doesn't.  Neither does Thriller.  But we already knew that.


Athletic Tape & After-Math

For more information about The 3 Day or to sign up for 2010, visit www.the3day.org.

26 comments:

  1. Wow, this is so inspiring! It sounds like a great (and painful) experience. Kudos to you!

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  2. Love it, you and your mom are total rock stars. I will have to share your point about prostate cancer awareness with my husband... a very excellent point indeed!

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  3. I am seriously crying so hard that my dog is giving me funny looks. What an amazing recap of what sounds like an incredible event!

    Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment!!

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  4. this sounds amazing. i'm so proud of you guys! and now i'm looking into the july 2010 3 day in boston for my mom and me...

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  5. so so proud of you! y'all are adorable and i know it was a great experience! thanks for the update. and so glad you're feeling better.

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  6. That is such an incredible thing to have accomplished- especially with your mom by your side. Congratulations!

    I suspect it was the Texas male fan who breathed the swine flu germs on you.

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  7. This recap is absolutely amazing. I am such a huge respect for you and this incredible accomplishment! Your stories made me both laugh and tear up a bit toward the end. Walkers = hardcore. GREAT JOB!

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  8. That's awesome. Just awesome. How wonderful--even if you were tortured with blisters and car honkers--very impressed and inspired by you my dear!

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  9. This post seriously made me cry. Your spontaneous choice to sign up for the 3 day was a good one. I have contemplated doing this event before with my own mother--who is campion walker like the Monitor. Congratulations! I hope that you feel better from the swiney flu too.

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  10. You and your floppy boobs and your mom are absolutely amazing! Good for you guys for making it through! Seriously...fantastic!

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  11. Over the 8 years I've been involved with the 3 Day, I've read lots of recaps of peoples' experiences, but this one is the best! Congratulations on your accomplishment. I'm walking in San Diego this coming weekend and I think I'll copy your blog as MY recap. :)

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  12. This brought tears to my eyes! What a great accomplishment... and to think it all came from someone saying you had floppy boobs (which by the way you absolutely did not...maybe she/he forgot that real boobs don't stick straight out!)... Way to take something rude and turn it into a positive and life changing moment!

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  13. wow! i definitely teared up when reading this - so inspiring and so awesome that you guys did this!

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  14. Awesome! I loved reading your recap!!

    I'm doing the 3Day walk this coming weekend (Nov 20-22) in San Diego with four of my fellow triplet moms and we are PUMPED. But after reading this, I now see that I need to go buy a new fanny pack and a whole lotta stickers...

    Rock on, sister!

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  15. Wow. Congratulations! It is amazing that you did this, and I love that you did it with your mom.

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  16. You've written an amazing recap of a very inspring weekend. I loved doing every step of it with you!! I will never forget the experience or the cause that it benefitted. XXOO

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  17. YAY!! I love this recap and am so proud of you and your mom and all the women who participated out there... big hugs to you all!

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  18. How incredible and inspiring!! That's amazing that you did that. Loved the recap!

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  19. you guys totally rocked it! What an inspiring recap and awesome experience.

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  20. Incredible. This thing is taking on a life of its own. Are you sure you weren't really at Burning Man? Or the SF Bay to Breakers? Congratulations!

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  21. YAYYAYAYAY Kate!! I'm so proud of you! those pics of he men in pink gear totally cracked me up.

    That pic of your feet all bandaged up looks incredibly painful :( Now a marathon will seem like a cake walk.

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  22. what an amazing recap. i have such an incredible respect for you.. this is freakin' huge! i'm so glad you enjoyed yourself and that you are feeling better!

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  23. What an amazing experience! It looks like you had a great time surrounded by people fighting for the same cause. I love the bra-covered bug and the rows and rows of pink tents!

    Oh- and the blisters and bandages are definitely Bad Ass

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  24. This is an amazing and inspiring post. I am so proud of you and your mom for doing this! It must've been just fantastic to be there.

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  25. Never respected you more than I do right now. So So proud of you. For the steps you took and the lessons you learned. You never waste the pretty!
    Love,
    The Bumpkin

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  26. So I'm like 200 years late on the congratulations but I had to read the whole thing! You are amazing and reading this post totally reminded me of the 3 day I did when my mom was still alive. Tear! :) Thanks for taking the time to raise the money and walk the miles. <3 You are a great inspiration to many! xoxo

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happy little comments!