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Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-Mile Walk | Seattle Experience
Thanks to Susan G. Komen 3-Day for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions in the post are my own.
The 3-Day Matters…
The Komen 3-Day 60-mile walk took place here in Seattle this past weekend (as you must have already seen on my social channels, and thanks to everyone who followed along and cheered me on, it meant the world to me!) and I am still pretty high (and sore ;)) and reeling in excitement from all the happenings at the event. It was an experience of a lifetime and a therapy for the mind, body and soul!
My heart was so full of emotions and I couldn’t have felt more blessed than to have had the opportunity to walk the 60 miles (137,929 steps) with 500 extremely passionate walkers. There was joy, there was sorrow, there was excitement, there was anxiety, there was courage, there was nervousness, but above all there was hope, there was hope that one day we will all indeed live in a world free of Breast Cancer, which is why the 3-Day matters!
Words fail me as I begin to talk about the 3-Day but here’s an attempt… My eyes welled up with tears as I witnessed a sea of people gather around Seattle’s pride, Space Needle and share their stories at the opening ceremony on that mildly chilly, crisp and gorgeous Friday morning. And it was all uphill from then on, literally and figuratively!!!
Though I had full intentions of training well and training hard for the walk, I barely trained for it – what between having a baby, looking for and buying a house, moving, traveling, all happening in the last few months, unfortunately, I had very little time left to actually train. TBH, I was only able to train for 5 days in total and my longest walk during which was probably 4 miles (I used to walk 6 miles when I was 41.2 weeks pregnant without complaining, so this didn’t really sum up to any training). So naturally I was extremely nervous (but determined) about being able to complete the 60 miles (P.S: Since I have a baby at home I had originally planned to do the walk only on Friday + Sunday and skip Saturday which would sum up to about 40 miles, but I just couldn’t stay back at home on Day 2 when I so badly wanted to be amongst other walkers).
Even though taking a sweeper van (which transports you to the next pit stop, lunch stop or back to camp) was an option if my body failed me, in my head that wasn’t an option, not for me (unless I was injured). But as the walk began and as I started talking to more and more people, I was fully determined to complete the 60 mile journey, all on my own. I drew energy from other walkers who had flown in from all over and their inspiring stories. It is mind boggling what other people’s energy can do to your own – together we are stronger, together we are unbroken, together we can do anything! Exactly why the 3-Day matters!
*Taff, a 2 time survivor has done the walk for 26 years. After Seattle, she is also doing the one in San Diego! (I take a bow!!). She’s graciously offered to have me join her group of ‘Flamingos’ during their next training sesh!
* A mother and daughter duo (SoCal gals) who have walked together for several years. They said they walk for a long list of women in their lives, and that the 3-Day does something to their soul. Besides, they said that the event is also a great time for the mom and daughter to bond!
* A daughter who walks in memory of her mother and also just so her own daughter does not have to live in a world with breast cancer!
* Little children who have lost their mothers, little children of mothers who are currently undergoing treatment, and little children of mothers who are survivors… my heart hurt and I cried a little every time I walked by these young children!
* A really old woman (old just by age BTW) who is a survivor walked with the support of hiking poles but walked nonetheless (and was ahead of most people). And frankly, I’d be ashamed of myself if I didn’t see her as an inspiration and complete the walk, with age and health being on my side.
* Many women who walked for the rest of the women in the world (1 in every 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer), and women who walked so there could be more survivors in the world. Men who sported pink and walked for the women in their lives, and because breast cancer doesn’t care about your gender.
* Some walkers who have walked not 1 not 2 not 3 60-mile events but have signed up to walk every single 3-Day in the US this year, that is 60 miles * 7
P.S: During the walk I overheard a little girl (passerby, she was probably about 5-6 years old) ask her mother why we (the walkers) were all wearing funny clothes and walking together, and the mom began explaining to her about the cause… and I went up to her and gently said, ‘this is exactly why, it’s to raise awareness about breast cancer (a brutal disease) among people like you’, she then said that she’d also like to join us. I love the fact that the little girl was so inquisitive and wanted to get involved too, and this is exactly why the 3-Day matters…
And many, many (many) more such heartening stories that I heard all through the weekend kept me going, which is why the 3-Day matters!
As we began the walk through the city of Seattle on Friday morning, one of the walkers told me, ‘every walker is so kind, every walker is so helpful, every walker is so friendly and every walker is always cheering each other on, if everyone came together in real life as they do during these 3 days, then the world would definitely be a better place!” The 3-Day walk brings about a sense of togetherness even among strangers, which is why the 3-Day matters!
The 3-Day route in Seattle was simply gorgeous (yes, it has a ton of killer hills, but it is all worth it for the killer views) and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I saw so much of Washington in those 3 days than I had seen in the last 2 years of living in Seattle. The route begins in the heart of Seattle city,leads up to some beautiful suburbs and ends back in the city on the last day. Lunch stops and pit stops were also thoughtfully planned, some prettier than the others. With pink camps (sadly, I had to miss out on glamping so I could be back home with my baby) being set up at Marymoor Park where dinner and breakfast were served, where massage chairs (thanks to Bank of America) helped ease the pain from walking all the miles and climbing all the hills, where there was music, dance and other entertainment, where everyone grabbed a prop and struck a pose to celebrate their victory for the day!
At times, I would walk with others, chit-chatting and learning their stories and at others,I would walk alone to assimilate everything I had learnt from others thus far. Along with the pain, my energy too seemed to increase as the miles progressed – on Day 3 despite the fact that I was the last one to start the walk (thanks to missing exits) I pretty much power walked my way (was the 220th person out of 500 to reach one of the pit stops) to the finish line. And as luck would have it, it got smoky again in Seattle on Day 3 and Seattle decided to rain on us and have us end the event in true PNW style!
That feeling of accomplishment of having walked the 60 miles and of having made a difference is inexplicable! You can only relish it but can never really put it in words…
But that’s not it, the closing ceremony sure makes you feel proud of every dollar you raised and every step you walked, because, you see right before your eyes the difference you have made, you witness first hand all the smiles on every survivors face, which is exactly why the 3-Day matters!
And just like that, the 3-Day event came to an end. But it’s never too late to join the 3-Day team in another city (I hear San Diego is a favorite among most) or next year. Hop on over to this post or this post to learn more about why the 3-Day matters and how you too can get involved and make a difference.
Love your body, it is capable of doing so many amazing things, admire it and challenge it!
Be Bold, Be Fearless, Be More Than Pink!
“Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.”