It’s a little more than a month away.
I will be walking 60 miles over 3 days in Boston at the end of July.
I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified.
The first time I did the walk in 2011, I had no idea what to expect. I also had my partner in crime, Christina. Now, I know exactly what to expect, and that makes me even more scared.
I remember how tough it got, ESPECIALLY at the end of day 2 and then the home stretch of day 3. I remember the 107 degree weather (no joke), the torrential rainstorm the second day, and how my legs felt like they were on autopilot after walking so many miles.
I remember my terrible sunburns, the bug bites, feeling so hot that I had NO IDEA how I could ever bring my body temperature down.
I remember them shutting down the course at the end of days one AND two because it was too hot. The second day Christina said, “Fuck it,” and finished anyway… in 107 degree weather.
But I also remember the opening ceremony and writing down my reason for walking: Ro.
I remember meeting the group of women on the second day who were walking for their friend with stage 4. She was 35.
I remember making friends with women from all over the country. Every one of them with their own ties to breast cancer.
I remember passing the pond with swans and Christina and I screaming, “Stop looking at me SWAAAAAN!”
I remember when Christina blamed the loud fart from the tent next to us on me… 😉
I remember taking a detour to stop by Berklee and take a picture in front of Pour House when we crossed the Charles river.
I remember crying and hugging Christina when we crossed the finish line.
I remember calling my dad and him telling me he had to get off the phone because he didn’t want me to hear him cry.
I remember taking off my shoe and raising it into the air at the closing ceremony.
I remember raising OVER $11,000.
When I think about these things… I become a little less terrified.
This time around things are a little different: I definitely have not raised as much as my previous walk, I don’t have a friend walking with me, and I certainly haven’t had the time to train like I did last time.
But then I have to remind myself that it all comes back to my mom. Every dollar raised, every step taken, ever blister on my toes, every time I feel to tired/hot/miserable to move, I MUST think of her.
I can do this.
Even without the cushion of the thousands of dollars.
Even without the comfort of having my best friend there.
I can walk 60 miles. I’ve already done that.
And let’s be honest… we ALL know I can make friends.
Something that struck me to my core during one of the night events on day two was a woman living with stage four. She brought her two kids on stage who couldn’t have been more than 8 and 10.
(I apologize if this sounds morose)
All I could think about was the fact that these kids most likely have five years or less with their mother. Of COURSE I was hopeful that this would not be the case… but I know enough about breast cancer statistics to know it was true.
I think about that family all the time… and for the life of me, I can’t even recall what they looked like or their names.
But I know that if in some small way I can help a doctor conduct more research, or pay for a struggling family to have some comfort as their loved one grows weaker, then I have done sometime worth being proud of.
I complain on my blog a lot about trivial things. I know that.
But I need to remind myself that I am lucky that I got to grow up with the family I did. And I am lucky that I got to spend 23 years with a wonderful mother who taught me more about life and love than most people ever have.
So if this story has meant anything to you, and you feel moved to help me in my journey, click on the link on the upper right of this post or visit https://shannonallenmusic.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/the-susan-g-komen-3-day-my-thoughtsmy-fears/
I love you all,