The walk was nearly two weeks ago, and yet I haven’t fully blogged the experience – it’s difficult to come home from being away for so long and figure out just where to pick up and how to get entirely caught up. I spent the first week home feeling like I was trying to staple Jell-O to a tree – and now… I think I’ve got it all back together.
Here’s what you probably already know: This was my third year walking in the Avon Walk. We walked 39.3 miles over two days (however, this feels like a gross underestimation – there are “real miles” and there are “Avon miles”. An Avon mile always seems longer than an actual mile). Typically, the set up is walking a marathon on day 1 (26.2 miles) and a half marathon on day 2 (13.1) – given the set up in California, the mileage was slightly different each day – but the overall effect was the same.
This was my first year walking in San Francisco – I dreaded the hills. I didn’t actually like them much during the walk but eventually discovered that walking UP a hill beats the hell out of walking down. Seems contrary, right? However – when you walk down a hill, your toes hit the front of your shoes — that’s potential for pain, blisters and toenails falling off. No bueno.
Each member on our team raised at least $1,800. This is money that will be used to fund programs for research and treatment programs. The walkers in San Francisco raised over four million dollars - that’s a pretty good chunk of change going to a pretty awesome cause.
And it’s important to say that because I know that during and after the walk, sometimes… I complain. My feet hurt. Walking up hills hurt my butt muscles (What?). I tripped over the crack in the middle of a street when I was crossing it (who’s surprised?). My legs ached. I was tired when I was done.
Whine. Whine. Whine.
You know what?
All my complaints? They’re so small. As a sign said “Blisters Don’t Need Chemo”. I’m grateful for my health and my ability to walk and participate to fundraise for a cause so dear to my heart. Spending two days walking with people I love is a huge win – we’ve done the hard part already: We’ve raised the money to help fund some pretty amazing programs. I’ve said since my first walk, the fundraising is more difficult than the actual walking. In these really rough economic times, I understand that it’s hard for people to part with their money – and there are a lot of amazing causes and people needing help too. It’s hard to decide where to give your resources. I’m truly blessed that so many people supported me, my efforts and this cause I believe in. EVERY DOLLAR MATTERS, EVERY DOLLAR HELPS.
San Francisco is a breath-taking city and getting to see parts of it I might not see otherwise – well, that was phenomenal. Trust me when I say I would have never chosen to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge – nervous nelly, that’s me – but when I look at some of the pictures I took ON the bridge? Wow. I did it. I didn’t throw up while doing it. I didn’t fly off the bridge like a Yugo, either (shush. I was concerned.).
I’ve walked in Chicago twice – and I have to say San Francisco’s lack of rain and blistering heat made the walk so much more enjoyable.
And next year? Boston. I’ve never been there – and what better way to explore a new city than by walking around it? ALL around it.
To get a brief glimpse of what 39.3 looks like in SF, watch the video below.