So… walk entry Part III – the end of the trilogy.
The people I encountered on this journey were incredible. I can’t possibly explain it and expect anyone who wasn’t there to understand, so here are a few of the little jems that I found along the way:
Strength: When you’re walking in the rain and wanting to quit, you don’t. You draw your strength from walking with the other participants. With women who have no hair because it hasn’t grown in yet from Chemo. With people who are obviously not fit and struggling more than you are. With teenaged boys who are walking with their mom. With a 10 year old girl who wanted to make a difference. With a woman who’s doing the entire walk with one leg. You smile, you bond, and you suddenly feel stronger.
Angels: The women who set up a lemonade stand for us on Sunday morning. The CIBC employees who thought to hand out umbrellas in the pouring rain. The volunteers and crew who kept smiling and cheering from the very beginning right to the bitter end. The self-designated cheering squads who followed the walk for no other reason than to give us a little inspiration and keep us going. Everyone who stopped to say “thank you” along the way.
Friends: This event brought me together with some fantastic people I’d have never gotten to know otherwise. When having post-walk pedicures, we realized that we had a group of four women from different decades; each of us in the early halves of our 20’s 30’s 40’s and 50’s. When else do you have the opportunity to bond with people so far outside your own experience?
Impact: I haven’t mentioned yet (though it’s been all over the news so I’m sure at least some of you know) how much money the walk raised. I’m proud to say that I was part of an event that raised over $7 million dollars for Breast Cancer research. Unlike most people on the walk, I wasn’t tied super strongly to the cause. I just wanted to do something to make a positive impact on society in general, and challenge myself to step out of my own boundaries at the same time. I did all that and more – and definitely got back infinitely more than I gave.
And thus ends the walk saga for this year. 2005 registration is open, and although I won’t be walking next year (mostly because I don’t feel right hitting up my friends and family and putting on fundraisers for $2000 each year), I will be crewing – both in Vancouver, and the plan is to also crew in Calgary. I encourage you to join me, either as crew, or a volunteer. I promise you won’t regret it for a second!