I survived! As a matter of fact, just like the Kaiser commercial, I thrived! I remember thinking last week some time that this would be the one and only time that I would do this. Apparently, walking the 3-Day is just like having a baby - at the end, you forget the pain, the endorphins kick in and you know that you will, in fact, do this again at some point. I know now why some people return year after year. This is an opportunity to see people at their very best....I believe it can be addicting.
Before I talk about the first day, I must talk about the last few weeks. My biggest stress in this whole experience was the fundraising. I don't know about you but $2300.00 is a huge chunk of change for me. To walk, you must guarantee the funds....with your own credit card....EEEEEKKKK! I went out on faith and gingerly punched in my number. I must say that people have come out of the woodwork to help. Gloria's school had a fundraiser and raised $1000.00 that she split between Loree and I. My amazing staff sold cupcakes and nachos raising an additional $400.00. I don't think people had the heart to turn them away as the went cubicle to cubicle with cupcakes - many of my coworkers donated $20.00 at a time for a cookie - now that's love! I am waiting for my company's matching donation and I will be done! Yeah! Thank you everyone!
Thursday night, I went home and got my bag packed. One bag filled with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes and supplies, all wrapped in plastic. The weekend held many predictions of rain and we were told that the tents were too small to hold us and our bags so they would need to be outside during the night. I had two pairs of shoes, nine pairs of socks and lots and lots of pink. I've never been partial to this color before with my red hair but what the heck - I'm not going to be the one in green in a sea of 4000 pinkies. Did I have all of the essentials? Excedrin migraine....check! 500 bandages of various sizes and shapes....check! A miraculous fanny pack that we have decided could hold a couch if we needed it to.....check! All ready....4am came very early!
Eric drove the four of us to Del Mar (Gloria, Stacy, Loree and me)....Five adults and four very large bags. No amount of pushing would allow them to fit in the trunk. The girls had to hold one of them in their lap during the drive. I know know that i should have tried to get it into my fanny pack....It is apparently like the tent in Harry Potter....small on the outside but as big as a palace on the inside.
We proudly put on our bunny ears supplied by Energizer and walked into the holding area. Cyndi, our fifth adopted teammate made her way in as we huddled together. We were given an inspirational speech and watched the raising of the flags with the names of those taken by Breast Cancer. Very emotional....very inspiring. And then.....what we were in became increasing clearer....we were in a cow pen. As the gate opened, 4000 people moved forward in baby steps for their turn to get into the long gated pathway to begin the walk. Loree looked at me and very insightfully stated...."Moo". I was grateful to see that once again....as always....we were on the same page!
I'll write more tonight - so much to tell and laugh about. Love to you all!