Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Excited About the 3-Day Walk


We're getting there!

Team Captain, Sheila sent the transfers for us to decorate our own white T-shirts (so much easier than having to choose one shirt everyone can wear, (and let this be a hint to brides choosing dresses for their attendants). I've completed several back to back weekend training walks over 17-19 miles and very regular b2b sessions below that. What I decided not to do was walk a full 20 until I was in St. Pete and walking the walk.

Last weekend, I walked a couple of 8 and 10 milers. Gosh, they were so easy, but I could easily remember the shank of the summer and how hard it was to get to 10, 13 and 15...my most difficult milestones.

Our team leader did a great job. We are all overtrained and looking forward to a great time. One woman has already finished her walk in Detroit with her niece, who is being treated for breast cancer, and her sister (who didn't train so well....) "It was like being on a cruise," she said. "Without the amenities."

I'm relieved that my fundraising is complete and I've gone over the minimum. I owe my friends and co-workers for making this happen. For the longest time, raising the money was the hardest part. Then, I was truly "challenged" (don't you hate that word?) with balancing my dormant competitiveness against the need to protect my feet and find my own pace. This took weeks to overcome and a lot of conversation, but it, too, is over and done with. And I have won. No, I'm not the fastest and I can't keep up with the 20, 30-somethings (or some of the 60-somethings) but I'm okay with it. I know I'm okay because it doesn't bother me anymore.

I used to dread the challenges of life. I even dreaded the opportunities. I anticipated nothing with pleasure and looked only to get through it and look back. I racked up memories the way alcoholics rack up empties. Consequently, I have many that are not quite real, not very deep and open to debate. But not this one.

The metaphor participating in the 3Day provides seems to go only so far, or so I thought when I realized that no matter how hard it was to get up at 6 to join a training walk, it was NOTHING to chemo or the anxiety of fighting the illness day in and day out. I'm right, of course. The comparison is just that and a pale pink one at that. Still, the lessons I've learned and the shifts I've experienced in point of view have certainly changed my life and will probably continue to do so in the next few weeks.

I can't wait til October 30 to meet my teammates and Oct 31 to attend Opening Day ceremonies, but after that, it's going to be one step at a time, one breath at a time and I will take in all the minutes of the days before me. And I will love every one.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Hey Leesh: I like the new photo of the pages in the foreground and Atlanta in the background...Seems charged with metaphor: making the city personal, creating meaning out of or interpreting the city...maybe even a filter or a lens of sorts to focus through...or just a little decoration, something like even a ruffle...

I could really identify with your observation about your memory and your past. You wrote: "I anticipated nothing with pleasure and looked only to get through it and look back. I racked up memories the way alcoholics rack up empties. Consequently, I have many that are not quite real, not very deep and open to debate."

Nice writing. I particularly like the physical quality of "the empties" and the idea that your experiences were open to debate. I find I'm hit with odd sensations when I look at photographs from the past. My recollections of the experiences and moments in my life that were captured in them seem so shallow and yet deeply meaningful at the same time. When see some photos, I feel a sense of loss. I feel as though I wish I had been there...

I'm glad you feel right in the moment with this walk...Congratulations on all the hard work to get ready for it. Congratulations for raising the money...

I look forward to hearing about it...

Jonna said...

Great entry. I will be thinking of you during your walk and also my dear friend Mary who lived the day to day chemo etc for the last 5 years of her life. She faced it all with such courage. Thank you for doing this walk.

ABG said...

you know what's weird? my best writing works its way out of me only when i can get out of the way.
thanks for your comments and support, michelle and jonna.
alicia

Celeste said...

Best of luck to you on your walk!