Monday, September 24, 2012

Saving Second Base

 
Saturday morning, I arrived at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer starting area in Santa Barbara at 5:20am. As I waited in line for coffee, I heard someone mention, "You can always tell the new people, they always get here way too early." I was only there for an hour and a half before we started walking. This left me plenty of time to caffeinate. (The only part of the experience I'd been training for.)


Starting the walk, it was amazing to see just how many people, mostly women, were there to walk. There were feelings of purpose and determination in the crowd... and a lot of pink.



By mile nine, I was in need of more coffee. Luckily, the course took us right through a Starbucks. Maybe that was my own detour, but it seemed like a slight improvement on the original route.



The crew and people that came out to cheer us on were amazing. The safety crew working the big intersections was a group of Harley riders with matching pink goatees. There was a man in a convertible wearing a "Boob Guy" shirt who seemed to show up quite a bit too. Boob Guy had a lot of enthusiasm.


Walkers wore "I'm In It to End It For..." signs, filled in with the names of the mothers. daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends who have been touched by breast cancer. I was in it to end it for my beautiful cousin Kim who is currently fighting breast cancer. She's a fantastic woman. Honoring her in my thoughts and in my steps was beyond motivating. I read a sign along the path that said, "Blisters Don't Need Chemo." I kept walking.






At mile twenty-one I started feeling the need for Gatorade. I had never experienced this before but it happened, I was drinking blue stuff. It was delicious. I think. I was a little lightheaded. The Santa Barbara scenery was outstanding. Or I was hallucinating. Unclear.



Things started getting weird around mile twenty-three. And by "things" I mean me. I was walking alone and realized I was talking to myself, muttering great motivational phrases like, "Oh, Jeez. Oh, man. Oh, boy." I should totally be a trainer.



I got to mile twenty-six, the end of day one. I couldn't bend my knees, but as it turns out, that move is totally overrated. I went back to the hotel, took an epsom salt bath, ate dinner, and passed out: a move that is totally not overrated.




Day Two. I was back in the groove with a grande drip coffee, a Lara bar, and a handful of Advil.



We were walking gorgeous bluffs next to the beach in Carpinteria. We hiked through wooded areas, fields of sunflowers, and a neighborhood where we saw two toddlers in their front yard playing the bongos in their pajamas. We were getting there.

Around mile thirty-eight, I could hear that someone was following me quite closely playing Boston's, "More Than a Feeling." When I finally turned around to see who the nerd was, it took me awhile to realize that the phone in my backpack was somehow playing a weird Pandora station and had put itself on speakerphone.  Having this many consecutive hours of alone time is the most I've had in years. Maybe that's a good thing.


And then, 39.9 miles and 29 hours later, suddenly it was over. (With the walk back to the car, can we call it an even 40? Lets.) I'm not showing "after" photos of my feet because I love you too much to do that. They still work, so what's a couple of blistery areas? No whining here. With your donations and supportive tweets, Facebook messages, and emails, we made this happen.  We raised $2,401.80  - part of the 4.7 million raised in Santa Barbara this weekend. It was an amazing experience, I would only do one thing differently next time: I would wear more pink.

54 comments:

  1. You are incredible to walk that far and be over 30 at the same time!

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    1. You are kind. I'm old enough to be thirty's mother. xoxo

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  2. What a marvelous gift you have given to yourself! Yes, you did it for a cause, and a good one, but in doing so, you have given yourself the knowledge that you are far stronger than you thought.
    Now rest up, woman! And take care of those blisters. And be proud!

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  3. Huge grin through my tears. You are amazing and so damn kind for not posting photos of your feet. (Meant to thank you for that yesterday but forgot.)

    And from AWBC pro Julie: "High Five, a clap, a cheer, and a hug!! Tell her to rest, relax and reflect on her great accomplishment!"

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    1. Thank you for all of your help, Cheryl! I could hear you cheering me on! xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I think most guys are Boob Guy.

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  5. Miss Cheryl sent me the link to your blog. While this is the only "interaction" I've had with you, I'm incredibly proud of you. I've done 3 of these walks. I've had good ones, and not so good ones. I am also a single walker, so I get the talking to yourself thing once you pass mile 20! ;) "Blisters Don't Need Chemo" has always been my favorite sign along the route.
    Congratulations on being a champion fundraiser! That was one thing I was never able to accomplish. I will add Kim to my list of people to honor at Quick Stop D in Charlotte next month.
    My plan is to crew Santa Barbara in a few years... Maybe you will continue walking?!

    Many congratulations again to you!!

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    1. Thanks, Jules! Three times? You are amazing! Thank you so much for all you do. xoxo

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  6. So inspiring!

    Also, I wish I had bongo-playing toddlers cheering me on as I type this. Not my own, mind you--just as mascots.

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  7. YOU DID IT.

    I knew that you would ... for me, I've always thought of you that way: unstoppable.

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  8. Avid reader. I love your blog! This post in particular touched me. I am currently in training for my very first half marathon raising money for blood cancers, so I know that what you have just done is an amazing thing. I admire anyone who can get out there, ask for money for cancer :) and save lives. Here's to you!

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    1. Thank you, Kristy! Have a fantastic time with your marathon. You are doing a great thing. xoxo

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  9. Sitting here all teary eyed. As my dear, departed grandfather would say, "Strong work, kiddo!"

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  10. Yay, Lisa! You did it!

    (And nothing good ever came from bending at the knee anyways...)

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  11. You are awesome, probably also quoting Bob.

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  12. WOW! Congratulations Lisa. What an incredible accomplishment. INSPIRING! (And I'm glad to hear about the hotel part. That makes this sound much more possible for someone like me.)

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  13. You did it, you did it! Wow! (you were in my thoughts yesterday...) Congratulations! Now your feet are as tough as you. :)

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  14. So awesome. Good for you. I've always wanted to do this and never have. My mom (who lives near those bluffs in Carp) fought and won breast cancer a few years back. Thank you for doing something I've only dreamed of.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. It's a terrific experience. I hope you get to do it someday. xo

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  15. You carried the pink flag and made us proud. Good job, Lisa. Pamper those feet! x0 N2

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  16. where do these events take place. they seem kinda fun with the cute messages next to each mile. You look so chill in the photos, not tired at all actually. Good job Lisa!!!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. We were in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria in California. xo

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  17. Thats amazing and for a great great purpose.... nicely done!! May you show your blistered toes with great pride!!!

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  18. For next time!
    http://www.backpacking-tips.com/prevent-heel-blisters.html

    Congrats to you!...40 is no big thing if you are talking years...but miles-walked?! Whoa! Quite a feet...erm, feat!

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  19. So glad to see this! I was rooting for you, but after your two hours of training (not counting the shopping) I was worried for you, too! I am so impressed - thank you on behalf of my mama (at the end of her reconstruction process and going strong) and all of us girls and their girls.

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  20. You're the best. And I love that this voyage brought you this Carpinteria as it is the place that has brought me through a great many things in my life...

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    1. Thanks, Erin. Carpinteria is gorgeous. Reminds me of where I grew up. xo

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  21. You are so incredibly awesome! My orthopedist still hasn't given me the all clear to walk in our event here this year (darn that broken ankle!) but I've done it before and I always feel so honored to do it. I walk for the sake of my aunt and grandmother (who survived) and my great-aunt (who did not). Think of the blisters as a badge of honor. You earned them.

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    1. Thanks, Mouse! I hope you're on the mend quickly. xo

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  22. Best title for a blog, ever.

    Congrats. I'll have a benefit crawl for your feet next month.

    Maryellen

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  23. wow, you're hobby like my sister, always need coffee in her trip..

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  24. i never see the resident came out to cheer us if i visit anyplace :(

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