3-Day

3-Day Year 9 Postponed

In October I was scheduled to walk in Philadelphia for my ninth year walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  I  won’t be able to do that this year however because of a battle with Anemia that I had earlier in the year.  I did not really recover from the Anemia until the beginning of June and between that and a very hectic work and home schedule I am just not going to have time to train to get ready for my walk this year.  I did contact the Coaches and will be able to roll my fundraising into 2016 so that I can walk next year for my ninth year.  I was looking forward to walking in Philadelphia as a new city for me this year and will miss my teammates but I will be back next year.  I just don’t know in which city yet.  Once again thanks to all of my supporters that continue to believe in this fight.

Back to Fitness Routine

For the last several months I have not been getting nearly enough exercise.  I just didn’t have enough energy to do much.  I was diagnosed as anemic in January and have adjusted my stomach meds and am taking iron supplements to address that issue.  I finally feel like I can try to get back into some kind of routine to start working back to shape to walk in the 3-Day in October.  I am going back to tracking my steps with my fitbit and using myfitnesspal to track calories so that I can try to lose weight and get in better shape at the same time.  I started out today with half an hour on the treadmill and hope to work up to an hour within a week or two.

2015 3-Day – Fundraising

This afternoon I spent some time printing up sheets for the Super Bowl Pool that I run as a fundraiser for my walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  This is the second year that I have run this as a fundraiser and it really helps a lot.  A full grid nets $1000 towards my $2300 Fundraising minimum.  I am really thankful that I have family that helps me sell the squares.  Now that my fundraising is in decent shape I need to start spending some time on the treadmill getting ready for when the weather gets decent here and I can start walking outdoors.  With only 251 days before the Philadelpha 3-Day I don’t have time to waste.

Twin Cities 2014 3-Day

Twin Cities 2014 3-Day

For 2014 my team had decided to minimize travel and return to a City that some of us could travel to without flying. Part of our team had walked the Twin Cities before and had enjoyed it. We saw it as an opportunity for the rest of the team to experience it. As typical, my 3-Day weekend started on Thursday with my travel day. I was driving and picked up one teammate in Waukesha and then went on to pick up another teammate and her daughter outside of Madison. We made pretty good time and we were in the Twin Cities a little after noon. We met our last teammate at the Hotel and went out for lunch because it was so early and we needed to be back to get back for the team meeting that afternoon for our teammate that was on Youth Corps. It was another early night as the bus to opening comes way to early.

10527710_10154475374405207_7889104492982682580_nThe rest of the weekend did not go quite as I had planned. I was still getting over a sinus infection that was irritating my lungs and the weather was not cooperating. At the start of Day 1 the humidity was about 98%. I could feel the humidity as soon as we started walking. It was aggravating my asthma within a mile or two. I took my inhaler and that helped for awhile but by mile 8 or so it was getting difficult to breathe again. I decided to take a sweep van to lunch and see if the rest would help. After lunch the humidity went down a little and I was able to walk from lunch to the end of the day.

The beginning of Day 2 was not a good one for me. The humidity had been high all night and spending a humid night in a tent was not a good night. I had gotten very little sleep and my lungs were still bothering me. I had intended to sweep right to lunch but since that was not an option I walked a couple miles and then got on a sweep van and went to lunch. I was there very early so I got to watch walkers come in and leave. I got to sit and talk to several other walkers that had come in early in sweep vans also. One woman that I tWalked to had walked six miles on Day 1 and was hoping to do that on Day 2 and 3. That’s all she was capable of walking because her Cancer had come back. She had been fighting off and on for mor than 10 years and she walked the 3 Day each year. It didn’t matter to her how many miles she walked. She raised the money and was there to walk what she could. After lunch I decided to go back to camp and check out to go to a hotel for the night. I was not going to spend another sleepless night in a humid tent taking my inhaler every 4-6 hours. Finding a hotel was not an easy task since this was the opening weekend of the Minnesota State Fair. I did manage to find a room and spent the night with air conditioning and that helped me quite a bit.

10487374_10154485418580207_1960040561494778224_nOn Sunday morning I was up early because that’s what my body expects for Day 3. I decided that since I couldn’t walk I was going to be a walker stalker for the day. I made it to the first cheering station about the time the first walkers were coming through and stayed until my teammates came through. I managed to meet my team at lunch before I headed to holding. Holding and Closing were much the same as I remembered from my previous walk here. Once we were done with closing it was time to say goodbye to Kathy as she was the only teammate that was not driving back to Wisconsin with us. We had an uneventful ride back and I was home before midnight.

The weekend was not what I had planned but was still a great experience. I got to see old friends and meet some interesting new people who once again reminded me why I have to keep walking. Thank you all for your continued support. Next year will be my ninth year walking and it will be in a new city for me. I have heard good things about Philadelphia and look forward to walking there.

God Bless

Greg

The 2013 Tampa 3-Day

The 2013 Tampa 3-Day

This past weekend I traveled to Tampa for the Komen 3-Day for the Cure. I am not sure why they call it the Tampa 3-Day since we didn’t walk at all in Tampa but it was a nice walk anyway. This was my seventh year walking and it did not go quite as planned but was a good experience anyway.

IMG_0641I traveled to Tampa on Thursday to meet my team Thursday night before we walked on Friday. I was at the Airport in Milwaukee at 5:00 AM and finally arrived at my Hotel in Clearwater at about 3:30 PM. I had time to grab some dinner and check out the beach before heading to bed. Thursday nights are usually early nights since we have to be up so early on Friday. The picture above is a picture of sunset over the Gulf from the Hotel Beach. It was awesome.

Friday morning I was up about 5:00 AM to get repacked and to head over to Opening Ceremonies with the team. Our team started with five walkers and one Youth Corps this year. While we were waiting to get our picture taken before Opening Ceremonies, we met a young woman that was part of a larger team but really didn’t know where any of them were. We invited her to walk with our team and and she walked with us all weekend. Christina had lost her Mother to Breast Cancer 4 years before and had been walking, crewing, or volunteering at the Tampa 3-Day each year since then. She shared a lot of her Tampa experiences with our team and was a great addition to the team. I think she connected really well with another new member of our team who is a Survivor. It’s these kind of connections and people that make walking the 3-Day such a great experience.

openingOpening Ceremonies were held at Sand Key Park in Clearwater. They started a little differently this year by trying to get everyone warmed up by doing a little Zumba instead of just stretching. I think they could rethink that one. We were a little too tightly packed to do Zumba in that space. You also had people like me that are a little too uncoordinated for Zumba and could be dangerous in running into someone else. The route Friday morning was very scenic and had us crossing bridges in Clearwater with great views of the water. It was just after lunch that my first issue of the weekend really started to be a problem. I had stomach issues Thursday night and thought that I was over them Friday morning. By lunch on Friday I was so nauseous that I could barely eat. I was drinking plenty to stay hydrated but just could not eat. A couple miles out of lunch I had to stop as between the heat and the nausea I felt like I was going to get sick just about every step. That finished my day. I ended up taking a sweep van to the pit stop and then was transferred back to camp for Medical to take a look at me. They were concerned that maybe I was dehydrated but I was putting out plenty so I was sure that was not the case. They gave me a couple of tablets that settled my stomach finally and I was able to have dinner without event. I am very thankful for the great volunteers of Medical that took great care of me. I didn’t have anything life threatening but they made sure I was ok and I saw several of them later in the weekend and they all asked me how I was doing.

Saturday morning was the next of my two issues for the weekend. The night had been damp and my allergies were bothering me and when I got up Saturday morning I had to take some medicine for my Asthma. My lungs were not feeling very good even after my morning meds and I didn’t want to use my inhaler again as i had used it during the night so I had to not walk Saturday morning to see if my meds were going to take care of my lungs in time. I was fortunate that by lunch I was feeling pretty much normal and I was able to walk all of Saturday afternoon. It was another very scenic route and there were many people out cheering and encouraging the walkers. The people of Tampa were very generous in their support of the walkers. There were many groups out that were offering walkers bottles of water, ice, cold towels, or anything else they could think of that would help out the walkers. I just love how generous and supportive the people were. I was able to make it back to camp and actually have a normal night in camp and did not have to spend any time in Medical.

youthSaturday night during the camp show, one of the highlights is the speakers. The one that our team was very interested in was the short presentations by the Youth Corps. One of the Youth Corps members was the daughter of our teammate Stephanie. The Youth Corps is a group of kids between 10 and 16 years old that spend the weekend helping out around camp and the route. They work as a group all weekend and there is an interview process to get accepted to the group. There were 16 members this year and they all had stories of how their lives had been impacted by Cancer and why they wanted to be there. The youngest of the members this year was 10 and the oldest was 15. I heard comments from several crew throughout the weekend that the Youth Corps was doing such a great job and was pitching in and helping where asked and had a very positive attitude. All of these kids were here because they wanted to be there to help and make a difference. It’s awesome that these kids have this opportunity. The Youth Corps started out years ago in Boston but is now present in all of the 3-Day cities. Stephanie’s daughter has been cheering her Mom on for years so I am sure that getting to be part of this weekend with her was a great experience for both of them.

TreeSunday morning I was up at 5 to get ready for Day 3. Sunday is always an early start because we have to repack all of our gear and take down our tents because once we leave camp that morning we are not coming back. This was a particularly difficult Sunday morning for repeat Tampa walkers because after 9 years of 3-Day events in Tampa, this was to be the last. Komen has cut the number of 3-Day Cities form 14 to 7 for next year and Tampa will not be one of them in 2014. It’s kind of a shame because it really is a beautiful walk and there is plenty of community support. The route on Sunday had us walking into St. Petersburg with lots of time on the water. It was awesome. There were more people out cheering and supporting the walkers on Sunday than there were on Saturday. The weather was almost perfect for walking. I personally would like a little cloud cover every now and then but we didn’t get any of that. We had sun all weekend long. Sunday was my best day of the weekend. I felt great. I had a couple of blisters but I pretty much do every year so no big deal there. We were feeling so good that we even got our picture take in a tree at lunch. In hindsight it probably wasn’t our brightest idea but we did it anyway and no one got hurt. It’s one of my favorite pictures of the weekend. Christina wasn’t in our picture because she was eating lunch with her other team at the time. They got to see her around lunch and we got to see her the rest of the weekend.

closingWe finished walking about 3:00 PM on Sunday. We made it into Holding and spent some time just relaxing before closing ceremonies. We did get to meet some more new people and one of the women that we were talking to just amazed me. She was working on getting the bandages off of her feet while we talked to her. The blisters were unbelievable. They made the ones I had look like nothing at all. Despite those blisters she had walked the entire way and made it. It’s that kind of determination that simply amazes me. There is a lot of that during the 3-Day weekend. Closing Ceremonies were brief but emotional as always. This was also when our team lost our new member. She could not join us for Dinner as she had to go meet her family to celebrate her niece’s birthday which had been on Saturday. It was a pleasure to have her join us and I wish her all the best in the future. The rest of team went out for Dinner and then back to the Hotel where we also said goodbye since the team members had flights at different times.

I think that there are times every year when I ask myself why I continue to do this and I just have to look as far as the 3-Day walkers group on Facebook or at the faces all around me during the 3-Day weekend to be remind me why. I started walking to honor my mother but I continue to walk for the same reason that so many others do. It’s because we can. It is something that we can do to make a difference. I am so fortunate that my mother is a Survivor but there are so many others that have not been that fortunate. We have to keep walking so that my daughters and nieces and everyone else can some day live without fearing this disease. This was not the first walk that I had not completed all 60 miles and it probably won’t be the last. I train and I prepare to walk and walk as much as I can but if I can’t walk all of the miles I am okay with that. Everything happens for a reason.

I have already registered to walk in the Twin Cities next year for my 8th year. My daughter Molly is going to train with me next year and is going to join our team and try to walk all 60 miles as well. That means more effort in Fundraising next year but I am sure that we can meet that challenge. Sharing the experience with my daughter is something I can’t wait for. I also look forward to seeing my teammates again. Kathy, Lisa, Stephanie see you next year in the Twin Cities. Marcia, enjoy your walk in Seattle. Christina, have a great time planning your wedding. Kristen, Dale, I hope that you can join us again next year.

Thank you for all of your support this year and for all the years past and years to come.

God Bless

Greg