The 3 Day for the Cure has come and gone but I was excited to be picked by Energizer to be their Keep Going Blogger for Cleveland. They provided my participation fee and I have been sharing my experiences on the walk.
While at camp each night, Energizer awarded the Keep Going Award to participants in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. These people were chosen by fellow walkers or crew mates who wrote the nominee’s name on a slip of paper and dropped it in a jar. Each night, at the camp show, one name was drawn and the winner was awarded with some lovely prizes from Energizer.
When I started this journey, I knew I wanted to give out a virtualKeep Going Award here on 2 Wired 2 Tired. From the moment I started training to the end of the walk, I’ve been listening to the stories that brought people to a place where they were willing to walk 60 miles in order to help close the book on breast cancer.
I made sure to listen extra carefully, because I knew I would be handing out this award and I wanted to be confident in making the right choice and that the walk and the award was well-represented by one person.
As I was folding up my tent on Saturday morning at 5:45 am, another walker sped by and then stopped. She grabbed me by the arm and asked “Are you the Keep Going Blogger?”
She was looking at the sign now in my hand that had been hanging on my tent all weekend. I told her I was. She said she had a story that just had to be told and would I please do it for her. I am honored to.
Michelle Baum is a walker who, after walking 20 miles each day, drove 3 hours home each night, worked a late shift, squeezed in 3 hours of sleep, and drove 3 hours back to walk again. And this wasn’t the first year she’s done this.
As the woman who told me the story said, “If that’s not dedication to finding a cure, I don’t know what is.”
I wrote down Michelle’s name and right then knew she was in the running for the award.
As I finished folding up my tent, I looked around at a sea of people climbing out of pink pup tents before the sun was up, smiling and excited to get the chance to walk yet another 20 miles.
I walked over to fill up my water bottle and saw crew members already up filling water containers, telling jokes, and laughing as they did so. I walked over to drop off my tent and gear bag and walked over to the dining tent.
Then I stopped walking.
It suddenly hit me that there is no way I can choose only one person to win my virtual award. With over 900 walkers and 300 crew members, each there for their own reason, how can I possibly pick one person’s story over another?
It may seem like a cop-out but in those three days, last weekend I met or heard the stories of:
- People who were walking that were not personally affected by breast cancer. They did not know anyone who had been touched by the disease and they walked to keep it that way.
- Kevin Roche, who is taking on the incredible challenge of walking in all 15 cities this year
- A husband who completed the walk in honor of his wife with shin splints so bad he could barely stand.
- A walker whose blisters were so painful by Day 3, she limped along in sport sandals and socks. Even though she was moving at a snail’s pace, she was determined to take it one step at a time.
- One walker relied on two canes throughout the walk, while another completed it with a cast-like brace on her foot.
- After working a long day, one crew member welcomed every walker in each night with a hug. She didn’t blink at the prospect that we all might have been a little sweaty and sticky. She greeted every single walker with open arms, embraced us in a big hug, called us “Honey” and told us thank you.
These were just some of the stories I listened to or was a part of. There were many more, that I didn’t get a chance to hear.
Imagine a field of pink tents, put two people in each of those tents, add in 300 Crew Members and tell me how I can possibly choose one story over another.
So to every Walker, Crew Member, Volunteer, and Staff Member of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in Cleveland, I award you all the Keep Going Award!
While there is no monetary value to this award, it is one that comes full of heart, perseverance, determination, and a never quit spirit. It is one I hope you all carry with you from this weekend forward and remember if we all Keep Going we will accomplish amazing things in our lives, including finding a cure for breast cancer.