Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Walkin', Walkin', Walkin' ...

I signed up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day in March. In March, September seemed a long way away. And yet, here we are. Tomorrow, I head to the hotel where I'll spend the night in an oh-so-comfy bed, and then get up stupidly early (my shuttle from the hotel to opening ceremonies leaves at 5:30 a.m.) and begin my latest 3-Day journey.

In anticipation of walks past, I was nervous. This year, I'm just kinda frazzled. There's been a lot to do for these couple days leading up to tomorrow, but tomorrow, once I check into the hotel, is wide open. I plan to spend the day loafing, reading, and, when dinnertime comes, eating pasta. Ah, the joy of walking 60 miles in three days: you actually *need* carbs. And plenty of 'em.

So today, in between doing work and running errands and sifting through the piles of crap that materialize on my desk, I started throwing things onto the living-room floor around my big duffel on wheels. Sleeping bag, sleeping mat, hat (I almost never wear hats; the 3-Day is my one exception), pocket packs of Kleenex (much-needed on the walk and oft-forgotten by many walkers), mylar blanket, rain poncho, tarp (it's supposed to rain this weekend; it wasn't supposed to rain this weekend when I was checking the weather over the past couple days, but now the weather geniuses have decided there will be showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday; swell), Wash 'n' Dri's, my extra pair of shoes ... You get the idea. I need a lot of stuff, and I need to cram it all into one piece of luggage. And that one piece of luggage isn't supposed to weigh more than 35 pounds. We'll see.

Last night, while I was on the phone with Pat, I received a message from a woman in Michigan. She's done the walk in years past and has been on the crew. This year, she just raised money. And since the Michigan event is over, she was calling people who were shy of their minimum and offering them extra checks that she had collected.

I called her back this morning, and she rescinded her offer. Turns out, last night, she just kept calling until she found someone at home who could use the money. Which was fine, I told her, as I had friends who promised to contribute, and I still had time after the walk to collect their funds.

But Pat, the lovely man that he is, ponied up with a very generous donation that got me very close to my minimum, and L.A. Dave, swell pal that he is, donated - again - to tip me over the limit to $2,201. My goal is still $5,000, but my obligation, the minimum I had to raise in order to participate in the event, has been met.

And while I've thanked everyone individually, a collective thank-you is in order to all my contributors for their incredible generosity.

I stashed a reporter's notebook and a pen in my waistpack so I can take notes along the way. I've never done that before, and we'll see if I end up using them, but one of the best parts of the 3-Day is writing the account that I send to all my contributors once the walk is done. The memories are usually plenty vivid, and notes aren't really necessary.

I get a little thrill out of the fact that I can write things that make people cry.

So I won't be posting for a couple of days, because laptops have no place in a campsite, and I'd probably be deprived of wireless in the middle of a field. But I'll be back when it's over, and I'll have plenty to share.


Anonymous Ethan said...

Good luck! If at all possible I recommend using a small hand-held recorder (easier to literally walk and talk, plus others can chime in). I am looking forward to the recap.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Doreen said...

Way to go L.A. Dave & Pat!!!! C'mon people .... this is for a good cause & it is tax deductible!!!!!

9:31 AM  

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