Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The 2010 3-Day: Greetings ...

Hello, walkers!

Once again, I'm touched to have been asked to be a 3-Day Ambassador, and this is my first entry for 2010. Given that I've written about the events before, some of what I post over the next few months may seem familiar to some of you. (Because I'll be repurposing some content from previous posts.) But if you haven't seen it before, it's new to you! Future posts will discuss fundraising, training, the event itself, and anything else folks would like to read about. Just let me know.

In January, the idea of the 3-Day may feel like a bit of abstraction. The walking season doesn't kick off until well into the summer and extends well into the fall. But time moves swiftly. Whatever weekend(s) you'll be walking will be here sooner than you think.

In years past, I've hosted and co-hosted informational meetings for first-time walkers. Reassurance from someone who has done the walk and who can answer questions about what to expect seems to assuage a lot of anxiety.

And so this is an open post to all first-time walkers who might be wondering whether it was wise to take up this challenge:

Yes, it was.

I am not overstating anything when I say that the 3-Day will change your life in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

If you're nervous, that's perfectly normal. You're embarking on a substantial journey. Sixty miles is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but electing to participate in a 3-Day isn't just about walking from Point A to Point D. It's about stepping well outside your comfort zone, especially if you're doing the walk "alone."

Of course, there's no such thing as doing the walk "alone." From the moment you arrive at Opening Ceremonies, you'll be surrounded by more than 2,000 other walkers. Once you drop your luggage off at your gear truck, take in the sea of pink that you'll see swelling near the stage and know this: One of those people is about to become one of your best friends.

The 3-Day coaches do a great job of doling out information about the events, but talk to veteran walkers, too. (Anyone who's done the event once is a veteran walker in my book. They can provide first-hand accounts of what to expect, which can be an invaluable balm to soothe cases of nerves.)

If anyone has any questions – and no question is silly – feel free to post it in the comments and I'll share my take on it.

This will be my seventh event. At this point, I've pretty much seen it all.

And yet, every year, I'm amazed all over again. (If you'd like to read my account of last year's Chicago event, click here.)

Here's a starter tip: Stash a pocket pack of Kleenex in your waistpack and several more in your luggage. If you're anything like me, you'll need Kleenex several times throughout the 3-Day. And when you line up for Closing Ceremonies, hold a pack above your head and watch how fast people ask you for 'em.

Nothing compares to a 3-Day. You're about to experience more love and kindness than you can imagine. As my friend Devereaux says, "I want to live in the 3-Day universe."

You're going to love it!

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Dusty Showers said...

I love the blog...as an ambassador in Tampa Bay but from Chicago, keep up the good work : )

3:08 PM  
Blogger joanna said...

Beautiful post Beth! Congrats on being an ambassador again. I'm an Atlanta 3-Day walker and you're absolutely right when you say that nothing compares to the 3-Day - it's an experience that is hard to describe and absolutely unforgettable!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Magda said...

Inspiring blog for an inspiring group of events, Beth! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences for others who might want to go also!

~Magda
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7:02 PM  
Blogger heather said...

i am sooo interested in doing the 3-day. i live in nashville, tn and have never heard of it. could you give me some information on the event? thank you so much, heather

12:55 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks so much, Dusty, Joanna, and Magda.

Heather, the3day.org will tell you all you've ever wanted to know about the event. Nashville isn't a host city, so you'd have to choose another. One that's close to you, perhaps, or a city you've always wanted to see.

But over three days, you walk a total of 60 miles, you and about 2,000 others per city. The 3-Day kicks off with a moving opening ceremony, the crew takes care of your gear while you walk and sets up an amazing camp which is really a mobile city; more crew provides snacks and water and sports drink; you will see more Port-o-Potties than you've ever seen.

Each night, in camp, there's dinner and entertainment. And at the end of it all, Closing Ceremonies? You've never felt energy like that before. In three days, several thousand people become your family.

I highly encourage you to visit the3day.org to learn more and sign up for the city that most interests you. Everyone should do this, at least once. It'll change your life. And you'll change others.

8:57 AM  

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