Monday, July 19, 2010

The 3-Day: Remember This ...

Hello, walkers!

The first 3-Day of the season kicks off Friday in Boston!

For those of you who may be getting a little jittery about this whole adventure, who might be questioning if this was really such a wise thing to do, remember this as you're milling about in the pre-dawn darkness at Opening Ceremonies in your chosen city:

You are there.

The fact that you are there is awesome.

In any given metropolitan area that hosts a 3-Day, there are several million residents. I'll be walking Chicago again this year. According to Wikipedia, the Chicagoland area is home to 9.7 million people. Of course, some of those residents are too young to walk, and some of those residents may be incapable of taking on such a challenge, but let's assume that about half of the population is able.

Half of the population of Chicagoland is 4.85 million people.

I'll probably be in the company of 2,000 walkers, give or take.

That means that 4,848,000 – that's FOUR MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT THOUSAND – Chicagoland residents will not be with me. Nearly five million people, who, for whatever reasons, will not be participating in this life-changing experience.

Maybe they don't have the time. Maybe they don't think they can raise the funds. Maybe they don't think they can walk that far. Maybe they've never heard of the 3-Day. Maybe they support other causes. Who knows.

The point is this: They are not there.

You are there.

Before you even take your first official step, you are already a rock star just by virtue of showing up.

You've committed to something that is absolutely more than the sum of its parts, but without you, it couldn't exist.

So take a deep breath and do me a favor, OK?

Smile. Smile the biggest smile you can smile and know that there are so, so, so many people out there – including me, especially me – who think that you are one of the coolest people they know.

And you're about to meet a lot of them. Some of them will honk their horns at you as they drive by. Some of them will decorate the front of their homes. Some of them will set up oh-so-welcome sprinklers. Some of them will meet you on the route with ice or water or candy or Popsicles. Some of them will congregate at massive cheering stations. Some of them will sit in lawn chairs along the route and clap as you walk by. Some of them will decorate their cars and trucks and pop up along the route with the radio blaring, giving you a musical lift. Some of them will be there at the end.

It doesn't matter if you walk every step. It really doesn't.

If you can, that's awesome. If you can't, that's awesome, too.

Because it's not just about walking.

It's about raising awareness. It's about raising money. It's about funding research. It's about saving lives.

And all of that is possible because of you.

So keep training. Keep fundraising. And when your weekend rolls around, pack up your gear – don't forget the sunscreen – and make your way to Opening Ceremonies and know that you are in for three of the best days of your life.

Thank you, friends. Thank you for being bold and beautiful and having your say.

You are there.

And you are amazing.


Anonymous John said...

Truly awesome post! Thanks Beth!!!

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

I'll be one of the 2000 walking with you in Chicago. I'm so excited! I'll be there!

4:47 PM  
Blogger Rick Hamrick said...

I'll be there, Beth, in your pocket.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, John!

Yay, Bonnie!

And thanks, Rick! That's very sweet.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Aimes said...

I am going to miss being there with you! Next year, my friend...I'll be back!! YOU ROCK!!


11:04 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Aw, I'm gonna miss you, too, love!

Who will do the Zombie Walk with me?! :o )

11:06 AM  

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