Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In It to End It.

If you're going to walk your ass off there's no better place to walk than gorgeous Chicago.

I mentioned here that earlier this summer I completed the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer: Chicago. One of my best and oldest friends, Cara, suggested we walk together and before I knew it we had formed our tiny team, named it Blush & Bashful, and were officially ready to walk.
We each needed to raise just under $2,000 to be eligible to walk (little known fact, if you don't raise it you can't walk it). I had an amazing group of supporters that helped me meet and exceed my fundraising goal (and they were handsomely rewarded with homemade care packages). If you ever raise money for charity I promise you will be pleasantly surprised by all the giving, supportive, wonderful people you know. It made me all warm and mushy-gushy and pretty much in love with everyone I know.
Our weekend started with a powerful opening ceremony that included stretching, jokes, and speeches from survivors and fellow walkers. One speaker who I wanted to hug so hard was a recent survivor who was walking for her first time all alone. I can still hear the beauty of her opening statement, "I had breast cancer but breast cancer did not have me." I'm basically obsessed with her.
Three miles in and feeling good! The blisters didn't start until around mile 10 or so and we were lucky to have GREAT first day walking weather.

It rained all night Saturday! Our tent was drenched and everything smelled like yuck but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Cadillac is a Walk sponsor and if you raised a TON of money you had the chance to win Cadillac tenting with personal airbeds, fans, AND concierge service. I am determined to win one next year.

One time, in a heightened sense of living like there's no tomorrow, Cara painted her entire face pink.

With this photo our team for next year had a name...

Day 2: mile 11 for the day, mile 37 overall. When you walk for so many miles the delirium sets in and there is an emotional rollercoaster. At mile 3, we were elated. At mile 9 we were tired. At mile 15 we hated everything. At mile 26 we were thankful for everything. At mile 37 we wrapped ourselves in complimentary space blankets (it was raining and we were freezing!) and laughed uncontrollably.

Fun with face paint! No makeup, no sleep, no problem.

At the finish line feeling proud, emotional, and TIRED!
The walk was life-changing in the best way. I learned to value my health, work hard to improve my body, and be grateful for what I have. It was exhilarating, miserable, fun, and emotion all at once. Will I come back for more? You bet your beautiful ass!
See you in 2014 Avon Walk: Chicago! Cara and I will be reppin' our new team, Space Kittens Hate Cancer!

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You look so pretty today.