Yes You Can!

8 May

Before I actually did my first 3-day, I thought about doing it for years. I knew and read about it and thought it was such a neat event, but it took me years to sign up for my first one. I was intimidated by the $2,300 minimum fund raising, I was intimidated by meeting new people and I would be WALKING 60 MILES?! I was just lacking a bit of motivation, the kick in the pants to make me sign up. So if any of you are feeling the same way, read on.

First of all, the $2,300 is so much easier to raise than you would ever think. This was the scariest part for me but I found that my friends and family wanted to support me, I barely had to ask. I had $1000 almost immediately and within a few months surpassed $4000. You can ask friends, family, co-workers, local businesses.. and don’t forget about the company matching program! A friend can give you $50, but if their company has a matching program, suddenly you have $100. And you can get creative with your fund raising; you can sell breast cancer buttons and stickers and t-shirts, there are all kinds of websites out there that will sell you low-cost product that you can sell. A fund raiser that I do every year is holding a charity night at a local restaurant. They agree to hold the night and I invite everyone I know to come have dinner, and then I get 10% of the proceeds. So if money is what is holding you back, don’t let it.

My next worry was about doing the walk by myself and having to meet new people. I can be pretty shy sometimes, especially in a large group. And I considered 2000 other walkers a large group! And even though I ended up having someone walk with me, I found that I could have done it alone if I had to. Every walker there is there for the same reason, so you already have something in common. Everyone is so happy to be there, to be celebrating someone, honoring someone, remembering someone; and knowing they’ve done something to help the cause. You’ll never find a more friendly and welcoming group of people than you will at the 3-day. You’ll make more friends in those 3 days than you will in a year. And if you’re still anxious, join a team! Go to the 3-day message boards and find a team that’s looking for teammates. That’s an easy way to feel like you’re a part of something for the walk and not there all on your own.

Now.. 60 miles. I know. I know it sounds like a lot and how could any one person possibly walk 60 miles in 3 days when you’ve never walked more than 2 or 3 miles at one time in your life. I know. I was right there with you. All I can say is train, train, train. I don’t think I trained as much as I should have before my first walk, so I was almost literally dragged the last few miles on day 3. Now I know better, and I know how important training is. When you train, you don’t need to be walking 20 miles. Start small, a few miles every day. On your days off move up to 8, 10, 12 miles and make sure you’re taking time to stretch every few miles and drink lots of water and sports drink. When you’re on the 3-day there will be pit stops every few miles with snacks and something to drink and a place to rest and stretch. While walking 20 miles a day definitely isn’t easy, training helps. The other part that helps motivate you on the 3-day will be the people around you. Other walkers who will encourage you, drivers on the road who will honk and wave, signs you’ll see in store windows saying thank you. It all helps push you forward and keep taking steps. And that’s all it is – one foot in front of the other again and again.

The 3-day is something you’ll never forget, and that you’ll never regret having done. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life and I can’t wait to do it again. You can do it!

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