Walk the walk: My Komen 3-Day Experience, Day 3

We woke up on Day 3 and I was thinking, “Already? How is it Sunday already?” While elated to seal the deal on 60 miles, part of me was sad to see the weekend go, because after all, you don’t just sign up for the 3-Day and forget about it until the day before. You fundraise, you train, you anticipate, you get nervous, you get ready.

We got ourselves prepped and once again, headed out the door to the camp (most people sleep in pink tents, but because we’re primadonnas (myself included), we opted for a hotel room instead). We made it several miles in before I decided it was time for another blister pack, and got myself fixed up. Then, we made it to the Pit Stop where the famous Juan Street hill lurked in the foreground. I’ve heard lots of lore about this hill, and my teammates decided to ride the sweep for this hill as we had all been hobbling along. I had a sudden flash of ambition and decided that damnit, I was going to conquer that hill. Hills have been a big part of my fat to fit journey, because as I wrote about here, when you go up hill, you feel the weight of every extra pound you carry. I knew I had to do that hill.

The view from the bottom of Juan Street Hill

The view from the bottom of Juan Street Hill

I started on my way and knew within the first ten minutes, I knew that I had made the right choice as a Mexican restaurant had set up a tortilla chip buffet with three different kinds of salsa. Y’all know chips and salsa (and popcorn) are my kryptonite, so I considered this an omen of good luck. I passed another cheering station handing out cold diet cokes, and I grabbed myself some caffeination for the way up.

I was half way up when I had the realization that the hill was not nearly as bad as I’d expected. Although I was sweating like a beast, I just kept going, one foot in front of the other, thinking about the reasons why I was walking. I was tired, sure. I was sore, sure. I was a little bit grumpy that it was a Sunday morning and I’d been up at 5 AM three days in a row, sure. But all of those things fell to the ground like the small, insignificant things they were when I saw this woman, and particularly, the sign she was holding.

 

Inspiration at the top of the hill.

Inspiration at the top of the hill.

 

 

When you hear people talk about what it means to make an impact: this was that moment. Sore, hot, tired; these feelings all vanished for one new one: inspired.

I finished the giant hill and was greeted with more chips and salsa, and then was lucky enough to see my friend Margo! Margo from Nacho Mamma’s Blog is one of my FitBloggin’ buddies. I’m so grateful that she came out to cheer me on. We snapped a quick selfie and then I met up with my team to feast on a sandwich, sit down, and prepare for the final miles.

Alyssa and Margo!

Alyssa and Margo!

Except… we were a little too leisurely with our lunch, as we spent time writing the names of our angels, fighters, and survivors on our “Always in our heart” banner. So we took another sweep van, met ladies from all over the country, and got dropped off at the next pit stop. There, our team united and we set out for the final three miles of the day.

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The atmosphere of the final 3 miles was awesome: everywhere we turned there were people cheering us on, handing out candy and snacks, blaring music and dancing. I felt a little bit cold as we walked through the shady downtown, so I wrapped myself in the banner we had signed. While sad and symbolic to be carrying the names of so many loved ones, I felt proud to be carrying them in my heart and on my shoulders for the final leg of this journey. Who would have known that such a thin piece of fabric would have provided such warmth?

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With each painful step towards the Closing Ceremony, I thought about what it meant to be out there. Every donation you sent in. Every rallying piece of encouragement you gave me. Every smile, every nod, every dancing spectator. I couldn’t have done this walk without those things. As the sun sank into the clouds to reveal a brilliant pink sunset, we learned that with your help, we raised over seven million dollars in the fight against breast cancer.

That money won’t be buying lattes, paying electricity bills, buying a souvenir t-shirt, fixing a fence, sitting in a savings account, or burning a hole in your pocket. That money will be making a difference in the noblest way you can imagine; it will be saving lives.

Thank you, Susan G. Komen, the 3-Day, and my supporters: because of you, I proved once again that the limits I place on myself, both mental and physical, can be easily overcome …with the love and support of an amazing community.

Photo by Lynnette Joy Photography

Photo by Lynnette Joy Photography

Obese, morbidly.

 

Greetings, readers! I’m back with my attempt to blog at least once a week and this week I want to talk about something that I’ve known but never really thought too much about. I visited the doctor this week and we did a check-up on my blood work  with my discovery of food allergies and such. My blood ended up being just fine but there was something that came up on my lab reports that disturbed me.

 

My doctor had officially noted me as obese, morbidly. I was well aware of what the medical world calls people with high weights but I like to live in my happy bubble where I can just consider myself as an obese person working towards better health. Unfortunately the medical way to describe my weight, specifically with the use of the word “morbid”, makes it seem like I’ve got one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave. I just don’t agree with the word morbid. Obese, fine. Fat, whatever. But morbid? It makes me feel like I should start dressing like Morticia Addams and never smile again. Why not just call it, “super obese?” Like, you’re fat, but you’re also SUPER! It’s bad enough to just BE obese, but why does it still have to sound so harsh? It’s like the only expression that hasn’t been sugar-coated over the past few decades.

I know the amount of fat on my body isn’t healthy but I don’t feel like I’m one more soda away from immediate death. The doctor also tested all sorts of things like cholesterol, calcium, sodium, thyroid, potassium, and glucose levels. Everything was perfectly in the normal range. I also was weighed and had lost seven pounds since I found out about the food allergies. I’ve been feeling pretty good about myself. I’ve been walking more at night and forcing myself to attempt to jog. I set up little goals of amount of blocks and it’s been pretty cool to see how quickly I’ve improved over the past couple of weeks.

According to my training walk schedule, I’m a few miles short of the suggested amount I should be doing every week to prepare for the 60-mile walk. I have been thinking about ways I could fund raise as I still have $1,800 to go and am stoked that I’ll be getting the pink in my hair done today! I still want to do a “Brews for BOObs” event so I hope I can do that to help raise money. I also have been thinking of a way to craft together a promised “training walk sponsorship” where maybe I could ask people to “sponsor” my training walks – They give me a goal for a month during my pre-training, say 50 miles – and they’ll promise to donate $50 when I achieve it. I log all my walks on a fabulous app called Runtastic so it would be legitimate to track my progress… and hopefully everyone who promises to donate will follow through.  What do you all think of that idea? Would any of YOU sponsor my training walks?  😉

I hope you all have a super spiffy Thursday and if you’re looking for some good laughs, check out my hidden link coated in sugar.

Bye bye!

AprilSignatur

 

 

 

 

Click my picture to get to my 3-day page!

Please click my picture to get to my 3-day page!

Going at full speed

Hello wonderful blog followers!

The month of June is nearing the end.  Can you believe 2014 is already going to be half over?   Time goes by way too quickly and lately I have been finding it hard to do anything that includes sitting down. Unless it is when I am sitting in traffic during my new rush hour commute.

Summer camp is in full swing at the humane society I am now working at and so far,  this job is incredible.  My first two weeks of training brought me all types of new experiences with animals and filled my head with dancing bunnies, barking dogs, and climbing kittens. It has been AWESOME. This week we have our campers, all fifth and sixth graders full of questions, enthusiasm and opinions.  Today I was introduced to the wonderful large group game called “Kelp Help” (a revised version of “Elbow Tag”). Since I’m an awesome camp teacher, I played with the kids and ended up getting a quick workout that even got me sweating!  I had to sprint around a circle playing the role of a shark-dodging seal, as one of  the campers would try to tag me before I latched on to the “kelp” to be released from my role. It was nuts. But the kids were impressed with my short bursts of swiftness.

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Last week marked the first week of the Susan G. Komen 24-week training guide.  I managed to walk eight miles last week and this week I have done five so far, thanks to the first official training walk I hosted on Monday. Another 3-day participant, her daughter, my mother, and my two friends joined me to walk through a five mile chunk of my town. I was grateful that the weather was gorgeous and not too hot as we spent our evening chatting about what fitness meant us, weight loss, the effects of cancer on the world, and other random conversation pieces. My feet were about ready to fall off by the end of it as I was still sore from three miles I had done the day before hiking around the Santa Cruz mountains.

All my mileage I have racked up so far has certainly been making me feel all sorts of soreness. However, I also have been quickly feeling much more in shape than even just a month ago. I was down another 3.6 pounds last Saturday at Weight Watchers and am (ideally) another weigh-in away from being down 10 pounds officially since I began the program. It has been a challenge to take off those ten pounds but some progress is better than none. I have a feeling with the walk training and my new lifestyle of change of working to eliminate all the foods I am allergic to, I have faith I’ll be able to continue to drop the pounds.

This week I have been surviving off of yogurt, quinoa mixed with salsa, lettuce, cheese sticks, and grapes.  Mmm, grapes.  ::moment of Napa Valley appreciation::  I am looking forward to finally getting my first pay check so I can grocery shop for more variety! I went to Whole Foods and was saddened by the lack of products that are gluten-free but not made with rice or oats instead.  I did see some corn bread mix that inspired me to research recipes so I have faith maybe I will be able to find some other variety of carbs. Coming up with quick breakfast foods has been my biggest challenge but after some facebook friends made some suggestions, I have some ideas I could do.

Do you have any breakfast ideas for me that don’t include wheat, oats, rice, apples, bananas or oranges?  Thank you 🙂

I hope everyone had a glorious  rest of their week and an even better weekend.  I’m aiming to walk another eight miles before next Monday, I’ll use this blog as a commitment to do it. 😉

Bye bye!

AprilSignatur

 

 

 

 

PS – I’m brewing up some great ideas for fundraising for my 3-day walk but once I hit 20% of my needed $2,300 – I’ll be working with my friend and stylist, Ashley Blanchard of Lauthr, to create a “pink hair color” fundraising meter – the more money I earn – the more pink my hair will become. So far I have 12% thanks to donations from lovely people (Tommy, my Mom, my sister, Shannon, Audra, and Linda!) and I am VERY EAGER to get that pink in my hair.  If you have it to spare, please consider even donating $5 to my fundraising!  Thank you so much!

 

Visit my personal page here:   http://www.the3day.org/goto/aprillofgren

 

 

 

I’m walkin’

I am so stoked to announce that I am going to be joining Alyssa and the rest of the Double Chin Divas for the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk!  Alyssa, Aubrey, Monique, and myself are going to be taking on sixty miles at the end of November in the beautiful city of San Diego. I’ve got this vision in my head of thousands of people in pink walking together, laughing, crying, and sharing all sorts of experiences as well as making new ones.   I picture myself walking into a tent city as the evening sun paints the sky with pink and yellow, a reminder to me of the people who are looking down from the skies above.   I can see the neatly arranged rows of pink triangle tents, ready to take in their weary guests after a long day of walking.   I envision myself waking up in the morning as soon as the sun begins to beat down on our tent and laughing with Alyssa at how once again, while sleeping next to each other, we woke up “butt-to-butt.”

With all these visions I can see for myself in my future, there is no guarantee that I will make it. That’s the thing about life, there are no guarantees that anyone will make it to what they envision for their future.  And that is exactly why I want to walk.  None of us know exactly how long we have here on this gorgeous earth.  Some people live for 100 years, some for 75 years, some for just 75 days.  The point is that while I’m here in this capable body, I will do whatever I can do to make life a little easier for someone else, whether it is simply holding the door open for someone or by walking sixty miles.

Nancy G. Brinker, the sister of Susan G. Komen, promised Susan that she would do whatever she could to find a cure for this disease.   With dedication and the help of millions of supporters, Susan G. Komen has provided over $800 million dollars in research and nearly $1.7 billion dollars in funding for screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs that serves millions of people in more than 30 different countries.

If you can help me make it to November 21st, the Double Chin Diva’s day to shine like the sun that will be above the sea of pink, please donate to my personal fundraising page.  If you can not donate, even just sending out happy thoughts for myself and my team mates to reach our goals would be lovely as well!  I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to do this walk and look forward to seeing what sorts of fundraising ideas I can do.

Click the heart to visit my fundraising page! Thank you!

Do you have any fundraising ideas for me?

Thank you and enjoy your Thursday!

Love,

AprilSignatur