This past weekend I participated in the "Weekend to End Breast Cancer". It was a two day, 60km walk through the streets of Calgary. I have never known such an experience as this past weekend was. Thank you to everyone who donated to this cause and made it possible for me to WALK! You were just as much a part of this event as I was. Thank you!
The weekend kicked off with registration night and "Safety Video" on Friday July 28th. The atmosphere was amazing, even as we waited in the line ups to get our weekend started. My walking partner, Ramona, and I felt we were physically ready for the challenge ahead and anxiously awaited the early morning start on July 29th.
At 7:00am sharp opening ceremonies began….building us up for a great walk….motivating every bone in our bodies. At 7:15am the garage doors to the Calgary Round Up Center were opened and 2200 women and men hit the sidewalks of Calgary to begin a journey of a lifetime. The Walkers:
Ramona and I found ourselves in a hurry to leave the crowd behind and find some space to walk at our pace….little did we know that that would take 15 km to do! As we worked our way up the line we passed many walkers who were dressed for the occasion and lots and lots of very supportive crew members. Let me just say that the crew members were my Northern Star. I never would have made it without them. Not only were they there with everything that we may need, but they were also balls of energy feeding us on our way past. Thank you to ALL of you! The Crew:
Special mention must go out to the citizens of Calgary for their generous support throughout the weekend! We were overwhelmed with support from men, women and children. Their cheers and words of encouragement created new found strength in weary feet. Thank you to all the morning people who wished us luck while sipping on their morning coffee. Thank you to each child who took the time to hold an encouraging sign, pour a cup of lemonade, make cappuccino, and just be there. Thank you to the folks at every cheering station who were there to see their loved ones but clapped just hard for the stranger passing by. Finally, thank you to the sweet lady who made fresh cookies on the morning of day 2….perfect timing! Calgarians:
By day two I was sure that my feet were going to fall off but stubbornness and a need to finish kept me going. Ramona and I walked together for 48km and in our final 12km I had to leave her for the medical tent as my feet felt as though they were broken. The kind medic taped me up nice and tight. With my new lease on life I walked like I was running, trying desperately to catch up to Ramona….to no avail. We crossed the finish line apart from each other, but the point is, we finished! The result:
To describe what it was like to come through the finish is to do it no justice so I will keep the memory to myself. I will tell you this: It was the most emotional experience I have ever endured, not for myself, but for every single person around me.