Annnndd we are off! (Day 134)…
For the first time ever I participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer as a walker. I’ve been a member of the Crew for the past 5, 4 of those as a Crew Team Leader. I have had some amazing experiences throughout the years and I expected this year would be no different.
We arrived bright and early at 6am.
Dad and I made shirts for the weekend that said “Team M&M” with “Dad” and “Daughter” on the backside.
I made sure to sign the Walk Towers that travel to each and every walk during the year. Team M&M was here!
My Mom sent us the first text of the day bright and early at 6:30am (5:30am her time!). Who doesn’t love family support?! Dad gave her a call back to let her know we were up and ready to go!
Opening Ceremonies started shortly after we got there.
Several people participating in the walk weekend came on stage to share their stories. I was most moved by a man and his wife. He was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and finished his last round of chemo in February of 2008. Tragically later that year he was then diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent treatment till 2009. After his last round of chemo he was proud to say he was a 2 time cancer survivor. Unfortunately his family was hit by tragedy again. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer around Thanksgiving of 2009. They seemed to have such positive attitudes and really came across as an inspiration to me to do the best I could during this weekend.
Shortly after their talk we kicked off the official walk. 2,400 walkers left UMass Boston and headed down the Harborwalk. All familiar trails for me!
There is no such thing as “keeping pace” in the beginning of the walk. We just took it slow and easy.
We even had time to take a picture to show where we were planning to walk!
Along our walk we came across some beautiful sites!
The first tough part of the walk came around Mile 8 in Beacon Hill. This picture is a bit deceiving but this hill is NUTS.
When we hit the Common Dad still look so fresh!
It was nice to see supporters come out in Boston to show support, even non-vocally.
The next part of our path is down Beacon St through Back Bay.
Past the Boston Women’s Memorial.
Our next stop was LUNCH around Mile 10. Lunch for all walkers was provided by a great organization in Boston called Community Servings.
This organization serves meals to more than 700 people and families who are homebound due to illness.
People took a moment to relax, take a break and gear up for the next part of the walk.
As we walked I noticed that almost EVERYONE had a pair of these new Reebok shoes on. I love them!
At Mile 13 (the halfway point) Dad and I took a break to change socks and just take a breather. Still lookin’ good huh?
As we went through the second half we were surprised to see how many random local supporters came out to cheer the walkers on!
Even Billy Mays was looking over us!
I’m not going to lie. I was feeling rough around Mile 20. After all my training I started to get a blister. I was so sad and felt like I was doing something wrong. However, my attitude instantly changed when I saw that we were rounding the corner to the finish line. The Scientist was on the sideline cheering us in and taking a few photos.
I was pretty emotional at the point. I really felt accomplished and even more so because my Dad was by my side the ENTIRE time. We had walked a marathon (26.2 miles) together and it was an amazing feeling. I was also REALLY tired.
We still had tons to do though. Get our bags, set up our tent, eat dinner and shower. Fortunately The Scientist was there to help out!
The rest of the night was a blur. I had to go to Medical (so sad!) to get my blistered foot wrapped which took quite some time. After that we ate, got our tent all set up and got to sleeping. Day 2 came early!!!