Avon Walk

Accomplished. (Day 135)…

by agirlandhermutt on May 16, 2010

Day Two came bright and early. Dad woke me up early so I could go to Medical to get rewrapped before it got too busy. Smart move because it got us to breakfast super early too. By the time we were finished packing our bags and lowering our tents other walkers were just getting to breakfast. The lines were CRAZY.
The Reebok Headquarters try each year to put these cute pink ducks in their little pond. Each year these all end the evening butt up. By the morning time they were lined up ready to see us off!
I really thought Dad looked like it was his first day walking! (The black sock is a compression sock. He has shin splints and this is SUPER helpful!)
I, on the other hand, not so fresh.
Slowly we all started to line up and at 7:30 the route opened for us to finish up our last 13.1 miles on the way back to UMass Boston.
While waiting in line to leave I saw a few girls in their early 20s wearing a shirt that said “I Walk for My Mother. Diagnosed May 2, 2009. Lost her Battle February 9, 2010.” I welled up just thinking how sad it would be to lose a loved one and especially in such a short amount of time.
After walking for about a mile and a half I saw a sign that said “M&M”. My friend Jess (remember my work buddy?!) came out with her kids to cheer us on!!!
I was so excited to have a sign dedicated to us! It felt so good and made me totally forget about my blisters for a few minutes. Jess participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day a few years ago and knows how important it is to feel supported. BIG THANKS TO HER!!!

As we walked through neighborhoods we were shocked again to see more locals come out to show support for walkers. They passed out water, lemonade, freeze pops, and candy. Amazing!

By Mile 3 I was having some serious blister issues. I need to get my other foot wrapped and was so thankful for the Medical Crew. I think many others were too!

While I waited for Medical, others waited for the bathroom.
There is a lot of waiting in lines on the Avon Walk! đŸ™‚
Dad and I did a little goofing around before we heading back out on the route.
Around Mile 8 we hit lunch and another Medical Stop. Rewrap #2!
Dad and I walked, and walked, and walked. There were times where we were surrounded by people and other times where we felt like we somehow missed the whole group. There were a few tears on my part not only because of my pain, but also because I felt so proud of myself for doing this. I took in all the shirts that people wore in tribute to others and found joy in all the people who came out to support the walkers. When we finally hit the Finish line I felt amazing. I wanted to lay down and nap for days, but I felt soo accomplished. I had set out to walk 39.3 miles with my Dad and that is just what I did!
The Closing Ceremonies was another amazing event where people shared their stories. Suze Orman also made an appearance to share how much money we raised and were able to give to local organizations for research grants.
All the walkers lined up to walk in to participate in the ceremony. Some walked in on their own, others walked with the support of friends and family. Survivors and those who support them walked as one.
All of those white pom poms were Survivors that participated in the walk. 294 Survivors walked with us this weekend.
Suze Orman announced how much money we raised this year and total! ($5.8 this year!)
Think somoene is missing? The Scientist  tried to come down to see us cross the finish line but it was so crowded that he couldn’t find parking. I was sad he missed it, but immediately perked up when I came home to find “Congrats!” roses. Lovely.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is an experience that I will never forget. It is something I will share with my Dad forever. It felt so good to put my mind to something and follow through. I helped not only myself, but a great cause. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this goal without the support of my friends, The Scientist and and especially my MOM.


Annnndd we are off! (Day 134)…

by agirlandhermutt on May 16, 2010

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.
Dad and I have been training since January. I trained, and trained, and trained, and trained, and trained. I really felt like I was ready to conquer this event!
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. đŸ™‚ 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!!!

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by agirlandhermutt on May 16, 2010

Team M&M crossed the Finish line this afternoon around 1:30pm. After 2 days and 39.3 miles, we are exhausted but SUPER proud of ourselves. I’ll be back tomorrow with recaps!

Until then…Fun Fact: The 2010 Avon Walk raised $5.8 million!