This Friday, I will wake up at 4AM.
I will put on my cute skirt/leggings combo, an athletic top, a jacket, my handy-dandy black hat with pink trim, and my trusty sneakers.
I will apply a lot of sunscreen even though the sun won’t even make an appearance for 3 more hours.
I’ll probably make myself a nice smoothie of some sort. I will walk my dog, check the supplies in my fanny pack (yes, I said it…fanny pack), and drag my duffel bag out to the car.
I will leave in the dark on Friday 4:45AM (yawn), and I won’t be back until Sunday evening. Why? Because I am going for a walk.
A loooongggg walk.
A walk that starts at 8AM on Friday and doesn’t end until 4:30PM on Sunday.
A walk that’s gonna hurt. And make me tired. During which I will wear a fanny pack and pay a lot of attention to any minor wrinkles in my socks.
A walk that is going to make me feel SO GOOD and SO PROUD and SO HELPFUL, even while it’s making me feel so exhausted and old and probably a little broken.
Because this walk is going to help cure Breast Cancer. Maybe not this weekend, probably not even this year or this decade. But the money that my friends and family donated to support me in this endeavor WILL be used to support care for someone facing breast cancer now, or will be used to fund research to stop someone from suffering later. And when I go to get my annual mammogram and I am sooooo nervous that they are going to find something bad, I will know that I did at least something to make those annual visits a little less scary for someone someday. Maybe me. Maybe my Mom. Maybe my daughter. Maybe hers.
This walk is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
We will walk 60 miles. Over 3 days. We will walk from 8AM on Friday until sometime around 4PM. And then we’ll do it again on Saturday. And then we’ll do it again on Sunday.
Because we are healthy enough. Because we can. Because it feels good to help, even when it feels bad. Because it puts us in solidarity with thousands of other people who want to do SOMETHING. And thousands more who line the streets and cheer. Who donated. Who attended pancake breakfasts and car washes and jewelry sales. Because they wanted to support all of the walkers – and that support is doing SOMETHING, too.
Because we have lost people. Mothers. Aunts. Friends. Cousins. Sisters.
Because we have almost lost people, and watched the hell they went through fighting a horrible disease that threatens to impact 300,000 additional women in the US THIS YEAR. And kill close to 40,000.
Because no one should have to go through that. And since RIGHT NOW we don’t have to, we will walk.
And right beside us there will be walkers who HAVE gone through that. Or ARE going through that. Women who still have bandages on. Women who still don’t have their hair. Women who don’t know if they are going to make it through the next year. They walk. It’s hard to believe, but they do.
And if they can and do. It’s nearly impossible to think you can’t.
So that’s why I will.