Thanks mostly to the kind generosity of my readers (that would be YOU, people), I have exceeded my goal of raising $5,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
I cannot express how moved I am at how folks responded to the call to dig deep. Several of you (including the one who felt the need to push me up to $6k, saying “it’ll be easier for you to keep going, if you know that every single mile is $100!”) donated more than once. I know that even this is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed to TRULY make breast cancer history, but I am humbled to be even a small part of it all.
And a small part is what I am. A small part with a lot of gear. Where did all of this gear come from??
As you read this (written earlier, obviously), I am sleeping in what is probably a scary motel near Boston, on account of we have to be at the walk site at 5:30 AM sharp. FIVE. THIRTY. IN THE MORNING. Whose idea was this? Certainly not mine. You know where I like to be at 5:30 in the morning? Drooling on my pillow. And unconscious.
I’m worried about this weekend, truthfully. I am still exhausted from my last trip (good idea to do these back-to-back, no?), my actual training regime fell FAR short of my proposed training regime, I’m still dealing with some heat intolerance issues, and as long as I’m being honest…
… I hate to fail.
(I know this comes as a huge shock.)
And I know, I KNOW, that if I have to stop—if I am injured or become sick—that there is no shame in stopping. There is no failure if I go out and give it my all. INTELLECTUALLY, I know this. But EMOTIONALLY, I want to walk the entire 60 miles. I’m not sure I can do it, and I want to come back and tell you I DID IT. I want to push myself and go further than I thought I could.
And for $100/mile, I think I can. I hope I can.
But! Earlier today, I assembled all of my gear. And because I cannot take you all on the walk with me (I would love to, because how much fun would THAT be?), I thought you might enjoy having a peek into the packing process. Because honestly, I was all, “Oh, whatever, I need a sleeping bag and some nylon shorts” and the next thing I knew, something had exploded in my family room, leaving all manner of debris in its wake.
The first thing you need to do the 3-Day is an official walk badge. Mine is quite lovely, I think. Without this badge I am forever lost; I am no one, I have no tent, and—most importantly—I get no towels. The horror!
The next thing you need are good sneakers. These are my $120 Rykas that I bought for $22. I did it on a whim (because of the price) and they turned out to be absolutely amazing. Hopefully they will last me the entire walk.
But if the Rykas are unable to fulfill their full spokessneaker duties, the back-up sneakers will step up to the plate and carry on. These are the sneakers I trained in waaaaay back in February or so when it still seemed like a really good idea to go walking when it was 20 degrees outside. Ahem. Anyway, these sneakers suck, so I’m hoping I won’t have to wear them.
Next up is the ubiquitous pink ribbon hat. I prefer not to wear a hat at all—I rather like just tying a bandana on my head, because I’m just SO HIP—but it turns out that it’s really true, you stay cooler in a hat. So I wear a hat. My hat is currently sporting the Tinkerbell pin my children picked out for me at Disneyworld last week. At night when I’m in physical agony and missing the kids, I’m hoping that looking at Tinkerbell will still make me laugh.
The walk crew provides the tents, but we do have to bring our own sleeping bags and mats. I squished mine down in a giant Ziploc in a poor girl’s vacuum-pack facsimile, and then discovered that the mat doesn’t fit in my duffle bag. Whoops! It’s now in its own bag, on TOP of the duffle bag. Anyway, it’s good I have that sleeping bag, seeing as how the coldest it’s supposed to be this weekend is… 70 degrees. Hooboy.
[Digression: Look closely at the picture of the sleeping bag and mat in the large Ziploc. Do you see the emblem on the lower left? DO NOT PUT BABIES IN THE ZIPLOCS, PEOPLE. Everyone knows that babies should be wrapped in Saran.]
Of course, I can’t sleep without a pillow. My walk partner is the crafty sort, and so we have matching team power pillows. Isn’t that cute? I don’t really care as long as it’s comfortable, which I’m guessing that after being smashed down in my duffle all day, it’s not going to be.
Of course, I need 3 days’ worth of walking clothes. Check, check, and check! Notice that each bag contains two pairs of socks; one is in a smaller Ziploc to be stuck in my hip pack. That way, when we stop for lunch, I can change into fresh socks! Which I’m sure will be completely invigorating and make me want to get right back out there and walk another 10 miles!
I’ve got a bunch of other stuff packed too, of course. But at that point I started losing interest in the whole photo essay thing. I’ve got this in case I think of anything brilliant while we’re out there, given that I cannot blog and the lack of outlet for my random thoughts might cause me to implode, otherwise.
I’ll be back with a full report on Sunday night. Pray for clear skies and boundless energy, if you’re the praying sort. Or just keep your mutterings about my insanity to yourself. I’m aware.
[P.S. Are you going on your own adventure this weekend, or thinking about one? Check out this nifty little site that Nature Valley put together. Yeah, that's right. The granola people. I'm going to be eating a LOT of granola bars this weekend. Go put a pin on the map or whatever while I'm SWEATING TO DEATH in the sun, it won't kill you.]