Saturday, October 4, 2008

Does this make you want to walk with us???

OK. It’s crunch time.

This is the part of training where you have to make decisions and not all of them are fun.

As you sit on the edge of your bed at the crack of dawn, the weight of your obligations lands on you like a boulder.

Your house has dust bunnies and there’s a basket of unfolded underwear in the laundry room that’s nearly empty because no one could find clean underwear in their dressers this week

Your garden needs weeding.

Your car is sprinkled with protein bar wrappers and empty sports bottles.

Your dog growls at you like you’re a stranger.

Your boss can’t wait until you inevitably give up this little whim so he can have his dedicated employee back who was never preoccupied and always wore high heels.

Your friends who are not in the 3Day are beginning to look at you differently. They feel a little left out. Girls night out happened last week without you.

Your husband doesn’t understand why you’re doing all of this. All he understands is that he just wants you home-in body AND mind.

Your children don’t understand. All they know is that they hate the color pink and just want their mom back.

And then there’s your body. You can barely recover from walking one day to do it all over again the next day. You wake up achy and stiff. You go to bed achy and stiff. Your suntan is an outline of a sports bra and shorts. It’s a nice surprise when you don’t have hat head. Your feet are sporting blisters, calluses and corns in places you’ve never had them. You’ve lost another toenail.

You’re weary.

You’re exhausted.

You’re miserable.

Why on earth are you putting yourself through this?

Like a warm sunbeam, you suddenly realize that you have a choice. You can make this all go away. You have the power to make your husband happy, be a mommy again, get a raise, go Martha Stewart on your house, have a margherita with the girls, sleep in and say goodbye to blisters forever.

You take a minute think about it - you can have a normal life again.

But then it dawns on you.

So what if the kids’ underwear didn’t get folded and put away. It could be worse. They could all be wearing dirty underwear. No one has gotten sick because you didn’t wash your kitchen floor this week. And you’ll still be able to harvest a garden. That’s why God made zucchini.

Your boss – he’ll never get it. But you do, and that damn job can just wait another few weeks.

Your friends don’t understand, but you do. If they were being very honest, they might even confess they’re a little in awe of you. Well, next year they can just get off their pampered little tushies and for once in their life make a commitment to something bigger than themselves

Your husband may not understand, but you do. You understand that by some wondrous quirk of genetics and fate, he still has you around to be missed. And to grow old with.

Your children don’t understand, but you do. You don’t want them to have to think about mommies who go away because they’re sick and then don’t get to come home. In a few weeks you’ll be back and you will hug them like you’ll never let go.

And then it hits you - you could be sitting on the edge of your bed dreading yet another bout of chemo and wondering if you can make it all the way home this time before you throw up.

So maybe you won’t quit today. In a few weeks this will be all over.

And if you’re lucky, things won’t ever be the same again.Because you will have turned your blisters into dollars for research and medical breakthroughs and mammograms for the poor.

Because someday your children will remember all this and know they can change the world no matter how big the challenge.

Because someone will look at the pink wristband you gave them and write out another check.

Because the friends you’ve made in training and the friends you meet on the walk will stay with you forever.

Because a woman you don’t even know trusts you to walk for her because she can’t.

So maybe you’ll face the challenge of fitting it all in and getting it all done for one more day.

Maybe you’ll walk the eight miles you’d planned once the kids are in bed tonight and not think about the dishes in the sink

Maybe you’ll ignore your feet and ignore your sunburn and ignore your sore hips.

Maybe you’ll remember how fortunate you are to be able to get up off the edge of the bed and make a difference.

Lori KeenerCleveland,
OhioHot Mamas I.B.T.P.
June 2007

It's not too late to walk with us.

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To walk with us in 2009, click here.

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