The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer was this past weekend. We signed up in February, fundraised for months, thought about training for months while sitting on the couch and not actually training (to be fair, it’s walking, right? I’ve been walking pretty solidly for like 26 years by now).
I was excited for it, and excited to be doing it with my mom and sisters, I thought it would be fun and that it raised money for a good cause, but I didn’t give it much more thought than that.
It was a really great experience, even just as far as getting to see the city. If you only have one weekend to visit a place, think about signing up for this event because it was really awesome, we walked through Fisherman’s Wharf, down the Embarcadero, through China town, North Beach, the Presidio, past Golden Gate Park, it was really an amazing way to see the city, and to get to really appreciate so many of the places that I drive by all the time and think to myself “Oh I should really stop there”, but then never do.
As we were at about mile 8, we came to a corner where a woman was standing alone. She was pale. thin, and she looked frail but tough. From her close cropped hair, it was clear that she was either in the midst of chemo, or had just finished it. As each walker passed by her, she would look them directly in the eye and say “Thank you for walking for me.” I almost burst into tears, but it was so inspiring, especially at about mile 25 when all I wanted to do was lay down and drink a margarita.
That night we went to Cheesecake Factory for some carb loading and some truly delicious Asian Pear martinis, I didn’t even blink at finishing most of our shared piece of cheesecake myself, because let’s be honest, I had earned it. We were sitting there, feeling proud of what we’d accomplished, 26.2 miles the first day, but tired, sore and injured, and really disheartened at the prospect of doing it all again the next day.
All of a sudden, my mom pipes up with “Maybe that’s kind of what it’s like when you are actually fighting cancer. You’re tired and sore and injured and you’ve already come so far and you feel like that should be enough, but it isn’t, and you have to wake up the next day and do it all over again, even though you don’t feel like you can, but you have to do it.”
I guess that’s why we have moms. All in all, it was a great experience and a very memorable weekend.