Saturday, April 2, 2011

Of Expectations

I am incredibly excited about my newest teammate, Nancy, joining me! I truly hope to be able to help her have an amazing experience with the 3-day this year. I want to be able to answer all her questions, to help her get going and let her have an easier event by having someone with her who has done this before!

But my glee at having a new member join me is tempered this week by the news that my teammate from last year, Joanne, has decided not to walk again this year. I completely understand her reasons and am very supportive of her decision, but I admit I'm sad to know she will not be there with us. A lot of this is just my usual difficulty with dealing with being handed something that goes against my expectations. She had signed up, I expected she'd be there, I envisioned the three of us walking together, laughing together and toughing it out together, and now I need to change that vision. It will be different. Different is good. It's good for me to practice shifting gears. It's something I don't do easily, and therefore, I need lots of practice with it.

This got me thinking that a lot of what happens in training and working toward walking the 3-day can go against your expectations. You might think the fundraising will be hard, and it turns out to be way easier than you expected. You might think the training will be a snap, and find that walking long distances takes more than you thought. You might find the walking to be way easier than you expected. You might think that the fundraising will be easy, and discover that it really is hard work, that it stretches your comfort level but that it is more rewarding than you expected and worth doing. You might, like I did last year, find that part way through your training, you are working with an injury that you're not sure you'll recover from in time for the event. I can't predict your future in preparation for the 3-day, but I can predict that there will likely be things that don't quite go the way you expected them to.

How you shift gears when that happens is a big part of this journey. There is not usually a right or wrong answer. Just the best answer for a given individual. On event there will be things that don't quite go the way you expected. Anyone who walked in San Diego last year will not soon forget the pouring, drenching, buckets of rain that fell on us over the course of day 2. Lots of people didn't expect that when they signed up. Some campers came back that day to find all their gear soaking wet inside their tents. Many of them left camp as a result for that night, although it should be noted that most of them came back to walk on day 3! But despite the hardships that mother nature metted out to us over the weekend, we walked. We raised awareness and we raised funds to beat breast cancer. I personally enjoyed the rain. I danced in it a bit even.

I think one of the harder things would be to be told you have breast cancer. What a life altering, totally going against expectations event that is. And 1 in 8 women will be told that at some point in their life. They have to shift gears in one of the biggest ways possible. Their families have to shift gears as well. Many of those women are lucky and are able to beat the disease (some, it should be noted, due to many of the advances that have been funded at least in part with money raised by Komen). Some others are not so lucky, put up a good fight and then lose their battle. Their families and friends must then make the toughest shift of having lost a loved one to this disease.

I am walking to keep these harder things from happening.

For this week, my mantra is to go with the flow. And here's hoping that all of us have the grace and strength to be flexible with whatever life hands to us.

Training: Walked 2 miles in 36 minutes on treadmill
Total miles walked this year: 68.1

Fundraising: $55; Total: $755

Fundraising: $20; Total: $700

Training: 4.1 miles in 1 hour 22 minutes
Total miles walked this year: 66.1

Training: 3.7 miles in 1 hour 12 minutes
Total miles walked this year: 62.0

Training: 11.1 miles in 4 hours 7 minutes
Total miles walked this year: 58.3
Fundraising: $60; Total: $680

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