Avon Walk for
Breast Cancer--June 23-24, 2007, approx. 800 walkers, $2.3 m
I actually slept until 8:30 a.m. this Mon.
morning--sounds good, but I didn't get to bed until 1:15 a.m.
How it actually went was that we had a late flight out of
Denver, which was
nice because I could stay for closing ceremonies, which I had not done
for the previous 3 walks. By the way, the closing ceremonies were
wonderful and emotional, but I will get back to that later. So, anyway,
we got to the airport early; I did my change of clothes at the car
rental bathroom (!) and took the bus to the airport. It was the longest
line we have ever been in to go through security. The zigzag
lines would have made Disney proud! We ate dinner, went to our
terminal area to realize our flight was 2 hours late. I was unable to
sleep at the airport though I was thoroughly exhausted, but not in any
pain (good thing!). By the time we were seated on the airplane my legs
just started twitching, which is what happens a few hours after I
complete a walk, sitting still. So, needless to say, I watched my watch
tick the whole flight home. Fortunately it was less than 2 hours, so
you can bet I crashed when I hit my bed. So, that is the story of how I
slept until 8:30am. I do think that is much too much
We have a very dear friend in
husband was a high school and college mate of Bob's, so there is a long
history there. We spent Thurs. with Carol. It is always
a delight to see her and we look forward to that visit each year.
On Saturday, Bob had put up about 50 of his signs. About an hour before
I was getting to the 1/2 point when I was having lunch, I was walking
alone, and realized that I hadn't seen any of the signs. When I get
involved talking with people I don't always notice them. I gave him a
call and he started retracing his steps and realized that someone had
taken them down. He had just spent 5 hours putting them up! He has
always been very supported by the staff in his doing his own 'thing'
related to the signs, so he spoke to someone, and on Sunday, nobody took
down any signs! He does take his 'signage' job very
We had arrived in Denver
on Thurs., which gave me 2 days to acclimate to the
altitude. Usually that isn't quite enough, but
fortunately I did not have any altitude sickness on the
walk. However, the heat which was 91--95 degrees, was oppressive and
added to the challenge of the walk. I would guess that there were lots
of problems with walkers not drinking enough fluids and not pacing
themselves. I think besides blisters, the biggest problems are that
people don't hydrate enough throughout the walk. Bob described this is
an 'ultra-endurance event' since we were dealing with the heat as well
as the altitude.
Stef was a great supporter this year. She was at many
places on the route cheering us on, dancing and playing great music.
Stef was one of the all city walkers last year, and she
is now pregnant, so she was out there making a difference in a different
way! She said that she and her husband have signed up for next year.
How's that for commitment?!
I spent all of Sat. playing the hare and tortoise (that's me) with Barb
and Erin. They had met in training and had each lost their mother to
breast cancer. We had some conversation and then kept crossing paths
all day long. How we kept crossing paths, is that they would take longer
breaks than I would, but they walked faster and would eventually be
passing me again, and again, and again! Erin had only trained to do 13
miles, but both of them did the whole thing. Erin's husband and
children were there to meet her on Sat and the end of the day, and they
were so proud of her. They both helped to keep me going on Sat. because
I looked forward to seeing them. I hope they send me their mother's
names for my banner.
I spent a few minutes talking with Jackie. She is a massage therapist
from Denver, but I have seen her on many walks
through the years, but never really had any conversation with her. She
really gets into the event as far as her dress and attitude, and she is
so positive and energetic. She was a crew member handling 'gear' for
this walk. But she is doing other walks this year and has been busy
fundraising for those. I look forward to seeing her again. Her
enthusiasm is contagious.
I also spent a few moments with Julie who is part of the Princess team
that came from Chicago. We have also crossed paths on several
and it just was fun to see her again and her whole team, that by the
way, wore their princess crowns on their heads the whole time!
At closing ceremonies, I was standing directly behind the survivors (who
are in the front). On the stage, Karen, the director of the walks, was
talking about the pink connection ribbon. It is a pink ribbon that is
about one yard long, which goes around the neck. The number of
ribbons given out represents the number of women that are diagnosed with breast cancer, in
the time that we are together participating in this event. The ribbon
is very symbolic. Those that receive them feel very special and wear it
with pride. I took off the ribbon I had received and gave it to the
woman (a survivor) who was standing in front of me. She turned around
and hugged me and wept. I don't remember her name, but it was one of
the most emotional moments for me of the weekend.
I am doing laundry at this moment.
San Francisco is next!
Thank you for reading my journal.
Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
"I walk because I can't walk away"