Avon Walk for Breast Cancer--New York--Oct. 6-7, 2007, 3800 walkers, $10.2m raised!

I guess there is always some glitch with either flying or the weather--just some of the myriad of things that we just don't have control over in life!  However, none of those things are life threatening, and though they may be upsetting at the moment, eventually I realize that 'this too will pass'!  I am still overwhelmed by New York traffic, especially after leaving closing ceremonies with what seemed like plenty of time to get to JFK for our flight at 7:30 pm.(We finally took off at 9:30!).  The gps system, which Bob usually loves, took us right through the center of 'traffic'.  As the clocked clicked by etc. etc. etc. We got to the Jet Blue area with a 1/2 hour to buy dinner and then realized that we still had to take a shuttle bus to our actual gate.  Blah, blah, blah!  Enough of that!  We did get home safe and were tucked in our own bed by 2:00 am!

We left for NY a day early because Bob was posing for a calendar for breast cancer that will be published in 2009 as a fundraiser for one of the teams! He was dressed as the 'traditional' man next to a classic Ford.  "I" dressed him in a suit with a pink shirt and tie for that 'classic' look.  He looked quite traditional, though that is how he dresses every day for work. He did get a kick out of doing that.

This walk was honoring 51 survivors that Avon brought in from 51 of the countries that sells Avon products. Each of those countries has some event for breast cancer.  Each of the women were representing their country and for many it was the first time they had gone public with their disease.  In so many countries there is no awareness of breast cancer, and people will not talk about it.  So Avon is raising awareness internationally.   Go Avon!

The weather predictions for the weekend seemed to change every day!  I am actually not sure what the degrees were, but it seemed about 80 degrees but high humidity.  People were definitely complaining about the heat. 

I loved the route because it really went through the city of New York.  I got a total sense of New York and the different ethnic areas.  It does make for some crowded sidewalks and narrow areas, however, it makes  the route really interesting to me. I guess I should mention that there were some hills.  Some people weren't too happy with that!  But I just look at that as another part of the challenge for me and just keep plodding along!

We walked next to the Hudson River, and the NY skyline is just so unbelievable.  There are just so many tall buildings in that one small space!  How do they do that?!
 We crossed the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and the George Washington Bridge!  Bob had a tough time putting up signs.  Of course, he can't do it on the bridges anyway, but there are so many one way streets--he told me he didn't break too many laws!  Right!
The one thing was that I had to stay very alert to where my feet were landing!  We walked on blacktop, sidewalk, various shaped brick sidewalks, uneven surfaces, and tilted surfaces.  Just staying upright becomes a challenge.  I actually saw a couple of people take a tumble.  Speaking of that a young woman came up to me and asked me if I had fallen in Chicago?  I laughed and said yes, I had tripped on a curb.  She was crewing that event and was the one who helped me up.  I couldn't believe that!  I thanked her for assisting me at that time. Thanks again, Katie!

The Youth Corp from Boston crewed this event.  I  have known Jessica and her dad and step mom, since they became activists in this fight.  Jessica's mom died when she was a little girl.  They created the Youth Corp at the Boston 3Day.  The kids are from 10-16 yrs. old and work very hard as crew members, and do a great job of supporting the walkers. It was wonderful to see them at the Avon Walk NY, and I hope they will have the opportunity of spreading this to the other Avon walk cities.  They are such an inspiration and are such very, very, special people. It was a thrill to share a few moments and a few hugs with them.

I met Toni.  She came up to me to ask me more about what I was doing.  I am not sure, but she was probably asking me about my banner.  It is funny with all of the people that I talk to that it often is sharing a few moments or a few steps (since I am usually slower than most!), so we don't often get into a person's 'regular' life.  But Toni and I walked a longer time and found that we had so much in common--married the same length of time, almost the same age, same number of kids, etc, etc.  It got to be pretty funny.  But it is interesting how that happens in life, where you feel like you have known someone all of your life--when you have just met.  Thanks for sharing with me Toni.  Hope our paths cross again.

Spent a while walking with Pam.  We also got into some personal things about dealing with aging parents and those responsibilities.  However, since she was celebrating her 60th birthday and this was part of challenging herself this year.  She was thinking about how to do more walks, or expanding the box of what she might be capable of doing for breast cancer. I bet she will be doing more walks next year!  Keep me posted. 

It seemed to me that I spoke to several women who were celebrating their 60th birthday this year.  It is interesting how women of today are taking on 'aging'.  I like when people say we are the new 40's or even the new 50's sounds good to me. No matter what you call it, it is creating new challenges for oneself that I certainly never thought I would do, certainly not anything that would be related to 'exercise' or being 'athletic'!   

I must admit-----this really is one of my favorite walks-----actually, I think it is my favorite! Go New York!

I have a week off from a walk event and then my last 4 walks are back-to-back:  Charlotte (Avon), Dallas (3Day), AZ (3Day), SD (3Day).

Thank you for reading my journal. Reminder:  early detection is our best protection.


Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
"I walk because I can't walk away"