Monday, September 28, 2009

I Think About Paris, When I’m High On Red Wine…

With the help of many friends and family, I have raised $2805! That is $500 more than the minimum requirement to participate in the 3-Day event! It isn’t over yet!  This week, some new names joined the list of supporters.  Eileen & Tony Murzyn joined me in the fight!  Elieen is a long time family friend who has always supported me-from buying girl scout cookies, providing me with home made hair barrettes to match my best outfit on picture day (honestly, every school picture I have from pre-K-3rd grade includes one of her barrettes), helping Mom in the planning of numerous birthday and graduation celebrations, to giving me a job during the Christmas season.  I was not surprised, though very grateful, when she and Tony offered their support toward my latest endeavor. 

Another name on the list is the lovely, Joe Bechely.  In addition to attending last week’s fundraiser, Joe was kind enough to donate to several of the New Kids team members.  Joe is a former classmate from FSU who changed my life when he introduced me to the ladies of Sex and the City through his weekly Sunday evening dinner events. My life hasn’t been the same since. He is also the inspiration of mine and Kim’s future bestseller:  Situations I have found myself in…Because of Joe Bechely and the reason we often ask ourselves “How Did You Get Here?” I know that Joe and partner Alex will be at the walk, cheering us on!!  I apologize in advance to the other folks at the cheer stations.

I am proud to walk with the support of so many folks who share my passion to find a cure for Breast Cancer.  This week I was motivated by the 60 entries on my spreadsheet of donors.  60 individuals and families have expressed their belief in me-to walk 60 miles-through donations to the Breast Cancer 3-Day Event!  I’m overwhelmed! 

This week was the most challenging of our 21 weeks of training.  The suggested training was to complete 5 miles on Tuesday, 6 on Thursday, 18 miles on Saturday, and 15 miles on Sunday-that is a 44 mile week!  (Gamecock football trumps the schedule so I moved my Thursday walk to Friday and did a 3-day series of 6-18-15)  I am sure I wasn’t thinking this on Saturday afternoon but with 72 hours of hindsight, 18 wasn’t so bad!  It was dreadfully boring, but definitely doable. It rained for the first 13 miles so I had to make a few sock changes but Mother Nature was mostly on my side with cool temps and a nice breeze.  Sunday morning didn’t come as easily as Saturday morning.  When the alarm sounded at “way too early and still dark outside” o’clock, I was tempted to spend another hour or two in bed.  But, I channeled Michelle Ashcraft who used to say to the students in our class, “Choose your Tude….Dude!”  I chose my “Can Do” ‘Tude and got to stepping!

What I have learned during my 4 months of training for this event is that mental determination will take you places that you never dreamed your feet could go. It’s all about attitude!  The very official (and must be true) Wikipedia definition of attitude is:  A hypothetical construct that represents an individual’s degree of like or dislike for an item. Sunday morning, I was leaning toward the dislike side of the spectrum, until I remembered the 60 donors and numerous additional friends who are cheering me on.

When you look around, you can see lots of evidence of the power of Attitude.

Jimmy Buffett summed up attitude when he said:  “If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane!”  **Only my fellow Parrotheads understand the title of this blog entry.  Fins Up, to you all!

Alan Jackson said:  “It’s only half past 12, but I don’t care.  It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”  Now THAT is a winning attitude!

Michael J Fox has become a self proclaimed Incurable Optimist, even in the face of adversity and declining health.  #1 on my “to read” list after the walk is his autobiography, Looking Up.

Jim Valvano told us:  “Don’t give up!  Don’t ever give up!”  and Kay Yow didn’t!  She challenged us all:  “When life kicks you, Let it kick you Forward!”

Who can forget Patti LaBelle who proclaimed: “I’m feeling good from my head to my shoes.  Know where I’m going and I know what to do!”

Heather Small inspired a nation (once she got her jingle out of the gay bars and onto the Biggest Loser) asking:  “What have you done today, to make you feel proud?” and responding with “I’m on my way.  Can’t stop me now.  And you can do the same!”

Melissa Etheridge spelled it out for Breast Cancer supporters when she cried:  “I run for your mother, your sister, your wife.  I run for you and me, my friend.  I run for life.”

I can hear the voices of each of these artists when I need a little extra boost.  They fill my playlist and keep my feet moving.  I’m even more inspired by the every day heroes in my life.  My attitude is most influenced by the people who help me push through the long and often uncomfortable miles.  I get the pep in my step from the people who read this blog every week.  When I need an attitude boost, I turn to YOU!  Here are just a few of the pick me ups that have helped me through 4 months of training and I know will keep me going during the 60-mile journey.

Mom, who is always the first one to read my blog. She stays up on Monday night until it is posted.  You all get an email from me on Tuesday morning, but I have one waiting from her-telling me how much she enjoyed my latest entry and giving me a “Your Daddy and I are proud of you!!”  (Special thanks to her for reading my weekly updates to Dad who is much less tech-savvy than Linda the email, instant message, text messaging grandma!)

Stuart, Jennifer K, and Nina who check in every week to ask how I’m feeling and to get the latest update on how the training is going.

Penny who sends me off every Friday with “I hope you have great walks this weekend!” and greets me every Monday morning with “How were your walks?”

Adrienne who joins me for my Monday step aerobics for cross training-and never laughs (out loud at least) when I make up my own beat.   

Dan who has tolerated far too many lunch conversations that have focused on the ta-tas.  I promise that after the walk, we’ll put a hush on the boob talk-at least for a few weeks.

Curtis Zimmerman said it, and I Believe it:  “Passion Supersedes Natural Ability-Every Time!”

The Queen of Positive Attitude-My sister, Joyce!  In the past 4 months, she has given me at least 132 “You go girl!” moments.  I know that Bob would be proud of both of us for Workin’ It Out!

The calm Yin to my wildly high strung Yang, Dana, who keeps her phone nearby when I am on a long walk and calms my nerves when I have gotten myself lost, or lost my sunglasses or proclaim that I must call a cab because I can not possibly take one more step (don't judge me, that only happened 1 time and I chose a new attitude and made it home just fine).   

Friends like Viki, Shana, Joan, Jeanne W (who I KNOW appreciates the Buffett references), Jeannie W. (yes, there are 2 Jeann(i)e W.’s in my life-oh my and if the two of these wild women ever met the energy would make the earth shake), Erin M., Jill, Katie, and Julianne who always send a supportive “You Rock!” when I send out a blog update.  Knowing that you are all out there reading and keeping up with my journey is an attitude boost-Super Size!

Talk about a positive attitude!  Check out these ladies. 

Jan Ziegler, lady #1 on the list of people who inspired me to sign up for this event, sent me a note when I first got started that said:

Funding is so important for breast cancer. My surgeon told me that until 3 years ago, they would have had to strip and remove all 18 lymph nodes under my arm and in the upper part of my arm which often left the arm impaired and was very painful and could result in edema for years. Then, thanks to research money raised by volunteers, they found a way to dye the lymph nodes before surgery to see if cancer was present in them. This is what I was the benefactress of. I can type this note to you with two arms, hands, fingers and one heart that sings with joy at your thoughtfulness. 

Jan’s positive attitude and desire to support future Breast Cancer patients has kept me going.  I read her note every week as a reminder of why I walk.

Teri Carpenter recently posted on her Caringbridge site:

I had an appt. with my cardiologist, Dr. Falsone (I'm like a cat nowadays, I have a staff now!).   Dr. Falsone then ordered an echocardiogram (which was lovely considering the technician made me put on this scratchy, half-shirt and then he (yes, HE!!) put goop all over this wand and proceeded to run it over my particularly tender surgically modified breast!) I wonder what size these people are who (during keg parties) design hospital gowns and half-shirts with the front openings??? Do you think they giggle uncontrollably when they are sizing them??  

Remember that Teri was not a breast cancer patient when I began this journey.  Her upbeat attitude and never failing sense of humor has kept us all going over the past few weeks.  Teri has requested that I bedazzle her name across my shirt during the walk-just over my left boob.  In honor of her enduring the scratchy hospital gowns, I just might!

To Mandie, Michelle and Jenn P for dedicating their facebook status on Thankful Thursday and sending supportive wall posts regularly.  You know you have arrived when you make the status! 

To everyone who has joined me for training walk.  Your company has helped boost my energy and remind me that I am NOT in this alone!  The list of co-walkers is impressive!  Applause to all of these ladies-and Adam & Gary- (in order of their first appearance): Dana, Adrienne, Katie, Mom, Kim, Adam, Meredith, Joyce, Julianne, Gary, Donna, Shana, V-Lowe, Bonnie, and Terry.

This is not a complete list. There are many of you who support me.  I will continue to honor and thank you as we spend the next 25 (GASP!) days preparing for the Breast Cancer 3-Day.  I have made a promise to put forth my most positive attitude, even when the going gets tough.  It may take a village but with all of your support, I know that I can make it! 

Don’t forget-I want to profile the folks who appear on my list of inspiration  Send a picture of your loved one and I will move them to the top of the list for the week.  (Although, I’m sure Teri won’t mind spending 2 weeks as my spotlight!)

You heard it right, this week I walked 44 miles in 84,620 steps.  It’s downhill from here!!  The next 3 weeks of training really taper down with 10 miles on Saturday this week, 18 the next Saturday, one more Saturday of 10, and then the big event! 

So far, the total is: 424 miles and 827,346 steps.

Any guesses about the grand total once the training process is over? 

Happy Stepping!

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