Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kicking it off with a BOOM! (Bomb)

Posted By: Jenn Latino

An Older, Wiser, New Kid!

May 11th has finally arrived! This is Week 1 of the 24-week training program, and Tuesday is the first walk of the week. 3 miles. Bring it!!

I’ve been looking forward to the start of training and as I have been keeping an eye on the calendar, folks have been asking “Are you going to blog again?” Well, here it is.

Kicking off the 2010 training was a lot different than the 2009 kick off. I didn’t have to go on an adventure to find the right shoes. I just made a stop at Strictly Running last week and said, “I need a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 5, size 10.” They told me the 5s were discontinued but the 6s were the same. Great, give me a 6. Make em’ pink. I didn’t have to spend hours driving around the neighborhood, resetting the odometer, making notes of various 1, 3, and 5 mile routes. I already know the routes-the streets have not changed. I got home from work around 5:40pm. By 6:00pm I had my walking clothes on, shoes laced up, dogs on a leash, and we were out the door. Easy!

This easy start was the pretty anticlimactic arrival of a day that I had been watching creep toward me on the calendar for the past couple months. Once I got stepping though, I realized that Jenn 2010 was a much older, wiser, walker. I didn’t worry about whether I could finish the three miles. I was confident I could. I didn’t question if I had made the right decision to commit to the $2300 & 60-mile requirements for the Komen 3-Day. I was sure that I was meant to do another walk as Team New Kids strolled down Victory Lane at the end of the 2009 event. I took on the first 3 miles of the 2010 season with confidence and assurance that I could and would make an impact through my efforts and that I could and would complete the necessary training and much awaited 60-mile journey on October 22-24, 2010. It was at least late August-early September last year before I was sure of this! This year there are no doubts. No questions. I’m a veteran New Kid and I have a team of new friends joining me. I have to not only complete my own training but also inspire and cheer on my newest recruits-Shawn, Katie H. and Michelle!

What I am not sure of is if I can maintain my weekly blog this summer. Frankly, I’m afraid I won’t have enough to say. I fear I used all of my clever words last year. I’m walking the same routes, in the same shoes, according to the same schedule as last year. What could I possibly write about that would be new and exciting for my readers?

Training #1 did NOT disappoint! All 4 of our walks this week are 3 milers. The neighborhood I live in is called The Summit and my 3-mile route takes me through my subdivision, Ridge Crest, and the adjoining subdivision, Autumn Hill. I had This American Life, Urban Legends episode playing on my iPod and as we crossed into the Autumn Hill area, Ira was rudely interrupted by a man on a bike. He was a fairly large man on a fairly small bike. He was quite a sight! He was yelling and increasing his speed as he approached me. He was coming right at us, like Paul Revere, hands cupped around his mouth, steering the bike with his knee. As he approached, I was able to make out what he was screaming:

Man on Bike: They found a bomb up there!
Me: In The Summit?
Man on Bike: Yea. The news crews are here and everything! (Pointing behind him, in the direction I am headed)

For some reason, large man on small bike didn’t strike me as a credible news source. So we kept walking. In the next block, we passed a teenager standing at the end of his driveway talking on a cell phone. He yelled toward us and I had to turn Ira down to make out what he was saying. This better be good! Nobody puts Ira on pause.

Guy on cell phone: You live on Beech Glen?
Me: No.
Guy on cell phone: Good! They found 3 bombs. They evacuated all them people.

Well…we couldn’t turn back now! I pulled the dogs leashes a little tighter and we kept on walking. Sure enough, as we approached Beech Glen Road there was a mass of residents standing around, 6-10 police cars, 4-5 news crews-complete with large vans and extended antennas, and a sea of military personnel. We live near a military base so perhaps some of those folks were just residents who couldn’t get to their house but their presence was impressive.

The Summit HOA should try bomb scares as a community builder! They can’t get more than 50 people to show up for Sunday afternoon volleyball at the clubhouse, and less than 100 came to the community watch meeting last month. But a bomb scare? That really draws a crowd!

We stayed on our side of the road, adjusted our route slightly to accommodate the closed streets, and kept on stepping. All I could think as we were headed back toward home was “Man! If this is the first day, it’s going to be one hell of a training season!”

I checked the news as soon as I got home. I just knew that there would be some amazing report about an angry postal employee or a disgruntled wife who learned that her husband had been cheating (Ellin + golf club really has inspired women to T.C.B!). You can’t possibly imagine how disappointed I was when I learned that the bomb scare was a practice bomb that was part of the artillery field that occupied the land that The Summit was built on nearly 20 years ago. You can read the full story here:

What started as a typical 3 miles around the neighborhood turned into the talk of the town. If it weren’t for the Komen 3-Day, I would have missed all of it!

After today’s adventure, I am inspired and a bit more confident that I will find things to blog about. So, I promise to blog every 10 days or so. Don’t worry, you can still start your every Tuesday with a New Kid posting. Michelle has committed to posting every Monday night. She’s like my New Kid protégé. Her first post went up Tuesday and it is the perfect kick off to the walking season!

I’m glad to be back, raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. I hope you enjoy following our journey as we prepare for the 2010 Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day in Atlanta, GA, on October 22-24. If you see a New Kid walking around your neighborhood, lace up your sneakers and join them! Our team has grown and this year we are walking in 7 states!

Happy Stepping!
Jenn L.


  1. Jenn:

    I wish I would have read your blog from last year if you first on of this year is any indication. Michelle's and your blog reminded me of the wizard of oz. Dogs, groundhogs, ducks, and bombs, OH MY! I wish we could have seen you when we passed through, but know that I will walk with you all in spirit throughout your training!
    Nancy Ashcraft

  2. Mom -

    You should go back and read Jenn's posts from last year. You can still access them on here. HILARIOUS! You don't know Jenn as well as I do obviously, but when I read them it was like I could hear her telling them to me. She definitely writes them in her true voice. If you have some time one day, take a look. They will definitely provide some entertainment and laughter!