Posted by: Jenn Latino
Shout outs for two more donations this week from Bill Mattera and Jennie Duval! As I have said before, when you work in higher education, your co-workers become your friends and those friends are often like family. Bill and I were co-workers and classmates at FSU. I can’t share most of our adventures because my mother reads this blog but if there was ever a partner in crime, Bill is it! Through countless weekends in Disney World and 2 seasons of football festivities, Bill has always been a huge supporter of “Team Jenn!” Jennie D. is a current co-worker who, every Monday, without fail, starts the week asking me “How were your walks this weekend?” No matter how busy it is in the office, Jennie always takes the time to listen to my stories. And, when I need a boost (like today), Jennie the Candy Fairy shows up with a little treat to get me through the afternoon.
I am always honored when someone makes a donation to the Komen Foundation in recognition of my efforts. That is, after all, why we walk! I’m even more honored that, even though I have met my fundraising goal (and exceeded it by $247) every week I have more to report.
There are still a few New Kids who are trying to reach the fundraising minimum of $2300. If you are planning to make a donation, considering crediting the amount to one of my teammates! I’ll still give you a proper Shout Out in my weekly update! You can find the links to all of our pages at: Team New Kids on the Walk
This weekend we had the relief of abbreviated mileage thanks to the Labor Day holiday. It was a welcome relief-though it makes this weekend’s 17 mile Saturday and 13 mile Sunday seem a bit more daunting. The Labor Day weekend walks were even more enjoyable because I had the company of my fellow New Kid, Michelle! We were in Tennessee for the engagement celebration extraordinaire to honor our friend Mandie and her fiancé Patrick, and Michelle and I started our days with early morning walks on the Lenoir City Greenway. This 2 mile trail (that we walked over, and over, and over, and over…) is one of the most happenin’ places in LC. The paved, shaded path was filled with folks walking and jogging. There was 1 biker and he had a 44 oz soda attached (with duct tape) to the front of his bike and rode slowly by us with a burning cigarette dangling from his mouth. The smell of his cigarette wafted by us as he passed in the opposite direction and I noted to Michelle that he must be using his bike as a means of transportation more than an exercise apparatus.
There was another scent along the LC path that I haven’t encountered in any of my walking adventures. On our Saturday walk, Michelle and I noticed a man and woman walking toward us. As they approached, I noticed that the woman’s features were quite distinct. Her eyes were bright and she had very pink lips. The closer they got, the more I was certain that this woman was wearing….make up! At 8:00am! On an exercise trail! More impressive than her perfectly placed make up was the scent of her hair product. She was rockin’ the perfect Tennessee poof! Dolly Parton would have been proud. I am certain this lady made the 40-mile commute to Gatlinburg every week to have Dolly’s personal stylist perfect her poof! As if that weren’t enough, the scent of hair product was topped only by the wave of perfume that Michelle and I walked through for the next 40-50 feet. We didn’t notice the perfume at first-we were too overwhelmed by the sight of the perfect Maybelline pallet and the height of her tresses. But, as we walked through the space where she had just been, a little Chantilly Lace (or was it White Diamonds?) lingered in the morning air. Because we were walking in opposite directions, and because the 2 mile path had to be repeated, several times….we experienced a 2nd whiff of this wonderment of woman on the return pass. As we made our way through the fog of her beauty customs, I got just the confirmation I needed. As soon as they were out of earshot I turned to Michelle and said, “I have my blog for this week! The 3-Day is not for Pretty!”
Let me be clear, 3-Day walkers are beautiful! The gathering of women (and a few fellas) who take on the challenge of walking 60-miles to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer is the most amazing sight you have ever seen! At the Opening Ceremony, the sea of pink that adorns the walkers, just before dawn, lights up the entire Lake Lanier kick off area. There is an energy that comes from the excitement, anticipation, and anxiety of the walkers (and maybe the Starbucks) that rivals the energy of a football stadium at a sold out rivalry game. That energy sustains 72 hours, 60 miles, and 1,000s of blisters.
But there is no make up on the 3-Day! There is no hair spray. Lipstick is contraband and, in case you have never showered with 4 strangers in the back of an 18-wheeler truck, there is no shaving your legs! The 3-Day is beautiful, but it ain’t pretty!
I have to give kudos to the Tennessee diva. She was looking good and feeling fine as she made her way up and down the Greenway. But, I was glad to have my partner Michelle by my side, make up free, sleepy still stuck in our eyes, hair all a mess, laughing about all the crazy things we had seen during our training so far and sharing the excitement of knowing we would be in a very beautiful place in just 43 days!
I will be walking in Raleigh this weekend. Friday is Shawn’s birthday and her post birthday celebrations will start with Riley and I smiling on her doorstep ready for an early morning walk. I’m excited to have some company for the 2nd weekend in a row. There are only 5 weekends of walking left and, with the arrival of college football season, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was ready to wrap this up! Sharing my Saturday’s with the ESPN line up requires some fancy planning and the Gamecocks are taking on the Bulldogs at the noon spot this week! We gotta walk fast! 17 miles! Fast?