The Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day – Over, But Not Ending

Picture yourself at mile 59.

Can you really be this close to the end of your Susan G. Komen 3-Day®? Your weary feet and legs say yes, but your heart says no way. It feels as though Friday morning—when you arrived in the pre-dawn darkness, dropped off your bag, met up with your teammates and felt the sun rise over the beautiful Opening Ceremony before taking your first steps—was an eternity ago. And yet, you can’t believe it’s almost over. These brief few days have been packed with so many memories and experiences that as you near the finish line, you find yourself overwhelmed with emotion once again.

San Diego Day 3I’ve crossed the finish line as a Komen 3-Day walker fourteen times, and the impact of that one simple experience is as strong and profound now as it was the first time. Back then, my emotional response to completing the 3-Day® was mostly based on the personal amazement and pride that I felt over physically accomplishing the 60-mile walk. But in the many years since then, the impassioned response I feel as I finish the 3-Day is so much more than “I did it!” It’s also, “Look at all of these people who did it!”

I look around at the faces of my fellow walkers and crew members. I see journeys that are so much longer and greater than three days.

I see young people who had to learn about the devastation of cancer too early in their lives…

Philadelphia Day 3…older people who have seen so much in their lifetimes and wear their years like a badge of honor…

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 for breast cancer awareness.…parents who would walk 60,000 miles if it meant making the world a little safer for the children who run to hug them at the finish line…

302378_10151152095315281_518684367_n373926_10151152095465281_1741680733_n…daughters and sons who, in 72 hours of their lives, learned a lifelong lesson about just how much power one person can have as a force for good in the world…

Arizona Day 3…friends who helped and supported each other in ways that go deeper than mere friendship…

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.Washington DC 3-Day Day 3Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.…determined fighters, taped up like mummies, who pile out of a sweep van 2 blocks from the end just so they can cross the finish line on their own two throbbing feet…

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 for breast cancer awareness.…survivors who once felt crushed under the words, “You have breast cancer,” now marching forward in proud defiance, as if to shout back, “It didn’t defeat me!”

San Diego Day 3

I see true heroes.

I link arms with my teammates, all of us in some combined state of crying/laughing/cheering/limping and we cross together.

The walk is over, but the energy is sustained here in the Participant Finish Area. There’s music and noise and flowers, non-stop cheering and a long “human tunnel” of fellow walkers who have already made it to the end, and choose to STILL be on their feet—giving individual high fives to ever single new walker who comes in. Washington DC 3-Day Day 3My teammates and I give each other hugs, find a bathroom (some things never change…), pick up our Victory T-shirts, take more pictures, join the others in cheering the finishing walkers in and eventually find a place to sit and take off our shoes for a few minutes (but also, get up and dance when a song we like comes on). Soon, we will be lining up and processing out of this waiting area and into the Closing Ceremony.

1150967_10151854241466535_161301376_nThe march into Closing is a victory parade, and the streets are lined with the loved ones who supported us and our fellow walkers the other 362 days of the year. People hold up signs, take pictures and videos, and point with excitement when they see their walker going by. There are more hugs, more tears, and we’re not even into the Closing Ceremony yet!

Seattle Day 3Twin Day 3Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.Once we do get into the Ceremony arena, Dr. Sheri greets us once more, with even more vibrancy and energy than she had 2 days ago, if you can believe it.

Philadelphia Day 3The Closing Ceremony, like so much of the 3-Day, is hard to put into words. It’s a celebration of all that we have achieved on our 3-Day journey. The walkers enter, followed by the crew, and then the survivors. In a beautifully moving tribute to this last group, everyone holds up a shoe. I love this part. This shoe salute wasn’t something that was scripted or prompted. It was a gesture that just started spontaneously somewhere along the way,  many years ago, and quickly became an honored tradition in every 3-Day city, another small example of what makes the 3-Day so special.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walker take on Day 3 for breast cancer awareness.The Closing Ceremony is a brief, moving end cap to a weekend celebrating the everyday pink warriors, who, for 3 days, went way above expectations, becoming true heroes in the lives of everyone touched by breast cancer.

1238205_10151854243176535_147237905_nThe walk is over, but the journey is not ending. I come back to the 3-Day every year because our work isn’t done, and because those 3 days are like fill-up for my soul. Like me, you will take all of the things you have experienced in these unforgettable 3 days and carry them with you into the world. And the world will be better for it.

And with that, our Insider’s Guide series comes to an end too. I’ve done my little part to give you lots of details about what to expect on the 3-Day, but it’s impossible for me to capture what the whole experience will be like for you. One “insider’s” view may be different from another’s, but the overall theme is the same – the 3-Day changes your life, in ways that no one but you can know.

We hope you will join us.

If you haven’t committed to the 3-Day yet, do it today! The discounted registration fee of $50 expires at 11:55 p.m. tomorrow, February 28.

 

Want to see the entire Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day? Here are all of the segments:

The Start of Something Beautiful
Pointing, Pacing, and… Motorcycles Wearing Lingerie
Pit Stops and Cheering and Sweeps, Oh My!
3-Day Camp: Just Like a Sleepover, Only More Pink
3-Day Camp: I love the Night Life
3-Day Camp: Happy Glamping on  Main Street

Celebrating Powerful Women, with Dr. Sheri

In honor of National Women’s History Month starting on March 1, we asked Dr. Sheri Prentiss, the National Spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, as well as a breast cancer survivor and a walker herself, to share some thoughts about what it means to be a powerful woman.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 for breast cancer awareness.

When you think of the most powerful women you know, who comes to mind? Some of us think of political figures like Hilary Clinton. Perhaps you think of Oprah or Beyonce or other entertainers.

It’s easy to recognize power in celebrity, or status, in those we see on the news, or the ones that write best-sellers or live in the public eye.

But true power is something much more subtle and sublime. Webster’s Dictionary defines powerful as “having power, authority, influence”. According to this definition, being powerful has nothing to do with being a public figure, a millionaire or a politician.

While the world certainly needs revolutionaries, entertainers, and politicians, what the world needs MORE of are everyday women, not using their power to position themselves over others, to re-write history or be rich and famous, but women who will use their power to create awesome lives for themselves and others. Women just like the ones I meet on every Susan G. Komen 3-Day®!

The world is in desperate need of women who channel their power into touching hearts with their authenticity, stirring emotions with their self-expression, and impacting their worlds with their regular lives. In doing these things, we DO change the world, we WILL re-write history and we will be remembered – as women who knew and exercised their power.

What are the secrets of powerful living? How can you invite more power into your life? It’s easier than you think…

1. A powerful woman exercises her authority. This doesn’t mean you go bossing people around, but it does mean you stand up for your values, refuse to be a door-mat, take full responsibility for your life, reject the victim role, refuse to settle for less than you deserve in life and love, and use your power to speak your mind.

2. A powerful woman spots her leaks, and patches them right away. We all have an incredible capacity for power. Think of this capacity as a gas tank, power being the fuel that moves you. When you have a leak—even the tiniest pin-hole— you lose your power. Where in your life do you lose power? What people, activities, obligations, or thought processes drain you of your power? When you find them, patch them by making whatever changes are necessary.

3. A powerful woman surrounds herself with other powerful women. The truth is that you won’t always feel strong and in control. Troubles, fears and real-life problems have a way of draining our power. Women who are connected to other women can share their power. When one friend is low on power, another can siphon some of hers to share. When you’re driving on empty and putter out on the side of life’s highway, a caring friend can pick you up and bring you to the nearest re-fueling station. How many caring friends have you found in our loving Komen 3-Day family?

4. A powerful woman re-fuels regularly. Like fuel, power gets spent the more you move. The more you exercise your power, the more necessary it is to re-fuel. A powerful woman does this by connecting with inspiration on a regular basis. By expressing her creativity, by reading good books, by praying, meditating or exercising. There are a million different ways you can re-power. Pick what appeals to your heart and do it. I don’t know about you but every 3-Day® event that I participate in is a way for me to re-fuel.

5. A powerful woman shares her power. It seems to go against what we think of as powerful, doesn’t it? The good news is, sharing your power doesn’t give you any less power. You can share your power perhaps by mentoring a teenage girl, or by participating in a 3-Day, raising your kids to be strong and independent, or by putting your arm around someone who’s sad and empty—there are countless ways you can share your power. And unlike those dreadful fuel-leak energy-drains, this one actually works in reverse. When you share your power, the world becomes a little brighter, a little more beautiful, and YOU become even more power-filled than you were before.

So my questions to you today are: Where is your point of power? What energizes you? Where do you lose power? How do you re-fill your tank? And how can you share your power?

Today, consider your amazing capacity for a powerful life. And start living it.

– Dr. Sheri

Renew your sense of power by participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Register through Friday, February 28 for a special registration price of only $50. Don’t wait! The price goes up to $70 on March 1.

3-Day Early Bird Discount Ending Soon

Now that you’ve spent some time getting a sneak peek of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® experience through our Insider’s Guide, it’s time to discover the magic of the Komen 3-Day for yourself. The next step is to register.

Although it may be hard to imagine walking 60 miles when you look at the chilly weather outside, now is actually the perfect time to register for the 3-Day®. If you register in February, you’ll save $20 with the early bird discount. Register at The3Day.org or call 800-996-3DAY before 11:55 p.m. CT February 28, and you’ll automatically get this great discount – no special codes required. The registration fee goes up to $70 on March 1st and will never be this low again.

Then once you register, get your team together! Send an eCard to your friends and family so they can join you in the experience of a lifetime.

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