The First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day: Saying Yes, Part 1 of 3

The First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day is a series featuring blog posts from three brand new Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers (Sheilla, Jodie and Crystal). We met the First-Timers earlier this month, and over the next few days, they’re back to tell us about how they got involved with the Komen 3-Day, and what compelled them to finally say yes and sign up to walk for the first time.

Sheilla (Philadelphia 3-Day)susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog first timers guide sheilla

I don’t have any direct family connection with breast cancer. I don’t believe it’s necessary in order to support a cause. It takes passion, dedication, and the desire to help and support others. One motto I follow is, “Let’s not talk about, let’s do something about it.” There are many worthy causes that deserve attention and support, so why breast cancer? I think for me it is about the bond of sisterhood, the ability for women to join together and have a voice, to set aside our differences and to come together for one common reason and desire…to fight for a cure!

I first became aware of the 3-Day a few years ago when I was in the city one day and noticed people walking around dressed in different shades of pink, wearing big smiles, and having so much fun. I asked a few people and learned that it was the Komen 3-Day, and I remember thinking I wanted to do it one day. But you know how it goes; life gets in the way and soon a few years have gone by. I continued to think about doing the 3-Day (I had been getting more involved with breast cancer causes and events and I always thought back to those fun-filled pink walkers I saw in Philly), but the fundraising, the sleeping arrangements (I’m not the camping type), the bathrooms (how would I shower each day?) – all of these aspects of the 3-Day made me nervous.

But then, last summer, I went through a rough break-up which affected me strongly. I was in a pretty dark place, mentally, emotionally and physically. After weeks of feeling so lost, it occurred to me that I needed to focus on something bigger than myself and what I was going through, something that was only positive. My years-long goal of doing the 3-Day became the positive thing that I held onto. It came at the perfect time, by chance. To be able to give back was just what I needed.

But I was still nervous, especially about the fundraising. I called and spoke with Joanne, the Philly 3-Day coach, and she was so positive, encouraging, and informative. She answered all the questions I had, explained the details of the event, and listened as I shared my thoughts. I told her my concerns regarding the fundraising goal and my worries of not reaching it. Joanne shared some ideas and listened to mine. I had a few ideas planned and Joanne felt they were good and would definitely help me get to my goal without a problem. She was very convincing : ) When I got off the phone with her, I felt optimistic and decided I was going to do it. I told myself there was no better time than now to sign up, give it my best, and know that no matter what I am supporting a great cause. I even inspired my sister to sign up to walk with me; together, we’re “Sisters in Pink: Big or Small Save Them All!”

I am so grateful for the experience of being part of the 3-Day community. I know it’s called the 3-Day because that’s when we gather together to walk 60 miles as one union, sharing all the fears, tears and cheers, but I think it’s really a journey because I am not focused just on October 2-4. Every single day I am mindful of the cause as I put on my sneakers to walk with my dog, lead or participate in training walks, look at the ribbons displayed around me, talk to others about my experience, etc. I think my impression now is so much more than what I originally thought. It’s going to be fun, I don’t doubt it, but it’s also going to be so much more than I imagined: life-changing, memorable, love-filled, joyous, tear-jerking, incredible.

 

Be sure to visit the blog again tomorrow, when we’ll hear all about First-Timer Jodie, and what led her to the 3-Day!

 

My Walking Must Haves

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog dr sheri productsAs the 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series draws closer, I hope each of you have been following the suggested training schedule to get you ready for what will be one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of your life. During my long training walks, I carry all of my essentials that I will use during my 60-mile journey. These are my absolute must haves:

  • Reusable water bottle so that I can hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  • Sunscreen so that I don’t finish the day the same color as my bright pink shirt.
  • Vaseline® or BodyGlide® to avoid those nasty blisters.
  • 2 pairs of broken in walking or running shoes and an extra pair of socks.
  • Kleenex tissues for my nose during those brisk cool mornings and because, well, I’m a cry baby.
  • Ibuprofen (400 mg every 8 hours as needed) because baby, at the end of 20 miles this nearly 50 year-old body hurts!

While you’re pulling together your “must haves” list keep in mind that the 3-Day can be a time to relax, slow down, take in nature’s beauty, socialize with friends and generally just enjoy being alive. Enjoy the peace of blocking out the world during those moments when you walk alone. Lastly, seize the opportunity to enjoy feeling your body in motion, observe your environment, and to see that the world is much more than the details of your life.

Essential Tips for 3-Day Travelers

Making the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® your home away from home for three days requires some planning, and for many Komen 3-Day walkers and crew members, those plans include traveling from their hometown to their 3-Day® destination. If you’re thinking about making your way to an out-of-town 3-Day, read this post about why you should, then check out some quick tips below to make your travel a little easier.

Let Your Participant Center Guide You! – Travel information for every 3-Day event has been posted to the Participant Center (look for the Travel Info link under the “Prepare” menu), starting with basic information about Opening and Closing Ceremony locations and host hotels. As we get closer to the events, approximately 2 months out, more details will be added to this page, so check back to stay up to date. There’s also a great Travel FAQ.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog travel info

In Thursday, Out Monday – If you’re not local in your 3-Day city, we strongly recommend that you arrive into town early on the Thursday before your event, rather than flying in late at night. Day 1 starts very early on Friday morning, and you will definitely want to be well rested. Even if you’re driving into town rather than flying, we recommend arriving on Thursday to avoid making your Friday morning wake-up call even earlier than it will have to be already. Similarly, if you’re able to arrange your plans so that you can head home on Monday, rather than Sunday night, you won’t have to worry about rushing out of Closing Ceremony, tired and dirty, and racing to catch a flight on Sunday evening. The 3-Day host hotels have rooms available on both Thursday and Sunday nights for this very reason (but be sure to book early, because they do fill up!).

Consider Your Car Time – If you do need to leave your 3-Day to head home on Sunday, be sure to factor in drive time from the Closing Ceremony to the airport when you choose your flight time.

Packing Hacks – Looking for some creative ways to pack for camping? Check out this post.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks yoga mat luggage

Borrow When You Can – If you’re traveling by plane or train, you’ll want be as conservative as possible with your packing. Who wants to haul a sleeping bag or air mattress halfway across the country? Reach out to friends or family members who live near where you’ll be walking and ask about borrowing these bulkier items.

Make Local Friends – Don’t know anyone in the city you’re traveling to? Social media makes it easy to connect with people in your destination city. Post to the 3-Day’s Facebook page, or the Facebook Event posting for whichever event you’re participating in, and make new friends that way! The Message Boards on your 3-Day Participant Center also have a sub-category for Out of Towners within every event’s board.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog travel info