“At Mile 1, I Found My BFF”

When a submission email for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® blog came in from Lisa C., I was immediately hooked by her subject line: “At Mile 1, I found my BFF.” Lisa, who is walking in the Komen 3-Day this year in San Diego, wrote, “I love surfing around on the 3-Day® website and have been inspired by the banners that read such things as: At Mile 20, I Found My Commitment; At Mile 34, I Found My Inspiration; At Mile 60, I Found My Strength, etc. This got me to thinking about what I found along the miles of my own 3-Day journey. The first thing that came to mind was: At Mile 1, I Found My BFF.”

In 2011, a friend approached Lisa about participating in the 3-Day and she agreed without hesitation. “I immediately said yes, [but not] because I knew anyone with breast cancer. I said yes because I love a challenge. I signed up right away.”

The friend who had recruited Lisa ultimately decided not to walk, but that didn’t stop Lisa from charging forward. “I threw myself into fundraising and training. I was a constant visitor to the Connections [Message Board] for the Twin Cities 3-Day. I was asking questions left and right and receiving responses. Finally, someone asked if I wanted to join Team Girlapalooza. It turns out that there were several lone walkers joining this team for various reasons that year.”

Team Girlapalooza met up early on Day 1 of the Twin Cities 3-Day, and after the Opening Ceremony, they started walking together. That’s where Lisa met a fellow Palooza, Marli.

Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk team girlapalooza friends

Lisa and Marli

Lisa describes their first meeting: “Have you ever met someone and it seems like you knew them forever? That’s how it was for me [and Marli]. Within the first mile, we found ourselves walking side-by-side, at the same pace. We began chatting.” They learned about each other’s lives, jobs, homes and families as they walked. Nothing like 60 miles to allow you to cover every topic under the sun!

Lisa also learned that Marli is quite camera-happy. “She was constantly stopping to take pictures of or with various landmarks, sunrises, sunsets, pit stops, fellow walkers, crew and safety personnel. By the end of the walk, I just had to hold out my hand for her camera. I just knew when she wanted a picture. She taught me to slow down and enjoy the journey, which was great because I am the type of person who would have put my head down and just plowed through.”

By Day 3, Lisa and Marli were as tight as could be, and were saddened to have to part ways (Lisa would head back to Wisconsin, Marli would be going home to Arizona). They agreed to walk the following year in Washington, D.C.—the home of Team Girlapalooza. “We kept in touch with each other via Facebook and a year later we found ourselves in D.C. We met a few days early and got in some sightseeing (yes we walked about 20 miles before the 60-mile walk!). During our trip we laughed at the same things, finished each other’s sentences and tripped over the same cracks in the sidewalk. We often found ourselves saying things like ‘I was just going to say that’ or ‘I was just thinking that!’” Lisa says they got so involved with talking and catching up that they missed seeing the White House and had to double back to take pictures.

It was around that time that Lisa found out about a friend’s breast cancer diagnosis. “I no longer was walking for myself but to honor Nancy’s struggle and determination to beat this disease. Knowing someone with breast cancer has made me much more aware of the struggles of others.”

Lisa and her 3-Day bestie Marli met again for the 2013 3-Day in Seattle but sadly, Lisa was unable to walk because of a broken foot. “I felt like I had failed. Marli was there to support me the entire time. She convinced me that I wasn’t quitting. I posted online that you know you are a 3-Dayer when you are laying in a hotel room on a comfy bed eating pizza but you really want to be eating mac and cheese and sleeping on the ground in a pink tent.”

Lisa, Marli and other Girlapalooza teammates will be reuniting for the 3-Day in San Diego later this year, and they both look forward to reconnecting and continuing their adventure.

Lisa wrapped up her story with a final thought: “So, for all of you first time walkers out there, know this: the Susan G. Komen 3-Day will change you in ways you never imagined. At Mile 1, I met my BFF.”

 

What have you found on the miles of the 3-Day? Tell us in comments!

sisterhood is powerful robin morgan quote susan g komen 3 day breast cancer women walking quote

Save $20 with the 3-Day Team Discount

Next to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches, a team is the best support system you can have as you fundraise, train and walk all 60 miles on the road to end breast cancer forever. Whether you want to form a team, join a team or grow the team you already have, now’s the time to spring into action. Just use discount code TEAM20 by April 16th to get $20 off the walker registration fee.

Team 211  was formed by Dr. Sylvia Campbell, who wanted to bring together many of the patients and their families she helped face a breast cancer diagnosis. On their team, they found friendship, support and so much more. They walked together in the Tampa Bay 3-Day in 2013, and are coming to the Atlanta 3-Day this year. Their story inspired us, and we hope it moves you, too. Take a look, then share the video with your family and friends.

Register at The3Day.org or call 800-996-3DAY before 11:55 p.m. CT April 16th with the discount code TEAM20 to get your $20 discount. 

The Power of Teams on the 3-Day

“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.” -Ifeanyi Onuoha

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® community is one of the most remarkable groups of people I’ve ever known or been part of. It’s a passionate pink tribe of dedicated individuals, who, together, make up a powerful force for good in the fight against breast cancer.

Within the full Komen 3-Day family, there are smaller groups of walkers and crew members who decide that the best way for them to experience the amazing journey of the 3-Day® is in the company of friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers. And thus, 3-Day teams are born.

Atlanta 3-Day’s Team 2-1-1 shared a little bit of their team’s inspirational origin story:

The foremost benefit of being part of a team on the 3-Day is the camaraderie. Sharing the hope, the laughter and the tears with people you love makes the whole experience that much more meaningful. Walking alongside people who are close to you makes the miles pass more easily, and knowing that you have someone who isn’t going to leave your side is often the very thing that gets you through. Teammates provide emotional, mental and sometimes even physical support for one another through an intense and moving three days.

Beyond these obvious benefits, in my experience, there are also some secondary advantages of being on a team:

  • Picture Partners – I take a lot of pictures on the 3-Day, but even today, in the age of the selfie, I am not IN most of the pictures I take. Not a big deal, except I do like to have some recorded evidence of my participation. That’s where my teammates come in. If my 6 teammates and I are all taking photos of each other, we all will end up in someone’s pics, somewhere. Getting together after the walk and sharing these captured moments is always a highlight.

    Komen_3Day_silly team picture

    Some of my favorite pictures are the random captures by my teammates

 

  • Raising the Alarm – Left to my own schedule and my own snooze button, I probably would be the last person in camp to emerge from my pink tent in the morning, and some days, would barely even get my teeth brushed before camp closes and I get bused off to lunch. Teammates to the rescue! I mean, we all like sleeping in, but multiple alarm clocks assures us that we’ll get up and moving in time.
  • The Power of Human Contact – Having a teammate come through with a well-timed pit stop shoulder-rub can sometimes be the difference between “I’m not sure I can go on…” and “Come on, we’ve got this!” My teammates and I never hesitate to give each other the massages, hugs or high-fives that we need to keep moving forward.
  • Sharing is Caring – When you walk with a group, you really only need one can of sunscreen, one bottle of ibuprofen, one package of moleskin and pair of scissors, one tube of Vaseline. My teammates and I split these items up among our many fanny packs, so no one person has to carry it all, and so we all have extra room in our packs for the candy we pick up through the Cheering Stations.

 

A final word about teams – No doubt, some of you will read this and say, “I walk by myself, and my experience is every bit as powerful as those who walk on teams.” To that I say, awesome! I only speak from my own experience, and my intention is not to rank the quality of one person’s experience over another’s. I certainly have known some extraordinary “teams of one” in my years with the 3-Day.

Another (for reals) final word about teams – If you are currently a solo walker and would like to find a team to join, use the 3-Day Friend Finder tool in your Participant Center. You can search by zip code to find other participants, and team captains with open teams in your area. Or check out the 3-Day calendar to see if there is an upcoming meet-up in your area, like the Pink Party happening April 5th in San Diego, or the Team Kindred Spirits meet-up on April 8th in Mulkiteo, WA.

Okay, I mean it, this is really the FINAL word about teams – Are you thinking about joining your friends who are already registered? Or are you currently on a team and looking to grow your ranks? Between now and April 16, walkers can register with the promo code TEAM20 and get $20 off their registration fee ($50, down from $70). Visit The3Day.org/register.