“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.
- 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 Meet-ups and More page of the 3-Day website to see if there is an upcoming info meeting, reunion or Walk & Talk in your area.
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 6, walkers can register and $20 off their registration fee ($50, down from $70). Visit The3Day.org/register.