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.

Spring Into Action with Dr. Sheri (Part 2)

by guest blogger Dr. Sheri Prentiss

Yesterday, I talked about setting goals and working toward achieving them. Now here are some practical tips that have worked for me:

  • Reaffirm your commitment – Make sure you take a firm position in your mind that no matter what happens you will stick to your goals. Pledge firmly that you won’t forget about your goal until you achieve it.
  • Get priorities in order – Your goals should be in sync with where you see yourself in the future. Get rid of the immediate obstacles and assure incremental progress.
  • Take a deep look – Are your goals realistic? Each of you is equipped with the strength, willingness and determination to achieve your goals, but these traits will not be enough if you are spreading yourself too thin.
  • Make an action plan – You have set goals, maybe you’ve even written them down, and now you are all set to start achieving them. First step – make an action plan! There could be more than one way to achieve your goal, so you have to decide which one works best for you.
  • Track progress – If you don’t track your progress, you don’t get an idea if you are going in the right direction or if you will achieve your goal in the time frame you had set in your mind. So track your progress every day.

San Diego Day 1

  • Involve others – It is always good to involve others in the process of setting and achieving goals. Let them know your plans so they can support you – reminding you when you veer off track and congratulating you when you succeed. Take advice when necessary, and don’t be rigid. There are people in your life who are willing and want to help, so let them!
  • Welcome failure – I don’t know anyone who had an absolute smooth run on the road to success. Failure is an important part of the entire process. Welcome it. Learn from it. And remember, you’re not a failure because you try something and it doesn’t work out; you fail only when you stop trying!
  • Persist – Don’t give up. Try out different methods. Learn and improve. Be patient. Be persistent.
  • Celebrate – Celebrate when you have successfully taken the next step. You’ve just shortened the path to your destination. Stop thinking for a while and enjoy the moment.
  • And finally, don’t lose sight! Stay focused! – “Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.” Mario Andretti.

Never lose sight of your goals. Remember where you want to go at all times. Learning to spot opportunities that will propel you closer to your goal is important. Remembering where you need to go, even more so.

Never forget where you’ve been. Never lose sight of where you’re going. And never take for granted the people who travel the journey with you.

 

Spring Into Action with Dr. Sheri (Part 1)

by guest blogger Dr. Sheri Prentiss

Philadelphia Day 3

I used to have a habit of walking with my head down always deep in thought, planning my next move and sometimes very conscious of making a misstep. Then one day a stranger on the street yelled out to me and said, “Hey young lady, your future is too bright and your plans are too big for you to ever walk with your head hung low. Look up and see your wonderful life unfold, otherwise you’ll miss it.”

It’s possible you looked to the sky at the beginning of the year, saw great potential, set high goals or made New Year’s resolutions bigger and better than you ever did before. If you aren’t careful, you could be like I was and resume old habits of keeping your eye on your footsteps and losing focus of the big picture. I quickly learned that once you’re in the habit of looking up, you have a clearer view of any obstacles and you’re able to make sure your footsteps will lead you in the right direction. I encourage you to not fall back into old habits this year and to stop worrying about taking the wrong step. Instead, stay focused on the big picture, keep your head up and determine how you can make your goals your reality.

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” Oprah Winfrey

Those who walk that extra mile and make an impact are the people who have goals. They set goals and don’t lose sight of them until they have achieved them. It has been only three months since you made those New Year’s promises to yourself. But I bet that some of you have already given up. That’s the thing about goals. Setting them is easy. Losing sight of them is easier.

I am not someone who achieves every goal she sets; I struggle and procrastinate too.

It happens all the time. Confronted with choice, we take the easy option. We do what’s convenient, rather than what’s required. We float, allowing ourselves to get carried away without getting anywhere, rather than pushing ourselves and swimming to the intended shore.

Life is like that. Tempting us continuously with comfortable but unproductive options – moving us away from the hard work required to achieve our goals.

As luck would have it, the path to your goals in life is often strewn with obstacles. It’s a bumpy ride. There may be roadblocks and hardships, but it’s often the only way to get to your goals. There will be exits tempting you to leave the chosen path and take another road. Don’t succumb to it. The nice easy road may look tempting – but remember to check if it will take you where you want to go.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my post tomorrow, when I’ll talk about some tips that have helped me reach my goals. In the meantime, leave your comments below about how you have set goals and achieved them.