Meet the Atlanta 3-Day Coaches!

Every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event has a core team of three coaches, each of whom plays a different role in helping our walkers and crew members prepare for the Komen 3-Day. For months, these dedicated staffers have been having personal conversations with walkers to help them with their training and fundraising, have hosted dozens of local events to bring participants together and build a community of encouragement, and have organized and inspired the amazing team of crew captains and crew members.

Let’s meet the coaches for the Atlanta 3-Day®!

Tara Preyers – Atlanta Local Events Coach

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Tara and her (literally) sparkling personality!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Living my passion through inspiration, fanny packs and boas!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “It’s a bit of a mumbo-jumbo. I’m working on all things to paint the route pink and with hugs, high fives and treats. Spending lots of time finalizing all of the little pieces that I’ve been working on all year long. Making “to-do” list after “to-do” list and crossing things off with excitement. I also travel to all of the 3-Day events, so I’ve been busy. Oh, and decorating for my favorite season…FALL!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet; 2) I have a serious bag obsession (purses, duffels, reusable, you name it, I need lots of them!); 3) I could eat peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

 

Susan Wynne – Atlanta Participant Coach

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Photo booth fun with Susan and family

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “I help our incredible participants do great things!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Super busy! As the event gets closer, we’re working on last minute donations, helping participants get checked in, and lots of event-related questions. I get to talk to people about what they have done to get to this point, and hear the stories about what brought them to the 3-Day. I have loved getting to know our participants through all of our phone and email interactions over the last few months, and I can’t wait to see everyone in person in a couple of weeks!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “I’m pretty much an open book (or not that interesting) because I don’t think there is much that people don’t know about me, but here’s a shot: 1) I think I’m secretly a 13 year old girl. I love all the pop music, TV shows, and silly stuff that comes along with that age; 2) I played the flute in high school and can still whip out a pretty good tune; 3) I can’t live without coffee or my new addiction of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds with sea-salt and turbinado sugar. Both are integral to my success in getting through the day.”

 

Libby Riordan – Atlanta Crew & Volunteer Coordinator

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Ready to show her meal no mercy!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Supporting and empowering the awesome Atlanta Crew!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Most of my days leading up to event are spent communicating with captains and crew members and delivering all of the final details. I always tell people that the 3-Day is like planning a wedding. You spend months getting ready, planning, and preparing, but lots of things change before the big day. It gets a little crazy towards the end making sure that the captains have everything they need and that every crew is ready to rock on event!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I love to sing. I can listen to a song once and know all the words! It drives my friends crazy; 2) I was on a home makeover TV show where we turned my friend’s backyard into a beach. Lots of sand!; 3) I knew I wanted work for the 3-Day after the Opening Ceremony the first time I walked, in 2005.”

 

 

Going to be at the Atlanta 3-Day? Come meet coaches Tara and Susan at two special meet-and-greets, on Friday and Saturday in camp, between 6-7 p.m. in the 3-Day Lounge.

Let’s hear it for the 3-Day men! A guest post by Dr. Sheri

Each year in the U.S., more than 200,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and nearly 2,000 cases are diagnosed in men. So that’s one case in men for every 100 cases in women. While male breast cancer is rare, it is real.

At each Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, men show up strong and proud. They may not have experienced breast cancer themselves but their wives, mothers, sisters or best friends have. Our great men are people of integrity and values that they will not compromise. They are men who put their families first and would protect them with their own lives.

Photo of Dr. Sheri with several long-time 3-Day Walkers

Dr. Sheri with several long-time 3-Day Walkers

Every one of the men on the Komen 3-Day has shown himself as a person who’s willing to help anyone who needs it. Come torrential downpours or Nor’easter snowstorms, they are there when called. These men are so respectful of other people’s feelings and needs, but each holds his position highly and never retreats from negative situations, but only stays in them to make peace.

Women (myself included) say good men are hard to find but they are out there, especially on the 3-Day.  Now ladies, I’m not advocating the 3-Day as a way to meet men, but I’ve lost count of the number of engagements, anniversaries, honeymoons and even marriages that have occurred on a 3-Day. Just saying! The signs of a good man are easy to spot because he practices random acts of kindness (for you and/or strangers), can turn a boring task into something fun, hardly ever complains and is passionate about life, his work and you.

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A guy’s own dependability, his ability to both lead and follow when necessary and his perseverance through hardships all make up a true man. A man should be proud of his accomplishments and ensure he is not ruled by his fears and insecurities. A good man ought to look back at how he has grown and laugh at his weaknesses while also strengthening them.

Whether a man realizes it or not, he has the capacity to lead others. 3-Day Men—-you inspire us, and we thank you for all that you do!

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60 Miles, 101 Pounds: Meet Rhonda of the Seattle 3-Day

Beyond the incredible impact your steps and fundraising make toward fighting breast cancer on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, one of the perks of walking is the gift of fitness. With a dedicated training schedule and long walks, many Komen 3-Day walkers find themselves enjoying a healthier, fitter version of themselves.

And sometimes, that healthier, fitter “you” comes with an extraordinary story. Meet Rhonda, from Maple Valley, Washington, a first-time Seattle walker on Team Tracy. Through her training and preparation for the 3-Day®, Rhonda has lost a remarkable lost 101 pounds. “This is more than just my weight loss story,” said Rhonda. Rhonda decided to make a change when she saw her son was also struggling with his weight, and was being bullied in school. Education was their first step: Rhonda and her son went and saw a nutritionist, and they went to a class to learn about portion sizes, healthy eating, and fitness. “I set a goal every month to change my life. The first goal was to not drink carbonated drinks. I switched over to water and I probably lost 20 pounds off of that goal alone. As I started losing weight I started gaining energy, so I would go for walks,” she said. As Rhonda began to walk, she also began to fall in love with fitness. “The walks were so therapeutic for me that there were times I had to call my daughter and say “It’s too dark, can you come and get me?”

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Rhonda lost 65 pounds, and then found herself at a stopping point as she became comfortable with her changing body. However, somebody made fun of her, and Rhonda found new motivation from that experience. “I went and lost another 20 or 30 pounds, and I was still on the downward trend, and then my boyfriend asked me to marry him. I thought, I gotta lose more weight!” As Rhonda kept losing weight, she also began to really get in shape, noting that when you lose weight, it’s not about just dropping the pounds, it’s also about toning and adjusting to a newer, healthier you.

Rhonda has always wanted to do the 3-Day. “My mom is a double survivor, and my stepmom is a survivor. I always wanted to do the 3-Day but I was never in shape for it,” she said. Rhonda had wanted to do the 3-Day last year but was on vacation, so 2014 was the perfect time to enjoy her first 60-mile adventure. “I’m having a blast!” she said.

Before and After photo courtesy of Rhonda: Rhonda's 'Before' was 86 pounds ago, and she's lost another 15 since the "After" was taken.

Before and After photo courtesy of Rhonda: Rhonda’s ‘Before’ was 86 pounds ago, and she’s lost another 15 since the “After” was taken.

She admits that in addition to adopting healthy habits like eating right, getting enough sleep, drinking water, and exercise, a large part of her success came from hope and believing in herself. She has a tattoo on her wrist that says ‘Believe’ in a lovely black script, and Rhonda said, “When I’m doing planks and I want to give up, I look at my tattoo. Everybody always asks me, ‘believe’ in what? And the answer is myself, or my son, or my daughter, or the tooth fairy. Always believe.”

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What advice can Rhonda offer to somebody who is also looking to make a change to their weight? “A lot of people give up because their diet doesn’t work out. It took me six months to lose my first pound. It was six months of changing everything, and I did it the right way. It wasn’t a gimmick or a pill. Because I taught myself to be healthy, I’ve been able to keep healthy. Don’t give up hope.”

Rhonda’s hope, belief, and endurance transformed her life, but her life wasn’t the only one whose changed. Her son ended up also making healthier lifestyle habits, and is no longer bullied. “He tells me every day, ‘Mom, you changed my life’.”