Focusing on Spreading Positivity with Survivor and 3-Dayer, Elaine

When I walked across the finish line, and my son wrapped me up in a hug and whispered, “I’m so proud of you Mom,” that went straight from my ear to my heart.

If you walked the 3-Day in Seattle or Atlanta this year, you likely saw Elaine. Or heard her! She’s a solo walker known for her constant smile and jingling outfits that signal her presence even before you see her coming.

This year marked her 9th and 10th 3-Days respectively, and her first year really highlighting her survivor story as part of our partnership with Mohawk Flooring. She says that recognition was never really something she looked for, and as a solo walker, not something she always got. She flew under the radar and made her 3-Day connections in the smaller moments. This year changed that for her.

“To have Mark say ‘Hi!’ to me by name in the morning, or to see the photographer on the route, I feel like the arms have truly been opened to me and I have been fully welcomed into the fold. And I have felt that support and recognition so much this year. I’ve been able to share my story and my message this year in a different way, even after doing this for 8 years. The arms have been opened wide. It’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful welcome.”

The 3-Day family first welcomed Elaine eight years ago, when she walked her first 3-Day while in the middle of radiation. She had already signed up for the 3-Day before her diagnosis and had even sent out more than 100 fundraising letters! She knew she knew she had reached her fundraising goals and felt that she could meet her physical goals as well. Her doctor gave her approval to walk and told her to listen to her body. So, she did. And she walked every one of those 60 miles.

Along the way, she had her first welcome from the 3-Day Pink Bubble.

“I met two Crew ladies on my first walk in Seattle. I was nervous about wearing a survivor shirt and they just enveloped me in this hug. And I was bawling, and they just kept telling me that I could do this. And to be held by them, and feel that support, was everything to me.”

She has continued to have similar memories and stories over the last decade, making new friends each year and finding new strength with every step.

“Whatever you believe in, it’s a comfort to know that there’s a plan. And it’s tough to think, “How could this be part of a plan?” But meeting those ladies on my first 3-Day, or talking to women in Atlanta this year, it just shows me that these things are meant to be this way.

I’m a pretty positive person, and I try to focus on that positive outcome. So, this has been my way to do my part.”

She also does her part year-round, fundraising all year and encouraging those around her to learn about their breast health.

“I want to shake strangers and remind people to go get their mammograms! Just go do it! Early detection is everything. I talk to everybody, whether it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month or not.”

She finished her 10th walk during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year, and her son was there to welcome her across the finish line. Though her journey has been long and difficult, she says being a survivor has helped her find more compassion for herself daily, and that the 3-Day has shown her the worth that she brings to the world time and time again.

“It is so much more filled with compassion for me, and for anyone else who has this diagnosis. I can be so much nicer to myself, and the 3-Day helped me with that.

The universe draws us to where we need to be. The universe drew me here to the 3-Day.”

Cold Weather Training Ideas

Winter officially starts next week, but that doesn’t mean cold weather hasn’t hit much of the country already. That means if you’re already training for 2019, or just want to get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions, the cold can put a damper on your work out goals. But don’t let the weather hold you back! Here are some ideas for ways to make the most of cold weather training this month and into the new year…

Layer Up

You can always remove layers as you walk, so add more layers than you think you’ll need. Always be sure to add a hat and gloves because you lose heat fast through your hands and the top of your head. Then layer on thin shirts, sweatshirts and coats or whatever you feel most comfortable with. Better to be a warm walker than a cold one!

Never forget to hydrate

This is KEY. Just because you’re cold, does NOT mean you don’t need water or other hydration during your training. Drink as you walk and try to stay away from dehydrating drinks like coffee or tea for a bit after your work-out.

Limit your mileage

Tackle your mileage goal throughout the day in smaller amounts. It will make the steps go quicker and let you conquer the other parts of your day with ease. Plus, you don’t want to be out in the cold that long! So, instead of trying to walk 15 miles in a row, break it up throughout the day. Do an early morning gym visit and walk half of your goal, then do a quick outside walk after work. You’ll get the same number of steps, but in a more manageable fashion.

Choose your route carefully

If you are walking outside, be certain that you’re walking someplace familiar and pay close attention to the terrain with each step. If the sidewalks have not been cleared of ice and snow, walk in the street. Also, be on the lookout for black ice! Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If you get lost in a snow drift, they’ll want to know where to start looking!

Get your groove on

Did you know we have a cold weather Spotify playlist especially made to motivate you during the winter? Add it to your phone and let it fuel your steps! A good song from your favorite artist is just what you need for motivation.

Stay indoors (if you must)

Just because its nasty outside, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for training! Find someplace indoors to get moving. While we don’t recommend that you do all your 3-Day training on a treadmill, it’s a perfectly good alternative to outdoor walking if you need it. No treadmill? Throw on your shoes and walk on an indoor track, through a shopping mall, or up and down the stairs in your office building.

Get your cardio in different ways

If you don’t like walking inside, don’t worry, you can get your cardio some other way! From spin class to group cardio and barre work outs, there are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping inside this season. Make the most of winter!

What are your favorite winter training ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Fundraising Friday: Make the Most of the Holiday Giving Season

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2018 is ending, and this means Giving Season is upon us! It’s that time of the year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which is the perfect time to get a jump start on your 2019 fundraising. People are in the holiday spirit and will likely want to support causes that mean something to them and their loved ones.

So, let’s get fundraising!

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First things first, we need to talk about snail mail. Everyone loves getting traditional mail, and with an influx of holiday cards and packages coming their way, they’ll be checking their mailbox more now than ever. That is perfect timing because December is “Write a Friend Month” and December 7th is “National Letter Writing Day.” Hand-written fundraising letters are more personal than emails and are also harder to miss. Send letters to your past donors, family and friends to let them know you’re participating in the 3-Day in 2019 and that you’d love their support!

This is an especially important time to reach out to past donors. Keeping up that regular contact with loyal donors demonstrates your need for their continued support.

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It also gives you the chance to show them how their past donation made a difference. Check out our Facebook albums to see how much the 3-Day in your city raised, and let your donors know how that money was used! The 3-Day also has lots of infographics that explain how their donations, past and present, are aiding in the fight against breast cancer.

These facts and figures can be printed out and included in your fundraising letter, or you can link right to them if you prefer to send out fundraising emails. Emails also give you an easy way to attach photos of you from the 3-Day or even videos from the event! Those visuals will help keep your donors engaged.

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Speaking of engagement, you’ve got to engage with people on multiple fronts! The holidays can be a busy time for everyone, so don’t be surprised if donors miss one of your emails or forget to donate. So, cover all your bases just in case. Aside from emails and letters, you can also list your fundraising link in your email signature, post it on your social media or even post a reminder sign at your desk or cubicle. That way, no one can forget the 3-Day!

If you really want to get in the holiday spirit, host a “12 Days of the 3-Day” with daily posts on social media letting people know different facts about the 3-Day for 12 straight days. Use each post as an opportunity to spread the word about the 3-Day, and link to your fundraising page!

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After it’s all over, celebrate a Giving Season that has helped us take steps towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal. Host an appreciation party in January for everyone who donates before the end of 2018! You can use this as an added incentive to get donations through the end of the year, and as a way to thank your donors! Give back to those who have given generously to you.

Happy Holidays!