Pink is a beautiful color. It is a color that brings people together every October in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Wearing pink, however, is not enough. Wearing pink may raise awareness, but it will not cure breast cancer. It will not save lives.
Last month I walked my second Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day. Participating, at least for me, was not an act of bravery. Walking was an opportunity, a way for me to do something beyond wearing pink.
If you have ever considered being a part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, you too can be a part of something huge. Here are my 10 reasons to go for it and sign up:
The camaraderie. There is a sense of friendship and oneness amongst the walkers that is truly something you do not sense until you experience it for yourself. It is there from the Opening Ceremony to the closing moments.
The personal fulfillment. Walking 60 miles in three days is no easy feat. Last year during my first Komen 3-Day, I got to mark it off my bucket list. This year I came back to get that incredible feeling of personal accomplishment once again.
The exercise. You know those people who set their fitness trackers and set out to reach 10,000 steps in a day? They’ve got nothing on you! Between the training walks to the actual event, you will blow that number out of the water before lunchtime.
To meet long lost relatives. Well, sort of. Last year, early on the first day my walking partner and I began talking with other walkers along the route, as we did often during the event. One woman asked us if it was our first time participating, and we responded that indeed it was our first. She looked at us, smiled and said, “Welcome to the family.” Now I know just what she meant.
The great company. You will meet some of the most fantastic people, people who you would not likely have met otherwise. Learning their stories and reasons for being in attendance was like emotionally uplifting icing on the cake.
The physical challenge. Walking 60+ miles in 3 days is no easy task. Especially when you add on hills, inclement weather, and a few nagging blisters. Yet everyone is celebrated, no matter when they walk across the finish line.
The crew. What makes these three days so special, so life-changing, is not just the walkers. The crew is equally passionate and hardworking. The 3-Day would be nothing without them.
The fun. From the zany t-shirts and outfits on some of the walkers to the pure silliness of the crew, there is a lot of fun to be had at the 3-Day. When it began to pour mid-way through our second day, Trina and I just laughed and laughed about the ridiculousness of walking (or more like sloshing through) 11 more miles in the pouring rain.
The sense of community. The support of the local communities through which we walked is such a huge motivator for getting through the day. The people who stand outside their homes, schools, and businesses to cheer on the walkers make the trek all the more worthwhile.
The lifelong memories. Participating in the 3-Day gave me a deeper connection to what is really important. In addition to the fun that we had, and the physical challenge too, we never ever forgot that our purpose was to honor the lost, applaud the survivors, and support those who are still fighting the good fight.
October is over, but the fight against breast cancer continues. Are YOU ready to join us?
Jessica Cohen is a writer of social good, a health enthusiast, and a greener living advocate. Her website, EatSleepBe.com, a guide for being kinder to yourself, to others, and to the planet. Jessica also works as a web content creator and strategic social-media consultant.