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!

20 Reasons To Be a 20-Mile Walker

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With our final two 3-Days coming up quickly in Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego, the time is NOW to sign up for the 3-Day! If you’re new to our community, can’t walk the whole 60 miles or raise the whole $2300, or just want to dip your toe in the water…you can be a 20-Mile Walker. This one-day option of the 3-Day allows walkers to join us on Sunday and finish out the final 20 miles of the weekend with the rest of the 3-Day community, including our exciting Closing Ceremony.

It requires less training, less fundraising, but all the fun that you would experience on the full 3-Day journey. If you haven’t signed up yet, you still can at The3Day.org/20Mile

And if you need more convincing, here are 20 reasons why you should be a 20-Mile Walker…

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  1. It’s a welcome to the 3-Day family: If you haven’t participated in the 3-Day previously, walking a 20-Mile Walker is a great way to get a taste of the community. You will meet breast cancer survivors, those who have lost someone to breast cancer, and many people who have been directly aided by the work that Susan G. Komen does. It will be inspiring to say the least!
  2. It’s only one day: That’s not much of a commitment when you think of all the fun you’ll have and the difference you will make in the fight against breast cancer.
  3. You don’t even have to take the day off: 20-Mile Walkers join the event on Sunday, so even those traveling in from other cities can be back home by Sunday night in most cases. We know not everyone can take a day or two off to join us, so participating as a 20-Mile Walker is a great alternative to that.
  4. It’s a great way to get moving: If hitting the gym is getting boring, or you’re looking for a new way to stay active…walking 20 miles with us is a perfect idea! People of all fitness levels participate!
  5. Do something with your friends: This lower commitment option for participating in the 3-Day is a great way to gather friends or family together for a day of bonding.
  6. No need to camp: If sleeping outside isn’t your style, you don’t have to camp (but you can if you want to!). We have great hotel partners, so you can get a cozy night sleep before you take on those 20 miles.
  7. It’s an excuse to wear a tutu: There will be tutus abound on the 3-Day!
  8. Or really any crazy outfit: We have everything from Santa to unicorns to dinosaurs walking on the 3-Day path!
  9. You get unlimited snack access: If you love string cheese, grapes, PB&J, rice krispie treats and all manner of snacks, there is no better excuse to eat your fill than to walk 20 miles.
  10. New friends will find you: No one is ever alone on the 3-Day so even if you sign up by yourself, you will make tons of new friends as you walk.
  11. And you might just keep them forever: Our 3-Day community stays close all year long via social media, local meet-ups and even snail mail. A friend made on the 3-Day is a friend for life.
  12. People cheer when you cross the street: Between our amazing Crew and local support, you will be supported and cheered on throughout your day-long walk. Many of our 3-Dayers say they even get sad on Monday when they cross the street and don’t hear those cheers.
  13. You will smile every step of the way: Yes, this is a 20-mile journey, but we promise it will be a fun one! 😊
  14. It’s a great way to see a new city: Lots of people travel in to participate in the 3-Day, so even if you don’t have a 3-Day in your hometown, you can still join up.
  15. Or learn more about your hometown: Even if the 3-Day is in your home city, chances are you haven’t seen every inch of the area. Walking the 3-Day will show you areas of your home you might never have seen otherwise! It will also give you an excuse to re-visit some of the famous landmarks around town.
  16. There’s a pink carpet finish line: Who doesn’t love a good glamour walk across a pink carpet?!
  17. And you’ll accomplish something few people do: Who else do you know that can say they walked 20 miles with their Sunday?
  18. You’ll attend the Closing Ceremony: This is the celebration of the 3-Day, and a truly inspiring and emotional experience that many people deem the highlight of their weekend.
  19. You’ll be making a difference: Komen has set a Bold Goal to decrease breast cancer deaths in the US by 50% by the year 2026. Every step you take is a step towards making that goal a reality.
  20. …and you’ll probably be back next year 😊 Or at least we hope so! Once you’ve tried the 3-Day or walked the 3-Day in a new city, it will be tough to say “no” in 2019.

Come join us this year! You can still register at The3Day.org/20Mile.

Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3day walk in Novi, Michigan on August 4, 2017.