Meet Gwynne M., 3-Dayer and Recruiter Extraordinaire

All it takes is a little spark of inspiration to start a whole movement. If you need proof of that statement, Gwynne Martin is the perfect example. This year will be only her second one walking in the 3-Day, and she has already single handedly recruited 25 people to her team, Gwynne’s Friends. She’s also already surpassed her fundraising minimum. And she still has more than six months until she walks the San Diego 3-Day. Imagine where she’ll be by November!

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Gwynne first became introduced to Susan G. Komen’s efforts in 2012 when her friends participated in the Race for the Cure in her honor. That same year, she had a bilateral mastectomy, finished up chemo and underwent radiation all due to a Triple Negative breast cancer diagnosis.

Four years later, in 2016, Gwynne decided to get more personally involved and signed up for the Philadelphia 3-Day. Gwynne’s Friends came back to life as a team! Shortly after signing up, however, Gwynne learned that her cancer was back, and was metastatic, Stage IV breast cancer.

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“I started treatment and my training all in the same month. We had a total of six people on our team and after completing the 24-week training program, we walked.”

With her friends by her side, Gwynne took on the 3-Day.

“I couldn’t believe that number of people that were there cheering us on. I had a catheter hanging out the side of my chest and my feet were peeling from the chemo but I managed to walk about 55 of the 60 miles. It was amazing. There was such excitement and spirit between the walkers, crew and community that you hardly realized you were walking all day.”

Gwynne

She says that training was a huge credit to her success last year, especially her long weekend training walks.

“It is so much easier when you have someone to walk with. One weekend my nephews were visiting and we had them rotate and walk a mile with us and then switch. They loved it! Many of my friends would join me to walk while I was training.”

Just getting the word out made a huge difference., Gwynne said that once people knew she was walking the 3-Day, she was amazed at the amount of support, training companions and donations she received. It also made a huge difference in her personal motivation.

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“When you’re undergoing chemotherapy and the doctors are telling you that you’re terminal, having a goal to walk in a 3-Day has such a positive impact on you emotionally and physically.”

That motivation led her to sign up for the 3-Day again in 2017.

“I decided to sign up for the San Diego 3-Day. Sun, sand and the ocean. What more could you want when walking? I put the word out to my team members, and a couple of them decided to join, along with my husband.”

She utilized the “Bring Your Bestie” Promotion to gather friends from out of town as well! Though she had previously walked in Philadelphia, she used social media to encourage friends to make the trip West with her.

 

“I created a video that started with a little chat about me and some photos from our 3-Day walk in Philadelphia the year before. In the video, I invited anyone who wanted to join us in San Diego. and if they couldn’t join us I asked for them to donate. Then I posted it on Facebook. I was so humbled by the outcome. I raised all my donations in one week and we now have 25 team members!”

Soon friends, cousins, sisters and sister in laws joined. And then their friends joined along with them.

“That’s what friends do,” Gwynne said simply. “They support each other. The 3-Day is family, friends, community, volunteers and LOVE!”

Walk on, Gwynne.

 

Staying on Track During Vacation

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Long holiday weekends are coming up, and summer vacation time is almost upon us! That means lots of 3-Dayers will be taking trips with family and friends in the next few months. With our first 3-Day less than 16 weeks away, though, you may want to keep up with your training no matter where you are. A week or more off from your training plan could make those 60 miles even tougher, and if you have been training with a group, you will want to stay on their schedule, too. We want to make your 3-Day journey enjoyable and pain-free! With that in mind, we have tips for making the most of your vacation and your 3-Day training, all at once!

Pick your location wisely

This doesn’t mean you have to limit your vacation destinations tothe mountains or trails, although those do sound fun! There are also lots of great active cities that pride themselves on being hubs for metro-biking, have lots of fun walking trails and sites within city limits, or are the home of iconic parks with plenty of outdoor spaces.

If you do choose a city-spot, try to pick a hotel near a trail, park, or one with a great gym so it’s easy to get your steps in. Or, plan part of your vacation around a wellness retreat. From yoga to hiking and beyond, there are plenty of hotels and destinations that cater to creating an active vacation.

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Set reasonable goals

To set yourself up for success, you need to be realistic in your planning. Look at your itinerary for the vacation, and plan your training accordingly. For example, if you have an early call time for a walking tour of the city, use that as your daily walk instead of struggling to get up even earlier than you must. On the flip side, if there’s an activity or outing planned that you’re not crazy about, don’t feel bad taking some time for yourself to go on a bike ride and get your blood pumping.

Above all, don’t plan on training more than you do normally at home. Vacations should always be relaxing and rejuvenating!

Make it an early morning

The early morning is a wonderful time to take a walk and explore your chosen destination. If you’re traveling in a group, it gives you some time just to yourself and (literally) will help start your day off on the right foot. You might also discover a local hidden gem to take your travel-mates to later!

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Get everyone involved

Another way to make sure you stick to your goals is to get your traveling buddies on the training game with you! Plan to walk to dinner or one of the local tourist attractions instead of cabbing, or get them pumped to hit the trail with you to see the sights. Get everyone on the same page with the same daily step goal. The more people you have around you to get stepping with, and the more people you have to hold you accountable, the more fun the work out will be!

It’s all about the destination

They say that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, but we must disagree! To keep yourself motivated, set destinations or goals for each one of your work outs. For example, if you wear a fitness tracker, give yourself a goal number of steps to take each day, so you will know to squeeze in a work out before dinner if you’re not close to your goal. Or set a physical destination for your outdoor walk, bike or hike. Pick a landmark, a coffee shop you had wanted to try, or even an arbitrary end point, and don’t stop until you get there!

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Give yourself a break

Leave a few work-out free days throughout your vacation, especially if it’s a longer one. You don’t want to burn out or begin to resent your training time. Stay on track for your goals without going overboard, and you will return from your trip ready to hit the trail with renewed energy and drive.

How do you train or stay motivated while on vacation? Tell us in the comments!

 

REMINDER: The health, safety and training information contained in this blog post, or otherwise provided to you in connection with your participation in the 3-Day, is not intended to replace or be construed as medical advice and any such information is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from your medical provider. Before starting any exercise program or following any recommendations, advice or other instructions regarding training for the 3-Day or any athletic event, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.

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Bringing Your Bestie to the 3-Day is the Best

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A best friend is a powerful thing. They make you laugh, support you when you’re down, challenge and drive you to be better, and sometimes know you even better than you know yourself. All this, and more, makes a best friend a pretty perfect partner to have at your side on the 3-Day.

Bring your bestie, and this year could be your best 3-Day yet! If you need more convincing, we have stories from coaches and walkers about how their besties brought them into the 3-Day family and helped them take those extra steps to get through all 60 miles. We also have several promotions this month that can bring you and your besties to the 3-Day in style. Read on for inspiration, information, and smiles!

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Stephanie Jo from Facebook  – “Walking with you got me through, Jessi Wendland! We were walking for 2 amazing Julies [my aunt Julie & her mom Julie].”

Tisho Jessop, Philadelphia Participant Coach: “My BFF got me started on this whole adventure! In January of 2008 she called me and said “I keep seeing these TV ads for a 60-mile breast cancer walk. Is that something we should do?”

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Judith and I have been friends since 1988. We were roommates after college, we were each other’s Maid/Matron of Honor and we both have a connection to breast cancer. Both of her grandmothers had it (one passed from it and the other was a survivor who passed of another cause). When Judith called me I was in the midst of losing my Aunt Barbara, who died about 5 weeks later.

We went to a Get Started Meeting and ended up forming Team BFF to walk the 3-Day that October. It was such a bonding experience and we loved every minute of it. 11 events, 9 years and $27,000 later I’m still an avid 3-Dayer and I will always be grateful that my BFF knew this would be a healing and passion-finding event for me.”

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Faren Ann from Twitter: “One of my favorite walking friends shares a birthday with me (next Monday!) I am so happy she is part of my life bcuz of #the3day!”

She also later shared that her friend Laura “is bringing some great friends to Philly who I am looking forward to loving as much as I ❤️ her!”

Julie Bagel, also from Twitter, had a similar story! She and Faren connected when she shared: “Small world, because TWO of my favorite walking friends share a birthday! 😉 xoxo”

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Gayla Cruikshank, Dallas/Fort Worth Local Events Coach: “I hosted a Walk & Talk recently where I met up with Jeri Cliff (front left) with Angels for the Cure along with her daughter, Khristy and granddaughter, Bailie.

Jeri decided after the 2016 Michigan 3-Day that she would “retire” and hang up her 3-Day walking shoes. That was until her granddaughter, Bailie turned 16 in March and was finally eligible to participate as a walker. Bailie has been supporting and cheering for her grandmother for the past five years from the cheer stations. She let her mom and grandmother know that she wanted to walk this year. When the VIP Slumber Party promotion was launched, Jeri figured this was a perfect opportunity to “come out of retirement” and walk with her daughter and granddaughter for their first event.”

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If you haven’t heard of our Slumber Party promotion, don’t worry, there’s still time! Now through April 19th, if you recruit two new walkers to register for the 3-Day, you earn a VIP Slumber Party or two-night hotel stay. The VIP tent sleeps four people, so there is plenty of room for you and your best friends. It comes with comfy blow-up mattresses, phone chargers, specialty 3-Day pajama bottoms and more! Talk about a best friend glamping weekend!

To learn even more about bringing your besties to the 3-Day with you, we will have a special Facebook Live chat with Coach Gayla this week! On Thursday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. Coach Gayla of Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day coaches will talk with Jeri, Sue, and Rhonda as they share their tips and tricks for growing your team, getting ready for the 3-Day, and all the fun promotions we have going on now. Don’t miss it!

What are some of your favorite memories of the 3-Day with your best friends? Share in the comments!

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