A First-Time Michigan 3-Day Walker Shares Her Dad’s Story

“As a kid and even now an adult, I think I’ve always seen my father as invincible; like nothing could stop him,” said Bridgette, a first-time Michigan 3-Day walker.  “He’s super handy and can fix just about anything around the house (although the joke in the family is that it might lean a little to left when’s done with it).  He’s hard working and always ready to lend a hand.  Even as an adult, he checks in on me as like I am still his little daughter.  I love my dad, and I know he loves me,” she said. That love is just one of the reasons she’ll be taking on the Michigan 3-Day this year; and the other is that Bridgette’s dad is a breast cancer survivor.

“It was a lucky cyst. That’s what the doctors told my dad.” In 2016, he had been having odd chest pain, and felt around his chest to find a lump. A biopsy confirmed it was benign, and that there was no cause for concern. Right before the procedure to drain the cyst, the doctors did one more scan – and this time, there was a new dark spot. A biopsy of this new dark area confirmed that he had breast cancer.

They scheduled a mastectomy of the left breast, but there was no radiation therapy and no chemotherapy. “One complete mastectomy of the left breast later, my dad is a survivor of breast cancer. But without the cyst, they would not have found the breast cancer so early.”

Bridgette had participated in a Komen 5k and donated to friends who were walking the 3-Day, but this year, she’s walking for the first time in Michigan. Bridgette knew men could get breast cancer, but she never knew of one who had. “However, since I’ve been raising funds for the 3-Day, I have learned of another male to have breast cancer (he also survived after a mastectomy).” Male breast cancer, while rare, is a reality. According to Komen.org, “In 2018, it’s estimated that among men in the U.S., there will be 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer (includes new cases of primary breast cancer, but not recurrences of original breast cancers).”

An active man, Bridgette’s dad works in the church as a lay leader, and helped to start the church’s food bank. He’s an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, and an Advisor for his chapter of the Order of the Arrow. He loves sports and going to games, and is a Masonic lodge secretary. It’s safe to say Bridgette’s dad is always busy, and that survivorship was in his blood as a previous skin cancer and prostate cancer survivor, too.

But despite her dad’s now clean bill of health, Bridgette wants more justice in the fight against breast cancer. “What I can’t get out of my mind is that society begins to accept that losing a breast is normal,” she said.  “It’s NOT! It’s gone.  But so is part of your body.  My dad won’t go swimming without a shirt now.  He won’t even work around the house without a shirt on.  Breast cancer doesn’t just leave just a physical scar, it leaves an emotional one.  Not only do I hope to raise awareness by walking, I hopes the funds I raise will find a better cure than mastectomy,” she said.

As a working mom, a house fixer-upper, volunteer with the Jaycees and a treasurer of the Michigan JCI Senate, Bridgette also keeps busy, but follows her passion, “to make a difference – in the world or in someone’s life.” Bridgette, we’re pretty sure that just like your Dad, you will.

Help spread awareness of male breast cancer today. While it’s rare, it is real. For more resources on male breast cancer, visit Komen.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3-Day Training Tips…From Walkers Themselves!

Our 3-Day participants always give the best advice for first-time walkers. They have experienced every step of the journey and know all the best insider tips and tricks. This is especially true for training, because no two people train exactly the same. So, all advice is good advice! Because you might not know the tip that helps you the most until you hear it.

To get to the bottom of the truly best 3-Day training advice, we went straight to the source: our walkers! We tapped our social media community, and our coaches who have also walked, to find out just what we need to know to maximize our training as our 2018 3-Days draw closer.

They had some great ideas!

Belinda H. on Facebook

  1. Set new weekly goals for yourself to find a new path while increasing your mileage. I’ve increased 2 miles weekly by doing this.
  2. Create an ongoing photo journal of nature from your walks. This will help you to relax with nature instead of counting miles. My friends are always excited to see where my walk took me that day.
  3. Use an app like Map My Walk to share your progress with pictures from your walk.

Deborah K. on Twitter

I’m signing up for as many 5K’s scheduled in this area. And I plan on doing at least one 20-mile walk near home this summer.

Allie A. on Facebook

Do long training walks multiple days in a row! It’s Days 2 and 3 on the walk that are the hardest.

Coach Liz, Programs and Local Events Coach, Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth

You don’t have to follow the training walk schedule exactly but DEFINTELY train. Get in at least two back to back longer walks each week.

Get fitted for a good pair of shoes, and make sure they’re a full size bigger than you usually wear. Your feet WILL swell, I promise. Invest in good socks, too!

Also, train in what you plan on wearing on the 3-Day. Skort, shorts, capris, whatever it is…train in that. And, figure out ahead of time if you prefer to use a two-bottle backpack or a bag with a built-in hydration system. Once you try them on, you’ll be able to feel which is your preference.

Melissa M. on Facebook

Hill train! Add an incline on the treadmill if training indoors or during bad weather when you can’t get out for a walk. Also train in what you may want to wear on the 3-Day, including underwear. The best way to find out what is comfortable and what works is to try it out during training.

Rachel C. on Facebook

If you are prone to blisters, learn how to wrap your feet! Train in the rain; the last two years (maybe 3?) we have had some rain. Get in the habit of stretching a lot. Find some walking buddy to walk with even if they can only join you for 1/2 of your walk. And, train with all the gear you plan to use.

Coach Gayla, Programs and Local Events Coach, Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth

Don’t train alone. That’s B-O-R-I-N-G! Join a training walk from the Training Walk Calendar (The3Day.org/TrainingWalks). Don’t see any posted in your area? Drive to another one or become a training walk leader and lead your own walks.

Invite neighbors or create a walking group in your community. The time and miles fly when you have someone to talk to.

Brooke K. on Facebook

Definitely train! Walking 60 miles is much harder than it seems. Get some bigger back-to-back walks in during training because it mimics how you might feel in the morning on Days 2 and day 3! Try out some outfits including socks and shoes to make sure they will feel good during the event. Of course, train with friends to pass the time 🙂

What are your best 3-Day training tips? Tell us in the comments!

 

PLEASE NOTE: THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAINING INFORMATION PROVIDED TO YOU IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SUSAN G. KOMEN 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 KOMEN 3-DAY OR ANY ATHLETIC EVENT, YOU SHOULD FIRST CONSULT A PHYSICIAN AND HAVE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION.

Top 5 Myths About the Susan G. Komen 3-Day: Debunked!

Whether you’re considering the 3-Day for the first time, or are a veteran participant, every 3-Day experience is different, and it’s only natural that there are questions surrounding such a big endeavor. Luckily, every 3-Dayer has their coaches, local teams and a whole pink family for support and guidance. But, to get that process started, we are debunking some of the most common myths about the 3-Day.…

You don’t need to train.

It’s just walking, right? How hard could it be? Even for those in the best shape, walking sixty miles in only three days will take a toll on your body. We have tons of training tips on the blog, a training app to help track your process, training walks led by your fellow participants, and your coaches host lots of events and trainings to make sure that every walker is ready for the big weekend.

If you don’t live in a host city, you’re on your own.

We have walkers from all over the country! Many travel from far away to walk in the 3-Day, and they feel the full support of the 3-Day family. Our local coaches are available by phone, email and social media to offer advice and help all year long, no matter where you live. You can also use the 3-Day Friend Finder or the Message Boards to find other walkers or teams near you! No matter where you live or where you are, you’re a part of the 3-Day. There’s always a conversation happening on our Facebook page, too.

You must stay overnight camp.

Many of our participants camp, but you do not have to! We work with Hilton Hotels nationwide to provide hotel options for our participants, if you wish to pay for a hotel room instead of sleeping in a pink tent. So, if glamping isn’t your style, you can refresh and recharge in a hotel on both Friday and Saturday night. The 3-Day transports participants to and from the hotel, and camp as well. In fact, on the Philadelphia 3-Day this year, all participants will be staying at a hotel.

You must walk all 60 miles.

We want all our walkers to stay safe and happy all weekend long, and if that means you aren’t able to walk all of the 60 miles, that’s totally all right! We have “sweep vans,” which are fun, festive vans manned by our amazing 3-Day Crew, available to pick walkers up throughout the day. They will happily sweep you off your feet and take you to the next pit stop, where you can get medical attention if you need it, or just take a rest. From there, if you’re unable to continue walking, a Lunch & Camp Shuttle can take you to the lunch stop or to camp.

If you don’t want to walk, you can’t participate.

There are plenty of ways to be involved in the 3-Day, even if you choose not to walk. For example, our walkers must be 16 to take on the 60 miles, but anyone from the ages of 10-16 years old can apply to join our Youth Corps and help cheer on our walkers. You can also join the 3-Day Crew, who volunteer in a variety of ways throughout the weekend, and are encouraged to fundraise for the cause. If you can’t make it for all three days, you can also volunteer in a more limited capacity. You can even be a “walker stalker,” who cheers on all our walkers at cheering stations or follows them along the route, supporting every step. We are always happy to have more people involved in the 3-Day in any way they can!

Do you have a question about the 3-Day? Ask in the comments and we will do our best to answer each and every one!