Feel the Love: Meet Lauri Y., 3-Day Walker

Kindness. Generosity. Compassion.

These feelings are commonly associated with love-centric holidays like Valentine’s Day, but are also how Lauri Yanis, veteran 3-Day walker and crew member, describes the 60-mile adventure that is her 3-Day journey.

Lauri has been walking and supporting the 3-Day for almost two decades, and is firmly entrenched in its community. Luckily, she has had someone very important by her side for every step: her husband Matt, whom she met on her first 3-Day walk.

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Finding a love connection on the 3-Day has led Lauri and Matt to a relationship based on the principles of “Communication. Honesty. A willingness to ask for help, and a willingness to offer help.” It’s also kept them walking and crewing at least one 3-Day every year since they met. Lauri still remembers the moment of their first meeting on “Day Zero,” as the Thursday before the 3-Day was called before walkers were able to check in online.

“My (random) tent-mate and I agreed to meet on Day Zero, and then it was a last minute decision that we would stay overnight together in a hotel before Opening Ceremony. To get assigned to a tent together, we had to be there at the same time and go up in line together. And when we finished, we got on the very last bus to our hotel. This is important because I am never last! I am always early, but they were shutting things down, we had been there for hours and we got on the last bus. And this is where it’s so funny how fate and karma work.

This guy gets on the bus after us, even later than us, and he made a snide comment. And that’s him! That’s the man I’m going to marry! He was a wise ass. He was sarcastic. […] But, I said “Hi” to him, and the rest is history!”

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Lauri and Matt ended up having dinner together that first night, and shared their reasons for walking the 3-Day. Lauri was walking for a dear friend who at that time was battling breast cancer. Matt, on the other hand, did not have anyone in his life who was directly suffering from the disease.

Lauri explains, “He said ‘I’m walking for my mom, and my daughter, and my grandmother, and I’m even walking for my ex-wife.’ And I thought that was just great!”

The two walked much of the sixty miles together, and a few weeks after the walk, Matt came to visit Lauri for the first time. From there, they united their two families, and years later made it official with a wedding and a “honeymoon” spent on the 3-Day.

“In 2006, we walked two weeks after our wedding so we wore hats that said ‘Newlyweds for the Cure’ and tied little plastic champagne bottles to the back of our tent. We joked that more people should honeymoon with hundreds of their closest family and friends!”

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Though Lauri and Matt have never personally met any other couples who have met on the 3-Day, Lauri has heard stories of them, and says she’s not surprised that love could bloom on the walk. It has, after all, helped shape her and Matt’s love story.

“It’s really central to our relationship. We have lived inside the “Pink Bubble,” and you spend 3 days being your very best self. People are just decent and kind, and inspired to be their best self for those three days. Because we’ve done that together so many times, we can bring each other back to that spirit. It’s truly shaped who we are.”

Since their meeting, Lauri and Matt have recruited multiple family members to the 3-Day, and say that’s no longer a matter of “if” they will participate each year, but rather what cities they will be participating in. This year, keep an eye out for them walking in San Diego and crewing in Philadelphia.

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“It’s such a great event, and any difference I can make for people facing the disease is a big part of it for me. I believe in the research being done by (Susan G.) Komen. I think that what Komen offers to families who don’t have good support, or who are lower income, or who don’t live near treatment centers, that is very important,” Lauri explains. “There is this body of caring people who really want to make a difference. So you see that body, and you want to be a part of it, and it keeps swirling and growing.”

Lauri and Matt are doing what they can to keep the community growing each year. This includes continuing to walk and crew together, doing their fundraising as a couple, and even going on walking “dates” whenever they can.

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As for their plans for Valentine’s Day 2017, Lauri says she is lucky enough to have every day feel like Valentine’s Day.

“We’re sappy like that so we don’t have any special plans,” she laughs. “We do a romantic date every week. I got lucky.”

Lucky in love on the 3-Day, indeed!

 

Tips for Making a Bestie on the 3-Day

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There’s nothing quite like meeting someone, and knowing they’re going to be your new best friend. Someone who has the same interests, listens to the same music, and is passionate about the same causes as you are. Plus, they’re fun to talk to!

On the 3-Day, we walk with old friends, and make new ones on the trail. When we are all walking for a common cause, and it helps pass the time to have someone to walk, sing, dance, day dream, and even share secrets with. Naturally, many of our walkers meet new lifelong friends along their 3-Day journey.

Want to make this the year you meet a new bestie who is More Than Pink™, just like you? We have some tips, including stories and ideas from coaches and walkers who have done exactly that…

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Take the first step:

Jennifer Hanskat, Michigan 3-Day Participant Support Coach, says you should never be afraid to reach out to anyone and everyone to encourage people to walk with you. Don’t be afraid to even ask strangers! They might turn into best friends over 60 miles.

“I sent out an email to the moms’ group from my son’s school asking if anyone wanted to walk with me. Not even 5 minutes after I hit send I got a response from a mom named Susan. Susan was 100% on board and told me she was registering right then! Even though we didn’t know each other then, we became besties and 14 years later have walked and crewed many 3-Day events since then.”

It might seem daunting or crazy, but asking people in different parts of your life to walk with you, especially if you would otherwise be walking alone, can lead to new friends or the creation of a team.

That’s how it worked for Laura from the Twin Cities’ Northern Nippy’s team. She has walked with just one or two friends in years past, but has also walked with thirty or more people on her team. “The more I talked about it, the more of my friends wanted to try it!” It never hurts to ask.

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Connect on social media:

So, you’ve registered and found a friend or two who are interested in walking with you. Want to grow your group even more? Check out social media and the 3-Day online community.

Walkers connect, give tips, share concerns and ideas, and more on the 3-Day Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and message boards.

Jana Kono from Arizona is one such 3-Dayer, who has used Twitter to talk with a growing group who support each other all year long. “There is an amazing group of walkers and crew who have become the best friends. We do a secret pal swap all year and reveal #BFFs.”

Other walkers, like Kristin from Alabama, met friends on the 3-Day and have used social media as a way to stay in touch. She says (via tweet), “How do you explain the beginning of a wonderful friendship in 140 characters? I met my friend Crystal at Day 1 lunch in ’12!”

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You can also use the 3-Day Friend Finder to locate people who are looking for friends to make strides with. It’s new and improved this year so you can now search by location, by participant type, even by walking speed to connect with fellow walkers and crew.

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Attend training walks:

If you’d rather find your bestie in person, or need extra motivation in your training, find training walks in your area at The3Day.org/TrainingWalks and RSVP. Showing up is half the battle after all!

Stephanie Mayer, Twin Cities 3-Day Local Events Coach, says she definitely recommends attending training walks in your local area. “These are a great way to meet people and exchange fundraising ideas. If you’re a solo walker you may even find a team to join!”

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Be bold:

If you arrive at the 3-Day still not knowing anyone, it’s never too late!

Lauri Yanis has walked and crewed in a number of different cities and says on her first walk, back in 2002, she approached the first day with a specific goal. “I set myself the personal challenge that I was going to pretend that every person I met was really interested in meeting me. I was going to approach everybody and make friends as a big, self-confidence activity. And it worked!”

She has met many long-term friends, and even her husband Matt, on the 3-Day.

(PS You’ll learn more about Lauri and Matt next week for Valentine’s Day, so be sure to check back!)

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Make the 3-Day a vacation:

The fun doesn’t have to only last for 3 days! Arrive early with your friends or teammates and get one last training walk in the day before your 3-Day officially starts. Or extend your stay a few days after the Closing Ceremony.

Faren Ann from San Diego says she and her 3-Day Tweep friends make it a whole affair each year. “Besides on event, we travel together and shared Friendsgiving in (San Diego) the last 2 years.”

You could also plan a much needed spa day for you and your new besties!

How have you made friends on your 3-Day experience? Share your story with us!

 

 

 

 

Pink Smoothie Recipes to Kick Start your Training

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Starting off your morning on the right (healthy) note isn’t always easy thanks to that pesky snooze button, traffic delays or last minute errands. Add in a morning training walk, and it can get pretty hectic! That doesn’t mean you can skimp out on breakfast though. It’s no joke that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, plus it can have a big influence on how the rest of your day goes. One easy way to make sure you get your morning meal in is to make a batch of smoothies to keep in your fridge or freezer throughout the week for an easy sip on the go.

So, here are pink smoothie recipes we created just for you! Let them fuel you for your training walks, and give you energy to attack that fundraising head-on. Plus, that pink hue will keep you inspired to be More Than Pink™. Kick off your morning with a little sweetness, and you’ll think pink all day long…

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Photo via Vanessa Porter

Pink Sunrise

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup orange or pineapple juice
  • ½ cup of unflavored yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of simple syrup

Great Grape Smoothie

  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cup of ice
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Photo via Jam A

The Fruit Garden

  • 1 ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 small, peeled grapefruit
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 2 medium, peeled carrots

Pink Power

  • 1 ½ cups mixed berries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon maca or cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you want a little pucker of sour flavor
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Photo via VegaTeam

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.