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!

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Talk a Friend into Walking with You

The time has come to ramp up recruitment for your 2017 3-Day team. Get started now to give all your team members as much time for fundraising and training as possible. If you are planning to grow your team this year, it is also the perfect time to start asking new recruits to join you. There are plenty of ways to talk someone through the great impact of the 3-Day and encourage them to join the cause.

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Tell them they’ll make a difference: This one should be a great opener, especially for anyone who has been personally affected or knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Susan G. Komen® has plenty of infographics and information explaining how all of your fundraising money is put to good work, but you can also see it first hand at any of the 3-Days. When you walk, you meet survivors, their families and many others who are or have felt the direct impact of the money raised by every 3-Day walker.

Tell them they can raise the money: Fundraising is one of the topics our coaches and team captains get asked about the most.  Not everyone is comfortable asking for monetary support, even for a cause as important as ours. However, there are plenty of different ways to effectively fundraise, including letter or email writing campaigns, bake sales, charity events, selling homemade goods and more! New walkers receive lots of support from their teams, their coach, and our online community as well. We will help you find a fundraising plan that works for you, and do all that we can to help every walker reach their fundraising goal.

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Tell them they can go the distance: Another obstacle some people have to overcome is the prospect of walking all those steps. Very few people walk 60 miles in a weekend when they’re not on the 3-Day, so it can seem like a daunting task. Luckily for anyone with reservations, we have your back. With a fully supported route, including Sweep Vans that can pick up walkers and take them to the next rest stop, you only have to walk as far as you can!

Tell them there will be laughter: Is the 3-Day a lot of work? You bet your pink tutu it is! But it is also a whole lot of fun. From sharing stories on the walk, to themed rest stops and lunch tents, to dance parties and glamping, there is no shortage of smiles and laughter on every one of the 60 miles. This is an especially good approach for those who are afraid of potential monotony of walking for 3 days in a row, or who don’t know as many people on your team. No matter who you know, you will always have a friend on the 3-Day.

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Tell them they will gain a family: One of the best parts about the 3-Day is that you become part of a family. Beyond your team, or those who share tents near you at our camp site, you will leave your 3 days with us as part of something larger than yourself. For anyone who has participated in charity events in the past, reminding them of that feeling of family you get when you’re all trying to accomplish something together will be one of the easiest ways to encourage them to participate. It will also probably help you feel reinvigorated for your own training and fundraising goals.

How have you convinced people to join your team?

3-Day Friendships – Powered by Optimism

Amy B is one of thousands of 3-Day walkers who registered for her first 3-Day as an individual, and joined a team to meet others. Little did she realize that those friendships would last well beyond her first 60 miles! I asked Amy to share her story of finding lifelong friendships as a 3-Day walker.

Amy B and her 3-Day team, Powered By Optimism.

Amy B and her 3-Day team, Powered By Optimism.

When she first joined the San Diego 3-Day in 2008, Amy didn’t know anyone else who was walking. “I was approached by a team captain trying to grow her team, and jumped on. I met so many great people from my very first training walk that I knew that was the way to go!

Switching cities didn’t stop Amy from making new friends. “In 2009, I walked in Seattle, and found a small team accepting out of town participants. I joined them so I was not alone on the event. I got to learn from others all the tips and tricks of making the walk more enjoyable. But the very best part is the wonderful friendships and bonds that I have made along the way.”

Inspired by the team captains she met, Amy became one herself. “When I returned to the 2010 San Diego 3-Day I created the team Powered By Optimism because I think that teams are where the magic happens.”

Becoming a training walk leader also helped Amy meet even more new friends. “I know the importance of training and the fun of doing it with others, so I also signed up to be a training walk leader. That is how I met many new walkers and grew my team. That first year we were a tight knit team of 23. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Powered by Optimism would turn into what it is this year. We currently have 93 team members!”

Amy’s team’s friendships were forged on training walks. “Not only are we getting stronger for our 3-Day weekend, we are also growing stronger friendships. We share hundreds of training miles together, and have time to connect with great people. Sharing our stories – both amazing and amusing – helps us through some very long training walks. And once you get to the event, you already have a little family of familiar faces.”

Over the years, the 3Day friendships survive and thrive. “I have known a few teammates since the 2008 3-Day and many since the 2010 and we are undoubtedly now life-long friends. We hike in the off-season, and we’ve taken trips and retreats together. I have a pretty big circle of friends, but most of my best friends are from the 3-Day.”

Not surprisingly, Amy thinks being on a team is the best part of the 3-Day. “Just as you wouldn’t take a trip to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, I wouldn’t suggest doing the 3-Day and not joining a team. Don’t get me wrong, the event itself is amazing and life-changing. But if you join a team and join training walks, you will certainly make new friends – and do a little self-discovery too. Again, that’s where the magic happens.”

Friendship and fun at the Twin Cities 3-Day.

Friendship and fun at the Twin Cities 3-Day.

Are you a registered 3-Day participant looking for a team or training partner? Our 3-Day Friend Finder and Training Walk Calendar are at your service. Like Amy, your new friendships may last a lifetime.

Have you made lifelong friendships on your 3-Day journey? Please leave a reply in the comments section below