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…
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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!”
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!)
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!