Walking with my Husband: Words of Wisdom from Coach Jennifer

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Happy Valentine’s Day, 3-Dayers!

In honor of the love-filled holiday, we are talking to a 3-Day couple who has been walking together, and living the 3-Day Pink Bubble in their everyday life, for years. Coach Jennifer, our Fundraising & Support Coach for the Michigan and San Diego 3-Days, has been walking with her husband Charles since 2006, and they finish each 3-Day hand in hand.

Jennifer began walking in 2002, and joined the 3-Day coaching staff in 2005, so she thinks it was only natural that Charles began walking with her only a year later. It was even his idea! Since then, they have walked in Seattle, San Diego and Philadelphia, usually on Jennifer’s team “Walk with Me.”

And walk with her he does. When she is not walking with her husband, Jennifer loves stopping for “pictures and other related shenanigans,” but with Charles, they stick together step for step.

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“When I walk with my husband, even when we are on a team, we walk together all 3 days. I’m pretty sure he would prefer me to walk faster than I do, but he is really great about sticking with me. We still take pictures but it is much lower key, which is also very nice. It’s a really nice way to spend a long weekend with him…even though we are walking 60 miles!”

Those sixty miles have taught them a lot about patience and support in their relationship overall. Whether it’s from blisters or soreness on the 3-Day, or other challenges that life throws their way, they tackle them together.

That also includes how they train for the event! Jennifer recommends that all couples who plan on walking together on-event should also train together.

“We do train together; we are definitely walkers. We have a crazy dog, Asher, that loves to walk and we also like to go on long walks together on a regular basis, even in the snow!”

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That means they’re already preparing for 2018 events! Some of her favorite memories from events past include “introducing my husband to so many of the participants I have gotten to know so well over the years. And really, just spending those 3 days completely together, on each of our walks.”

This year, however, she hopes they can take some non-3-Day-related trips, including one they have planned to Arizona. It’s all part of their desire to make every day special together! And that includes the Valentine’s Day holiday, which Jennifer says will be spent at home with a meal that (of course) includes plenty of red food coloring. 😊

What are your plans for the Valentine’s Day holiday? How do you spread the 3-Day love all year round? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

 

Melissa and David: 3-Day Power Spouses

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Today is Spouse’s Day, and we are lucky to have many spouses, along with significant others of all kinds, walk with us on the 3-Day. Their love and support mirrors the love and support that surround the pink bubble on our 60-mile journey. It’s inspiring to say the least! One such couple is David and Melissa from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day.

They have been together for a decade, and now walk the 3-Day with their daughter Alex, plus four other couples! Together, they have walked and crewed and made themselves a staple in the “powerful pink bubble of love” that is the 3-Day.

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But it all started with Melissa. She is a breast cancer survivor (20 years now, and counting!), and walked her first 3-Day in 2007 along with her daughter. At the time, David was their walker stalker, but soon he was walking and crewing alongside them.

Melissa says that even now, “Doing the 3-Day as a couple is an extraordinary way to do the event! Sharing something that is so important keeps us focused on our shared values and we are there for each other when training is tough, motivation wanes, or simply to enjoy each other’s company. We both have full time careers that take up a lot of time and the world is a busy place. Training walks are ‛our time’ to shut down phones and just be together, talk about life, and plan for the future. We now walk long walks year-round.

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“When we are on event, we have the advantage of having our partner and best friend on site to share the experience, to take care of each other, to share that extra dessert in the evening or to bring each other coffee in the morning!”

That is the case whether you’re walking or crewing! Melissa and David have done it all, supporting each other when David didn’t think 60 miles was a big deal (Melissa still reminds him of this) or when Melissa took a tumble as part of bike safety crew (David helped her get back up and out onto the route). Those long miles together bring them closer every year.

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Melissa says that no matter how you get involved, the 3-Day is a great way to connect with your loved ones.

“The 3-Day brings us back to the sense of community where we are all in it together and if anyone is in need, then we have all failed — so the spirit of being there for each other is present in everything we do throughout the weekend. David and I live our marriage like this as much as possible, but life today can make us all a bit self-centered. The 3-Day always brings a wonderful experiential reminder of how powerful kindness really can be when someone is tired, hurting, losing motivation or simply walking with sadness and grief. There is no substitute for a kind word and a helping hand.”

Since they have started participating together, David has also spoken at the Opening Ceremony in Melissa’s honor, and Melissa spoke at the Camp Show in 2017. They are also training walk leaders and members of the Komen Advisory Council. The 3-Day has become a part of their life and their marriage, and they encourage other couples to also participate together.

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“I would say that any couple who are considering walking together should jump in. There is plenty of space for alone time and together time and time with your friends on the event. There are only upsides to walking with your partner — or even walking while a partner is on the crew. Making the 3-Day a family affair helps in every aspect of the event.”

Do you know a 3-Day couple, or are you part of one? Tell us how the 3-Day has brought you and your spouse closer in the comments!

 

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!