Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in San Francisco is over, and I'm feeling tired, achy, and more than a little proud of myself. I actually walked 20 miles today! I don't know if it was my training, or the adrenaline, or the music blaring from the boomboxes strapped on the bikes of the policemen who were patrolling the route, or the wonderful volunteers and crew members and families who were cheering us on, or the stories of the walkers I talked to, or the beautiful San Francisco scenery, but somehow I found the energy to keep going. Maybe it was a little of everything.
Physically, I'm still amazed I didn't have to flag a sweep van and ask them to drive me to camp. I certainly felt like doing it at one point, but fortunately I got my second (or was it third? or fourth?) wind when I saw the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. I was actually pleasantly surprised that I had no problem whatsoever on San Francisco's notorious hills; whereas others were huffing and puffing, I tackled those babies easily. It's a good thing the town where Alfie's parents live in (and where we stayed for 4 weeks in the summer) is so hilly!
Mentally, I felt even stronger. Since I'm not walking with a group, I thought I would be spending the whole day wrapped in my own thoughts, but there's something about this event that turns perfect strangers into best -- I mean breast -- friends. I'm not the most social person in the world, but I had no trouble at all approaching my fellow walkers and saying hello. I met and spoke with so many great people along the way, each with his or her own story. Here are some of them:
* A team walking in honor of a husband and wife who both lost a battle with breast cancer;
* A crew member who is helping out at 4 of the 15 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure events in 2010 (he's on his 22nd over a period of 10 years);
* A man who is walking each and every one of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure events in 2010;
* Two two-time breast cancer survivors;
* A woman who dyed her hair pink when she raised all her money;
* A man who lost his wife to breast cancer last November;
I even met several people who do not personally know anyone who is fighting or has fought breast cancer, and are walking simply because they are passionate about the cause! The Keep Going Spirit was strong throughout the walk; you could see it in the bunny ears the people were wearing, the boomboxes that people hung on their necks to give everyone some music, the fun outfits and accessories that people were wearing, the hilarious themed sweep vans that patrolled the walk, even the cars we passed that honked and tooted in support.
Now that I've done Day 1, I feel a lot better about myself -- although I have no idea how I'll feel when I wake up tomorrow and do my second 20-mile leg. Let's hope I've soaked in enough of that Keep Going spirit to keep going!
Check out my Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Flickr Photo Set for more photos of Day 1! You can keep track of my progress tomorrow via Twitter and Facebook, and I'll be posting my Day 2 thoughts at the end of the day. Wish me a good night's rest, pain-free knees and a great Day 2, and I'll see you at the Finish Line!