Day 30: You, then
Many moons ago, I thought it would be cool to walk 60 miles in three days. So I did. Twice.
I also decided to do this by myself, in Colorado. I trained and trained and raised money. Back then, it was called the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day. It was a crazy undertaking.
It’s not actually 20 miles a day. The first day and the last day were shorter because of opening/closing ceremonies. So that left a r-e-a-l-l-y long middle day. Really long like 28 miles.
We slept in mobile tent cities. We showered in semi trucks and drank obscene amounts of Gatorade. It was so hot, the blacktop melted the soles of my shoes.
The first time, I did it by myself. And on the very first day, I met another Christine. To this day, she is one of the strongest people I know. I adore her.
This photo was taken at the end of a very long day two. We discovered that it hurt less to skip. So the joy you see on our faces is authentic, because the skipping eased the agony we were feeling just a tiny bit.
The second time, I convinced a friend to come along. They changed the route up, so there was less blacktop. And it helped to have friends there. I also spent a lot of time in physical therapy before and after the walk. But my knees never recovered.
We were walking through a residential area and people had posted signs along the way. These are the things I remember. The signs. The little boy handing out blueberries. The family dressed entirely in pink, playing kazoos. The old man with a sign on a fishing pole that just said “thank you.” Tears and laughter and kiddie pools full of ice for our aching feet.
I look back now and I marvel at myself. I can’t believe I did that. I did that. I walked 60 miles in three days. Not once, but twice.
Current me wells up a little bit when she looks at these photos of younger me. I’m so proud of her. I know how much she hurts and how hard it is. But she smiles and high-fives people and hugs every survivor she sees.
To this day, those walks remain two of my proudest accomplishments.