Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Psyching Myself Up.

Here are two of my personal coaches for last year's 3 Day Walk: my son James, and his girlfriend and my friend, Lauren. When I begin to walk this year, they will each be graduate students on the East Coast. James will be at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh, and Lauren at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Last year, they flew back from Paris the morning I began the walk. On the second day, James came for lunch with all the walkers. If you read what he posted to my blog after that lunch, you will see why I will miss his clear eye in residence this year. And why I am so very proud of him -- he gets it.

"Watching the long, snake-like procession of pink-clad warriors walk along the strip mall lined streets of Des Moines, WA, I could not help but be amazed by what Annie, her team, and all of the participants and volunteers are doing. Essentially, a large group of people (mostly women!) have devoted themselves to an idea, one that does not make claims for an ultimate truth or represent a political end but rather one that fully asserts the need to care for one another. Many people my age are quite cynical -- I at times certainly am -- yet watching this spectacle, I came to realize that many of the people throwing their legs forward, foot after foot, enduring tremendous pain, walk in the memory of lost friends and family, and quite a few themselves are survivors. They walk not only for themselves and their immediate circle, but for all threatened by a horrible disease, and no one could be a cynic in the face of such a diverse group of motivated and positive humans. This is the sort of activism and thinking we speak of in sad remembrance when talking about the civil rights movement (one that Annie was a part of), or the sort of energy we dream about when we talk about changing our future as a community or a country. What Annie and all involved in this walk are doing shows that the times aren't so dark as they are serious. Today after eating lunch with my mother, father and Mary Gardner, I drove back along I-5 with a giant smile on my face and felt so so proud of my mother and honored to have sat alongside all of those who walked today."

We are about nine weeks out from the event now. Amy is working with me twice a week in the gym. I got in a 3 mile walk along the waterfront today, like Mary G. and Lisa and I did last year on lunch hours -- and it felt both familiar and possible. I have tried to persuade those two to be my "stretchers" for the walk this year (like Daria Torres has stretchers before she hits the pool), but so far no luck.

No comments: