Thursday, August 28, 2008

March on Washington II

Even if history were not being made tonight in Denver, I would spend this early hour remembering the March on Washington which took place 45 years ago today. I was 19 years old and I was part of history.

A friend from those days and the March on Washington in particular -- Georgia Congressman John Lewis -- is a key speaker at the Democratic convention before Barack Obama accepts the nomination of his party and begins the next March on Washington.

45 years later, I am also part of another splendid movement which culminates in a few weeks in a sixty mile walk by several thousand people here in Seattle. Our goal is nothing less than the eradication of cancer in my lifetime.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt." -- Chinese proverb

Good long walk yesterday, some blistering, another walk this morning shorter by two miles. If it's not one part of my body arguing with me, it's another. What was a small blister that I'd padded up yesterday and today is now one with both a top and bottom side and a lot of fluid. So much for my notion to do another walk this evening.

How we think does affect what we can do. But sometimes our body rules.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"A problem is a chance for you to do your best." -- Duke Ellington

Isn't that a great quote? From the Duke himself....

Less than a month now until we walk. When I add Colleen's name to my hat, I will add that of another colleague, Brian, who faces surgery then more treatment next week. Like Tracy, he has small children. It just does not seem right.

Last year, Seattle raised more than six million dollars for research and early screening. Even in a tough year, I hope folks will open their pockets so that scientists have a chance to do their best against the frightening problem we call cancer.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good judgment

It's been very hot and muggy here. I did six miles yesterday morning but ended up wheezing, even with my inhaler. I continued to have problems yesterday, a result of all the air pollution hanging over Seattle right now.

I could have walked this morning, especially since the blister is down. But I'm looking ahead to tomorrow, and need to be breathing better, not worse. So today I'm taking it easy, content to be on the inside looking out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In the groove

I've been getting up early to beat the heat and zipping around Green Lake, with Springsteen in my ear. Have walked at noon several times this week, yesterday with Tracy, who has finished round two of chemo and goes back in next week for round three. I really appreciate her support for my training. We've got a couple more noontime walks scheduled. She will just have finished her last round of chemo as we do the actual 3 Day Walk.

Eight weeks with no falls. Shoes are working great. Nothing except a blister on top of the bunion callus right now, which is to be expected. I am in the groove.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Offsite last week at company meetings, I ran into a lawyer I had not seen in some time. "Colleen," I said, "I love your hair!"

She said: "I decided not to color it anymore and to leave it short since I'm just now finishing radiation. I was diagnosed last year with Stage 3 breast cancer, and have already gone through chemo."

I tried to explain this to the woman who runs the embroidery business at Northgate, where I take my hat to have names added. Last time I was there she said, "okay, that's it. There is no more room for names on this hat." I said, "If you can guarantee me that I will not learn of anyone else who is a cancer survivor before I do the walk, then I agree. "

I'll be taking my hat out this weekend to have Colleen's name added to the fourteen already there.

From work: Julie, Denise, Tracy, Colleen, Cindy, Lisa.

Friends: Jobeth, Diane, Anne, Judy, Sabine, my sister Mary.

From afar: Elizabeth Edwards, jazz composer/musician Andrew, D'Angelo, and Senator Ted Kennedy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Well, the world is a brighter place today! Dr. Cameron lasered a hole through a membrane in my right eye that has grown since cataract surgery two years ago. I am delighted that this is all done now, weeks before the walk, because it means I can see more clearly...and because it eliminates foggy vision as a hurdle.

I veer back and forth between being content that I will do the best job I can of walking the event and being concerned about the complexity of the course. I know this is but one year out of many in which I will walk. I know that I am doing all I can to prepare, given the year I am having. But it's tough to stay focused on training when there are so many distractors. I am glad to have this one removed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Silver Lake

We drove north to Silver Lake for a barbeque picnic this afternoon with the Kindred Spirits team and family members. It was windy and started to rain eventually, but Penny (center, pink top and pajama bottoms) was able to lift our spirits, as usual.

The team had done a 16 mile walk this morning.

Leroy joined me at the picnic, and was able to use all his pyrotechnic skills to get the fire going and hot enough in the midst of big drops of rain. It sounds like the first two days of the walk will come in around 22 miles each (with hills) and the third day around 16 miles. I'm staying in the hotel with the team the night before we start to walk. Leroy will drive me to and from after that, so I can tend my feet here at home and sleep in my own bed. I'm carrying one of the flags for both opening and closing ceremonies -- hoping not to trip and impale myself (or someone else) in the midst of such pomp and circumstance.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Born to walk.

I got up early to do a quick four miles at Green Lake, made easier by the new tunes on my MP3. I've now got Springsteen and E Street and Sting and The Police loaded... along with Sousa marches and The Royal British Grenadiers... more zip to the step now. Penny said once that the body throws up all its tricks in the first few miles, as if to encourage you to stop...and that was certainly the case this morning!

Then you settle in to a comfortable rhythm, for me when the music and the strides are in synch: Born to Walk.

I did however lock up my right glut, which I am sure Amy my trainer will unlock tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Go Kindred Spirits!

About 40 members of the Kindred Spirits team are on their way to Whidbey Island, for a weekend of camping and walking, designed to get them ready for the big walk in September. The walkers, who include inspirational folks like Ginny, Tath, and Penny, are accompanied by a KS crew -- including my close friend Jenny, whose hip injury won't allow her to walk. I know she's hoping to walk a bit with the team this weekend as well as cheer them on. Another trouper on our team, Dennis, is sidelined with a foot that needs surgery. He's on a bicycle, cheering everyone on during our training walks....though I'm not sure if he can ride that bike where they are on Whidbey.

I am so glad that the rain which lasted through the night appears to have made way for the sun. It's a great metaphor for our Seattle spirits as well.