Reflection on the BEST moment in 2012 – Michigan 3-Day Kids Crew

I’m sitting here at my desk working on my 2012 reflections and came across the following questions:

Describe your favorite day, moment or occasion of 2012 in words & pictures.

The answer came to me IMMEDIATELY and rather than write it on a paper you’ll never see, I wanted to share it with you.

This year I participated in the Susan G Komen 3-Day 60 Mile walk. I was a little nervous leading up to the date – I mean, 60 miles is a lot!!! After the car accident last year I had been taking it easy and slowly building my strength back up through physical therapy sessions. This walk would be my first big attempt at something even remotely athletic and I prayed non-stop that my back and neck wouldn’t give me any pain. Overall, it wasn’t too bad! I’m sure some of that was probably attributed to my numb feet and aching legs taking most of my attention, but we did it!!!

Despite 3 days of amazing people, events and scenic routes through suburban Detroit, there is a single moment that defines the whole weekend for me. I get chills just thinking of it. Where do I start???
For those who have never participated in the 3-Day walk, its a grueling 3 days of approx 20 miles of walking a day. 22-18-20 were the numbers we were given as daily mileage, but most of us agreed that these were “Komen miles” and the actual routes were each a couple of miles longer! So on day 1 – the longest of the days – I was sore, aching and I don’t even know how my feet kept going, but they did.
As we approached the final 1/2 mile I thought of the day’s events. The supporters on the street, the emergency vans and EMTs who were cheering us along, and the 3-Day Kid’s Crew – a father driving around his 2 young daughters in a mini van blaring fun party music, dancing and giving us constant encouragement during the first half of the day… then they sorta disappeared.
 
Well, lo and behold, in that last 1/2 mile I look at the sidewalk, only to see these young girls used their chalk and wrote every other square, the story of their mom’s best friend “Natalie” – a young woman who had died of breast cancer – and their mom, who made it her mission to help find a cure. As I walked, face to the ground, eagerly awaiting each word, I got choked up. These young girls, surely no older than 11 years old, had such an awareness of the disease, the effects and the impact of the 3-Day event. They thanked us for our efforts and called us their role models for fighting this disease in hopes that there will be a cure when children like them become adults.
In that reality-check moment, only minutes after I questioned why I was putting my body through this, there was no amount of pain that could keep me from finishing Days 2 and 3, no matter how tough it got. I wiped my tears, put on my smile, and gave high fives to those 2 little girls, who were dancing and passing out candy as I turned the corner into the Day 1 finish line! Talk about inspiration!
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