Monday, November 12, 2012

My Weekend of Pink, Boobies, Tents & Tears

A week ago yesterday, I walked my final mile out of 60 miles into Fair Park with 1600 other walkers. My niece on one side, my friend on the other. Behind me and in front of me were the Youth Corps, survivors, crew, and fellow walkers. On stage was one inspiring and beautiful lady.

Let me back up to 8 weeks ago.

 "Aunt Kandi, I want to do the 3-Day this year. Do you want to do it with me?"

My gorgeous niece, Allison, just became of age to do the 3-Day, and I could not say no. She had come to support me in the past when I walked, she was just a little girl then. Time flies.

Ok, we had 7 weeks to raise the MINIMUM of $2300. Within a week, Allison had over $500. She had local people supporting her, teachers, friends, family, etc. Holy cow was I proud. It was also time to step up my game. Hehe!

Time to start some fundraisers. One was an online auction, where so many friends offered services and gifts....I am still blown away at the generosity of the people in my life. The other was a fun ice-cream fundraiser at a Denton favorite...Beth Marie's.   

 A couple weeks before the 3 Day, we still had a long ways to go. So did my friend, Ryan, who had asked if he could walk with us this year. That rockstar was on his 5th 3-Day and raised his money in two weeks. He also donated to my walk to get me to my goal. Love that man.

A few days before the 3-Day, Allison and I had not only hit our goal, but surpassed it thanks to the giving nature of friends and family.

In 7 weeks, my almost 16 year old niece and myself raised OVER $5510 for The Cure.

At 5am on November 2nd, we loaded our stuff in my car, gathered the kids in their jammies, and my husband drove Allison and I to Opening Ceremonies. There we were greeted with the crew's smiling faces (who had to be there an hour earlier than the walkers!). I kissed my family bye and we got our bags loaded. I went to hug my friends who are crew members (more on them later) and met my brother who was there to support his baby sister (me) and his gorgeous daughter (Allison). We found Ryan (it wasn't hard finding a 6'2" tall man with pink hair and a tutu!) and prepared for the emotional opening ceremony that gets us every time.
Allison and I...with our last minute mustache shirts! 
 My BFF/Awesome Crew
 The 3 Amigos
 So many cameras!!
 Ready to get this party started!
 My BFF's oldest daughter bought this for me, he went everywhere I went!
After an amazing opening ceremony and some stretching, it was time to begin our first 20 miles. Seriously, within 10 minutes of walking I see a familiar face.....the BEST way to begin a journey. She made my day!
The fire department was out cheering on the walkers!
 Another familiar face all decked out in pink! I walked with her mom in the past!

 My sweet friend who was my tent mate 2 years ago. I LOVE this woman. She is amazing. I didn't want to leave her!

Day one was complete....we were cheered on by friends and family. We had the crew there cheering us on at the final mile. I was also surprised with my tent already up with our bags inside. My little angel BFF hooked us up. Swoon. She even left me a sussy (cute hat that you will see in day 2 and 3 pics). It was time to eat, cheer on the last walker of the day, get our tent decorated, and take a shower (showers are in semi trucks).

The final walker of the day raising the flag. We all stand around and cheer them on. The 20 mile journey is a tough one, and everyone there has their own battle...I love how the fighter who is the last walker is applauded for their inner fight. XO 
Our little tent
That night Ryan went home, but he did have his partner bring me a bottle of wine. Hehe! So before lights out on Friday night, Evea and I enjoyed a small cup of wine before bed. We loved our late night tent talks. Allison learned to love Evea as everyone else does.
After a rough night's sleep, we were up early and fed by 7am and were in line waiting for the 2nd day's path to open up!
You see that Ryan has less hair today than he did on day one. LOVE it.

 In 4 years I have never carried a flag....and look who got one! Go Allison!
 These sweet supporters found a spot at the cheering station near my brother. This sweet family supports my walk in so many ways. :D
 They had beer....they became my friend. ;-)
 Allison's fave cheerleaders. They were AWESOME!!
Ok, here is a little story about Day too. It was a rough one. Allison's knee began hurting pretty badly. So we sent Ryan on his way going at the pace that worked for him. Allison and I slowed down quite a bit. My husband carried us on to the next pit stop so she could have her knee looked at...but they really didn't know what to do. During this time I was getting texts from my friends who were on crew. They have to be one of my favorite couples ever, and completely had our back that weekend. I told Allison that she would not be failing if she could not walk the last couple of miles (this was a 23 mile day). So I text Boone, our angel in a cowboy hat and boots. He dropped what he was doing and came and found us. We piled in his truck along with his buddy and beautiful daughter and took us to camp. Boone, his wife Rebecca, and several other supporters were cheering on the walkers as they walked into camp. I got a text from Boone that said "I kid you not, a  ladybug just landed on me". He knows that my mom loved ladybugs and she comes back to visit in the form of a ladybug. My mom was telling him thank you for taking care of her daughter and granddaughter. I know it. Good Stuff!
Boone dancing with their friend...always a party!
 And my fave couple....
We went on to eat, take Allison to the medical tent to be looked at by a chiropractor, and begin packing up for our final night. We did enjoy some entertainment by the Youth Corps. They had me rolling!

Trying to organize in a 7X7 tent is fun.
 Crazy Youth Corps!
 What most spent at least an hour doing a day. I was there at 3am on Sunday trying to get mine and Allison's phones charged!
We were up on Sunday at 4:30am. We packed our bags, I took them to the trucks (Allison could barely walk at this point, she was in pain), and we took down our tent. She waited to see her chiropractor that morning to see if she was still able to walk, Ryan showed up with no hair, and we waited in line to get on a bus to be taken to our route opening (since it would have been wayyyy more than 20 miles from camp to Fair Park). There we would meet my brother and sister-in-law who would closely monitor and make sure she did not over do it.
 Allison's tanlines!
 Some very pretty views
 Every year I do the 3Day, we count lion statues. Something that John and I started on our first year! Something silly. But this year, Ryan kicked it up a notch. Made the final 20 miles pretty dang fun!

 Allison was a rockstar!

 Kids with "Aunt" Evea one mile from closing ceremonies

 Love these people

 My big bro!
 Pink Tequila Shots!
More on our final day tomorrow. XOXO

Click here to help in our fundraising for the 2013 3-Day!

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