Wednesday, May 23, 2007
"Waiting, waiting, waiting (is it breakfast time yet?)"
"A rare moment when Zoe isn't bugging me."
Zoe: "Abby, if YOU'RE here at the window, then I need to be here too!"
"Really, my intentions are always pure...EVIL."
Monday, May 14, 2007
Woke up at 5, picked Rich up by 6:30 and off we went. We arrived as early as they suggested to avoid congestion and parked with no problem. The walk to the gathering area had to have been over a mile itself. By the time we walked into the staging area, I was ready to leave and go back to bed! It was a hazy and cool morning which was good. We had diligently put on sunscreen but I barely needed my sunglasses.
The good thing about arriving early is we didn't get stuck in traffic. The bad thing about arriving early is you have to wait a bloody long time for everything to begin. There were people everywhere! We got our bags of goodies (t-shirt, giveaways from the sponsors etc.), and then just sat around waiting. I have to say that the signage was poor, it was hard to know where to go. But in the end we sat and waited for the tidal wave of people to finally go in one certain direction so we would know where the start was (otherwise, there was no indication!).
Rich and I hoped to get the walk done quickly. We were enjoying ourselves but I think we looking forward to that finish line, finding our car and eating breakfast (okay, that was me, he doesn't really do breakfast). We snaked our way through the big teams who looked like they would like to stay all day and got close to the start. The runners went first. We wondered if we could've passed for runners. After all, they got to go first and it's not like anyone is there to force you to run. I figured though, that the runners hadn't already picked up their t-shirt and goody bags so the fact that we had ours would be a clear indication we were just trying to jump in front of the walkers.
There were featured guests (Sheryl Crow, Mandy Moore...) and some other MCs that must've been DJs. Eventually there was a countdown and off we went. We walked ages before we came across the first digital banner displaying 1 mile. We were sure we were at least 3/4 done by then, so it was a bit of a shock. I don't know why it was shocking, we could barely get a brisk walk going with all people. Most walkers had flyers pinned to their backs of who they were walking in support of and in some cases more poignantly, in memory of. Rich and I commented how thankful we are that we aren't walking in "memory" of our mothers; that we still enjoy close relationships with our mothers who are healthy.
As we neared the end and saw the coliseum, drummers greeted us (they were cool!). We walked into the coliseum where we got our own medals and goody bags (no need for breakfast it turns out). Combined, Rich and I raised $2050 for Women's Cancer issues. He also kept his part of our bet that whoever raised the lesser amount would treat the other to dinner. So dinner was on him!
(At mile 3 - clearly Rich was getting giddy towards the end)
I'm really glad we did it and I thank Rich for getting the ball rolling; his decision to do it motivated me to do it. It was really special walking together and sharing the experience. Finally, it made me more appreciative of the good health of my mother, sister and all the other important women in my life. There were a lot of people out there walking "in memory of..." which really brought home how important this was to so many.
Thanks to all of you who gave your support, both with contributions and with encouragement and cheers!
(Clearly, I was euphoric to have received my very own medal!)