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60 miles is FAR.

July 13, 2008
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This morning I went to my first “official” training walk for the Breast Cancer 3-day. The only other training walk that I attended was about a month ago and we went less than 4 miles. In my mind, training walks serve two purposes. The primary is to develop the team. Getting to know each other is very important. The secondary purpose is to train. This morning I accomplished both.

I arrived at a library in Plano right at 6am in time to stretch and begin the walk. There were about 25 of us and I quickly got to the front of the pack with the other fast walkers. I knew one of the women and knew of another one, but I was pretty well out of my comfort zone. We chatted and got to know each other. It was a gorgeous morning and we were walking on a fantastic trail through a Plano park. Just lovely. Eleven miles later, I feel like I have widened my circle of friends. As we stretched back at the library a little bit after 9am I expressed the overwhelming feelings of being a part of something bigger than me. It is wonderful to know that not only am I raising funds and awareness, but I’m also joining a community. You know how much I love community!

Also today I watched Lars and the Real Girl. It was excellent. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest that you do. It was a little slow starting… As much as I ADORE netflix, the movies I watch need to either have captions or suck me in from the first moment. Otherwise I end up doing housework around the apartment and missing the whole point. This might be the case with Lars and the Real Girl, actually… Well, it was a wonderful movie about authentic community. Real community is exists to be self-less and supportive. This is almost impossible. Doing something for the good of the individual in order to strengthen the community is against our self-centered human nature. Abbots do this in monastic communities.

Lars’ community, especially his doctor and family, did this for him. In order to make the community stronger, they were self-less and supportive of Lars. They often looked and felt silly. The scene that struck me more than any other was when the elderly ladies came over with casseroles to “sit” because it’s what you do when there is a tragedy. They just sat with Lars knitting while he had of the spread of food they had provided. All because his life-sized doll had suddenly gotten sick and was dying. The community could have easily dismissed Lars as crazy and locked him up, teased him behind his back, and ostracized his family. They did not. This is true, authentic community. Putting your own comforts second in order to benefit the whole.

I am working on widening my comfort zone. For a while, it was shrinking rapidly. I love being at home and could easily be a hermit. But I have come to realize that while that time is important for inner growth, relaxation, and peace, experiencing the world is ultimately what life is all about. I would miss out on so many experiences if I stayed in my comfort zone. Then I think about the incredible experiences I would have missed out on had I stayed in my comfort zone. I am thankful for the push from God and friends to stretch and reach beyond ordinary comfort. I am excited about the adventures that are coming up, but sometimes get overwhelmed and anxious. This is a topic for another day.

I leave you tonight with a story of a friend on the 3-day team. His name is Russel and he has two youth-aged sons and an amazing wife. Russell is not only one of the few men on our team, but he is also actively battling cancer. This morning I chatted with him about how he was doing. He said he had a tough week but was doing well this morning. I told him that he was an inspiration to me for his strength and perseverance. He shrugged and said he didn’t have a choice. I smiled. He doesn’t have a choice about cancer. He has cancer. He has an amazing family encouraging him to fight as hard as he can. But he does have a choice about getting out of bed on a Saturday morning to walk at 6am with a bunch of crazy women! He has every excuse, almost all of them completely valid, for sleeping in and taking it easy. But he doesn’t. He walks because he can. And so do I.

 

My Breast Cancer 3-day Page

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2008 12:48 am

    Wow. Russell is an inspiration for anyone. I am amazed.

  2. July 31, 2008 11:12 am

    Best of luck with your training and fundraising!

    We’d like to invite you to join the official Breast Cancer 3-Day Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/the3day2008 Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Breast-Cancer-3-Day/19213555391 and/or MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/officialbreastcancer3day and share your pre-event and on-event photos and stories.

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