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The Importance of Community

May 18, 2009

3day_ambassador_badgeIf you know me, you know how important community is to me. I firmly believe in the importance of belonging. One incredible part of the Breast Cancer 3-day is the deep community built in a few short days. But if you wait until the first day of your walk to start making new friends, you will have missed out on many opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and have a great time!

I+wear+Pink+DogThis past weekend in the midst of graduating, getting my wedding dress (6.75 weeks to go!), and visiting with friends and family, I got up early and went to the Frisco kick-off event for the Dallas/Ft. Worth 3-day. I made a few new friends, saw my sweet teammates, and walked 3 miles. I also got some awesome freebies in a New Balance goodie bag (shoe laces, a small sized Body Glide, a luggage tag, and a New Balance pin). New Balance is a national sponsor of the 3-day and was incredible on Saturday. I got two shirts for the price of one, and a 3rd shirt just for Courtney that says “Never underestimate the power of this woman”. For 3-day participants, New Balance gives 15% off anything in their store. At events like this one, they give 20% off. So…I also got a new pair of walking shoes. My first pair for training. And of course I got them in hot pink. đŸ™‚

Besides getting some awesome new things, I also was reminded how much I love my team and the community that events like this one create. All that is to say, if you are not walking on a team, find one.

Here are a couple suggestions on creating community while you are training.

  1. Meet new people by searching for training walks in your area. If you live near your 3-day city, you’ll have your choice of locations, times, and days. Try a new area every week. You’ll be surprised how well you can get to know someone in 3 miles! As your walk gets closer and training walks get longer, you’ll be thankful to spend the time with friendly faces.
  2. Plan fundraisers with friends, teammates, or people you meet at training walks. Our team has done a variety of fundraisers from sitting at Wal-Mart for a few hours on a Saturday to a full English tea for women in our community. Restaurants often will give a percentage of proceeds to your organization.
  3. Share your funds. Our team not only fundraises together, but we’re committed to helping everyone reach the minimum goal of $2,300. Once I’ve met my goal, I share everything above $2,300 with my teammates who are not quite there. This also means that you never quit fundraising. When I’m done with my $2,300, I start helping my teammates meet their goal.

And a few reasons why you should join a team and make new friends.

  1. Find more motivation to walk. Everyone walks for a reason and meeting new people means you get to hear why THEY are walking! This is more motivation to continue training and raising money!
  2. Have fun while walking. Walking 15 miles isn’t fun. Walking 15 miles alone is a HUGE drag. Walking 15 miles with new firends while laughing, crying and sharing lives is a great memory. You will have fun at the training walk, meeting, or fundraiser, but then you will have fun at the event because you’ve already made friends! Trust me, it is very fun seeing a Training Walk friend at the event!
  3. Have fun raising money. Sitting outside a store on a Saturday morning is a great way to make some bucks. However, how boring it would be to do alone! Just like training, fundraising is more fun (and easier!) with a friend or two.
  4. Remember that your teammates will be your neighbors at camp. Tent walls are VERY thin; surround yourself with awesome people! Because they will be so close, you can also coordinate packing efforts as the walk gets close.

If you are walking in the Dallas/Ft. Worth walk and don’t yet have a team, please join us on the Rack Pack! We are men and women from all around Dallas (and Philadelphia and New Orleans!). We are veteran walkers and newbies. We are young and young at heart. We are serious about finding a cure for breast cancer and we know how to have fun!

Have a great team? Share your expeirences! Have a question about the 3-day experience? Leave a comment. I’m always looking for new blog post ideas and would love to (try to) answer your questions!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2009 9:16 am

    You can also start forming your community online before the event. You can meet people and get great tips on fundraising, training, packing and everything else related to the Breast Cancer 3-Day on:
    * Facebook
    * Twitter
    * MySpace

    And don’t forget the message boards in your participant center!


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