Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I am home, rested and clean. I am also one of the happiest guys on Earth. I set a goal in 2003 of doing everything I could to help the Susan G. Komen 3-Day be successful. At the time, I felt that my motorcycle safety skills were the best this I could offer. I raised money, awareness and spirits. I felt good about what I had contributed.

In 2004, I did that times four. I crewed four events, raised a ton of money and honored Sally's memory on the west coast. Still, I had a hole in my joy. I told many walkers that I knew how they felt when they talked about "blisters having blisters" and feet that hurt so much that they were afraid to take off their shoes and look at them. I really did feel for them, but could I really feel their pain? I had never walked 60 miles. I did a 16 mile training walk in San Diego that year to be with the walkers, but that was not the same. With my travel and work schedule, I convinced myself I couldn't train properly and that MotoCrew was the best I could offer.

Early in 2005, I decided to take some time off of work. I told my friends and family that, if I had time to train, I would walk an event. Did I really mean it? I don't know. I started training with my sister's team, the Pink Panters, and felt pretty good. I wasn't working, wasn't traveling much and finally realized that all of my criteria had been met. I had to walk. And I started training. Not too hard. Not as much as the training guide says, but some. I had never done a back-to-back double-digit walk. I lost my last three weeks of training to some sprained toes and a motorcycle breakdown in Las Vegas and realized that, after all my enthusiasm and "chatter" I was now a week away from Boston and under-trained. Damn. So much for planning.

I had butterflies in my stomach the day before the walk started. I wasn't sure I could keep my commitment to walking 60 miles. In the end, I made it because of the other walkers. No matter how badly I hurt, someone was in much worse shape than me and she was singing! A walker would hobble by me with the familiar "on your left" and I would look down and see blood on his socks and shins taped to reduce (not remove) the pain of shinsplints.

What I heard over and over again, though, was this... "My feet are killing me, but my sister went through months of chemo without complaining so this is nothing". I thought about Sally in the last several months when her feet were so swollen it hurt to get off the couch or out of bed, yet she walked with me around the lake because she knew that it was the only way to get better. I know she was hurting, but she didn't complain. I thought about her going months without being able to taste food at all, just eating by texture. "What would you like for dinner tonight? I want something wet, like noodles." Is Endurance really so bad tasting?

I made it with the help of friends, family and Sally's memory. I feel great about that. Now, as I head up to Seattle, then San Diego and Phoenix, I feel I really do know what it takes and how it feels to walk that far. I thank everyone who helped me feel this way. It is totally awesome!

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