Tuesday, October 25, 2011
WE DID IT!
2900 walkers, 6.5 Million dollars raised....(JUST IN ATLANTA!!!!!)
and HOPEFULLY a cure to be found for Breast Cancer in MY lifetime...
It was ANOTHER incredible 3 Day experience.
Some of the MEMORABLE MOMENTS in those three days...(in no specific order)...
~Crossing the finish line after 60 miles (of mostly hills!)
~ Crossing the finish line with our ENTIRE team...even though we weren't walking together much during the 3 days (everyone pretty much had a partner - same stride/same pace...)
~Sleeping w/ Angie (we had our own beds...) :o)
~Spending three days with good friends of Melissa's...Ang-best friend from high school, Annie, Roommate from OU, and Julie, walked with me Melissa and her sister Shannon (rugby friend of Forts from OU too!) in 2007.
~Walking with one of my best friends from high school-for the SECOND time (Sharon)
~Emily-one of our teammates, a YaYa AND high school friend of mine! - walking after a stress fracture on her foot a couple of months ago AND a double MASTECTOMY a couple of months ago WAY TO GO EMILY!!!!
~Teammate Tina - continuing to walk even though she had HUGE blisters on BOTH heels and some other weird things going on with her feet...WAY TO GO TINA!!!
~Having an AWESOME Team Sign - thanks to teammate Mindy...THANKS Mindy!
~Getting mail....LOTS of mail! From friends, family, one of my teachers at school and ALL of her kindergartners, Forts' friends (with pictures of Fort from friend Stacy...THAT was emotional...pictures with expressions I had forgotten...)
THANK YOU SO MUCH. They got me through DAY 2 AND Day 3!!!!
~Meeting a CREW member who went to OU (on the last day in Turner Field. When I did the walk with Melissa, she made up a Scavenger Hunt, and one of the things we were looking for was an OU Alumni! I found one again Fort!)
~BUTTERFLIES! - at the finish line on DAY 2, Finish Line on DAY 3 and behind the stage before Closing Ceremony
~Friends there to support you (from DAYTON!!!) Cheryl(Angie's mom)and her friend Terry, Ralph, Karyn & Kylie (Sharon's family)and Larry & Deb (my friends from Dayton)
THANKS for being there!!!!
~Got busted on my cell phone (whoops...major no no) Didn't do it a second time...
~Wheelchairs - at least two of them. Being pushed for 60 miles. Occasionally people who were cheering us on would volunteer to push up a hill...incredible
~People walking in boots (not winter...stress fracture boots)
~Pregnant- VERY pregnant women - WALKING
~Beer stop - DAY 3
~Waiting in line for the shower with only 2 people ahead of me!
~450 CREW MEMBERS keeping us going, feeding us, generally keeping us HAPPY~!
~Atlanta Police Dept....keeping us safe!
~SOUTHERN Hospitality at it's BEST...fresh bread and FREE coffee (THANKS 3 DAY Coffee Kids!), LOTS of candy, gum, cheering - mostly Atlanta residents (I'm guessing!)
~GREAT BUTTONS.... LIMPING is STILL WALKING
I Thought you said 3 Miles in 60 Days
Cancer can Kiss my TIRED ASS
~Inspiring signs - Pain is weakness leaving your body
~ Keeping up with a 29 year old for 60 miles (YEP...that was ME. The 29 year old was Julie~ Thanks for being my walking partner for 3 days Julie~!
I compare this walk to giving birth. There is definitely PAIN, but you forget the pain after you cross the finish line. I heard some very young girls saying "ONE and DONE...I'm going to be driving a car next year, beeping the horn and cheering y'all on"...
Yeah. That's what I said after 2007. It's just something that you can't do just once. For me, every two years.
Looking forward to 2013 ALREADY....
Getting ready to leave lunch on Day 2, this guy comes up to me and says "I met you two years ago - LOOK! I still have my FORT bracelet! I wear it all the time!" He also had her card in his lanyard (with her picture showing!!!!)...I am SO glad you stopped me...THANKS CHRIS!!!
I'm walking behind this person who has a FORT button on her backpack. Got close enough to take a picture, then I tapped her on the shoulder and asked "Did I give you that FORT button?" She turned around and looked at me and said "YES. Two years ago!!!!"
Elizabeth, Pam, Erin
I was standing in a pit stop when I heard "Pam?"...it was two of my tent city neighbors from 2009!!!! Becky & Bobbie...still wearing their FORT bracelets!!!!
Thanks for stopping me...it was GREAT to see you!
OUR 3 DAY JOURNEY begins....THURSDAY, October 20
TEAM B POSITIVE arrives in Atlanta. Only 3 on our team have walked this before (Pam, Sharon & Julie)...the rest have NO IDEA what they have gotten into...Thanks John & Wendy for transporting us from the airport to the hotel...and THANKS for being patient with us (none of us were very familiar with the Atlanta airport. We walked from our gate to the baggage area...about a mile. We decided that this was part of our training...NOT stupidity...)
Tina,Sharon, Annie, Angie, Terri, Mindy, Emily & Pam (Julie met us at the Opening Ceremony)
Getting ready for Opening Ceremony...remembering MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER...
Right after Opening Ceremony, ready to get started on our journey...what a great way to start - in front of STONE MOUNTAIN!!!!
Troops joining us in the Opening Ceremonies AND the walk around STONE MOUNTAIN...
ALL with FORT bracelets AND cards!
Annie, Ang...and Fort? (trying to get Annie to say something???)
Rules for pit stops...HYDRATE, URINATE, STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH!
THESE shoes, on THOSE feet, will walk 540 miles in 3 days...AMAZING.
YAY!!!! We finished the first 20!!!!
Stopping in the Remembrance Tent to see Fort after finishing the first day...
Inside the Remembrance Tent. I stopped by every morning to see her, and every night to kiss her goodnight...
Everyone decorated their tents (this was a necessity so you could FIND your tent!)...Ang came up with our theme...our tent was The FORTress. We put about 10 pictures of Melissa on our tent. PERFECT. We woke up in the mornings to her smiling face (or sticking out her tongue at us!). I loved it.
3 DAY "Mall" (included shopping, a post office, lounge and foot massages!)
After getting through DAY 1 with no problems,we were excited to get started on DAY 2.
Got up around 6:30, to breakfast around 7 and in line with 2900 others to get out the door. ANOTHER beautiful day....
If you have to sit down and take a break (or a rock out of your shoe), it might as well be at a scenic location so you can get a picture...
...and DANCING? after walking 10 miles????? Are you KIDDING me??? No. And yes, that is a guy (walker) out there dancing. I saw maybe 20-25 guys walking. And yes, that is OUR Julie out there dancing too (in the orange)...she was the youngest in our group, so she HAD to.
I'm not sure how safe this was...but we HAD to have a place to charge our STUFF. You wouldn't want 2900 unhappy women on your hands...
Julie & Annie...sleeping...or TRYING to sleep. Lights didn't go out until 9, and this night, they had a DANCE PARTY in the DINING room. Not for us.
Getting ready for bed (I am IN bed!)
I asked for some motivating mail...WOW!~ did I get some!!!!! THANKS!!!!!
Last day fun at breakfast...Ang, Pam, Julie (I LOVE that Melissa is in the picture with us too!)
Taking a well deserved beer break on DAY 3. Julie is from Atlanta, so she knew a great place on the route - nice patio here too. NEIGHBORS. Check out the orb over Julie...did Fort decide to join us for a beer?
CHEERS TO FORT!
Annie & Julie having a Buttery Nipple in honor of FORT (her favorite shot)...how appropriate...
Didn't get many pictures here. My camera battery died about 3 miles before the finish line :o( Passed FORT STREET about 2 miles before the finish - I missed it somehow, but Ang & Annie got a picture...she was with us at the end!
Last day in Atlanta...Julie ended up getting the day off, so she took us to lunch (a great place in Midtown - Joe's on Juniper. Great service - great food, great atmosphere. Nice patio too on a BEAUTIFUL last day. My new favorite appetizer - sweet potato tater tots with marshmallow dip...wonder where you can get THAT in Dayton? THANKS JULIE!
So there you go. That wasn't so painful, was it????
Are YOU thinking about going in 2013?
I hope so.
It is an experience of a lifetime.
I hope you think about it...
Posted by Fort