When you read this, I will have just finished the 2013 Avon Breast Cancer Walk. Five months ago I had no idea what that was.
It started when my sister-in-law, Susan, came to me and said, “Do you want to do this with me?” I wanted to support her in her inner prompting. After all, she’d been my first client as a health coach. I wanted to back her in her healthy endeavor.
We checked various cities from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, and eventually landed on the last weekend in September in San Francisco. I made sure my youngest son was okay with celebrating his birthday the weekend before his late September birthday and he was. We inked it.
Next, I discovered, I’d need an “orientation” call. What? To walk? I had no idea what was coming. I scheduled my call and learned a few things that made me sorry I’d agreed.
- I would be walking a marathon on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.
- I would need to raise 1,800.00.
- I would need to either stay in a tent or in a hotel/park in San Fran, never a cheap way to go.
- I would need to train to do this.
- I would need to accomplish this all in about 4 or 5 months.
Out of all these items, the fundraising gave me the most heebeegeebees. I hate asking people for money for anything, even great causes. What if they said no? What if they went running for the hills every time they saw me? What if–what if?
I remember having a long talk with my walking coach, Shannon, about this. We brainstormed ideas. We talked about what other people did. She encouraged me to come up with what felt right for me.
When I told Susan I was feeling “iffy” about this portion she said, “You’re not worried about that are you? You shouldn’t be. You’re not going to have any problem.”
Her words stuck. I thought about what a whiner I was being in my thoughts. I thought about how hard it is to go through something like breast cancer. If they can go through all that involves, by God, the least I can do is face my own fears.
“Forget $1800 each,” I told Susan. “Let’s run into the fire and set $5,000 as our goal. Imagine how many people we can help with $5,000!”
Along the way I tried to change that. Lower it. Susan wouldn’t let me. She’s like a Pit Bull that just won’t let go. It takes a Pit Bull to deal with cancer, I thought. If they can do it, we can do it.
I learned about generosity. I learned people want to help and I am blessed to be surrounded by philanthropic friends. I became more generous in the process. I could feel myself growing, a sunflower nurtured by the light around me.
Four days before the Walk, we passed our $5,000 goal.
All these angels taught me people really want to help. I wrote their names on my shirts so I could take them with me all the way along. They had already partnered with me on this journey. I wanted to honor that.
Planning for this walk–what to wear, what to bring, how to organize extra socks, etc.–has taken up mental space. I’m intimately familiar with the best Thylos on the market at this point. I suddenly own A LOT of pink things. Cancer takes up a lot of mental space. Suck it up already.
Before I even step foot on the streets of San Francisco (when it’s dark and cold at 5:30 a.m.), this experience has already taught me so much. I never understood before now why people do these things, but now it’s so clear. If our time here on earth is to develop compassion and understanding for others, what better way to stare our connection in the face, and be grateful we are one.
So super proud to be your friend! xxxxx
Thank you, Lois! It was quite an experience! xoxo
Wow, congratulation Jamie! This is an amazing feat, and what a lot of money raised. Way to go. You are wonderfully inspiring. Thank you!! Big happy hugs, Gina xo
Thanks, Gina! For all of that. You are wonderfully inspiring, too:) xo
This is so like you to grab a challenge, face it head on and make it a positive. How wonderful for all those lives you touch(ed)
What a nice thing to say. You’re such a great friend. Kiss, kiss all over your face!:)