Friday, May 8, 2009

Make that Change

I'm Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

Isn't it sad that Michael Jackson's legacy is so tarnished that you have to wonder if he was talking about self-improvement or plastic surgery in his song Man in the Mirror? Let's all just pretend he never had the big helping of crazy so we can still love his music. Can we agree on this? Good. Let's move on.

It should come as no surprise that DC is not wanting for ide
alistic people looking to make the world a better place. Charities, volunteerism, fundraising, and awareness campaigns are a huge part of the fabric of this city. But aside from all the obvious reasons to donate your time and energy, this is a great way to connect with the community, meet new friends, and spend quality time as a couple.

For the second year in a row, J and I participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This involves us raising a minimum of $1800 each and walking 39.3 miles over two days (a marathon the first day and a half marathon the second day, while camping in between). Obviously you can't just wake up and walk 26+ miles in a day without a little bit of training. Consequently, the months ahead are usually spent wandering the city for hours, which allows us to explore new neighborhoods and forces us to take a timeout from our busy lives. The event itself is a truly inspirational experience that leaves us with a whole lot more than sore feet. Hearing the stories of survival and loss, coupled with the commitment and dedication of thousands of (mostly) pink-clad women is something neither of us will soon forget.

Maybe breast cancer isn't your cause but I defy you to say that there isn't an opportunity out there that doesn't resonate with you. So go out and change the world... make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race...

If you're interested in joining us and thousands of others in the fight against breast cancer, here's a few things you should know:
  • The first day is much harder than the second. The amount of recovery overnight is surprising. However, the body just isn't built to comfortably walk for 10 hours straight on that first day.
  • Spend $30 and get a inflatable bed from Target. I guarantee you won't regret it.
  • Be prepared. Break in your walking shoes by training early and often, and take care of your feet.
  • You will find that each mile or two there is food and water. Take advantage of both and don't be surprised if you actually gain weight over the weekend. Never were cookies so guilt free... (You didn't think we'd write a post that didn't mention the food did you?)
39.3 miles takes many forms. Sometimes the conditions are perfect (cool and dry) and you're surrounded by thousands of your closest friends.

Sometimes the conditions are less than perfect and you wonder where everyone went. This last time, that meant 13.1 miles of cold and rain, but it was for a good cause, right?

Either way, you'll find supporters everywhere, whether they come in the form of cute little kids with borderline appropriate boob jokes...

or corporate sponsored support with an international flavor.

Regardless, never will you see a more welcome sight than that of the "Wellness Village."

Tired Feet, Full Heart

Three days after our second Avon Walk, my muscle soreness was fading but the memories of the inspirational weekend continue to stick with me. My family has been hit hard by breast cancer and as a result, I have a personal attachment to this cause. B has been incredibly supportive of my desire to do all we can to fight this awful disease and has enthusiastically walked by my side every step of the way.

If you need inspiration to get involved, I encourage you to read two very touching blogs (you're going to need a box of tissues!). The first is the blog of my cousin Amy who lost her battle with breast cancer this year. The second is the blog of an Avon Walker who walks each year for his wife who passed away in 2007.

No matter whether you sport a pink ribbon, a red ribbon, a yellow bracelet, or a rainbow pin, there are so many causes out there that need your support. Get out there!

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