I waited a little while to write this. With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to share my 3-Day thanks for this past year, I have a lot. Hopefully I have spent enough time thinking this over that I didn’t really miss anyone, but if I did then I sincerely apologize. Without further delay, here is what I am thankful for with the 2009 3-Day.
We had three people in our team this year and that means that I can mention everyone individually!
I’m thankful for Julie Kauffman. With the pain that her foot was in and the amount of grief I gave her about staying hydrated last year I wasn’t sure whether or not she would consider walking with me again this year. She did and it was great fun to have her around. It’s always nice to have someone on the walk that can make you laugh, especially when she’s not trying to. Thanks to Julie, I will always remember that ‘It smells like butter’.
I’m thankful for Ryan Sparks. I didn’t know much about Ryan before we got on the walk. We had met a couple of times and he seemed nice. When we got on the walk I learned a lot more about him. I learned about how strong and determined (or maybe it’s stubborn!) he was to not give up and to keep on walking. He walked 40 miles with a foot that had stress fractures. If you think walking 60 miles is tough, try it while you’re in constant pain!
I don’t think you can truly realize how much time this event can take you away from your family with training walks and fund raising events until you are done and they say, “We’re glad to have you back!” I am so thankful for my wife and two sons for having patience with me, especially as the walk got closer and closer and more of my time on the weekends was spent walking for 15 miles or more. I know that they know that this is an important event, but I know that it also makes me spend more time away from them than usual.
In four and a half weeks, my friends donated $1,200. I think that’s pretty awesome. Not only did they donate that to me, but when I achieved my goal, they continued to donate to my other team mates to help them reach their goals. I know that some of them don’t really understand why I do this every year, but the fact that they still donate means a lot to me. So yea, I’m thankful for my friends.
The Speed Gamers
I HAVE to throw in a thanks to these guys. When my co-worker, Bob, told me about his nephew that did marathon gaming sessions to raise money for charity, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really think that much would come of it. But they raised a ton of money, and they were extremely humble and down to earth guys. It really made me ask myself, “what was I doing at that age?”. I was very impressed with their character and innovation to turn something that they like doing into something that they can do good with. Thank you again guys.
The Cheering Stations
When you’ve walked 37 miles and you’re dragging, the best thing to have is a cheering station. Seeing family and friends at cheering stations is a huge pick up. Heck, seeing complete strangers at a cheering station is a huge pick up. Family, friends and people that you don’t know giving you high fives and thanking you for walking, what’s not to be thankful for there!
A good number of people that don’t do the walk don’t really know about the crew. The crew members are awesome people that volunteer their time to make sure that the walk goes off without a hitch. They man the pit stops, they make sure you can safely cross the streets, they staff the medical tent and so much more. These men and women are up before the walkers and going to bed after the walkers are in bed. I think that most would agree that their job is harder than doing the actual walking. I would recommend to anyone that wants to be involved with the 3-Day, but isn’t sure they want to be a walker to look at being a part of the crew. They are great!
So that’s a sampling of what I’m thankful for related to the 3-Day. I’m sure I left something off, but this list will have to do for now.