It’s Potty Time!

May 24th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (21 Comments)

If you’ve been on the 3-Day before, you already know to expect the lines and lines of blue port-o-potties just waiting for you to start your three day journey. It’s pretty amazing to me the number of people that I have met who had never used a port-o-potty until they came on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Even excluding those people, most of us have never relied on port-o-potties as our only toilet for 3 days straight. Yeah, maybe you have used them at a concert or something, but 3-DAYS, that’s a whole different story. It may seem unpleasant to use these big blue boxes to go to the bathroom for three days, but I’ve put together some suggestions to make your (and everyone else’s) port-o-potty experience more pleasant. So in no particular order, here’s the top port-o-potty rules for the 3-Day.

Rule 1: I’m Not Going in After That

You probably have great teammates. They are your friends and family and they are great. No matter how great they are, they will never go after something that you dropped into the port-o-potty. When you take your bathroom break, make sure that all of your personal belongings are secure. This means that you should not be trying to text when your in the bathroom. Aside from the fact that people probably don’t want to receive texts about your bowel movement, if you drop that phone into the pit that is the core of the port-o-potty, it’s not coming back. And lets face it, if it did would you really want to use it?

Some things that I have heard of being dropped into the potty include: cell phones, flash lights, rings, and so much more. My suggestion for flash lights is to try and get one with a strap and keep it around your wrist when you go to the bathroom at night.

Rule 2: It’s Not a Trash Can

Ok, this rule has parts for both men and women. We’ll deal with the women first.

Women, when you are sitting down and going to the bathroom and you look to the side and see what kind of looks like a little cup, this is NOT a trash can. This is the urinal. If you throw your trash in the urinal, I’ll give you one guess where guys are going to pee instead. I’ve always been told that the two bathroom pet peeves that women have for men are that they don’t raise the seat and that they don’t put it back down after they are done. I can guaranty you that even though you would like it, men are not going to become perfect bathroom people over the course of three days. So keep the urinal free of trash.

Men, this next part is for you. If the urinal has no trash in it, use the urinal to pee! Don’t mess with the port-o-potty seat and all that, take the easy way out!

Rule 3: Chivalry is Not Dead

Picture this: you’ve been walking all day. You get to a pit stop and stand in line to go to the bathroom. By the time you get up to where it is your turn wouldn’t it be nice if the person coming out of the port-o-potty held the door open for you? Three things happen when you hold the door open for the next person:

1. It makes that person’s life that much easier. They don’t have to open the door now!
2. It reduces the number of bangs that people have to hear as the door closes because instead of closing twice, it only has to close once!
3. It enhances the 3-Day community. I realize that it may seem silly, but the 3-Day is a community of people all striving towards the same goal. We help each other all the time, why wouldn’t we include holding the door open for someone as part of helping them?

Ok, I realize that most people see chivalry as a guy thing, but I think that women, especially on the 3-Day, can be chivalrous and hold the door open for the next woman (or man) that’s going to use the bathroom.

Rule 4: That’s a Stretch

If you have watched the check in video, you have already seen this. But I still need to put it in so that someone doesn’t come and get me and say I didn’t include it. There will be certain pit stops on the 3-Day where it seems that everyone’s bladders are just in sync and had to go at the same time. There will occasionally be long lines. Use these lines to your advantage and stretch! Stretching is very important on the 3-Day, so you may as well use this waiting time productively.

Rule 5: She’s Got a Potty Mouth

Before you make assumptions here, I’m not advocating cursing while you’re going to the bathroom. Again, this is very much about the wait time at the port-o-potties. Be productive with this time. Meet the people that are waiting in line with you and talk to them about something other than your bathroom habits. The next thing you know, you will have met someone new and the line will be practically gone.

I think it’s sometimes much easier to strike up a conversation with someone while in line than it is while you’re walking. When you’re walking you will only get the chance to talk to someone if they are walking the same pace as you. Standing in line, everyone is going the same pace as you so it’s a lot easier!

So these are my five rules for bathroom happiness at the 3-Day. Yes, I could have easily added more rules in there like don’t slam the door at night because people are sleeping, but there are a lot of people that will cover those. Most of these I haven’t seen people mention. They aren’t the most pleasant of places to go to the bathroom, but they certainly the least pleasant. So make the best of your port-o-potty experience!


After Shoes?

May 21st, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (8 Comments)

I have been reading a lot lately about picking the right shoes and the right socks. These are all great things to do and you really need to focus on them, but have you thought about your after shoes? I’m talking about the footwear that you will use after you are done walking. It could be sandals, flip flops, slippers or something entirely different, but thinking about what it will be and testing it out, just like you’re doing for all your other 3-Day gear, is a good idea. You are testing out all of your 3-Day gear before you get there, right? Ok, now it’s story time.

On the first 3-Day walk that I did, I didn’t plan my after shoe strategy. I took a pair of street sneakers. Ok, I admit I probably wasn’t using my brain on that one, but it’s what I did and I was MISERABLE. It is not fun at all to walk 20 miles, get back to camp and get out of your sneakers only to realize that you have to get back into sneakers if you want to walk around!

Ok, let’s move forward a year. In 2008 I realized that sneakers probably weren’t a good bet for after shoes and got my head on straight and brought sandals. These were sandals I wore after every training walk, so I knew that they would work well. I called them my magical blister healing sandals because if my feet were even the littlest bit tender I could wear these sandals for a couple of hours and magically my feet would feel normal. My awesome sandals are very old and have made it through two 3-Day walks (in addition to the many years I have owned them) and they are on the verge of falling apart. I think they will make it through my first walk this year, but probably not through the second. I know I’m going to get some questions about this, so I’ll say right now that they were Dr. Martens sandals and they don’t make this particular model of sandal any more. I know, it’s sad.

So what should you look for when you are trying to find the perfect after shoes? A lot of this seems pretty intuitive, but obviously I missed it on my first year, so there is probably someone in my situation that it would help out to explain it all.


The obvious first requirement for any after shoes would be comfort. But I don’t mean lazing around the house comfort. They need to be comfortable to do a relatively decent amount of walking. I’m not suggesting that you go and walk 60 miles in your after shoes, but you do a lot of walking in camp, with going to and from the showers, to and from the bathroom, to and from the dining tent and also to and from the 3-Day pavillion and possibly the medic tent (let’s hope not!). So you need to have after shoes that are not only comfortable to wear but comfortable to walk the mile or so extra that you will do getting around in camp.


Depending on which 3-Day you walk in, this point may not be necessary, but when you walk in Dallas in November sometimes the nights get cold. So if you’re just wearing sandals or flip flops then your feet will get cold pretty quickly. I realize that it’s pretty dorky to wear socks with your sandals, but if your after shoes are sandals and you want to keep your feet warm, you do what you have to. This means that if you think that it might get cold in the city that you are walking in then you need to test out your after shoes with socks or other warmth preserving measures to make sure that they are still comfy after you add in the extra stuff!


Lastly, your after shoes should probably be small and easy to pack. You’re probably going to have a hard enough time getting your sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries and possibly inflatable mattress into your bag, you don’t need to add another large item to it. The good news is that most after shoes I have seen used have been pretty easy to collapse. Despite having the thick Dr. Martens soles, my sandals would compact quite nicely and fit pretty easily.

So keep an eye out for good after shoes. Do after training with them just the way that you would do training with all of your normal walking gear. This is one of those areas that I have been thankful about thinking about it, once I figured out that I needed to think about it.


Julia Lenz’s 3-Day Moment

May 18th, 2010 | Posted by john in Interviews - (1 Comments)

I got the chance to talk to Julia about her most inspirational moment walking on the 3-Day for the Cure with the Texans for Tah-Tahs.

If you would like to join the Tah-Tahs, go to”


If you follow me on Twitter of know me from Facebook, you probably saw posts recently that I had reached $2600 and had done it in 17 days. I have had a couple of people ask how I did it and so I thought that it might make a good topic for something to post on the site. As with any of the fund raising advice on here, this may or may not work for you depending on several factors, some of which will be mentioned below. So let’s cover the factors of what I did to raise this money.

The Video

If you go to the Fund Raising category on this page, you’ll see several videos that I did to try and get people to donate money. I had done e-mails in the past with decent success, but I hadn’t had a whole lot of success getting my friends on Facebook to see what I had to say. I figured that if I did a video and involved the kids in it that it would be more attention grabbing than a couple lines asking for a donation. In addition, I tagged 50 of my friends on each video every time I posted a new one (I believe 50 is the limit) so that after a three I had tagged about 150 friends. Which means that their friends can see the video too. So I posted the video on Facebook and then e-mailed a link to it as well as the script for the video to friends that weren’t on Facebook.

The Challenge

The other thing that I have realized in the past years is that even if people want to donate, unless you give them a date that is some time soon and keep reminding them about it even the most well minded person will forget to donate. So here is the challenge that I issued to my friends:

I want to hit the $2500 fund raising mark in 5 weeks. I had already raised $700 from a couple of donations and a lot of going door to door, I mentioned that, told them what the money was going for and then did a little math. I said that the message was going out to about 200 people, but I knew that some people were already walking in the 3-Day and some just wouldn’t see it on time, so I estimated that only about 60 people would see it and donate in time. I divided it up and told people that if everyone that donated gave at least $30 then we would hit the goal easily. I know that setting a dollar amount usually makes people give just that much, but when I hit the goal that I set, the average donation was $95 so I think it worked out.

The Reward

With every challenge that I do, I try to have some kind of reward. Something that makes people want to give money. For my fund raiser, the reward was that if we hit the $2500 by the end of five weeks, then I would make my hair pink for both the Boston and Dallas 3-Day walks. For some people this was enough to get them excited and donating. They were just excited about the prospects of seeing me with pink hair.

Then after the second week was over, I was $495 away from the $2500 goal. On the second week, the donation were about half of what they were on the first week, but I kind of expected that. I wanted to ramp up donations again, so I issued another challenge. This time, I said that if we reached $2600 by the end of the week that not only would I have pink hair, but I would also wear a bra (on the outside of my clothes) for both walks. Now, if you’ve been on the walk before, you know that seeing guys wear bras is not unheard of, so I was fully prepared to do this. This got more people interested in donating and I even had a donor make a repeat donation (after verifying that I was indeed going to wear the bra where people could see it). With these two rewards, that didn’t cost anything substantially more (except hair dye and a bra or two), I was able to meet both goals that I set out ($2500 in 5 weeks and $2600 by the end of the third week).

Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!

I alluded to this before, but I did weekly updates of where we were with the fund raising. In these videos, I restated what we were doing, said how the fund raising was going and thanked all the people who donated the week before. I had several people thank me for sending a follow up e-mail because they would have forgotten otherwise. That’s the key thing to remember here, there are many people out there who want to donate, and there are just as many people who would possibly forget that you needed a donation. If you keep reminding them on a regular basis then they don’t have to remember on their own!

I Got the Kids Involved

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece about getting the kids involved in the fund raising. That’s exactly what I did here. Instead of me thanking everyone that donated, I had my kids read the names of people. They really enjoyed it and started asking me when we were going to do the next video! It was really fun to watch the video and I hope that everyone that donated got to see their names called out by Jackson and Sawyer.

AWESOME Friends!

After reading through this, it probably goes without saying that I had some awesome friends that enabled me to raise that much money that fast. This is my fourth year of participating in the 3-Day and every year I wonder if my friends will still be interested in helping me out with fund raising and every year I am pleasantly surprised with the immense amount of support that comes from them. Thank you to all the friends that made this fund raiser short and successful!

Take a look at the videos from this fund raiser that I posted and see if they help you out. Maybe you can hit a fantastic goal too!


Update for $2500 After Week 2!

May 9th, 2010 | Posted by john in Fund Raising - (Comments Off on Update for $2500 After Week 2!)

Here’s the update for this week’s fund raising totals! Check it out! Also, if we reach $2600 by May 16th, not only will I have pink hair, but I will wear a big pink bra for both the Dallas and Boston walks. Donate at: