Checking the Mail

November 6th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (Comments Off on Checking the Mail)

I missed the mail pickup in Boston when I was there and because of that I now know that I really missed out on quite a bit.  Last night I got a BOAT load of mail.  I knew that the 3-Day Tweeps were going to send me some mail, but I had no idea that it would be that much.  To be totally honest, I am still going through all of it.

Even though I haven’t read it all, I know that they are all going to be awesome just from the sampling that I have had.  The mail that I have gotten has made me laugh, made me tear up a little bit and been just incredible to get.  I would like to share with you some of the mail that I got and I would like to encourage anyone that is reading to make sure to send your walker mail for the next walk that a loved one, friend or even a stranger is doing.

Ok, let’s start with mail from Kristen Cincotta (@kscincotta).  This one really kind of made me a bit emotional, and not because it was saying that I did great fund raising.  Here it is, I’ll explain some stuff and why it did that to me:

John-

Congratulations on finishing Day 4!  I hope your feet are holding up just as well, if not better, than they did in Boston.  I wanted to tell you yet again how blown away I am by your fund raising success this year.  You have raised more this year than I have in 3 years combined.  I can tell you, your fund raising totals will be almost enough to pay for one scientist for a whole year.  That is AWESOME.  Thank you so much for all your hard work!

Kristen

Ok, you may be wondering why she’s saying day 4.  Kristen and I both walked in the Boston 3-Day for the Cure earlier this year, so technically this is the fourth day of the 3-Day for me this year.  The thing that really got me here was when she said that my fund raising totals will be almost enough to pay for one scientist for a whole year.  Really and truly, the reason that we do this is to fund the research necessary to end breast cancer.  To hear that my money could possibly be use to fund a scientist that is in this fight is amazing.  I had never really thought of this before about how directly my fund raising will go towards making the end possible.  In fact, when I was walking today, if I started to get some aches, I thought to myself, “one scientist for a whole year, one scientist for a whole year.”  That in my mind is an amazing thing.

Ok, the next letter that I’m going to talk about, I’m going to have to describe a little more.  The letter that I got from Cat Holland (@fatgirlwalkin) could almost be described as explosive.  When I opened the letter from Cat, an enormous amount of shiny pink confetti spilled out.  I opened some more and more spilled out.  It was frankly amazing how much she was able to fit in this envelope.  I chuckled to myself because I remember Kristen mentioning opening Cat’s mail in Boston and it basically exploding all over her tent.  She cracked up and I did too.  As I write this, I still see a couple of pieces of the confetti on my keyboard.  A smile at the 3-Day added to all the ones that you will already have there is a great thing.

There were a lot of letters wishing me luck and saying how proud they were of me and they all meant a whole lot to me, but I couldn’t pick out just one, so I need to just say thank you to everyone that sent a letter at the 3-Day.  If I didn’t mention your letter, it’s not because I didn’t love it, it’s because there were so many great letters it was hard to pick just one more!  It was a real treat to hear from you all and to have something in the mail at camp.  I’m going to sign off now and finish reading my letters!

 

Community

November 5th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (1 Comments)

Ok, so instead of doing a recap of the day like I did in the Boston walk earlier this year, I wanted to specifically talk about the community support that I saw today.  I had already written half of a recap post, but I just talked to a couple of walkers here about the awesome cheering stations that I changed my mind.  Community support is a huge thing for me on the 3-Day for the cure.  When people are honking as they drive past or showing up at cheering stations or making their own cheering stations is really helps me to Keep Going®. It’s just a huge morale booster when your muscles are sore and there are still many miles left in the day.  So I wanted to talk about the different kinds of community support that I saw and what some of my favorites were.  I’m going to start with my all time favorite first.

W.T. White High School

To the teachers and students of W.T. White High School, I would like to personally say that you rock!  It was very close to the end of the day when we came across the school and the students were out in droves.  There were at least 75-100 people out there and instead of being on one side of the sidewalk like most cheering stations, the lined both sides of the sidewalk for a good distance.  You walked by the high school and it was like this massively loud victory tunnel.  I am quite serious when I say that this was THE loudest cheering station I have ever seen.  We heard them from several blocks away.

But the noise wasn’t the only thing.  All of the students really looked like they wanted to be there, everyone wanted to give us a high five when we walked through.  If they weren’t high fiving they were clapping.  It was an immense experience to walk through that and when I it was past I had to find out the name of the school because I wanted to make sure that I wrote about them in one way or another.  Again, a huge thanks to W.T. White high school for being so awesome and making that last leg of our day that much better!


Elementary

I really don’t know the name of the elementary school that we passed early that morning, but they were great too.  What they lacked in volume compared to the high school, they made up for in sheer numbers.  We kept walking and waking and there were more and more students!  I took some video of them and will post it on here as soon as I get the chance!


Forest Lane Cheering Station

The Forest Lane cheering station was the last of the day and it was a long one.  In my recollection, Friday’s usually aren’t huge days for cheering stations.  You still have a lot of people at work that can’t make it out, they end up at the cheering stations on Saturday or Sunday.  The cheering station on Forest Lane had the definite feeling of a Saturday cheering station.  There were lots of people there and it took me a long time to make it through because there were a lot of people that wanted me to stop so they could get a picture of the crazy guy in the bra!

I especially liked the gentleman that had used the temporary pink hairspray not only on his hair and beard, but also on his dog!  I saw him last year and really enjoyed him being there again this year.


At Your House!

I enjoyed the impromptu cheering stations at people’s houses.  Especially the ones that went all out and decorated.  The one that sticks out in my mind had a sign out front that said, “A 31 Year Breast Cancer Survivor Lives Here”.  In addition to the decorations, they had some of the cheerleaders from a local high school cheering as we went by.


Ok, that’s all I have time for tonight.  It’s kind of short, but I really wanted to talk about the awesome community support that we had out and about today here in Dallas.  I love it!  I’ll write more tomorrow and maybe even a more full recap of the day!

 

Hey DFW! Get Out and Cheer!

November 1st, 2010 | Posted by john in General - (2 Comments)

If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for this weekend (the 5th-7th of November) then you should come out and cheer the walkers on at one of the cheering stations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  No pink costumes are required, but if you want to wear something to share your support, that would be great too!  Just being there to show your support is awesome!!

Ok, here’s the information for where the cheering stations are:


Friday, November 5

9:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Creekside Baptist Church

1105 N. Waterview Dr.

Richardson, TX 75080


9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Seventh Day Adventist Church

1201 W. Beltline Rd.

Richardson, TX 75080

(overflow parking across Beltline Rd. at St. Luke’s Lutheran, 1210 W. Beltline Rd.)


11:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Borders

10720 Preston Rd., ste 1018

Dallas, TX 75230


12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Lowe’s

11920 Inwood Rd.

Dallas, TX 75244


Saturday, November 6

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Turner Hardware

12895 Josey Ln

Farmers Branch, TX 75234


9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Dallas Choong/Hyun Presbyterian Church

11722 Cromwell

Dallas, TX 75229


11:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Valley View Mall

Montfort at 635 (LBJ Fwy) – NE corner

Dallas, TX 75240


Sunday, November 7

8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Bank of America

5500 Preston

Dallas, TX 75205


11:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Historic West End

N. Market St., from Munger to Elm

Dallas, TX 75202


If you want to see a little more into what goes on at the 3-Day, please feel free to join us at either the opening or closing ceremonies. Information is below:


Opening Ceremonies

Friday November 5th at 7:30 AM

Collin Creek Mall

811 N. Central Expressway

Plano, Texas 75075


Closing Ceremonies

Sunday November 7th at 4:30 PM

Cotton Bowl Plaza at Fair Park

3750 Cotton Bowl Plaza

Dallas, TX 75210


We look forward to seeing you at the walk!


 

The Tweeps

October 27th, 2010 | Posted by john in Digital 3-Day - (3 Comments)

Yesterday I posted a picture of the bra that I will be wearing on the 3-Day into my Twitter feed.  It had been embroidered by Claudia at Wild Horse Custom Threads with the Keep Going® Blogger logo.  For those that have not read in previous posts, Energizer® selected me to be the blogger for the DFW Susan G. Komen® 3-Day for the Cure.  Energizer had sent me these shirts with the logo to wear on the walk, but since I promised the people that made donations that I would wear a bra on the walk, I worked with them to get the logo on the bra and wear that instead.  So I posted the picture of it and a little while later looked at Twitter and found a ton of replies.  Things like:

“You seriously have the best bra embroiderer ever!”

“Love it!”

“Of all your awesome bras, that one might be the most awesome.”

“You have the best bras ever! I’m jealous.”

There were more, but I would have no room to write anything else if I didn’t stop there.  If you don’t use Twitter already, you probably fall into one of a couple of camps.  Those who think that Twitter is a useless waste of time, those who don’t understand what it is, and those who want to sign up but haven’t had the chance to.

I’m not going to get all technical on you about Twitter, I’m not even going to try and convince you that it’s not a waste of time (because I admit that unless you’re aware of it that it can waste a lot of time), but I will talk about a wonderful group of people on Twitter that are my reason for continuing to use it and how they have been so helpful.


Why I Use It

A little over a year ago my former supervisor, Dianne, suggested that I start using Twitter.  She said that it was a great platform for promoting yourself and getting to know people in your field of work.  I took the suggestion, signed up for an account and started using it.  At that time, I didn’t really know how I wanted to use it, so I posted about a lot of different topics.  I had originally intended to post about my work related technical items, but very shortly my interest flagged.  I was already doing work, so writing about work just didn’t hold a lot of interest.  I started mixing in other things and looking back it was very disjointed and I don’t think very many people would have been interested in what I was saying.  I decided to start over.  I created a new Twitter account (@60Miles) and decided to use it to focus on all things related to the 3-Day for the Cure.  I also used it to help promote my site.

What I really think made it change in my mind was looking at it as a community.  As I posted some things about the 3-Day, I found other walkers that were using Twitter in a similar fashion and I started following them.  I moved to a new town awhile back and while there are many walkers within 50 miles of me, I didn’t know any of them well enough to talk to them regularly about the walk.  There on Twitter was a group of people who I knew had this common interest that we would “talk” back and forth daily on the subject of the 3-Day.  In addition to that, it was a great way for walkers and crew of all different sorts of experience to get together and give each other tips and offer help and motivation when needed.

For instance, when I was writing the post about camp life a month or so ago, I turned to some of the people on Twitter to help me remember what all of the tents at camp were, because I wouldn’t have remembered them.  I’ve turned to them for help with fund raising.  I’ve also answered questions for people on Twitter about what to pack, information about fund raising door to door and much more.  They have been a sounding board for me more than I could have hoped.


If You’re Just Getting Started

If you’re just getting started using Twitter, you don’t really get a lot of direction when you first sign in.  You won’t automatically be following people that are walking in the 3-Day, if that’s what you’re looking for.  People won’t know that you are walking in the 3-Day immediately.  You won’t be instantly hooked into that great online community.  That’s where the 3-Day Tweeps come in.

Several months ago Cat Holland, the Keep Going Blogger for Phoenix and one of the amazing 3-Day people on Twitter, came up with the idea of creating a virtual team for 3-Day walkers.  I know that there were other people involved in this brainstorm, but since she started the web site I’m giving her credit for now.  They weren’t officially (by 3-Day for the Cure standards) on any team, but they bonded together and created this online support network through Twitter.  She built a web page (at http://3DayTweeps.com) and started creating pages that the 3-Day Tweeps could fill out about themselves.  It’s sort of an online repository of recommended 3-Day people to follow and a little bit about them.

I have to say that the 3-Day Tweeps are probably one of the most considerate, caring and kind groups of people that I have come across and I haven’t met but a few of them in person.  Need help fund raising?  They will gladly repost your fund raising request.  Need advice on training?  There are many veteran walkers on the 3-Day Tweeps that have years of experience for you to learn from.  Having a bad day?  Even if it’s not 3-Day related, there are people on 3-Day Tweeps that will commiserate with you to try and make your day a little better.

So, if you’re just joining Twitter, or if you have been on for awhile and haven’t connected with anyone (or want to connect more!), then go to http://3DayTweeps.com and click on Meet the Tweeps.  Chances are you will find someone who is walking in the same city as you are to follow (but I recommend following them all, we are one big community after all).  Once you’re sure you want to do it, fill out the simple form to join the tweets on the 3-Day Tweeps site and you’ll be listed on their page too!


To Sum Up

As promised at the beginning of the post, I didn’t say that Twitter wasn’t a waste of time.  Just like everything on the Internet, it can definitely be a waste of time if you use it like that.  But it can be used to much better purposes.  Find a community that works for you and join it.  If you’re walking in the 3-Day for the Cure and considering using Twitter, then make sure to follow the 3-Day Tweeps and join them on their web site.  If you’re walking or crewing in the 3-Day and are already on Twitter but not part of the Tweeps, what’s stopping you?

 

Motivation (or Lack Thereof)

October 19th, 2010 | Posted by john in Fund Raising - (2 Comments)

Last week I was sitting at home comfortably on the couch.  I had planned on going out to do some door to door fund raising that evening but I really wasn’t wanting to go now that the time was upon me.  I told my wife, “I had planned on going out and doing some fund raising tonight.”

She’s very supportive and said, “Ok,” before I could finish what I was saying.

“I had planned on going out and doing some fund raising tonight, but I’m not really feeling like it.”

She looked at me and said, “So your NOT going?”

“I don’t know.  Let me think about it.”  I sat there and thought for a few minutes about whether or not I was going.  It wasn’t a question of meeting a fund raising minimum or anything like that, I had done that long ago, so I could easily have sat at home.  But as I thought it over I remembered what I promised myself that I would do at the beginning of the year.  I promised myself that I would go above and beyond the call of duty to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.  I’ve done the walk several years before and I always want to raise good money for the cause, but I think that this is the first year that I have made myself a promise like this.  With this in mind, I trudged upstairs and grabbed my shoes.  When I got downstairs, I think Kristen was surprised to see me with shoes in hand.  I’m pretty sure that I looked set on not going for it that night, and to tell you the truth if I hadn’t made that promise then I would not have gone out that night because I still didn’t feel up to it.

I went out to a new section of my neighborhood, one where I hadn’t knocked on any doors yet and set myself a pretty high goal, to raise $150 in the 45 minutes that I had until I had to be at home to help put the kids to bed.  Even if I didn’t have kids, I would have had to call it at that point because it was getting dark and other people would be putting their kids to bed too.  So it was a pretty high bar to meet, usually when I go door to door the most I have gotten in half an hour has been $80, but it averages about $50, so I was really trying to stretch it.

I went to the first door:

“Hi, my name is John and I live right across the soccer fields in the Headlands.  The reason I’m coming by is that I’m walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  It’s a 60 mile walk over 3 days that raises funds and awareness for breast cancer initiatives.  In order to do the walk I have to raise at least $2300.  I have $150 left for my goal today, do you think you can help me out today?”

First house I went to that night, not only did someone answer but they donated $10.  When the first house you go to in a night answers and donates it’s a HUGE motivator.  I continued on, adjusting my numbers as I continued.  The next house I had $140 and I kept adjusting as I went.  When the second house answered and donated $35, I felt like I could conquer the world.  I kept plugging along, got a momentum going and I didn’t really want to go home when time was up.  But it was dark and it was bed time for the kids, so I headed home.  The last house I went to, I had $20 left to go to make my $150 for the night and they were gracious enough to donate $20 for it.

I walked back home feeling like a different person.  When I started out, I was kind of down and not feeling like talking to anyone, let alone asking for a donation.  When I came back, I felt like I had really accomplished something.  I set a large goal and achieved it, all in 45 minutes time.  The feeling of achieving that goal was amazing!  So as you can tell, I was very glad that I forced myself to go out and fund raise that night.  I know that not every night of fund raising will be so successful, but I still plan to keep this in mind to keep myself motivated on those days when I’m feeling lethargic again and resisting my plans to go out and do some good in the fight against breast cancer.