Captains Corner

October 14th, 2010 | Posted by john in General - (Comments Off on Captains Corner)

Depending on your approach, if you sign up to be a team captain it could be a stressful and time consuming experience.  It doesn’t have to be though.  Yes, you will probably need a little more time over what you would normally need to just do the walk, but it shouldn’t be stressful.  After all, we’re on the 3-Day to eradicate breast cancer, not to created more headaches for ourselves.  With that in mind I thought that I would put this together for the people out there that are thinking about being a team captain or are already a team captain.  These are some questions that I have seen frequently pop up, and it’s purely my opinion so take it as you may!


My Team Member is Not Fund Raising

Wow, it’s kind of a negative note to start out on, but I see this question floating around on message boards and Twitter enough that I thought I should go ahead and knock it out first.  My answer to this may seem a little callous, so I’m going to build up to it with a little reasoning first.

I want everyone on my team to be able to walk if they want to, however sometimes they don’t realize the amount of work that needs to be put in to actually do the fund raising required for the walk.  It’s easy to just sign up and say you’re going to do the walk.  What’s not easy is to make the commitment to training (which we will cover later) and fund raising that is required to successfully get to and complete the walk.  If you have a team member that is not fund raising, then you should kindly remind them that there are only X days away until the walk and that they need to raise $2300 to walk.

I’m a firm believer in frank discussions and think that in reminding them you will soon get the answer of what their intentions are.  If they have some donations that they just haven’t mailed in yet then maybe there is nothing to worry about.  Sometimes you will find that they have decided that they can’t do the walk and unfortunately sometimes you will find that they are hoping that you will raise the money for them.  There are a lot of opinions on whether or not to help out someone in their fund raising.  I’m not a heartless person, but I do think that someone should put in the work to try and get donations.  That doesn’t mean that I will not help out at all, but you have to put in the work and raise your own funds because I’m not going to raise $2300 for you.

My reason for this is more complex than economics.  Part of the purpose of the 3-Day for the Cure is raising awareness.  By going out and asking for donations, you’re also educating people of the problem of breast cancer.  If you raise your $2300 and I raise my $2300 then that many more people have been touched by the cause.

So no, I will not raise all of the funds for a teammate, but I will gladly work with them in any way that I can to help them be successful.  That means making suggestions on possible fund raising, helping get them involved with team fund raisers and trying to provide motivation. By having my teammates raise most of the money on their own, my excess fund raising can still be excess above and beyond the minimum.  That means more money going to the 3-Day for important stuff like finding a cure.


How Should I Distribute Funds for Team Fund Raisers?

One of the major things that I have seen cause some division in a team is how to distribute the funds for a team fund raiser.  Inevitably someone will think they have done more work than someone else and that they should have a larger cut because of it.  The first thing that you need to do to avoid this is to lay down the rules of how the funds will be distributed before you do anything with the fund raiser.  There are a couple of different types of fund raisers and I think distribution should vary between them:

Grocery Store

If you’re just going to set up a table out front of a store and accept donations then I think the only way to really handle this is to have each person receive funds that were raised for the time that they worked.  Since there really isn’t much work other than showing up for this type of fund raiser, I think that it’s fair enough to say that if you’re there for 2 hours, you will get an equal cut of funds raised for those two hours.

Auction

For an auction type fund raiser, what I usually see happen is that anyone that helps out in any way with the auction gets an equal cut of the proceeds.  This means that if you spent time getting all of the items to the auction venue or if you assembled all of the bidding paddles or if you took tickets at the door you would still get an equal cut of the proceeds to the person that processed payments at the auction.  Without any of these things complete, the auction would not be as successful as hopefully it was so everyone that helped to make it a success should get an equal cut.

Really the thing for any type of team fund raiser is to have the rules set before you do the fund raise so that everyone knows what to expect.


My Team Member is Not Training

This is a problem that you will probably need to deal with in the same way as when your team member is not fund raising.  Talk to them, let them know that they will finish the walk in much better condition if they train before hand.  Scheduling team training walks is good because it’s much harder to cancel walking when you have other people that are waiting on you.

In the end though, if your team member is not training, it’s not the absolute end of the world.  Yes, it would be a lot better for them if they did the training, but you CAN make it through without training (though it’s not recommended).  So if they are absolutely opposed to training, don’t stress out about it, let them do what they are going to do.


How Do I Get More Teammates?

As my average team size when I have been a captain has been about 2.5, I’m probably not the best person to answer this.  There are a few things that I can think of that would probably help, but I have never really executed on it.  First would be to ask your friends and family.  Yes, it reduces on potential donors, but what’s better, the $20 that they were going to donate or the $2300 that they could potentially raise?  Second would be your teammate’s family and friends.  Lastly would be to recruit people that don’t have a team on the share list.  Simply offering to have them on the team so that they could have someone to train with and get motivation from.  Again, I don’t know how sound any of these ideas are and I would like to see some comments from other team captains on what they do to increase their team size.


So those are the four questions that I see most often crop up.  There were lots that I could have added, but these are the ones that I see the most often.  If you have one that you have seen and would like to add it, post a comment and I’m sure that there are plenty of team captains that would be willing to field your question!  I think the big theme of all the answers to these is communication.  If you talk openly with the people that you are concerned about, most of the time you will clear up any confusion really quick.

 

It’s Not a Race

October 5th, 2010 | Posted by john in General - (1 Comments)

I think that this one fact speaks to how much Susan G. Komen For the Cure has done for global breast cancer initiatives:  When I talk with anyone about walking in the 3-Day for the Cure the conversation inevitably wraps up with the other person telling me, “Good luck on your race!”  The first couple of years that I did the 3-Day, I would hear that and almost feel like they didn’t understand the actual challenge that I was going through.  After all, it’s 60 miles!!  It’s not 5K.  I would still smile and say, “Oh, it’s not a race, it’s a walk.”

It’s been some time now and my thoughts about when someone wishes me a good race have significantly changed.  People that are close to me have now seen me say that it’s not a race that they now speak up and say it, but where I was a little put off by the remark before I’m now excited by it.

Walking 60 miles isn’t for everyone.  There, I said it.  I know that it takes a lot of commitment and time to dedicate yourself to train to walk 60 miles and then on top of it raise $2300.  With that being said, running 5K isn’t for everyone either.  I think I can safely say that I would rather walk 60 miles than 5K.  Maybe that’s stretching it a bit, but I’m not a runner and prefer walking almost any day.  So yes, I could walk on the race for the cure, but something in my head makes me say that it’s a race so I should be running so I chose to join on the 3-Day.  (Though I have walked in the Race for the Cure before)

Wow, we’ve been talking about a lot of walking, racing, running and other physical activities.  So much so that I may have confused myself with the last paragraph.  Let’s move on.

Maybe you see the names for some of these events with words like race and walk associated with them and think that you would rather not be involved because you are not an athlete.  Trust me, I was there.  When I signed up for my first 3-Day, I went from not walking at all for exercise to walking miles upon miles for training.  I’m not saying that this is something that you will jump at the opportunity to do, I’m saying I can see where you are coming from.  If you’re not wanting the physical exertion there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

That’s one of the most wonderful things about events like the 3-Day and Race for the Cure.  There are so many different ways that you can be involved from little to massive involvement that regardless of your physical prowess or your fund raising skills, there is something that you can do to help out.  Heck, with the 3-Day alone, you can do anything from simply writing a letter to people while they are at the 3-Day camp to being at cheering stations to cheer the walkers on, there are people that are walker stalkers that follower the walkers while they are on their route, there are daily volunteers (that don’t have to camp, if you’re not a camper), there are walkers, crew and staff.  Just a HUGE amount of ways that you can get involved!

Ok, if you didn’t know this already, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  This month, I’m asking my readers to make a commitment to help end breast cancer.  If you’re not sure, then take a baby step.  I’m sure there are many walkers and crew that would love to get a letter at camp, even if they don’t know who you are.  Or another way to get involved that REALLY helps in the fight is to make a DONATION!  If you would like to get more involved, check out the following web sites, they both have a get involved section:

http://the3day.org –  The official 3-Day web site

http://komen.org – The official Susan G. Komen for the Cure web site

I’m going to close by repeating that even though when I first started on the 3-Day I felt the need to correct everyone to tell them it wasn’t a race, I’m actually encouraged by the fact that people know what Race for the Cure is.  So if you wish me good luck on my race, I will gladly say, “Thank you”

 

Setting Goals

September 28th, 2010 | Posted by john in Fund Raising Tips | Training Tips - (3 Comments)

If you have looked into your participant center and seen the “Goal” section then you know as well as anyone that setting goals for yourself on the 3-Day is an important thing.  Goals will help you keep going and give you something to shoot for as you make your way towards and on your 3-Day journey.  But the goals that you focus on may or may not be related to fund raising.

As I see it, there are there are several different categories of goals.  This week, I hope to cover what I see as some of the different categories and maybe mention what my goals have been through the years.  Hopefully it will inspire you to expand your goals for this year or years in the future on the 3-Day.


Planned Controllable Goals

Planned controllable goals are just that.  Goals that you set out in your plan at the beginning of the year that you have a good deal of control over.  Sure, everything in the world has some outside influence on the outcome of your goals, but there are things that you have more control over than others.  For instance, the economy could have a negative influence on your fund raising, but you still have control over the methods you use to fund raise and the amount that you put into your fund raising.  You may have a goal to finish all 60 miles.  Yes, injury could take you out of that, but a good deal of control lies in your hands for how much you train to get you ready enough to hopefully make it through the walk without being injured.

Ok, so here’s my planned controllable goals this year:

  1. Complete two 3-Day walks this year.  I am halfway through with this goal!
  2. Raise the minimum fund raising for both walks and do it before the end of May.  This one was accomplished thanks to some awesome friends and family and of course the guys at TheSpeedGamers.com
  3. Use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to raise donations.  In the past I had used some Facebook to do this, but I really wanted to push myself further with the use of Social Medial and fund raising.  I think this goal is accomplished.  I had a lot of donations from my video fund raising series and am still getting donations on both Facebook and Twitter thanks to the Winners Choice Sweepstakes.
  4. Raise a good deal of money going door to door.  So far I have raised over $800 and I’m still plugging away at it, so I would say it’s a success.


Planned Uncontrollable Goals

The next type of goal is one that you plan but you have much less control over.  In my mind, these tend to be the larger goals or the goals that you are in competition with others for.  It may be that you can put a ton of effort in there, but if the goal is too large or the competition is too stiff then you might not be able to achieve your goal.  Since these goals are larger and more long term usually than the controlled goals, they are a good way to stay motivated to keep fund raising or training or talking to people about the 3-Day moving even after I have achieved the minimum set forth by the 3-Day.  Personally, these are goals that I don’t usually share with anyone, but as time goes on, if I am making great strides towards my goals it becomes apparent to some people in my life.  Here are what my planned uncontrollable goals set this year are:

  1. Raise $20,000 – This is one that I hadn’t told anyone but the team from Boston and then only because at our first team meeting the question was asked what our goals were.  I realize that this is a fund raising goal and I could really push it and make the goal, but with the balance that I’m trying to maintain there are just to many variables to say that I can do it.  So far though, I am at about $17,000 so I would call it a success even if I don’t meet my goal.
  2. Be the top fund raiser in Dallas – This was one of my goals last year too and I didn’t make it, but that doesn’t mean that I should stop trying.  Currently I am leapfrogging with another walker over who the top fund raiser is, so I’m trying to pull out all of the stops to raise as much money as possible to achieve this goal.  I would REALLY like to make this one.

If there is anyone that would like to help me achieve one of the above goals, please donate whatever you can at http://60miles3days.com/donate.  Anything that you can donate to help me reach those goals would be hugely appreciated!


Unplanned Goals

All of the goals that I have mentioned so far have been things that, at the beginning of the year, I have planned to strive for.  This next section is for those things that cropped up through the year that I decided to make a goal of even if I hadn’t thought of it before.  This could be anything.  I am pretty sure that Jay Furr had an unplanned goal to walk in 3 3-Day walks this year.  He didn’t start out doing this, but as circumstances changed he realized that it was a possibility and set his goal to do it.  My unplanned goal this year was to be an Energizer® Keep Going® Blogger.  It came up after I had set my goals and sounded like a great thing to try out for.  There was some fantastic competition and somehow I was chosen for Dallas.


The Point

So what’s the point of all this?  It’s definitely not labeling the goals that you have.  If that were the point I could have come up with a lot better names than I did.  Something like “The Super Terrific Awesome Sparkly Goal”.  No, the point is realizing that having goals on the 3-Day, just as in life, helps you realize where you need to be going so that you can determine the best way to get there.  Once you have the goals you can start your way to accomplishing them.  How you get there is entirely up to you!

What about you?  What are your goals for the 3-Day either this year or next?  I’d really like to know, please comment and share them!

 

I Need Your Help!

September 16th, 2010 | Posted by john in General - (3 Comments)

I know that through most of the year, I ask people for some sort of help with donations to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  This time is a little different, I’m still asking for help, but this time it is a little brain power help that I need!

So here’s the situation.  As most of you know, I’m the Energizer® Keep Going® Blogger for the DFW 3-Day.  Some may also know that as the result of one of my fund raisers earlier this year, I have promised my donors that I will wear a bra all three days of the walk.  Everything is great except for one thing.  Energizer sent me a pretty cool t-shirt so that I could wear it on the walk so that while I’m walking people would know that I’m the Keep Going Blogger.  Good stuff and I am very happy at the prospect of being able to wear it.  The problem is that when I wear the bra you can’t see the logo on the shirt and to be honest, I’ll probably end up wearing only the bra and not a shirt.  I still want people to know that I am the Keep Going Blogger, it’s something I’m very proud of, but I also need to honor the promise I made to donors.  This is where you come in!

Please send me suggestions on how I can visually promote that I’m the Keep Going Blogger (using the logo that you can see on the right side of this page) without changing the fact that I need to wear just the bra.  The only thing I have tried so far is an at home t-shirt transfer kit and the curve of the bra just made it look like a cheap sticker when I put the logo on it.  So other than that, any suggestion is fair game.  If you have an idea, click “Contact” at the top of this page and send me an e-mail with your suggestion!  If your suggestion is chosen then you will win a 60Miles t-shirt, one of the shirt styles is pictured in this post, but any of the shirts at http://www.cafepress.com/offensive1/7285557 can be chosen if you win.  If your idea is the winning idea and other people have suggested it, I’ll do a random drawing to award the prize, but I will mention everyone’s name that suggested it on a post on 60miles3Days.com

Thanks for all your help!  Get those creative juices flowing!!  If you have multiple great ideas, please feel free to submit multiple entries, but try to keep one idea per mail just so I can sort out the individual ideas easier.

 

Camping!!

September 14th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (5 Comments)

There haven’t been a lot, but I have met enough people that stay in a hotel instead of camp to know that it happens.  And I understand, there is a certain allure to sleeping in a hotel room instead of an air mattress or camp bed.  I can see where it would be appealing to be able to go to a restaurant and order what you want instead of eating what’s being served at 3-Day camp (though I will say the food is pretty good).  I can also understand how someone might want to see their family and friends at night.  Despite all of those reasons, I still think that staying at camp overnight is as much a part of the 3-Day as walking those 60 miles and raising that $2300.  For those of you that are set on staying somewhere other than camp, consider this my attempt at persuading you to at least give camp a try.  For everyone else, consider this a preview of some of the awesome stuff that you can get to do at the 3-Day camp!  I went back and forth on how to organize it and finally settled on breaking it out by section of camp.  So here is your preview of what’s in store for you at camp.


Living Quarters

For those of you that are on the fence about staying in camp, please stick it through until at least the next section.  I will freely admit that this section of camp is probably the least compelling reason to stay, but it is still an integral part, so I have to talk about it!

You see how I put living quarters up there like it was more than just a tent?  Well, truthfully there is more to what I am calling living quarters than just a tent.  When I talk about living quarters, I really think of three things and they’re not all in one spot, thankfully.  I think about showers, tents and port-o-potties.

Just last weekend I was walking with some people from Chi Chi Mamas DFW, a 3-Day team in Fort Worth, and was asked if the showers are actually hot.  Apparently they asked someone on staff and wanted to get a second opinion.  I can confirm that the showers are hot and definitely welcome after a long day walking!  In fact, for many the showers will be the most appealing part of the living quarters section.

Next comes the tents, a giant sea of pink tents.  The rows are all marked well, but it is still a good thing to somehow mark your tent so that you can remember where it is.  That’s where the decorating contest comes in.  Those walkers that have SO much room left in their 35 lb duffel bag will pack decorations for their tent.  There are two reasons for this.  First it makes it easy to find your tent if you have a miniature boxing ring in front of your tent.  Second you can win a legacy pin for having the best decorated tent!  I will say, that I really appreciated my neighbors for the second year that I walked that put something on top of their tent that made it look like a breast with a pierced nipple.  That pierced nipple was like a beacon to get back to the tent!  The really good thing about staying in the tents is that you don’t have to worry about wake-up call or an alarm clock because camp will be like your alarm clock for you.  SOMEONE in camp will set their alarm and that will be just like having your own alarm that you can hear but don’t have to worry about turning off!

Last in the living quarters section of camp is the port-o-potties.  I realize that this isn’t the most glamorous thing to talk about, but you should be getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (if you’re not, shame on you!  You’re not drinking enough!) so it’s a good thing to get acquainted with where the port-o-potties are.  To be honest, when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the bathroom, I try to gauge by the light how close it is to when people will be getting up.  Then I try and determine if I can just wait until people are up or if I should go right then, because who really wants to get up in the middle of the night to traipse their way to a port-o-potty?  Invariably the answer is always that I have to go to the bathroom at that moment and waiting will just not do.


Dining

So you’re probably looking at that last section and thinking that I have done a bang-up job of selling you on why you shouldn’t go to camp.  Peeing is a real bathroom is pretty compelling to a lot of people.  But don’t fret!  The next couple of sections are bound to have something that will pique your interest!

After you’re done walking 20 miles, you’ll need to eat a good dinner and re-fuel.  You will get plenty of food for dinner and over the two nights and you’ll be able to eat steak, chicken, apple pie and much more.  But food is not all that you will get for dinner.  You’ll also get a show!

Jenne Fromm is your host and I have to say that she does a marvelous job.  Yes, it is scripted and I have seen the script evolve over the years, but Jenne rolls with what happens up on stage and when the 3-Day participants on stage with her throw a curve ball and the result is usually a lot of laughs.  But Jenne is not everything for the dinner show.  They also have the “Are You Cure-ious” game show where three walkers or crew members try to be the first to answer questions about breast cancer facts and it is highly entertaining.

Then there are the people that will get on stage and talk about why they walk and I have to say that I haven’t made it through a 3-Day where I haven’t cried  at this part of dinner.  Hearing the stories of strength, struggle, sadness and hope is one of those things that you walk in the 3-Day for.  It also gives you so many more reasons to walk.


3-Day Main Street

Once you have had your fill of food and dinner entertainment, you should head on over to the 3-Day Main Street. No, I assure you that they didn’t lay pavement down in the middle of the field that you’re camping in, but they have set up tents with all sorts of people available to help you out.

Let’s start with the Energizer® tent.  I start here primarily because if you’re walking or crewing, you should definitely go visit the Keep Going® Blogger that they have in there.  If you’re participating in the Dallas walk, this would be me and I would more than welcome the company!  But wait, that’s not all!  In addition to that, the lovely people at Energizer® will be providing chair massages!  Everyone needs a massage after a long day walking, so you should definitely drop by and take them up on it!  Hold on, there’s more!  They also have Internet access so that you can communicate with loved ones and a phone charging station where they will loan you a portable power pack to get your phone charged up and ready to go for the next day!

While the Energizer® tent is pretty awesome for what they provide, there are also other things to see on the 3-Day Main street.  Let’s go to the 3-Day post office next.  If you read the my earlier post, Mail Call, then it will be no surprise to know that you can get mail at the 3-Day.  This is where you go to pick it up, so remember to tell all your loved ones that you would love to hear from them while you are on the walk!

AT&T is the next stop and you’ve probably realized by now that I am doing these in no particular order, but in the order that they come to mind.  At the AT&T tent, you will also have the opportunity to charge your phone while you wait and you can pick up the silly bands that you missed getting while you were out on route.  In addition to that, there will be AT&T people on site to ask any questions you might have about some of the AT&T phones or apps.  In addition, AT&T does some giveaways and this is where you can sign up for them or get information about their photo mosaic project (which is pretty cool once it’s done!)

Next up is Shop3Day.com and their tent full of 3-Day for the Cure gear.  If there were things that you saw on the online 3-Day store that you would have preferred to touch and feel before purchasing, this is your chance.  So make sure that you bring along some method of payment to make sure that you can buy what you need!  It would be terrible if you wanted something and couldn’t pay for it!

The Bank of America tent has oh so heavenly foot massages.  You may not think that your feet would want a foot massage after a day or two of walking, but I assure you if you wait too long then the line will get too long and you will miss out entirely, line up for this one early!

The next on 3-Day Main street that I’m remembering is the New Balance tent.  In here, you can turn in your entries for a drawing for a new pair of New Balance shoes!  They also have a big screen tv, New Balance products and on Saturday night they have Bingo.  It’s great fun for everyone!  And if I’m not mistaken, if you show up here sporting your New Balance gear you will get a gift just for arriving.  This may have just been on previous years, but I’m pretty sure they are doing it this year too!

The last thing I will talk about for the 3-Day Main Street is the 3-Day cafe.  This is where they have a camp services table, it’s also where you collect your legacy pins for the 3-Day.  They also have a tv and comfortable chairs that are a lot better to sit in than folding chairs or the ground.  Lauri Yanis and her husband Matt, both of whom have been on this site before, told me that they basically hang out in the 3-Day Cafe until they get kicked out, so there’s one more recommendation for it!


<I>The Final Ingredient</I>

As you can see, camp is pretty awesome.  It’s less like camping out and more like one big slumber party with prizes and entertainment.  But there is one thing that is involved in all of these things that hasn’t been mentioned yet.  The one thing that you will find here that you won’t find in any hotel room that you might to choose to stay in is the phenomenal walkers.  Yes, it might not be the most comfortable thing to sleep on the ground and go to the bathroom in a port-o-potty but the 3-Day walkers and crew are some of the most amazing people that you will ever meet and that makes up for a lot of discomfort while you’re sleeping.

It’s one huge community at 3-Day camp and part of the reason is that people choose to camp.  Sure they could have chosen to stay at home in a comfortable bed, but they chose to stay at camp with you, because you’re awesome too.  I hope that you will consider joining everyone at camp, it really is great fun and if you haven’t stayed there before you should really try it at least once!