My first words in my notes after Day 2 was “pain, pain, pain.” It was an emotionally and physically exhausting day! Our entire path seemed to be hills – ugh! My mom had problems with her knee spasming. At lunch, she went to the medical tent, and got her knee wrapped. She and Peg (our other “Mom”) left lunch early, and walked to the next pit stop. By the time she got there, she realized it wasn’t getting any better, and every step was painful. She made the decision to ride the bus back to camp. When she was there, she went back to the medical tent, where she saw the chiropractor. She found out her pain was not actually coming from her knee, but from a disc that was out in her low back. She got adjusted, and things were much better. Peg kept on through the rest of the day, slow but sure.
As the day went on, so did the blister count. New ones kept popping up as the day went on. By the end, I had 7 blisters, and a worse case of the “3 Day Rash” than I did the day before. I went to the medic tent twice to get my blisters taken care of – once at the beginning of the day, once later to get one foot re-wrapped (thanks to a new blister). The bottoms of both of my pinky toes were completely blistered, my 2nd toes on both feet were blistered, and I had blisters on each of my heels. By the end of the day, I was hurting, but I really wanted to make it to the end. I had to be back by 6:30 in order to get in the Training Walk Leader photo. I made it just on time, but it took some hustling in the end. I didn’t eat or drink quite as much as the day before, which may have contributed some to how exhausted I was. I thought I was doing ok, but looking back, it may have been just under enough for the energy I needed.
As exhausting as the day was, there were some awesome things about Day 2. First of all, the 2nd pit stop of the day was the New Balance pit stop. It was early enough in the day that I still had lots of energy. We walked in to the pit stop to a squad of cheerleaders cheering everyone on. I noticed the orange and black pom poms, and wondered to myself if they were from White Bear Lake – my old high school. As they started cheering, I recognized all their cheers. I had to go over and talk to them. Sure enough, they were the White Bear cheerleaders. They asked me if I had a favorite cheer, and I said the White Bear Beat. I didn’t know how they might adapt it, but they did. “Cancer is the crap that we’re gonna defeat, so come on everybody do the breast cancer beat…” It was awesome! I was pumped!! The rest of the day, going through Vadnais Heights, and the general area I grew up, was lots of fun! There were LOTS of cheer stations. So many people, so much energy… even when the going got tough, there were tweets and texts, cheering stations, treats, and spray bottles to keep us going. Carrie, Krista, Tennille and I all walked into lunch agreeing how much fun we were having (despite the blisters). We got to pose on the “Pink Carpet”, hang with the “Boob Brothers”, etc. The Vadnais Heights Fire Dept. had a hose set up (high enough so as not to hurt) for people to walk under, and a tent with misters going. That felt good!
The 2nd half of the day, there were even more texts, tweets, and cheering stations that offered support, tattoos, stickers, etc. I was excited to get one of the pink ribbon tattoos, which I put on right away, and now have a tan line from. One station gave stickers that said “I wear pink in honor of…” and then had a Sharpie so that you could write a name on it. I had been looking for a Sharpie to write the names down the back of my legs. I wanted to do Breast Cancer on one side, other cancers on the other. We only got as far as the breast cancer fighters. I missed two, and added them later.
At the last pit stop of the day, I was SO ready to be done. I was ready to be done with hills, done with my aching feet, done with blisters. I knew there was one more day of this… We had walked 40 miles in 2 days at that point. The thought that in about one more hour, we would have walked 43 miles in two days kind of hit me. I felt extremely overwhelmed, and I’m not sure why. I was proud of what we had accomplished so far, but I was also a bit embarrassed to be feeling so proud. We were walking for a cause, and for some reason, I felt like it was wrong to be proud. I think the exhaustion was contributing to how emotional I felt at that moment. Carrie assured me we SHOULD be proud. We had walked more than we had walked in a week before. We raised money to help fund breast cancer research, and we were doing an amazing thing.
After the Training Walk Leader photo, I went to eat some great food, and watched the “camp show”. They had some games, and then brought on the Youth Corps. Each of the children introduced themselves and why they were volunteering. One girl broke down in tears as she talked about her grandma. The tears I had been fighting off, and the emotions of the day could hold back no longer (I am such a sucker for kids). They also had a Breast Cancer Survivor come on stage and tell her story. It was so touching, and inspiring. What a great reminder for why we were doing this!
My Mom then came and asked me to go shopping with her. She wanted to buy me a shirt. I hobbled over to the tent with her. As I was looking at the shirts, she pointed out a pair of sweat pants that I had been eyeing up the day before. She offered to buy me those instead. I told her what I really wanted was a pin they were selling. She got me both. What a nice Mama I have! We then went to back to our pink tent, where I had to lay with my feet up, listening to the dance going on in the big tent not far away. If you know me, you know how much it tortured me to have to listen, and not be participating. At that point in the day, just standing was painful. Eventually, I got up and took a shower, which felt amazing. So did bedtime that night (probably at 9:30 or so).