AWESOME! That one word summarizes my experience last weekend when I walked 60 miles for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure - Breast Cancer 3-Day. One year ago I made a commitment to walk 60 miles and raise $3000 for breast cancer research. From that moment onward it was a long, but inspiring and rewarding, journey culminating in a 3-Day Walk with more than 3000 other women and men in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region. That walk - one of 15 in the U.S. in 2008 - raised more than $7 million! I was so impressed and felt so good about the walk that I signed up to do it again next year, October 8-11, 2009.
Doing the 3-Day Walk was something I had wanted to do for a long time. I signed up several years ago, but wasn't able to make the walk because of a work conflict. This year I was determined not to let anything stop me from hiking the 60 miles. I signed up for two other reasons. Reason #1: In August of 2007 I learned that a dear friend and colleague had to have a breast cancer mastectomy. She was the third friend in recent years that was forced to battle breast cancer. In addition to saying my prayers and sending her my support, I wanted to do something more proactive that might help all three of my friends and millions of other women. On October 8, 2007, I signed up for the DC Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk and pledged to raise $3000+.
Reason #2: I signed up because, at the time, my 50th Birthday was just months away in April of 2008. I was/am grateful for making it this far in life. I am also grateful for my many blessings, all that I have and all that I am. I decided to make 'gratitude' my 2008 New Year Resolution . . . as well as a permanent 'Lifetime Resolution', a pledge that is with me for good:
"I RESOLVE TO . . . SHOW MY GRATITUDE FOR ALL THAT I HAVE AND ALL THAT I AM BY 'GIVING BACK' IN 2008 IN FOUR AREAS OF MY LIFE: 1) WALK 60 MILES FOR THE WASHINGTON, DC BREAST CANCER 3-DAY AND RAISE $3000. 2) VOLUNTEER AT A VIRGINIA HORSE RESCUE FARM. 3) LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO COMBAT GLOBAL WARMING AND TAKE ACTION! 4) ENGAGE IN PREMEDITATED ACTS OF KINDNESS."
Here at I Resolve To . . . I preach about "Making Resolutions. Keeping Resolutions. Enjoying The Journey." I believe in leading by example - 'putting my money and energy where my mouth is'. So I made a commitment, built a plan, and followed through - one small step at a time, one day at a time for one year. It works and it paid off.
I recruited a team-mate and between the two of us, we raised nearly $6000, nearly double my own original personal goal. In addition to raising money for a wonderful cause, I also engaged in an activity that I love, and one that I believe promotes good health and happiness: Exercise. While I did have major surgery in May, and it has been a long recovery process, I could walk and I did walk. Walking helped me to physically recover and it boosted my mood and mental health. It was a win-win from every standpoint.
I have nothing but good things to say about my experience. My friends, family and colleagues gave generously and for that I am very thankful. The Breast Cancer 3-Day crew and staff took fabulous care of me and the other walkers. And the walkers themselves were totally awesome. I met so many wonderful people. They were happy to do something larger than themselves, to volunteer for a cause, and to lend a hand and support along the 60 mile route.
I gladly reciprocated. On the third day, early in the walk, I happened along a young woman who was in pain from blisters and ready to give up. I matched her pace and we chatted and chatted, which took our minds off our feet. Together we made it to the finish line. I was walker 721 - and full of joy as I passed hundreds of other women and men who cheered me on. I was tired. I had blisters and my feet were soooo sore. I camped out for two days and got very little sleep. But those three days reinforced something that I already knew: Each one of us can make a difference. We have the ability to live our dreams and to do good. But there is no free lunch. We have to make a firm decision to 'go for it', build a plan, and follow through each and every day. Most importantly, while the destination is wonderful - it truly is the journey, not the destination, that is important.
Rewarding is an understatement. I am proud to say that I fulfilled this important part of my 2008 resolution and ready to do it again next year. For now, I'm setting a slightly lower goal because the economy is in such terrible shape and I don't want to overburden myself, my generous friends and family. But Breast Cancer is not going to go away by itself and it is not going disappear overnight. Susan G. Komen For The Cure has donated more than $1 Billion to Breast Cancer Research. It is important to note, 85% of net proceeds raised from the walks fund research, while 15 percent of net funds are given to the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Someday, when a cure is finally discovered, I want to remember that I was able to make a difference, to play my own tiny but important role in that victory.
My message today to anyone who is reading this: If you have a dream, something that you passionately want to accomplish, do it. Don't put it off and fall victim to the 'Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome' because, in the end today may be all that you have. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something, or that you can't succeed. Know that you can and will achieve your dreams if you tirelessly devote your heart, body, mind, and soul. Join me in 2009: Be Bold. Be Nice. Do Good!
Remember: I Resolve To . . . Achieve My New Year Resolutions, One Resolution, One Day At A Time For One Year. It's your choice. Do it today. Turn your resolution into reality in five simple, common sense steps: Dare To Dream, Decide, Define, Develop A Plan, and Do It Daily. Make your resolution a permanent Lifetime Resolution, something that's with you for good! Above all, Be A Resolutionista, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey! Let's Go For It!
Need More Inspiration? Wear Your Resolution! Make Every Day New Year's Day. Make Every Day Count. Visit my resolution shop by clicking this link: http://www.cafepress.com/iresolveto
Kim M. Simpson - October 11, 2008
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