Thursday, May 03, 2007

cause of death: philanthropy

this is a few days late, but to be honest, i haven't really had the energy to even attempt a blog until today. on sunday jenn & i walked eight miles to raise money for the march of dimes, an organization that does research to find the causes of premature birth & assist parents of preemies. & with both tina & sinead "in the family way" it seemed like a pretty dang good cause. walking for babies & all that jazz.

now, as naive as this may sound, when i set off on this great adventure i kind of had no clue exactly how long eight miles would really be. yes, you may hum eminem if you must. i knew intellectually, but i didn't really take into account how that distance would feel to my body. i've been working out pretty hard with jenn & then training with riley. not necessarily recently, but semi recently. & i am so much stronger now than i was even back in december. & i do have more endurance & stamina. but, not so much for a long distance walk.

i will give a piece of free advice to anyone out there planning to do a charity walk of any kind: in your preparation, actually walk. i know it may seem kind of obvious & silly, but yours truly sorta forgot this little detail. & my advice would be walk for your training. yeah, i know that is something that you would THINK is obvious, but for some reason it never really blipped across my radar. i was hitting the weight training hard with riley, pushing myself with that. doing interval training on the elliptical & the gazelle-ish machine, but no walks. i mean, not like i dragged myself everywhere, of course i did the normal day to day walking, but no increase in my walking. & while being able to leg press 240lbs is a great accomplishment, that doesn't help in a long walk as much as you would think.


the way the walk was set up we went half way around lake of the isles, & that's where the two paths diverged. jenn-jenn & i could've continued going around lake of the isles for the five mile walk (which is a pretty healthy distance) or veer off to the right, down a path under a bridge & go around lake calhoun & then finish going around lake of the isles which was the eight mile path (also known as jesus-bobby-i-want-to-die) by the time we got to the fork in the road, so to speak, i was one hurting unit. like i said previously, i really wasn't in shape for this. (ya, i know round is a shape, but i wasn't able to roll around the lakes.)

my back had started hurting within about ten minutes of the walk due to the three liters of water in my camel back along with the snacks that i packed (cause a fat girl can't take a walk without food, duh. jesus bobby) & then there were the hills. omg. i did NOT sign up for hills. at least, i don't think i did. & so in addition to the pain in my back my shins were killing me also. & i was sweating like a pig. & i had lost my sunglasses clips & didn't have any contacts, so i was doing all this in the bright sun with no protective eye wear. the only thing i did have going for me is that my pale self was covered in a nice think lacquer of spf 60+, basically the strongest sunscreen i could find.

while i'm sure she was hurting too, jenn didn't really say much about hurting or being in pain. &, to brag just a tad, even though i was in pain, i didn't bitch much at all. & when jenn looked at me & asked if i was sure if i was ok i told her that "yup, i'll be fine." i knew that complaining wouldn't help me one bit. even if i wanted to whine like a three year old.

so when we got to the point where we had to make a decision between short loop (5mile) & long loop (8mile) jenn left the decision up to me. & i really with all my heart & aching back wanted to slide in with the main pack & finish off the five mile. but then again i had promised the people who sponsored me, my friends, riley, & most of all myself, that i would do the eight mile course. so i pondered this rather quickly while using the porta-potty at the park. i weighed the pros & cons while trying to balance & not touch anything at all in the portable outhouse . it's rather difficult while trying to think & not fall flat on my face or breathe in too deeply. but i did it & came to the conclusion that while everyone else, even miss jenn, would understand if i slunk out of the plastic bathroom & just went around lake of the isles, i would be disappointed in myself if i didn't finish the whole eight mile trek.

& we carried on.

i won't pretend that this is any kind of hollywood ending. i didn't catch a second wind & wind up jogging my way back to the starting camp with a huge smile on my face. i dragged my feet. by the end i was actually literally dragging my feet, shuffling along the sidewalk because i had lost most of the feeling in my legs, which was good because i wasn't able to feel the blisters forming on my feet. i was severely tempted at one point to call for help. the conversation went something like this:

"i want to call an ambulance!"
"no, you're not calling an ambulance, keep walking,"
jenn said over her shoulder, about ten feet in front of me.
we then heard a siren & my ears perked up like a cat hearing a can of tasty feast open.
"no, that's not your ambulance, keep walking."

right after that the bus pulled up. no, not an ambulance, but a real actual school bus. they had a shuttle service to drive people back who couldn't finish the walk. they saw jenn & i & pulled over asking if we wanted a ride.

once again i had an inner dilemma, sorta like the porta-potty soul searching except i wasn't bare-assed & trying to pretend i was somewhere else. the driver opened the door & asked jenn & i if we wanted a ride. & jenn didn't say anything, she just looked at me leaving me, once again, to decide. & while i really wanted to drag myself up those steps & flop onto the sticky-hot vinyl seat for the bumpy ride back, i found myself saying "no thank you, we'll walk."

i think i was delirious from pain. & we did actually finish the walk. all on our own. both standing up right. i wasn't walking well when i got home sunday night after the walk. & have only regained the ability to walk somewhat normally as of wednesday afternoon, but it was worth it. i am proud of what i accomplished.

& it was fun too. jenn cracks me up. & besides that, walking around lake calhoun is a great way to people watch! & it's not true: they do come out during the day *grins*

the two best lines of the day were also both provided by miss jenn toward the end of our walk:

(as we're nearing the starting area) i wonder if they have a beer garden?

(sitting in my car post walk eating lunch) it must have been hard to be jesus {pause} cause he walked a lot. . . .think any body gave him a sandwich after?

No comments: