The alarm went off at 4am… I begrudgingly left the comfy bed and hopped in the shower. As I was getting ready my dad was watching the news and discovered it would be hot and very humid all weekend – oh joy. [did i tell you I'm not a morning person?] I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and did some last minute packing adjustments and met the team… and about 25 other walkers down in the lobby of the hotel! We ate our sack breakfast on the floor in the lobby and tried to calm some nerves while Pat, James, Mayme & Deb hopped on the shuttle to Opening Ceremonies. Heather, Murt, Penny, Sandy, & I hopped in the car with my dad… that was an interesting drive for sure! We dropped off our duffels at the designated trucks and headed over to the ceremony site. Of course we pause for the occasional photo op or two… Then it was time for the ceremony. Let me just tell you, Jenne, the spokesperson for the 3 Day, gives a mean speech! I heart her. Opening is like a roller coaster. You are so excited and doing stretches one minute, you are remembering your lost loved one the next, and then you are celebrating the start of the next 60 miles!
And suddenly…. we were off!
In the sea of pink I started to see people I knew… fellow west side team the Coconutter Strutters were just ahead!
And then we started seeing the signs… and the shirts… the ones that make you laugh… the ones that make you cry… The ones you never forget because they hold such truth...
And then you see the smiling faces of the Superior Ambulance EMT’s [and get to autograph their pink ambulance!], the medical persons carefully bandaging the oh so many blisters the high heat and humidity caused, and the firemen who came out with misters, cold drinks, ice, and most importantly their trucks!
We got back to camp about 4pm-ish after walking 21.2 miles in blistering heat and humidity. We here hot, we were tired, but we still danced!
In camp we were treated to the new, beautiful, PRIVATE showers [past 3 Days had private shower stalls but community changing areas] a steak dinner complete with apple pie, the 3 Day 60 Second Challenge Game, and Jenne announcing that the 2011 3 Day for the Cure events were open for registration… which was, as she put it, “a little like asking a woman in labor if she wants to have more kids!” after walking those long, hot, humid miles. Did I tell you I heart her?
We were lucky enough to come back to camp with our tent already set up and the gear already inside [Thanks James!!] so it was just all fun & games while trying to cool down. We picked up our mail and I had over 20 letters and cards! Thank you everyone who sent something – it was definitely needed to get through this weekend! We did have a little scare while helping the other girls find their mail. Penny was really white and weak and was rushed to the medical tent in camp – she didn’t drink enough fluid during the day and they were pumping her full of Gatorade. She was this close to needing an IV… me many others did get one that day… a few more were taken to the hospital… but she was released into the care of Ashley [past walker, current cheerleader] and the AC’d hotel room to recover and walk again on Day 2. It was a warning to all of us to drink more than we thought we needed and definitely replace those electrolytes the next day… forecast was for higher temps and even higher humidity! We headed to bed at the 9pm curfew ready to recharge for the day ahead!