Avon Walk 2012 – In It To End It

I’m just coming out of a weekend spent walking 39.3 miles with hundreds of other women and men to raise money for the Avon Foundation to fund breast cancer care, support, and research.

I’ve known about this walk and others like it for years – Avon is celebrating its 10th year of walks, and the walk team from my workplace is in its fourth year – but I’ve always hesitated to join, fearing that it would seem overwhelming. The walking itself was not that daunting – though a little, just because of having small kids at home. I was more concerned that with my mom having died of breast cancer and my work involving so many people affected by this disease, the walk would cause emotional saturation.

Having completed this journey, I have a new perspective on the walk. It’s true, I shed a few tears at the opening and closing ceremonies – really, with people sharing their breast cancer stories and Coldplay as the background music, what choice did I have? But the other side of the walk was an inspiring sensation of doing something to help – and doing it with hundreds of other people.

Some special moments from the Avon Walk…

  • Making a difference in the fight against breast cancer
  • Making a difference with my friends
  • Making a difference with strangers
  • Feeling the effort from head to toe
  • Being pampered by the dedicated volunteers along the way (graham cracker PBJ sandwiches = awesome)
  • Being cheered by hubby, the boys, and their uncle. It was an opportunity to teach the older boys a little about the disease that took their grandmother and about community and philanthropy
  • Seeing San Francisco from ground level, in all its varied and stunning beauty. Here are some of the amazing sights and views along the route:
Moon over the TransAmerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Moon over the TransAmerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Sun shining through the fog on the Golden Gate Bridge

Sun shining through the fog on the Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge under fog, from Fort Baker

Golden Gate Bridge under fog, from Fort Baker

Palace of Fine Arts glowing in the fog, San Francisco

Palace of Fine Arts glowing in the fog, San Francisco

A strong sense of togetherness, trekking 39.3 miles for the fight against breast cancer

A strong sense of togetherness, trekking 39.3 miles with so many others in the fight against breast cancer

Walked with my coworker Robin almost the whole way.  A great bonding experience.

Walked with my coworker Robin almost the whole way. A great bonding experience.

Closing ceremony for the Avon Walk.  A good balance of seriousness and hope.

Closing ceremony for the Avon Walk. A good balance of seriousness and hope.

Thank you to all my friends who supported me with encouragement, camaraderie, and donations. In case you can’t tell, I’m hooked on this event. The only things that could have made this great weekend even better would have been 1) not being exhausted and jet-lagged going into it (learned a lesson) and 2) having a costume! If only I had known this was an opportunity to craft a fun pink outfit and accessories! Next year, a tutu is a must! 3) having even more friends to walk with, so I hope you’ll consider joining us next year!

“Jewels”

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