I’ll never do a 3 day breast cancer walk.
This past weekend my sister and I headed downtown Chicago to volunteer at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Our job was simple, but very rewarding. We were responsible for cheering on walkers as they crossed the finished line. It was a powerful, moving experience. One I would gladly repeat. However, it reinforced my conviction of why I’ll never participate in one of these walks.
As I stood cheering, I started to notice a trend as the day went on. More and more participants were grimacing and limping in pain as they finished their miles for the day. Not a good sign. The exercise physiologist in me wanted to jump out of line, get them ice and stretch them out. You see, I was witnessing classic signs of over-training, pushing the body beyond a healthy point.
I understand why they kept going. These events are very emotional and many participants are compelled to keep going even when they should really stop. Not everyone is meant to do these walks, myself included. Even though I can run daily, my feet could never tolerate walking these distances. As a breast cancer survivor I want these participants to know that I truly appreciate their efforts in raising funds for a cure and helping to pay it forward. I also want them to know, it is okay not to walk. There are many ways to help, all of them equally as important.
So I stand by my vow, I will never walk in one of these events, but I will volunteer at another one in a heartbeat!