Yesterday’s Lesson

Today is the day after the Ottawa Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Today is the day my legs are so stiff I cannot move them, and my feet are so sore I can’t put them on the floor. I underestimated walking 60 km; it was so much harder than I thought it would be. I thought the hard part was raising the $2000 needed to participate. I though that was the accomplishment me and my team, Quest for The Breast, had each attained. No no. The hard part was earning that donated money; proving our faith that a cure, a vaccine, a better treatment for breast and gynecological cancers exist.

At the end of Day 1, and the first 32 km, I had pretty much given up hope. I was already as stiff and hurt as I feel today. Even with good shoes, fancy socks, and copious amounts of Body Glide my feet we covered in blisters. I don’t want to get too graphic, but my pinkie toe had a blister on it bigger than my pinkie toe. When you wake up in the morning hardly able to move, you can’t image that you can walking another 28 km. But willpower is amazing; you ignore your body for a while, you force your feet down, you tell your legs to move, and after a while the pain numbs, you muscles warm up and stop resisting you and you start having fun again.

Now I understand the magnitude of 60 kilometres (37 miles). If you know Ottawa; driving from Petrie Island to the Scotiabank Place is only 45km. Prince Edward Island, at its widest point, is 64 km. It is great to know, that for the right reason, I could walk across a province. Great to know that I can push myself to accomplish something I’ve put my mind to. I hadn’t considered the mental part of the journey; and the wall that popped up inside my head that said I couldn’t do it caught me off guard. I am proud of myself for pushing through that wall, but I am overwhelmed with respect for the cancer survivors, young and old, who crossed the finish line with much more grace and perseverance then I could ever achieve. Yesterday is the day I learnt that it always seems impossible until it is done (Nelson Mandela).

My team and I (and their daughters) crossing the finish line of the 60 km Ottawa Weekend to End Women's Cancers
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