Friday, April 29, 2011

The Avon Walk- A Restoration of Hope

Cross-posted and archived from DC Metro Moms.  Original post date May 8, 2008.  It's walk weekend again so I'm posting this.

In some ways I am still reeling from completing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this past weekend. Maybe it is due to the surprise visit I had from a dear old friend or simply the fact that my sleeping bag is still airing out on my deck. However I may be feeling, it was worth it! Every blister, every painful step, even the rest stops that lacked water and Gatorade it was worth it and not just because it was the first year I did not have to lie in a puddle soaked sleeping bag all night.

It was my fourth year completing the walk and the second that my aunt is cancer-free. Each year it seems the list of who I walk for just gets longer and I remind myself that this is the reason I walk so that the list will not just get shorter but maybe cease to even exist one day.

This year the walk felt different and not just because I am pregnant and a bit slower. This year the walk seemed to truly bubble over with a sense of hope and strong purpose. The energy in the crowd was high all through the weekend and we were 3,800 walkers strong! Friends and family from all over came out to cheer us on. Random acts of kindness were abundant as tired walkers climbed the hills of the District's hot sun on both days. There were donuts passed out, bottles of water left on front steps by helpful strangers and kids all over the city not only cheered on complete strangers but set up free lemonade stands along the route. It never failed to bring a tear to my eye.

We often complain to one another that the world is a hard place and we are a cynical lot. Some people state that they would not want to raise children in a world this cold. I think I can safely say that after this weekend it only takes walking through the neighborhoods our great city to see that happy families, good neighborhoods and caring souls do still walk our streets and they are teaching their children to do the unto others as they themselves wish to be treated. I felt all this in abundance this year and at almost every corner.

When I crossed that finish line on Sunday, ending my 26.2 mile journey, I felt propelled by the goodwill, cheering crowds and immense feeling of love and support from fellow walkers, friends, family and perfect strangers. That is what got me through the walk this year, it wasn't just my own blind determination. The sense of hope I felt that we will lick this dreadful disease was stronger for me this year than in years past. I felt elated and very emotional and I don't think it was just my hormones talking. It was all of you and all the kindness you have shown throughout this year. For that, I am thankful. You have restored my sense of hope.


whymommy said...

Victoria, I wish I'd known you were walking! I was there cheering the crowds on Saturday and Sunday -- I hope I hollered loud enough for you to hear me. Even though we're technically strangers, I'm so proud of you for doing this....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear from a reader and not say, a robot.