Sunday, August 30, 2009

JDRF Walk for the Cure 2009

This was the first Saturday all summer that I didn't have a race or competition of some sort on the calendar, and to be honest, I was torn. Something about the anticipation of a Saturday and another shot to test my metal, and yet, the idea of taking a weekend off and resting was so appealing as well.

You prolly read about this here. Ethan, my little curly headed buddy was the reason we chose to participate. Sissy spent the night Friday, we woke up Saturday and with the lure of getting to ride in the stroller, finally got her loaded in the car and we headed off to Wheeler Farm. I was warned there would be tons of people, I didn't listen very well. There were TONS of people. We ended up parking quite a ways away and hoofing it to the event.

We checked in with the Shark at the registration table, got our tickets for our t-shirts, first time walker stickers and instructions on where to go make a sign.

After taking care of those details, we wandered around a bit to check it all out. I have to say I.was.impressed. There were too many booths for me to count, all geared towards things for kids. Families were all around us in matching shirts, with signs and pictures of their loved one that was living with this horrible disease. Every person there was there for a cause, a purpose, a reason for participating.

We finally found Shark's hubby and kids and lined up at the start. The walk began and off we went. Slooooowwwwwllllly. There were so many people, that is was a mere shuffle for most of the way. Which in normal settings, would make me crazy since I like to walk at warp speed, but in this case, it was rather nice. I could listen to the chatter around me. I heard kids talking about their brother or sister or cousin that they were walking for. I could read the signs posted every few feet with the story of a child and his or her diagnosis date. There were also signs informing us about the organization and how the funds were used. There were facts about the disease and statistics that give one pause to think and be thankful if you aren't one dealing with this.

The walk was less than three miles, and about half way through, the dust was bad enough that Splenda pulled off and headed back to the grassy area. Sissy and I finished it up with Adam and the kids . Sissy loved holding the sign. We crossed the finish line and I had to laugh at a couple of young girls who were walking by me. They were tired and just didn't feel like they could go on. But once they saw the balloons marking the finish, they shouted and sprinted to the end. Ahh, the energy of youth!

The rest of the morning was spent hanging out and letting Sissy play. They had bounce houses, slides, and a rock climbing wall. Sissy was distressed at waiting in lines, and couldn't understand the concept of why she was too little to do the rock wall climb. Yes, we had a few minor melt downs, but for the most part, she loved being outside and had a good time.

We got our sack lunch, sat at a picnic table and continued to observe the going on's around us. Again, it was all about the kids. They even had a band performing, that was comprised entirely of kids. And they were good!

After more running around the park and just enjoying the atmosphere, we loaded up and headed home. I got a chance to talk to the Shark before leaving and thank her for the invite. She looked exhausted. I can't even tell you how many hours she had put into this event and she still wasn't done. I couldn't help but admire her dedication and hard work. What an awesome mother she is! (and yes, I kifed the JDRF logo and E's pic from her site, thanks Shark...)

JDRF - well done, my friends, well done indeed. See you in 2010. And to Ethan my mop headed, Bo-Sox loving, trash-talking, buddy who deals with this stupid disease - they will find a cure. I know it.


Kristina P. said...

Everytime I have heard or seen the commercial on TV, I think about them!

tammy said...

Awesome. You're such a good friend.