Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Friendship

With our 3-Day 60-Mile Breast Cancer Walk coming up in 6 weeks, the time had come for us to really do a long walk (sometimes we got a little waylaid by a team member falling, or the Nashville heat wave, or the local pancake house).  Some of our team members had been suggesting a walk in the park, so today we decided to take them up on it.  We were assured that we would have plenty of shade, which would be a great asset for today's endeavor.

The park part of our walk was only 11 miles, but we needed to do at least 16, so we added a down-and-back of five miles that we tacked on at the beginning.  Then we started in on the park (Percy Warner, for you locals). Having never walked any significant distance in Percy Warner, I had no idea what we were in for, which was a blessing.  Let's just say "the hills were alive" - with the sounds of moaning, complaining, wimpering, and maybe even a little cursing here and there!

Of course no training walk would be complete without our helping out a stranger.  Today as we walked into the park, a lady asked if we had a phone with internet access.  She had driven her car into a ditch and needed to find a tow truck to come and pull her out.  Once we had her situated, we were off and up the first hill, where we stopped for a photo op.  Which was good, since at that point we still had some enthusiasm for the natural beauty (by the end we were begging for the sight of our cars).

Anyhow, we spent the next four hours trudging up and down and up and up and up some more hills with various degrees of inclines.  We stopped to help a runner who was sort of lost, we tried to move over for the cyclists as they sped past (Bike!! Bike!!), we blessed KP because she had the foresight to drive the course and stash an ice-filled bucket with Gatorade so that we would be refreshed along the way, we played trivia for a few miles (do YOU know how many dimples there are on a golf ball), and somehow managed to finish the 16 miles without pushing each other off the edge of the cliff.  It was tough, but we managed to stick with it and finish.

There's a lot to be said about friends who help you get through 16 hilly miles on a warm morning in the middle of a Southern summer.  But I like to think today was just a picture why we're doing this walk.  I like to think that this team is representative of teams of friends all over the world who help each other get through breast cancer.

I like to think there are friends there to provide whatever needs have to be met, to encourage with a laugh or a hug, and to just show the way when one really doesn't feel like going on. I like to think there are friends to stop and wait with you, to keep watch while you have to stop off the main road for a break, and to provide a safe haven (like a cooled-down car) when you need it.  I like to think there are friends who say, "Go at your own pace," even if it means getting way ahead of them - because you know they'll always be behind you, or beside you, or ahead of you providing a path. 

Today I am reminded of what true friends are about - and how thankful I am to have them!
Today's blessings:  16 miles with Udderly Pink; KP's Gatorade treasure; Sonic with Molly; Everley and Lindley time; Sam's WW dinner at their house

1 comment:

Karen said...

Can't wait to do it all again! Our ladies rock!