NorthWest Cable News morning anchor Cam Johnson blogs her adventures as she trains for the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk on September 12th, 13th & 14th.
Like thousands of other women training for Seattle's 3-Day Walk for breast cancer research, I'm just now coming to grips with how FAR 20 miles is! The 3-Day walk is 60+ miles total. Wow.
To be ready for such a feat, my feet have gone through some serious trials over the last several weeks. But I know I'm not alone and I know it is all for a great cause.
We are walking for a cure, and we're searching for the clues that can help to keep us all safer from this hideous disease.
Did you know that if you exercise 6 hours a week, you can cut your risk of invasive breast cancer by 23 percent? And the benefits of exercise for women (as far as breast cancer goes) appear to be even more profound than that. We all put on a little weight in our adult years. Research shows the more weight you put on, the greater your risk of breast cancer. Those little fat cells carry hormones -- the kind of hormones that increase our risk. So more fat = greater risk.
But I know on this issue, I'm a choir member preaching to the choir. I've struggled with my weight ever since my first pregnancy ten years ago. Losing it, unfortunately, is not as easy as deciding to lose it. But it starts with a single step. And let me tell you, there are a LOT of steps in a 20 mile walk.
I see a lot of women out there with smiles on their faces while they train for the 3-Day. Women of all shapes and sizes, and I'm always especially glad to see my plus-size sisters courageously training and smiling, in spite of the pain I know they're feeling some where. For me, it's always the feet. My walking buddy Courtney feels nothing but her lower back after about 12 miles. For other people, it's all about the groin area. The outer thigh seems to be a sore spot on many days. And after 20 miles of walking, it's not uncommon for the muscles on the back side of the leg to seize up after a few minutes of rest (unless you know how to stretch really well). Yikes!
I find myself thinking a lot about my poor feet while I'm walking. But then I start thinking about my walk in life. I think about how lucky I am to be a woman, even with the risk of breast cancer. Women are so great about supporting each other and sharing their pain and joys. As I walk and walk, I think, No matter how tough the walk in this lifetime may be, we never really have to walk it alone. That makes me feel lucky. And it makes my feet a little bit stronger as Courtney makes another scratch of the chalk onto the sidewalk so we can keep track of how many miles we've walked in our neighborhood today.
We're one step closer, friends.