Friday, November 20, 2009

the journey of sixty miles begins

It is 10:00 PM. In less than six hours, I'll be catching a ride with my friend and fellow walker Debbie - and Cheryl - and we'll be rendezvousing with the rest of our More The Merrier Walkers for Knockers team at the opening ceremony for our 3-Day walk.

Less than 12 hours from now, I will be joining thousands of other walkers as we take part in a three day journey that will take us (nearly) 60 miles around San Diego. We will be sleeping at night in little pink tents and our senses will be filled with what I'm sure will be inspiring and motivational messages (and scenes).

Because I am still sick - very sick - I'm a little afraid that this three day walk will resemble more of the Bataan Death March than a cancer crusade. At least for me.

But I will be there! Dressed in pink!

And by golly, I will be happy and glad to be a part of it all!


Here are our team t-shirts that the ever so talented Terrell had made up.

This is the front...


And this is the back.


Aren't those GREAT?

So that I remember during my NEXT 3-Day Walk (isn't that optimistic that I'm planning the next one before I've even completed the first?!) and in case any of you decide to embark on a similar journey, this is what I'm packing for my walk.


Two pairs of shoes (wear one one day, one the next and allow the pads to recover for the third day on the first pair. Got that?). Six pairs of socks (two for each day). Three pairs of walking pants. Three sports tops. Three More The Merrier Walkers for Knockers shirts. Fanny pack and water bottle. Daily badge and my lovely pink ribbon baseball hat (thanks Beth!)

The pink shoes were purchased SOLELY because they were pink. I didn't want the blue pair at all, but according to the shoes salesman, they actually fit my foot better. Which might be important considering I'm walking SIXTY MILES. But you know, color coordination is really so critical to me at times. (Shh. Don't tell any serious athletes that. Or my podiatrist.)

This is what I'm packing for my nights at camp.


Sleeping bag rated to 10 below zero. Yes, we are in Southern California but near the ocean, it gets bone chilling cold at night and temperatures will drop in to the 50's. (You be quiet. Everyone who lives north of me. My blood is THIN!)

In addition to my sub zero sleeping bag, I've packed one travel pillow. One camping pad that inflates to a nice cozy mattress. Charlie's shirt which I'll sleep in every night, just to have him close. Two pairs of fleece pants including a pair of fleece overalls. One pair of fleece socks. One hot pink fleece pull over. One fleece vest. One down vest. One fleece hat. One fleece TurtleFur. One pair of fleece gloves. (I hate to be cold which is why I love fleece and subscribe to the 'layer' philosophy.) One pair of Crocs which are perfect to wear after a long day of walking AND can be worn in the shower (double points!). One chamois camp towel. One headlamp (because it's nice to use the restroom without holding a flashlight in your teeth.)

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.


No, not really. I'll get to that in a minute.

I'm also packing an assortment of adorable little toiletry items that are almost too cute to use. Each one of those items is no more than 2-inches tall. Have you ever seen such a tiny stick of deodorant? It's just a little wider than a tube of Chapstick. So precious. And yet so highly necessary for a sixty-mile walk. (It would be bad to stink in the pink. I think.)


I'm planning to bring a roll of toilet paper and a few plastic bags that I can use for trash, in my tent. The TP is good to have for runny noses or if heaven-forbid, the Porta Potty runs out. Plus, some might argue that having their brand is beneficial for their posterior while in the wild. Why not do whatever you can to make your trip enjoyable?


Ahhh, yes. I can actually hear you in the future and through my computer screen, bestowing your thanks upon me for this golden nugget of camping wisdom.

You are SO very welcome.

In my fanny pack, I'll have moleskin - Second Skin - and blister bandages. I've got a small Swiss Army knife with scissors for cutting aforementioned blister-preventing-agents. I'll have a wide-mouthed water bottle, my camera, cell phone, sunglasses, gum, small wallet with insurance card and license, small pack of Kleenex, Chapstick, sunscreen, Gold Bond powder, hand sanitizer, tiny hair brush, body glide and a little First Aid kit with Tylenol, bandaids and Neosporin. Last but not least, I'll have a few energy bars. I'm also planning to wear my fleece vest for the first few hours of the walk because it will be CHILLY and since it packs up small, I can store it in my pack once I warm up.


Also in my pack, I'll have about 50 "Be Amazing" bracelets that I'm going to hand out to the people who I befriend along the way. (For those of you that still haven't received your Be Amazing bracelets, I've got 95% of them packaged and ready to ship. I just need to get to the post office to have them weighed. I promise they will be there soon!)

Yesterday, I received a care package from my awesome cousin, Margaret. Inside, there was a card that read something along the lines of, "Jen, these are a few items that I know you'll need for your walk. Band aids, energy bars, pain medicine, epsom salt {what the heck is that for??} and chocolate. The Doves are for our loved ones that we've lost."



The DOVES are for loved ones that we've lost.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know me. You know my family. When you hear the word "DOVES" what are you thinking of?

As for me, I'm thinking of chocolate.

So I go through the box, and I see the band aids and the energy bars and the pain medicine and the epsom salt and I see white plastic birds and I see a bag of Hershey's. And I'm looking - looking - searching - DIGGING ALMOST DESPERATELY - for what I believe to be Dove chocolate bars, buried in the box. That's when Charlie comes in and asks, "What's with all the doves?" and I realize, the DOVES are BIRDS.

And there is one dove for each person we've lost to cancer.

Next to the birds, Margaret has written the names, Raymond (our cousin); Andrea (our cousin); Aunt Carolyn (our Godmother); Jeanne (Charlie's mom); Julie (my girlfriend); Deana (my girlfriend); My Father (my Uncle Bill.)

Yet, there are so many more.

I was so touched by her thoughtfulness, that I took the doves and carefully wrote the names of the person Margaret had in her heart, when she sent them to me. Then, I used safety pins and fastened each of the birds to my pink pirate hat, that I plan to wear on portions of the walk, or at least around camp.


Then I tried the hat on.


And I felt like a living wind chime.


As of today, our team of triplet mom walkers have have raised $12,514.00 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. My most heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped to support us on this journey and to those of you who will be sending your positive thoughts and prayers our way as we participate in this event.

I'll be back soon with pictures and stories and I'm sure a blister or two. But most importantly, with the first-hand knowledge that we are all one step closer to a cure.

Amen. Good night.


  1. Thank you for doing this! I miss Julie! *tear

  2. AMEN! I will pray for you on this amazing journey.

  3. Sally in Germany11/20/09, 3:13 AM

    Good luck! The epson salt is probably to soak your feet in at night. So maybe you should see if you can find an inflatable bowl or maybe small kiddie pool to fill with water (and a portable water cooker - who likes soaking feet in cold water?) so you can enjoy it at night. That will fit in your fanny pack, right?

  4. Good luck Jen. I could have never gone with you. It looks like you have over a $1000 worth of stuff. I think it would be cheaper to fly to NC and do the one mile.

    Hope you feel better. Good LUCK!

  5. Good Luck! Ya'll are awesome!!

  6. Ohio's beloved Stephanie Spielman lost her battle with breast cancer just yesterday. Pls remember her. And, thank you for all you are doing...

  7. Good luck Jen and your team. How do you have the time to be so organized? Who taught you that?

  8. I think you need a sherpa to help you carry all that stuff. LOL...

    Seriously...Thank you Jen for the difference you make in this world. It is immense!

    Good luck!!! Have fun!

  9. Great job with the fundraising Jen:) I love the dove hat:) And good luck!

  10. Good luck, and thanks for raising money and walking for such an important cause.

  11. Wishing you the best on your walk! Can't wait to hear all about it.

  12. Epsom salts are for soaking achy muscles. (Works on helping lame horses heal too.)
    Good for you doing the walk. All the best!

  13. Delurking to let you know that the epsom salt very well could be your long-distance hug from Margaret after the race. It is great to add to warm water and soak your lovely toes in, as long as you can keep the kids from splashing in it. In fact, it is medicinely beneficial and hopefully will prevent any problems from developing after the fact! You are awesome and amazing. Thank you for sharing all of your ups and downs with us. You inspire me.

  14. I won't say anything about your camping skills! :)

    good luck, I'm proud of you and I'll be praying for you from up here above the Arctic Circle.

    And, had I thought about it, I could have totally sent you a caribou skin to sleep on! We have PLENTY! :)

  15. You are awesome. 12.5K is a lot of freaking money. And 60 miles is a long way. Have fun.

  16. I can't wait to hear about it. Keep up the good work!

  17. Jen... as a breast cancer survivor, i thank you from the
    bottom of my heart. Blessings, dear girl. <3

  18. First of all, I really hope you ironed that shirt!! Next, WHO ATE ALL THE GOLDEN NUGGETS? The bag is 1/2 full!?!(although I thought of opening the bag and eating a few before I sent it; I didn't.swear.) Third, I "almost" wish I was there with you guys. Last, but not least, you are so funny! God, I love ya. Although you don't feel well - This is great. I second Geology chick "Thanks so much for doing this!"

    I really hope you all have a great time. We are so proud of you.
    Love, Marg.

    PS Love the tp! You and Charlie laughed at me for bringing wipes during the marathon! See. One can never be to clean! ;-)

  19. Man I am behind in the blogs... sorry I didn't get to this before your first day! I hope it was a good one and I can't wait to hear ALL about it! I love love love the t-shirts and you will be so happy to have them. Man I wish I could be there to cheer you on... wonder if there is a flight available ;~)

    Day 1 done!

    Seriously, hold tight to the camera!

  20. Thanks Jen! My mother (Aunt Carolyn) would be thrilled to see you in that hat!


    P.S. You know you can count on me for the "real" Doves. (LOL) Have fun and be safe.

  21. I hope your walk is going well! Can't wait to hear all about it.