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Preview: Aimee's Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk

Aimee's Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk



I've decided to get off my butt and participate in The Breast Cancer 3-Day, walking 60 miles over 3 days. Your support means the world to me and life to someone living with cancer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!



Updated: 2015-09-16T13:02:23.883-05:00

 



History of Smoots

2009-07-13T09:50:19.297-06:00

(image) During my training walks I like to impart little bits of Boston trivia I've picked up along the way. Last year one of my walkers told me the history of "Smoots" as we crossed over the Mass Ave bridge. I usually only remember the highlights of the story and share it each time we walk over the bridge during our 18 mile walk. It's a fun bit of Boston lore, and now that I know we're crossing the Charles River at some point during the 3Day I wanted to look up the info so I would be ready to share it with whomever is around me on July 26th! Here's a picture of Smoot being measured for the first time!


Here's the official story I found online:

Oliver Smoot, MIT class of 1962, is retiring from his chairmanship of the American National Standards Institute. He lent his name, and not coincidentally also his height, to a unit of measurement which is now part of history.


As almost every MIT student knows, a smoot is a unit of length equal to five feet seven inches. Most students also know that the length of the Mass. Ave. bridge between MIT and Boston is precisely 364.4 smoots and one ear. (aimee addition - on the actual bridge it says 364.4 + 1 ear)


A fact that's not as widely known however, is what Smoot himself did after graduating from MIT. After receiving a law degree from Georgetown he went on to set high standards, quite literally as President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He has also been included in Google Calculator. If you enter "10 feet in smoots" into Google, the calculator will tell you that 10 feet equals 1.79104478 smoots. Google also uses the Smoot as an optional unit of measure in Google Earth.


Why smoots?This unique unit of measurement was developed in October 1958, Smoot's freshman year, and is one of the more famous MIT hacks. It came about as a way to measure the length of the Mass. Ave. bridge, and gauge the distance between the Boston fraternities and main MIT campus on cold days. The pledgemaster for Smoot's fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, used Smoot as a measure because he was the shortest, and because the name sounded "scientific," like "meter" or "watt." They laid him down, end over end, and painted the markings that still bear his name. The name and legend have endured renovations to the bridge, 47 years of Lambda Chi Alpha Pledges, who repaint the markings every year, and two additional Smoots (son Stephen '90 and daughter Sherry '99). Alas, Stephen was too tall to follow in his father's footsteps, and the smoots almost became history.


Smoot himself is not yet history, however, despite any rumors. In an interview with the Washington Post, Smoot recalled the the first time he went to an MIT gathering of undergraduates. "I introduced myself to this young man, and he said, 'Oh, I thought you were dead.' "



The Route!

2009-07-11T15:25:31.620-06:00

Some general info about the 3Day route was posted...

Looks like we're walking through downtown Boston! In fact, it looks like the route on Sunday will be VERY similiar to the routes I mapped out for my training walks! I love feeling at home on day 3!

Here's what they've told us:


"The Boston Breast Cancer 3-Day will begin with an emotional Opening Ceremony at Farm Pond in Framingham where we'll gather together to pay tribute to the many women and men who have lost their battle with breast cancer, and honor the survivors. We'll remember the reason we're walking as we make our way through several towns filled with interesting architecture, as well as many small shops and restaurants. We will enjoy a stroll through Waltham, the city known as “Watch City” due to the Waltham Watch Factory established here in 1854, before heading to camp for the night.

On Saturday morning, we'll rise and shine, ready to hit the trail. This second day of walking will feature many spots that are both beautiful and historic, including Arlington and Lexington. The route will travel along Mystic Lake and then Woburn Parkway, a walking path surrounded by a lake on both sides, before heading to lunch. We'll pass the Minuteman Statue, the Old Bury Ground and the Lexington Battle Ground before walking back to camp for another night of community, camaraderie and fun.


The final day of our journey will wind towards Cambridge. We'll walk through the neighborhoods of Brattle Street and the town center, then along the border of Harvard. From here, we'll head to MIT before crossing the Charles River. Once in the center of Boston, enjoy a stroll through the Public Gardens and the Financial District. Then it's on to “Southie,” located south of the Fort Point Channel and abutting Dorchester Bay. We'll walk along the bay as we make our way to our final destination, the University of Massachusetts, for a celebratory Closing Ceremony. "



Easy Peasy

2009-07-11T15:16:14.657-06:00

Today was one of those great walks! The weather was perfect (high 70's, sunny, little breeze), the crowd was fun, and the walk felt easy. Well, as easy as walking 18 miles can feel! Today wasn't the biggest group yet: 17 walkers in total, and we all stayed together for the first 10 miles. So, like the mother hen I am, everytime we stopped to go to the bathroom or stop at a convenience store I was busy counting to 17 before starting to walk again....don't want to leave anyone behind! Got to meet some fun new walkers and reconnect with some folks I've met over the last few months. Not to mention I wore my new sneakers and they held up beautifully during all 18 miles. I feel ready to go! Now it's time to start thinking about packing! :-)

Only 2 weeks and it's the official 3Day!!!!



Closing Ceremony and BBQ

2009-07-05T19:51:47.594-06:00

Have you been dying to see my new place? Well here's your chance! Come to the 3Day Closing Ceremony and I'll be hosting a BBQ for my private cheering section afterwards!! Hope you'll be able to come watch the Closing Ceremonies ~ truly a memorable experience according to past spectators!


Closing Details:

Sunday, July 26th 5:00 pm
*Plan to arrive about 3:30 pm to get parking, find a spot close to the stage to watch the ceremony and cheer on walkers as we finish the 60 mile journey! Don't forget to bring a folding chair for added comfort!

University of Massachusetts
100 William T Morrissey Blvd, Dorchester, MA 02125

Spectator Parking Directions:
University of Massachusetts is located off of 1-93. Off-site parking will be available, at no charge, at Boston College High School and Sovereign Bank, all located within walking distance to University of Massachusetts. Gear pick-up will also be located at Sovereign Bank. Please note that parking at Sovereign Bank and Boston College High School will be the closest parking lots to Gear Drop.

Map of Parking Sites and Closing Ceremony location

Driving Directions:


From the South - Take Interstate 93 North (Southeast Expressway) to Exit 14, Morrissey Blvd. /JFK Library/UMASS. Continue straight off the exit ramp onto Morrissey Blvd for one mile. Turn right into Boston College High School to access both parking lots at Boston College High School and Sovereign Bank. Follow event signage to the Closing Ceremony at University of Massachusetts.


From the North - Take Interstate 93 South (Southeast Expressway) to Exit 15, Columbia Road/JFK Library/UMASS. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and proceed towards the rotary. Turn right the first opportunity out of the rotary and remain in the right lane descending the ramp onto Morrissey Blvd. Stay to the right of the curb at the bottom of the ramp and in the left lane. The first traffic light is in front of The Boston Globe plant. At the second traffic light, make a u-turn on Morrissey Boulevard. Turn right into Boston College High School to access both parking lots at Boston College High School and Sovereign Bank. Follow event signage to the Closing Ceremony at University of Massachusetts.



From the West - Take Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) to Interstate 93 South (Southeast Expressway) to Exit 15, Columbia Road/JFK Library/UMASS. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and proceed towards the rotary. Turn right the first opportunity out of the rotary and remain in the right lane descending the ramp onto Morrissey Blvd. Stay to the right of the curb at the bottom of the ramp and in the left lane. The first traffic light is in front of The Boston Globe plant. At the second traffic light, make a u-turn on Morrissey Boulevard. Turn right into Boston College High School to access both parking lots at Boston College High School and Sovereign Bank. Follow event signage to the Closing Ceremony at University of Massachusetts.



2 Comments

2009-07-05T19:34:08.428-06:00




Cheering Stations!

2009-07-05T19:33:00.171-06:00

(image) The locations have been announced! If you're around Friday July 24th - Sunday July 26th, I'd love to see you along the 60 mile route. :-)


According to the 3Day site, here's what a Cheering Station is:"Cheering Stations are a great way to show your support along the route to encourage walkers and let them know that you are with them every step of the way. Seeing familiar faces cheering them on can provide that extra burst of energy that gets them to take that next step or go the next mile. Create banners, hold up signs, bring some music and make some noise - anything to make them smile, get energized and keep walking. "


My tips - bring a chair and/or cooler for comfy cheering! Also, give me a call the day you're coming and I'll give you a time range of when I should arrive at each Cheering Station...it will definitely NOT be early as I'm a slow walker! ;-)


Friday, July 24:

9:00 am - 11:30 am Hunnewell Playground, park at Stars Market, 448 Washington St Wellesley

11:15 am - 3:00 pm Learning Prep School, 1507 Washington Street Newton



Saturday, July 25:

10:15 am - 3:30 pm YMCA - North Suburban Family Branch, ‎175 Lexington Street Woburn

11:30 am - 5:45 pm Friendly’s Restaurant 1111 Waltham Street Lexington

Sunday, July 26:

8:15 am - 11:15 am Cambridge City Hall 795 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge





You've Got Mail

2009-07-01T11:52:21.704-06:00

(image) LOL
Here I am asking for letters on a blog I've barely updated this year and I don't think anyone reads! Oh well, it's part of my routine to post the address here, so I might as well. Not to mention I love, love, LOVE reading your cards while I'm on the 3Day!

So, if you want to drop me a note you have 2 weeks to get it in the mail:

Breast Cancer 3-Day Camp Post Office
ATTN: Aimee Floyd
P.O. Box 8534
Warwick, RI 02888

Deadline: July 14th



33 MILES!!!

2009-07-01T11:48:00.517-06:00

This weekend was the infamous Back-to-Back training walks. The training schedule builds up during the last few months to this weekend where we walk 18 miles on Saturday followed by 15 miles Sunday. In theory if we survive walking 33 miles this weekend we should be all set to walk 60 miles starting July 24th. It's always exciting and exhausting.....this year was no different!There were about 15 of us on Saturday and we had great weather ~ warm, a little sunny, and shockingly no rain. Boston has been inundated with rain during the month of June so it's a shame I was busy walking during our rare dry day! Anyway, we started off and I had forewarned everyone that at the 7 mile mark there would be a MONSTER hill. One of the walkers was a repeat from last year so she knew I wasn't exaggerating. If you know Summit Ave in Brookline you know what I'm talking about! If you're not familiar with the road, imagine a steep incline that goes up higher than your eye can see. Not a fun trip on a good day, but after a 7 mile "warm up" and knowing there's still 11 more miles of road ahead of you it's quite daunting!BUT, I have it on the route for a very good reason. I tell every walker that when they get to the top of Summit Ave, they'll know they can accomplish the 3Day because such a steep hill would never be included in the official 3Day route. So, they curse me for a few moments when they see the hill, and then they thank me after the 3Day! :-)18 miles covers a ton of ground - we walked through Southie, Chinatown, Back Bay, Fenway, Brookline, Allston, Cambridge (stopped for lunch in Harvard Square) and then headed back to Southie. Not much of the city was missed! My usual routine after a big walk is a nice long, relaxing bath before taking a shower. But seeing as my new bathroom is a mess baths are out of the question so I had to jump right in the shower. About halfway through rinsing the conditioner out of my hair disaster stuck. Water started shooting out of the TOP of the shower head, over the shower curtain, and soaking every crevice in my bathroom. This is something you'd want to happen on a good day, but to try and deal with it after walking 18 miles is a bit much. Needless to say I hurriedly rinsed my hair and turned off the water. After drying off the bathroom I had to get ready for my friend Gloria to come over so I chose to ignore the bathroom seeing as there was nothing I could do about it at the time.Fast forward to Sunday morning....Woke up feeling achy and tired. Swallowed a couple of aspirin and headed out to walk 15 miles. All of my routes start in Southie because it was uber-convenient when I lived there. Now that I have to get in my car and drive to Southie I'm HATING those routes! Or at least the starting point of them which requires me to wake up earlier. Sunday was back to our standard June weather: cold (60's), rain, cloudy. I was there bright and early and no one else was around. Just as I was contemplating bailing on the walk because I get bored walking that long by myself I few people showed up. We were a smaller, heartier group - just 6 of the 15 from the day before came back. Usually people wake up feeling sore and decide to bail on the 2nd day of training. Not me though! I put on my GIANT trash bag-like rain poncho to keep warm and was off for Day 2! The rain isn't great for walking because people tend to concentrate on that and chat a little less. But I was really impressed with this group of 6. They were all in great shape, chatty, and had a great 2nd day of training. We had all walked together a few times already so it also made conversation easy, and I didn't have to answer as many questions about the 3Day which was a nice little break. All of them might have been doing well, but I was exhausted, and just trying my best to keep up with everyone! Luckily I made it to the end of the route, went home and fixed my showe[...]



The Angel Dressed in Pink

2009-06-11T10:56:52.883-06:00

I just came across this poem on the 3Day Message Board. It was written by a teenager still in High School, Karina Rohrdanz, who is trying to walk again in the Boston 3Day walk this year. What an amazing girl to be taking on this physical and emotional challenge for a 2nd time and to be inspiring the rest of us with her writing!

The Angel Dressed in Pink
by Karina Rohrdanz


While skipping down a lone dirt road on a beautiful summer day,
I saw a woman with angel wings, she waved but couldn't stay.
With nothing to do and a curious mind, i decided to follow her feet.
We traveled for miles and became very tired, we just had to take a seat.
What a stunning smile this woman had, and a personality to match.
She soon showed me her battle scars, a chest with no breasts attached.
A triumphant story followed, about her journey to find a cure.
And although she's still a fighter, one day she wont have to fight anymore.
At last i understood this, hugged her, and we cried.
The sun came out from behind the trees and all of our tears dried.
"I wont forget you darling," she said with a wink.
I laughed and shouted back, "i wont forget you either! you're the angel dressed in pink!"
.



MIA

2009-06-08T20:24:11.782-06:00

Sorry it's been FOREVER since I posted! Where have I been? Mostly busy trying to do things related to my new condo. I've been wondering......does packing, carrying heavy boxes til your back hurts, and painting count as 3Day cross-training? If not, it should!

I have managed to squeeze in a few long training walks (15 and 13 miles) and met some great new 3Day walkers. It's always nice to have some new friendly faces on my Training Walks ~ it makes the miles go by faster.

One particular 15 mile was jinxed with all sorts of bad visuals but I won't gross you out with the details. (dead rat on sidewalk was one of the tamer things I saw)! Other than that day it's been good weather, nice people, and relatively painless walks. That doesn't mean my legs weren't stiff afterwards, but no major injuries to report and thankfully I continue to be blister-free!

This weekend will be the real test: 17 miles on Sat followed by 13 miles on Sunday. Say a little prayer for me!!! :-)



Walk in the park

2009-05-02T16:41:30.019-06:00

(image)

My 10 mile walk was actually easy. Is that possible?! Not sure how someone who's way behind on training managed to walk 10 miles and not be in pain afterwards but I'm definitely grateful!!! I wasn't so sure of myself as we set out walking because the group started at a fairly fast pace and I'm more a "slow and steady" kind of walker. It was a bunch of newbies to the 3Day so they definitely slowed down as the mileage increased. You never want to burn out early ~ this is a marathon not a sprint. Actually it's more like 3 consective marathons!


Let's just hope my easy walk last week didn't give me a false sense of security because I have another 10 mile walked planned for tomorrow. We shall see.....wish me luck!


(and yes, we did walk through the Boston Public Garden seen here)



Off to the races!

2009-04-23T21:48:04.579-06:00

I've officially started my 3Day Fundraising and Training! OK, so it's A LOT later than normal but at least I finally started! I got my letter in the mail yesterday (finally). and have a 10 mile walk planned for Sunday. Here we go again! :-)



Walking Billboard

2009-02-15T18:40:12.892-05:00

(image) (image)

Here's my latest 3Day gear.....I ordered this hat and can't wait for it to arrive.

Under the 3Day logo it reads "Walking 60 miles to cure Breast Cancer. Will you Donate?"
Hoping some folks will be inspired to donate when they see me out training for hours on end! :-)



Blessed

2009-02-12T01:56:14.089-05:00

(image) Thank You!

The 3 Day community never ceases to amaze me. And I’m lucky for that fact. This will be my 3rd walk and people have supported me beyond my wildest dreams.

I know all of my failures…..
I still haven’t to sent out a 2009 letter or donation request. I have been more than negligent in updating my blog with 3Day news……even though I promised I would be better at doing that this year.

I may have been negligent, but my supporters have not. Without a letter or email requesting a donation, I have received my first donation for 2009! To say I’m shocked is an under-statement, but I am forever grateful for having supportive 3Day fans, and more importantly wonderful people in my life who take care of me without me even asking.

You’re the best!!!



Get Started!

2009-02-05T22:36:38.523-05:00

Tonight I volunteered at a "Get Started" meeting helping to register new Walkers for the 3Day and answer questions. I met some great veteran walkers who I hope to train with once the weather starts to cooperate! Not to mention there were some really great new Walkers in the room I was lucky enough to chat with as they start on this amazing journey.

It also made me realize it's about time I start getting ready for 2009 - Training and Fundraising will kick off soon!



Third Times a Charm!

2008-12-02T20:55:39.821-05:00

It's official.....I'm registered for the 2009 3Day Walk!!!

OK, so it's probably not a big suprise to anyone, but it's still exciting! And there's still plenty of time for anyone out there to join me (hint, hint). Make it your New Year's resolution! :-)



0 Comments

2008-11-02T20:56:37.628-05:00

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Woohoo!

2008-10-09T11:48:40.354-06:00

The walk may be over, but the final donations were still clearing.....and now I finally hit the $10,000 mark! Somehow that seems like SOOOOO much more than $9999, doesn't it? :-)

Other than finishing all the 2008 fundraising, I haven't been up to much 3Day related. Since it ended I participated in the 5K Race for the Cure. It was an easy 3 mile walk I did with Mandy and we tacked on another 4 miles to make it worth our while to get out of bed early on a Sunday! Another weekend I met up with Cecelia and walked another 7-8 miles. Other than that, NO long distance walking. Maybe the fact I was so exhausted after both of those walks I ended up taking a nap in the afternoon, is the reason I have ventured out for any more big walks!



Crab Apple

2008-09-03T21:25:11.480-06:00

(image) This weekend I took my 11 year old niece for her belated Birthday present - a day of White Water rafting! Her birthday was in May but with my busy walking schedule I hadn't had a chance earlier to go.....not to mention I was a teeny bit afraid that I would manage to hurt myself right before the 3Day and then what would I do?! Of course, I didn't tell her parents, or the grandparents, this thought as that would have caused needless worry for Haley's safety....and I knew we'd both be safe! Turns out I was correct as we both came back in 1 piece and had a GREAT time.....not in small part to the amazing rafting company!

We went for a full day of rafting out in western Mass complete with a picnic lunch. Haley REALLY enjoyed the homemade brownies and the roast beef sandwiches (in that order). She was also like a fish in water and a little dare-devil on the raft, sitting up front the entire time, loving the rapids, and a real pro throwing her bucket of water during the water fight!

Crab Apple is a family owned business and it was truly one of the best customer service experiences I've encountered in years. From the parking attendants in the small lot giving us all the info we needed before even exiting our cars to the amazing Guides on the trip, every person we encountered was friendly, knowledgeable and went out of their way to make sure each customer was having a great time. On the school bus ride to the starting point of the trip, each of the guides sought out the people from their boat and spent their time chatting with us. This continued during lunch, and throughout the entire raft trip. Ben, our wonderful guide, was full of fun stories and historical facts about the area and rafting. He entertained us (and especially the kids) with riddles and magic tricks. When you looked at other rafts in our group you could see the all of the Guides were engaging their group to the same degree. Clearly Crab Apple works hard to hire a First Class staff.

Since Friday I've been thinking all of those wonderful thoughts about our experience with Crab Apple, and especially our guide Ben. I didn't think my opinion could get any higher of this amazing company when I was blown away today with what happened....
Crab Apple sent a thank you note for going on the trip this weekend. When I opened it I was shocked to see there was a hand written note from our Guide Ben addressed to Haley and I. The note clearly wasn't a "form" letter as it made specific references to our day. Honestly, I don't think my personal Thank You notes are as well written and thoughtful as our note from the now-infamous Ben. SO, if you're thinking of going on a rafting trip in Mass, Vermont or Maine I HIGHLY recommend you check out Crab Apple!!!



Race for the Cure

2008-08-26T19:03:10.329-06:00

OK, so I'm not done with my walking season. But this one is only 5K (3.1 miles) - easy, right?! And no fundraising required, so your wallets are safe from me! :-) The Race for the Cure 5K walk/run series is held throughout the year all over the US. This year it's on Sunday, Sept 7th at UMass Boston (the sight of the 3Day Closing Ceremony). It's also a chance for me to see some familiar 3Day faces, like the guys from Men With Heart. I'm walking with a few of my 3Day friends, aka the "Commando Queens" as we came to call ourselves during our 60 miles together. We're die-hard walkers so 3.1 miles isn't enough to get us out of bed in the morning......we're planning on walking 10 miles! BUT, if you'd like to join the regular Race for the Cure feel free to sign up. It's a great 3 mile walk with lots of amazing people and those need for you stretch it out to 10 miles!



Baby Feet

2008-08-25T05:22:31.787-06:00

Now that the 3Day is over (for 2008), it was time to treat my feet to a Pedicure! Saturday I went with my mother and sister to Bella Sante for Pedicures and my feet are now beautiful, soft, and callous free! Actually, the technician was shocked to hear I had just walked 60 miles as I had "baby soft feet and no blisters." My sister and mother are not as lucky in the feet department.....even without walking in the 3Day. My Dad was proud though that I have "his feet" which are soft no matter what. I stopped at Sabon afterwards and bought some wonderful shea butter for my feet and now they feel amazing! Love the 3Day, but gotta love soft pretty feet at well!



Amazing Supporters!!!

2008-08-22T08:38:46.109-06:00

The 3Day community is blessed with an amazing support system who dedicate themselves to cheering on the walkers during all 3Days. I'm lucky enough to have 2 parents who are among the best supporters a walker could ask for! Among all the signs, cheering, candy, stickers, spray bottles, etc, there's always something that really stands out.

This year it happened on Day 2 before we reached the Cheering Station in Brockton. A woman was handing out a small piece of paper to every walker, and we all took the time to read it and am grateful we did. I thought I lost it temporarily after handing it off to my family at the Cheering Station, but luckily they held on to it and I have it ready for my scrapbook. Thank you Caroline for scanning it in so I could share it here as well.
(image)



Official Photos!

2008-08-24T09:05:36.036-06:00

Here are some official photo's from the 3Day site.. Don't forget to look below at my 2008 Walk recap post to see the link to all MY pictures from the 3Day!

I'm actually in this photo!!! I'm standing in between the people holding the My Children and My Aunt signs. This is right before the Opening Ceremony and I'm holding the My Grandmother flag, but it's hidden behind the other signs. Can you find me?!
(image)

These balloon lights lit up Opening & Closing Ceremonies, and were in the Dining Tent at Camp:
(image)


Now you know why I don't think they need the "Caution Many People Walking" sign!
(image)



Just like riding a bike

2008-08-22T08:40:58.835-06:00

(image) Yesterday I was missing the 3 Day so much, and was finally rested from 60 miles of walking that I was ready to walk some more! I met up with Caroline last night for a 5 mile walk around Castle Island and a chance to reminisce about our 3Day. So much fun! The old, sore body remembered what to do even without 10 lbs of Fanny Pack strapped to my waist! It also gave me an excuse to wear my new 3Day Tank Top that I love!

At the begining of the walk we heard someone across the street clapping so we both turned around ready to wave and thank them......it's common to have people clapping for you on the 3Day. Turns out this lady was just playing with her kids or dog or something and had no intention of cheering us on! I'm so glad I wasn't alone because we both burst out laughing realizing we weren't in the 3Day world any more!


But, the 3Day memory lives on every day during my commute. I noticed that the Crew forgot one of the orange signs they use to mark the route and I pass it each day on my way to and from work. Not to mention it's my favorite sign and says "Caution Many People Walking" I think this is hilarious because if drivers can't figure that out noticing 2000 people walking down the street, I really don't think the sign is going to clue them in!



2008 3-Day Walk!

2008-08-21T16:09:44.888-06:00

Another Incredible 3 Days!!!!!!Ready to hear all about my 60 mile, 3 Day journey? Sit back, relax, and enjoy feeling like you were walking right next to me the entire way! Or if you're attention span is short, click here to see the photo's of the walk!This year my walk prep actually started on Thursday as I had practice for Opening Ceremonies. It was exciting and weird to see the stage all set-up, but instead of 2000+ people milling around there were only about 25 of us there. I was chosen to carry the Honor Flag which read "My Grandmother." Needless to say the practice session was just as emotional as the actual ceremony. Afterwards I headed back to a local hotel to grab some sleep before heading out at 5:15 am Friday morning.Remember how I was chaperoning Emily, a 16 year old from NH who was participating in her first 3Day Walk? Emily and I were up early Friday and on the bus to Gillette Stadium while it was still dark out. Once we dropped off our gear bags we went to find some of my friends so I could leave Emily in good hands while I was in the Opening Ceremony. We ran into Cecelia, my buddy from last years walk, and Eileen and her sister Debbie. Eileen was a regular on my Training Walks and we had heard all about Debbie who was flying in from Michigan for her 3rd 3Day event. I knew Emily would have a great time at Opening with this crew, so off I went behind the stage. After a group stretch (amazing to see 2000 walkers all try to stretch while packed tight together in front of the stage, and still half asleep at 6:30 am), the Ceremony officially began. The Opening Ceremony is definitely emotional and there were a lot of tears in the crowd. I was ready this year with my tissues in hand!Once the Ceremony ended I met up again with Emily and Cecelia and we headed onto the route! Emily admitted she thought I was a little silly to be bringing tissues to Opening because there was no way she would be crying.....but she did! Jenne, the National Spokesperson, does an incredible job with the Opening and Closing ceremonies!The weather was not promising even this early in the walk. The skies were dark and imposing, and there was rain and thunder storms in the forecast. Of course, this had to be the 1 time the weather people actually got it right! After walking about 30 minutes, the rain started pouring. We whipped out our rain ponchos which did a good job of keeping our heads, bodies and fanny packs dry, but our feet were soaked and squishing with every step. Oh well, what can you do?! The spirits of the walk were still high and about an hour later the rain stopped and the sun eventually came out.I had my first electronic problem of the weekend though. I had put my cell phone in the front pouch of my poncho so I could access it quickly. But I wasn't smart enough to zip the pouch, I just closed it via the velcro patch. When the rain stopped and I went to remove my phone I noticed it was swimming in a few inches of rain. I couldn't have chosen a worse place to put my phone. Needless-to-say it was soaking wet and broken. Everyone kept asking me if there was a "red dot" on the phone. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I guess the rest of the world knows that if your phone gets wet a red dot appears near the battery and alerts the cell phone company it's your fault and you have to pay to replace the phone. Not a great way to start the 3 Day. But, what can you do? Take off your [...]