Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Relay for Life

I finally figured out how to download my photos onto the computer so you get the update on our Relay For Life experience. It was an incredible experience.
This is our booth for the Malteze Misfits..the motorcycle club that J is a part of. Our friend Travis (another Misfit) manned the booth most of the time. We had great neighbors. Next year we will do more with it. Being our first year with a booth, we had alot to learn...but I felt like it went well.
We were scrambling, trying to get everything together even up to the last minute...so I missed the first lap--which I wouldn't have walked. That belonged to all the survivors! J said it was amazing and very touching. The track was FULL with cancer survivors. We even had 2 relatives taking that walk. The track was full and it was probably only a small portion of cancer survivors in our community, let alone those who didn't survive. It is crazy!
Then they opened it up for all the walkers, and we started walking. It was crazy...knowing we were beginning the long slow process...24 hours to go! :)
so, we walked and walked and walked.....and walked....
This was a perfect time to people watch. There were other 24 hour walkers, many friends, many interesting characters...

These are a few of Elijah's friends....
When it got dark we took a bit of a break to light luminaries that lined the track. They also had luminaries outlining HOPE in the stands. It was quite a sight...all in memory.....
I thought walking all night was going to be killer, but I actually really enjoyed it. There were people coming and going all night. Music playing. Energy. I double dosed my yolis and made the kids drink them as well, cause I know they helped me stay awake and sane.
Kaleb challenged us to do it without caffeine or energy drinks. J and I did split a mountain dew, but other than that we didn't have any other stimulants.
It did get cold while we were walking. So, we had to bundle up a bit.
Or use a blanket. Isn't she cute!
Here we are later in the night. I don't think I got a photo of Kaleb with his book. He brought a book and would walk while he was reading. He said the only problem was it was a conversation starter. People asking what he was reading. Thinking he was clever, crazy...or whatever! Made him look like a reader. He said it was a nice way to kill the time.
I don't know if you remember but last year he had a hard time in the night...sleep walking, which some of us were a little guilty of...halucinating, etc. but he did much better this year.
This is when the sun is just coming out. We survived the night. Now just 12 more hours or so. I think that had to be the hardest...and then when it was 10 more hours, and 8 more hours...etc. Those are still all incredibly long periods of time. And thinking we had to continue that much longer just seemed crazy!
Kas did take a little nap in the night. 24 hour walkers are encouraged to take 10 min breaks each hour, so every once in awhile J would set his alarm for 8 min and take a bit of a nap. It worked for him, cause he can fall asleep in an instant! not me! but I would take rests. Elijah was having a rough time early in the morning so I forced him to take a little nap...but not for long. His friends didn't think he could do it without sleeping so he was determined. But he was also crabby! so I did the mom thing and put my foot down.
Se the lady on the right of Kas. She was also a 24 hour walker. Can you tell she is walking at a pretty hefty pace. She was amazing! She must have been in great shape.
My feet were killing me. hot spots which turned into blisters. I was doing whatever I could to get relief. I took my shoes off and walked on the grass...which felt nice to a point. I wore hiking boots cause I thought they would give added support, but I think they made things worse. Finally J put ice water on my feet, which felt soo great.....
and accessed the damage....no wonder they hurt!
Our friend had a better idea. I think this is what I am doing next year! ;) She really didn't have it so easy. Her team was a bunch of high school students! ;) The last few hours they gave away energy drinks! I was impressed J didn't take one, or 5. even for the ride home. I wondered if they were cold. sooo tempting......
Kas's friend walked the last few hours with her. They found a face painting booth... we didn't see much of her then, but she did continue to walk! ;) when she wasn't prettying herself up!

On our last hour Kaleb did a flip on the sidelines. I was freaking....envisioning landing on his head. He was soo tired...but he landed! and did great. Crazy!!!!
At 6 they gathered us all together so we could do our last lap. I was really hurting and walking very slow by then. But, when we started the last lap, I couldn't even imagine having to do one more...so I ran! I RAN!!!!! I couldn't believe it! And I cried the whole lap. I couldn't help it. THe kids had started before me...and as soon as I started J ran with me...It was awesome! After the last lap, they had announcements, which we skipped. We'd taken down our booth while we were walking, with the help of Travis...so we were ready to go.
The drive home was soo loooonnnng. But we made it!
J had to work the next morning. I had to wear slippers to church, cause there was no way I was going to get my feet into shoes.
I had blisters under both big toenails.
And 7 blisters on the rest of my feet! J had a bruise on his insole... we all had aches and pains. and a little sunburning. We had a great time. It was soo nice working on something difficult together. Just a reminder of what family is all about. J decided he was going to focus on doing relay for life as his event instead of the stair climb. We can do it together and hopefully do more good. Expect donation requests near the end of the year. We weren't very aggressive this year, cause we were soo new at it all, but we will be in the future. It is for a good cause! :)
If you ever get a chance to participate at a relay for life, or want to come and join us, I would highly encourage it! you won't regret it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I did the thing


that is one of my all time favorite quotes....I found it while I was in the midst of living my greatest fear, and felt like it was a message from God. I have a mind riddled with anxiety. I fear EVERYTHING in some way or another! Many times I sell myself short. Sometimes I like to take the easy way out...(when eternal consequences aren't involved). And, lately my life is leading me to fight some of those natural tendencies...in a good way.

Last year Kaleb did the relay for life in a big way! At 14, and his first time at the event he became a 24 hour walker. I know he had no idea what he was getting himself into. We didn't even go, and support until the morning of the second day. after he was about 14 hours into his walk. He walked all night by himself. His friend who challenged him to do it went to bed sometime in the night. He had support from wonderful women from our local grocery store...But, those of you who know Kaleb, know he doesn't like to be a bother. So, he mostly fought on himself. Our family was soo impressed with his efforts, we decided to join him this year. We became a team, and with the Malteze Misfits, have each accepted the challenge to walk the full 24! MY only excuse for not doing it, will be for the safety of Kas. I am not totally sure that an 11 year old going the full 24 is such a great idea. But, anytime I mention that to her, she reminds me she's a Towery, and a TOUGH CUSTOMER! which is a nickname her dad gave her when she was about 2. Sooo. It seems she's not going to let me use her as a scapegoat!
Anyways, I am excited about it. but also extremely nervous. I am in ok shape. and lead a fairly active life. But, I also like to be on the lazy side, and don't like pain and suffering!
I really feel for this cause. Cancer has affected my family. and I know the likelihood of getting cancer is good. It is too much in my family for my immediate family to get away scott free! I want to fight this disease! I want to help eliminate the pain it cause. I want to sacrifice in memory of those who have fought the good fight, either til the end or until they beat it. I have soo much admiration for those who've done so....
So, I will be plugging away tomorrow. Fighting my own fear of laziness...wimpiness....pain....for those I love! Please say a prayer for us! :)

Another challenge I have accepted at this time is going off sugar for 6 weeks! I love sugar, and have been a constant advocate of it's beauty! But, I have also been able to eat it in moderation, for the most part, and not suffer too much from the consequences. I have had good genes...where for the most part I could eat mostly what I want and not gain weight. Well, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I have put on enough lbs...that I feel like I need to take more drastic measures. I don't diet well, and actually don't believe they are good. BUT, I am going to do a drastic one...hoping to jumpstart a slight lifestyle change. 6 weeks without sugar (namely chocolate, and chocolate chip cookies) is the hardest part. and alot of the same old food. I love food and variety. But 6 weeks is doable. So, here I go...on another fear...that I will fail. That I will have wasted time, money and effort in another attempt of no change! Here's to SUCCESS and doing something that seems near impossible for me...I know many people do it all the time! WOOOOHOOOOO!
I will keep you posted!