About a month ago, I agreed to walk 100 miles in the month of April to raise awareness of cancer and the deadly toll it is taking on us and to raise money for the American Cancer Society. My goal: $250, to be donated by me and my friends. I had the help of a fine list of friends:
- Valerie Naylor.
- Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs.
- Mary Herak Sand.
- Becky Jones Mahlum.
- DonnaLee Stagl-Ritter.
- Sara Chorne Milligan.
- Frank Buck.
- Dr. Tyrone Langager.
- Anita Hellman.
- Tim Reiten.
- David Nehring.
- Chuck Haga.
- Melissa Schafer.
- Jamie Selzler
They agreed to sponsor me on my walks, and we raised $685 for cancer research. I’m guessing thousands of others all across America joined in, and altogether we raised more than a million dollars. Just by going for a walk.
I was doing pretty good on my goal of 100 miles — I admit I cheated a bit by starting three days early in March, justified by the fact April only has 30 days and there was a possibility I might be under the weather a day or two, which indeed turned out to be the case — until last week, when I was indeed blitzed by a really bad chest cold, leaving me coughing and sneezing and really short of breath and energy. Luckily, the sun shined most afternoons, and I was able to hobble out of the house and walk around the neighborhood. I added up my miles Saturday night, and I was about two miles short of 100.
But Mother Nature cooperated Sunday (April 30), and I hauled out my trusty pedometer and put on my walking shoes. (Did I mention I bought a new pair of walking shoes this spring?) And I managed to get in 4.3 miles, to bring my total to 102.4 miles. Yay!
Note: I logged a mile of that Sunday on a trip through Costco. It’s pretty easy to put a mile on in Costco, wandering through the aisles looking for stuff I may or may not need. It’s also easy to run up a big bill. On Monday, I escaped with just $90.90 on my receipt. But it’s still my favorite store of all time. Except for maybe Cabela’s.
One other note: Walking 100 miles in a month was no heroic act. I am a walker. In winter months, I am part of a bunch that just shows up at the YMCA early in the morning on weekdays. We know each other’s faces but mostly don’t know the names associated with them. We just smile and say good morning. We mostly walk for an hour, logging three or four miles.
In the warm months, you can find me walking outside on city trails and streets — and sometimes on a golf course in the summer and a pheasant field in the fall. I don’t keep track, but I’m guessing it is usually 70 or 80 miles a month.
But this month, I kept track. I snapped a photo of my crude chart, if you want to look. And every day while walking, I said a little prayer for the list of my friends and acquaintances who are fighting cancer. One didn’t make it. My ex-wife, Norma, who I still consider a friend, died in the middle of the month from cancer. Rest in Peace, Norma. We had some good years. Everybody else: KEEP FIGHTING!