John of www.60miles3days.com recently asked me if I would be videotaped talking about my “favorite 3Day moment”. I said yes, but with trepidation. My concern wasn’t about being videotaped – I’m not particularly shy and I love to tell a good story. The fear factor is at the idea of trying to come up a single favorite moment. After 9 years of walking and crewing in the 3Day Walks for Breast Cancer, I don’t feel like I can come up with just one favorite moment! However, I gave the question a lot of thought and am now excited to share one of my favorite moments with John on video. We're supposed to tape it tonight, and I hope it goes as well as I expect it will!
Meanwhile, I started to think about the question from a new angle – are they favorite moments or favorite memories? That might just seem like semantics, and it possibly is, but I have started to think about the two different sides of the question. There are favorite 3Day memories, and there are favorite 3Day moments. By my way of thinking, favorite memories are things that I remember from my own 3Day experiences. Everyone in the 3Day family has these memories, they pile up like old snapshots, but far more precious. Each 3Day memory is unique and personal, and belongs to the person with the memory, although s/he is always ready to share the memories with others.
Favorite 3Day moments, on the other hand, belong to everyone in the 3Day family. A 3Day Moment is a moment that is part of the event. It is a thread that carries us from one event to the next. These moments are common property and have a texture to them through which we connect to one another. From these moments, 3Day memories are built within each individual’s experience. For example, there is the moment in every 3Day – every year in every city - during Closing Ceremony, when all the participants take off their sneakers and raise them towards heaven in a salute to the survivors among us. This is a shared 3Day moment. But I – and probably every other walker and crew – have a different memory of this moment from each different event. There it is: a moment versus a memory.
All this musing has led me is to reflect on some of my favorite 3Day moments, and I present them here as just glimpses – sort of a slide show of moments. For the veterans among us, I encourage you to attach memories to each of these moments, enriching the slide show as it passes through you. And for the first-timers, I invite you to sit back and enjoy the show. Soon these moments will be yours.
- Arriving pre-dawn to a parking lot swirling with shades of pink and being greeted by smiling crew waiting to sweep my bag out of my arms,
- Listening to the words of opening ceremony and crying openly while holding hands with the stranger next to me,
- Weeping as the flags are carried into opening ceremony,
- Miles of stories shared along three days of walking,
- Coming around a final corner at the end of a long day to view a sea of pink tents,
- Walking through neighborhoods filled with welcoming and supportive signs and cheerleaders of all ages,
- Making new friends while waiting in line for a porta-potty,
- Spaghetti Friday night which is The. Best. Spaghetti. Ever.,
- Cheering for walkers as they come into camp,
- Weeping openly watching a ‘bald’ walker cross the end line,
- Cheering till my throat hurts for the crew,
- Cheering till my throat hurts for the walkers,
- Holding my sneakers high in the air,
- Hugging new friends goodbye,
- Wishing I could start the three days all over again.
These are the moments that make the memories that fill my heart with a passion for The3Day. I can't wait to make more memories.