I can't believe that the walk is in less than two weeks! This past Saturday Patty, Cheryl, Alexa, Dylan, and I all journeyed into Waltham to be part of Street Team Day. With the 3Day being such a large event, I believe there are over 1,500 walkers in Boston this year, there is so much preparation that goes into it. Once the route is established, it is important for all the local businesses along the way to be informed that masses of people will be walking down their street. Letters are sent out to them asking them to support us. We were responsible for letting residents know about the walk, and asking them to support us in any way.
We met at Panera in Waltham to receive our instructions. Our packet contained a map, signs, tape, and hot pink cards to hand out to residents. From there we drove to our starting location. All I can say is that our section started in Arlington and continued through Winchester. We parked the car and began walking the route. We were assigned about 3.5 miles, so we figured we would stick together, paper the entire thing, and then walk back to the car. We started early, around 8:30ish so we assumed that most residents would be asleep. Not even a half mile into the route we passed a street sign saying, "Beverly Road." Beverly was Patty's mother's name. She passed away from breast cancer when Patty was just 22. She was never able to meet Alexa and Katie. I stopped everyone and told them that we had to take a picture to honor her. After a few minutes of tear-filled eyes, we were on our way.
Along the way we did meet a few people and explained what we were doing. There was one very kind woman who told us she would have some water, balloons, and signs waiting for us. As I have said before, the communities that we walk through really make this walk what it is. When you feel like you are just about to drop, you turn the corner and there are kids with lemonade, frozen grapes and chocolate, pink balloons, and upbeat music blaring. That support just pushes your feet to keep taking one step after the other. We could have used some of that support on Saturday as it was scorching hot. We are used to doing the majority of our training in the cooler, early morning hours. There were definitely some times when we were dragging.
The most inspiring part of the day was watching Alexa and Dylan. These two kids are really something special. They are both so confident in themselves, and are willing to take on any task given to them. As we walked into Panera, they comfortably talked with volunteers that they had never met before. They also thought nothing of walking up to someone's door and explaining what the 3Day is. And, they walked all 7 miles without one complaint! The fact that 2 teenagers did all of this is simply outstanding. It is a real tribute to their parents.
After we finished papering, the 3.5 miles back seemed a lot longer than it was. Patty, the crazy athletic nut that she is, decided that she would run ahead and get the car. For the last mile of the walk we kept anticipating the navy blue mini-van coming around the next corner. When she arrived, we all hopped into the car, cranked the air-conditioning, and headed back to Panera for some lunch. After a delicious tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad, it was time for the journey home.