Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Michigan 2008

As promised...a more detailed account of this year's Michigan 3-Day...

This year was a bit different for me. I was the sweep crew captain. In any other city or any other year, this would mean I was in a costume riding in a van up and down the route, picking up walkers who needed a bit of a break. However, this year Michigan was trying out a new system, which left me in camp deploying the vans via nextel. It really makes a lot of sense. The captain has a lot going on in addition to the primary responsibilities of helping the driver navigate and making sure your passengers are comforted, hydrated and healthy. So, I found myself stationed outside the command center at a picnic table with a board full of magnets (representing my vans). Personally, I think it went really well. There were moments that were a bit stressful for me and the team, but nothing like what I had been told about. Initial feedback from past sweep crew is also positive. Who knows, maybe I have been a pioneer in the 3-Day world! We'll just have to wait and see!

Due to my limited mobility during the time the vans are on the route (approximately 7am to 7pm) I don't have many stories from the route, or even camp. I did hear some wonderful stories though! The community of Plymouth went all out for our walkers, closing stores, passing out food and dyeing the water in their fountain pink! The ambulance drivers danced and hung out their windows for the enjoyment of the walkers and the DHL team helped out my crew by bringing their own personal sweep vehicle! In camp a fleet of rubber duckies greeted walkers at the hydration stations, the check-in team danced every walker in and camp services delivered a "pillow mint" to every walker and crew member's tent.

There were two big highlights for me this year. One was on Friday night when I had the honor of speaking on stage about why I participate in the Breast Cancer 3-Day. I even got some spontaneous applause-which I am definitely unaccustomed to! The other highlight was much simpler. On my way back to my tent Saturday after getting ready for bed, I ran into one of my sweep crew members; her partner joined us on her way to the showers and we proceeded to laugh uncontrollably for a good half an hour. Those are the moments that I remember from events and those are the moments that keep bringing me back.