Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I USED to hate pink.....

Back when pink meant Barbie dolls, princesses, and run down houses in the mid-West. Back when wearing pink meant you were a frail little girl that needed people to watch over you or worse yet, a guy trying to be Don Johnson. Yeah, I used to hate pink.
But, that was before I understood that pink has power…..
Pink, the washed out version of red I disliked so much, is a far deeper color than I ever could have imagined: full of inspiration, perseverance, and strength. It has the ability to overcome huge obstacles and obtain huge goals. It offers hope. It shows solidarity. It has many shades, and an ever-changing presence. This version of pink is the pink I was introduced to at Closing Ceremonies of the Atlanta leg of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! It is a color I have grown to love.
Pink is inspiring because it was on every sign held by people cheering us on. It was worn by every walker in front of me – showing me that I wasn’t alone and if they can do it, so could I.

Pink can overcome obstacles because every walker wearing pink overcame something to get to closing ceremonies. For me, those obstacles were: a month long reaction to antibiotics & a battle with dehydration during training and a shin splint at mile 25 while on event.

Pink can offer hope because every walker wearing pink raised at least $2,300.00 to fight breast cancer. $2,300.00 dedicated to breast cancer survival, screening, and research – a total of $6.1 million raised by the 2,400 walkers and 350 crew members in Atlanta.

Pink obtained huge goals – 60 miles over 3 days…..

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Friday, October 8, 2010

Help Put the FREEZE on Breast Cancer!


Head over to Menchie's on Monday, October 18th, between the hours of  5 PM EDT and 8 PM EDT to have some dessert and save some boobies!!!!

Team Treasured Chests is hosting a fundraiser at Menchie's on Monday, October 18th. So, drop on by their Sandy Springs store, buy their awesomely delicious frozen yogurt, add a few pink toppings and 15% of the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation on behalf of Team Treasured Chests!!

Here is the location information:

Sandy Plains Centre
2960 Shallowford Rd., Suite 112
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 971-6601
Hours: Mon - Thurs: 11am-10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am-11pm; Sun: 12pm-10pm

All sales are included in the donation, so even if: you can't have diary - their dairy free desserts are included; you are diabetic - their sugar free desserts are included; you are on a diet - their low carb desserts are included!

There is NO EXCUSE!!!

 Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Today is the day the Komen Foundation is asking people from around the globe to make a promise to take action against breast cancer — all through social media. This global effort starts with all of us, posting to our Facebook and Twitter profiles, and then asking your friends and family to do the same - a viral day, if you will.

How does it work? Starting today, September 30, at midnight (EDT) until midnight October 1, we are kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month by asking YOU to visit On the website, take action by clicking the Twitter Connect or the Facebook Connnect buttons! They will update your Facebook/Twitter statuses or blog using the hashtag #fightbreastcancer.

What is a “hashtag”? Hashtags allow you to quickly identify special topics, and help spread information while organizing and making it searchable within social media.

Why 69 seconds? Because that’s how often a woman dies of breast cancer somewhere in the world. A statistic we’re trying to change.

What’s the goal? We want to mobilize millions to take 69 seconds to #fightbreastcancer AND break the Guinness World Record for Most Widespread Social Network Message in 24 Hours.

How can you join the fight?

1. Visit and take action!
2. Change your Facebook and/or Twitter status to one of the following:
  •  Every 69 seconds, a woman dies of breast cancer somewhere in the world. #fightbreastcancer at
  •  Today is not about raising funds. It’s about raising virtual voices around the world to take action in 69 seconds or less. Visit, post #fightbreastcancer to Facebook and Twitter or blog about it before midnight and help turn the virtual world pink. How do you promise to #fightbreastcancer?
3. Use #fightbreastcancer in your statuses pertaining to breast cancer, Komen or Breast Cancer Awareness Month several times during the day!

4. And lastly, make your Facebook posts public for the day. Facebook recently overhauled their privacy controls for personal profiles which could potentially compromise our Guinness World Record. In order to be considered eligible for our attempt, your status must be open to the public. Here are instructions to help you make your status public:
  • In Facebook, click on “Account” in the top right corner
  • Scroll and select “Privacy Settings” in the drop down menu
  • Under “Sharing on Facebook,” select “Customize Settings”
  • Under “Things I Share,” select the drop down menu next to “Posts by me”
  • Select “Everyone”
  • Your status updates are now public

After midnight (EDT) October 1st, please be sure to change your privacy settings back to where you had them as we don’t want to compromise your privacy.

It costs nothing and takes just a minute of your time – or maybe 69 seconds. So blog about it, post it, tweet it, retweet it, use it in all your statuses and urge everyone you know to do the same.

Also: Antarctica is the only continent left on our almost pink map! Know anyone there? Tell them to #fightbreastcancer at!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Enough Pink!!!

The Atlanta leg of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk is scheduled for October 22-24, 2010. As we all know, I have been training for this 60 mile journey and fundraising to meet the minimum requirement for this event since January. I have put myself through dehydration, blistering, walking in a downpour, begging people for money, sun burning, suffering through allergic relations, etc, etc, etc. AND I AM STILL GOING STRONG!!!

I was really REALLY proud of myself....until my husband started questioning my decision to participate in the 3-Day because the 11Alive News Team is advertising another walk that only lasts an hour, has no minimum donation requirement, and no training is required. He wanted to know why I didn't pick that walk instead. So, there I was having to DEFEND MYSELF for walking the furthest distance I can to put an end to breast cancer and help Nancy G. Brinker fulfill her promise to her sister, Susan G. Komen.

Needless to say, I feel defeated!

But, my defeat does not end there...You see, there is salt to rub into this wound. I watched the 11Alive Morning News on a daily basis. I added them as a friend on facebook. I was happy that Donna Lowry spoke about breast cancer often and Karyn Greer read from pink paper. I was even elated to learn that channel 11 has a "Buddy Check Reminder" that can be sent to your cell phone to remind you to check your boobies. I was inspired to hear Karyn Greer is participating in the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event at Atlantic Station on October 23, 2010....until I realized that not only was the "Making Strides" walk on the SAME SATURDAY I will be walking my second 20 miles, BUT channel 11 is designated as the Official Media Sponsor for BOTH events.

Can you guess which event they will be covering??? I did - it's not the 3-Day!

WHAT THE HELL??? Along with thousands of other walkers, I have been working so hard to meet these huge goals - raising a minimum $2,300 and walking 20 miles in a day only to find out that our media sponsor will be filming AT ANOTHER EVENT! 

I had such hopes that our efforts would be recognized, but no, instead, someone who just gets up on Saturday, October 23, 2010, decides "I'm going to fight breast cancer today," makes a $35.00 donation, and walks a mere 1.86 miles can be on TV and recognized for their contributions to the breast cancer cause by participating in the "Making Strides" event - while the thousands of walkers who have trained since January will walk 60 miles in media silence. How fair is that?

My feelings of defeat got so bad, I called the Coaches and asked them why our media sponsor is not supporting our event in the same way they are supporting the "Making Strides" event - you know: on air interviews with participants, coverage of preview parties, daily reminders of the event, etc., etc. You know what I found out? The contract for Atlanta's market only includes ads shown during the beginning of the year - the very same ads that got me rolling on the whole journey to begin with!!! ARGGGHH!!!

I stopped watching morning news. I now get up at 7 AM purposely missing all morning news. I can't take it anymore.

I have spent too much time, effort, and money training - buying training gear, waking up at 5:30 AM to drive 20+ miles to participate in team walks (on Saturdays & Sundays!), giving up several ENTIRE weekends to fundraise - just to wake up every weekday morning to see the news team blather on and on about how "you too can make a difference in fighting breast cancer by participating in this 3k..." while not even throwing a bone to our event.

I don't think I would be nearly as hurt or upset by this thing (because let's face it, the more people fighting breast cancer, the better) if the newscast would have at least acknowledged that the 3-Day existed or if the event they are promoting was on a different day. But, sitting there fully knowing that we can't get any TV coverage because other newscasts are not going to cover an event that is Officially Sponsored by a different station pisses me off. It angers me every time I see the 11Alive thing on my facebook, the pink boot in Wal-Mart, and hear my husband talk about the weatherman.

Granted, I didn't get into this thing seeking to be famous. I got into this thing to acknowledge that breast cancer needs to end. The whole point of walking this far and this long is to RAISE AWARENESS for this disease. Question is: How are 3-Day walkers in Atlanta supposed to raise awareness if our media sponsor refuses to cover the actual event? Just knowing how much has gone into training and fundraising and what not kills me. Then, knowing people like my team captain Michelle (who is in the process of completing her 3rd event) has raised awareness by flyers, talking to people, signs and banners instead of being able to tap into the greater Atlanta area news media because the 3-Day media sponsors are not as passionate about our 60 miles of walking as they are about their newscaster's 1.86 miles of walking, well that takes killing me with a daily dose of antifreeze to a stab in the heart.

Yet, it doesn’t end there….

There is also the fundraising end of things! I just checked the Making Strides site on Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:18 AM. Guess what? Their reported TOTAL fundraising for this event is just above $130,000. The top 2 (that’s right, that's a TWO) Atlanta based 3-Day teams have risen just above $143,000 (as of Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:24 AM) according to site. Top fundraiser for Making Strides: $ 3,550.00; Top fundraiser for Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure: $12,980.00. My team, (a total of 23 people) have raised just over $52,000 for the 3-Day while Atlanta area Wal-Marts (that’s right Atlanta AREA Wal-Marts!) raised just over $41,000. Oh, and to make matters worse, my understanding is: "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" is an event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and funds raised, while earmarked for breast cancer, can be used to help fight all cancers not just breast cancer.....

Yet, Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event participants have yet to get major media coverage….. there is no pat on the back for walking 20 miles in a weekend while training. There is no – “wow, look these 23 people raised more money than Wal-Mart!” There is just our communities, our friends, our families, our teams and our blogs telling us how proud of our accomplishments they are. Unlike the Making Strides participants who are highlighted on the 11Alive Morning News on a weekly, if not daily (pink paper anyone?) basis. It completely makes me feel as if the outside world has yet to see the power of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and because of this other event, no one in Atlanta will. In other words, I am completely and utterly defeated.

Nancy G. Brinker wrote a post on September 21, 2010 called “Too Much Pink?” where she gives her views on whether or not there is too much pink in the world. She feels there isn’t enough pink – and in this case, I completely agree. There is pink in the 11Alive Morning News, there just isn’t enough……

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dallas Theater's Patron Appreciation Night

So, I had plans to attend our team's second Pirate's Night Out last Saturday, September 18th. I had a costume picked out and everything... Then on Friday evening, my plans changed. I was offered a table at the Dallas Theater's Patron Appreciation Night, a free show featuring Andy Offutt Irwin on Saturday. Along with the table, the Dallas Theater donated two tickets to Terror at the Dallas Theater, their haunted house event featuring a haunted history tour, a ScareMaze, and movies.

Here I am at my table at the beginning of the show:

Before the show started, they made this announcement:

"Want a chance to win a pair of tickets to Terror at the Dallas Theater, our haunted theater adventure? Well, all you have to do is make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to enter our raffle. You may have noticed Deanna Oaks sitting in our lobby on your way in. She is walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure – a 60 mile walk from Lake Lanier to Turner Field. Her main reason for walking:  1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Thanks to events like the 3-Day for the Cure, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has invested nearly $1.5 billion to end breast cancer, becoming the largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. Deanna is here to collect tax deductible donations, and every donation (no matter the value) qualifies for an entry to our raffle. Please stop by and make your donation tonight!"

After the show was over, people stopped by my table to enter the raffle.

A BIG (BIG) thank you goes out to the patrons of Dallas Theater, who donated $104.00 to the cause!!! I am so glad that I was asked to be in the lobby, and so thankful to live in a community that cares!

Thanks again Dallas!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Highs & Lows

So, Labor Day weekend came along....and my mind said "Ooooo Holiday! I'm taking a break!" And this thinking has gotten me in trouble, I think....

Our team had 3 days of walks, all under 10 miles - one on Saturday, one on Sunday, and one on Monday. My plans for the weekend included taking Saturday off, to spend sleeping in and hanging out with my husband, walking and fundraising on Sunday, and walking on Monday. Notice I used the word "plans".....because my plans didn't become complete reality!

Of course, Saturday plans were a no brainer to complete in full.

After sleeping in on Saturday, I hit the ground walking on Sunday. The walk was an 8 mile loop from our normal meeting place through a HILLY neighborhood in a different direction than our normal routes. I really wasn't paying attention all that much while walking, except when we hit "the hill." This hill reminded me of the hills of San Francisco, although not as bad as California Street, I didn't think I could walk it, especially after walking for over an hour. But, I did! And, when we got to the top, I turned around to look back at what I accomplished, only to be disappointed because we'd walked through a curve and couldn't see the entirity of the incline we just walked. However, I knew what the hill looked like before I started, which made me so proud.

For some reason, I got this walk mixed up with the Monday walk which was 2 loops of 4 miles. So, when we arrived back at our cars, I thought we'd take a break and then walk the next 4 miles. How wrong was I? Wrong enough to be so surprised when everyone headed for their cars and the team leader asked for a ride to our fundraiser because we'd just completed 8 miles! Now, I was really, really amazed. Not only did I walk 8 miles thinking I'd walked 4, but the 8 miles I walked included a serious incline! Whoo-hoo!

So, I got in my car and drove to Disco Kroger for our canning fundraiser. For 3.5 hours, I stood/sat in front of Kroger asking people for money with 4 of my teammates. One of our teammates had already met her mininum, so we ended up splitting the take 3 ways. We made $ 404! So, I walked away with $ 135!

Sunday plans done - 8 miles and $135 dollars - I was on a high!

Monday's plans however, did not happen! I planned on walking....but sometimes the best laid plans just don't work. My body plotted against me, so in order to keep myself walking the long haul, I didn't walk. I know, it doesn't make sense, but then again it does. If this walk was the 3-Day, I would have walked, but being that I am just preparing for the 3-Day, I don't want to ruin my chances of not walking for the 3-Day by overpreparing! So, I ended the weekend on a low. Bummer!

But I know this trip is a journey that will include plenty of highs and lows, and through it, I will learn more about love, life, and laughter (along with learning about myself) than I will from any other accomplishment that I can think of in this moment!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Double Digit Back 2 Back!

During the weekend of August 28th,  I accomplished a milestone, that when I started this thing, I thought was highly improbable: I walked 10.2 miles on Saturday and followed it up with 10.2 miles on Sunday. But, then again, when I started this thing, I was alone, wait, that's not quite right, I was lonely, lazy and had weekends that consisted of sleeping in until 1 or 2 pm after staying up until 1 or 2 am the night before; and very little physical activity. Oh, how my life has changed!

I am now going to bed early every night, and getting up early every day - even on days when I am supposed to be sleeping in! I am meeting up with friends every weekend, bonded by a common cause: the end of breast cancer! I am pushing myself past where I'd normally stop partly because there are no sweep vans on training walks and partly because my newfound friends keep telling me I can do it. I keep proving them right too! Well, with the exception of Saturday.....I was supposed to walk 15 miles, but only walked 10 - mostly because I wanted to make sure I would walk 10 on Sunday.

To shake things up for the 15 mile walk, our team captains decided they would put together a scavenger hunt. Every 5 miles, we got a list of 10 items we had to find before we finished the 5 miles. The captains split the walkers between the North (Black) and the South (Pink) teams and received our scavenger are photo results from the first 10 miles:

Photo 1: Squirrel
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 2: Purple Flower
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 3: Someone not walking with us wearing a breast cancer pink ribbon
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 4: Black running shoe
Black Team's photo take with a cell phone - not pictured here....
Pink Team

Photo 5: Mother/Daughter
Black Team
Pink Team (These two are on the Pink team!)

Photo 6: Pink shirt
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 7: Group picture in front of the carving
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 8: Funny potty picture
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 9: Police car
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 10: Everyone walking like an egyptian
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 11: Deer

Black Team
Black Team

Photo 12: Pink Flower
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 13: Showing your safety badge to someone who is talking on their cell phone who is not walking with the group
Black Team

Pink Team

Photo 14: Pink running shoe
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 15: Husband/Wife
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 16: Black shirt
Black Team
Pink Team
I couldn't find this one in the photos...

Photo 17: Group picture of everyone hydrating
Black Team

Pink Team

Photo 18: Someone hugging a tree.
Black Team
Pink Team

Photo 19: Picture by the water wheel by the water fall
Black Team

Pink Team

Photo 20: Picture by a one way sign with everyone going in the opposite direction
Black Team
Pink Team
And that is where I pooped out! But, I must admit I wasn't alone - several of us carpooled, and there was a group of about 5 of us hanging out waiting for the troopers to get through the last 5 miles. There were more pictures, but there are so many pictures on this post, I'm giving up here too!

Sunday's walk wasn't as adventurous, although it was just as long. I kept going, even though I had PLENTY of chances to get back in my car and go home. We took several small loops around the neighborhood close to our cars - partly because several of us hadn't walked a back to back like that yet.

I just have so say that I am very proud of myself for this weekend....I still can't believe I have walked 20 miles!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Left At Albuquerque.....

It's been a few weeks, so I am posting a few this week to catch up....this post will tempt to recap my training walk on August 21, 2010.

I woke up on Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 5:30 AM and took my time getting ready. I was just sitting down with my peanut butter and honey sandwich at 6:05 AM when I get a text message from the training walk leader saying something along the lines of "see you in 10 minutes...." My first thought "well there goes my morning!" When I woke up, I thought the walk started at 7:15, not 6:15, so just like that I'm an hour late! My nice, relaxing morning became this mad dash through Hiram, Smyra, and Marietta to get to the walk. Luckily for me, I found a short cut a few weeks ago that cut my drive time from 45 minutes to 35 minutes, and I ended up meeting my team a mere 30 minutes (or 2 miles) into the walk.

I caught up with them by parking at an elementary school on their route and fell in step with the walkers without too much trouble. This walk was set up in loops - 7 miles for loop one and 7 miles for loop two. I completed the remaining 5 miles of loop one in what came to be pouring rain. My morning just kept getting better and better!

Most walkers fell off after the first loop due to the weather and various other committments, so for loop two, it was just Michelle and I. We started off, still a little wet, but drying out since the rain had stopped. Along the way, the bottom of my feet started tingling and I found out that I tied my shoes too tight. Apparently, feet swell when walking long walks and if you tie your shoes snuggly when you start, your feet may swell to the point of cutting off your blood flow. Such fun! When I stopped to retie my shoes, I also changed my socks only to find the beginnings of my very first blister - because my socks were wet! Whoo-hoo! I am on a roll!!

Since we were on our own, we depended on the map and GPS. Funny thing about GPS - when you are walking, you move too slow for the satellites to pick up the signal, so according to the GPS, we were in two different counties at the same time! And for some reason, we had the map upside down or something and ended up taking a left instead of taking a right, and didn't figure out that we had "walked off of the map" until we were past the map by just over a mile - so to get back to the route, we added 2 miles! Both a good thing and a bad thing - good thing because I ended up earning my 14 mile high along with my blister, but a bad thing because we had no choice but to finish it out - and I didn't even know if I could............

Good news is: I finished the 14 miles at Michelle's car and got a ride back to my car! Yey, something going my way today...but it didn't last long.

Once in my car, I started home only to get myself stuck on Barrett Parkway or should I say "Barrett Parking Lot"??? A two mile drive on Barrett took me close to an HOUR!!! Here we go again! And to keep the hits coming............Once I arrived home, I found an allergic reaction forming on my leg from something I sat in while changing my socks, 2 bug bites, and the blister that started earlier was the size of a dime.

Needless to say: I didn't walk Sunday!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dehydration.....and then some!

I learned a lesson the other day....preventing dehydration isn't just about drinking water DURING training walks, but you need to be hydrated BEFORE you start! This lesson was learned the hard way.... I suffered through it! Last Saturday, I walked 13 (well, 12.75 ish, but I'm rounding) miles with a training walk. I got home, took a shower, took a nap, and woke up suffering symptoms of dehydration. At first, I thought I had gotten the flu or something, but my research has me thinking more and more that I was dehydrated.

During the week leading up to the training, I failed to consume my daily goal of 72 ounces of water. I set this goal a few weeks prior and had been drinking the 72 ounces in addition to my normal routine of a morning cup of tea, an afternoon drink (unsweet tea or soda), and a drink with dinner (milk, wine, or water). But, I couldn't find my favorite water bottle (a fancy one that counts the refills) all week. Without the water bottle, I neglected to drink more than 48 ounces of liquid on any day - mostly tea, coffee & soda - in the week leading up to the walk. During the walk itself, I drank 24 ounces of water every 5 miles, and then immediately following the walk, I drank 32 ounces of G2. I thought (stupidly) that I was drinking PLENTY of fluids.

Yet, my research shows - I did not drink nearly enough......At the Shoe Clinic at the Big Peach, the shoe guy called us "Endurance Athletes" - which at the time I thought was ridiculous, but as the training has increased, I see his point. After Saturday, I am a believer - we are endurance athletes. Here's how endurance athletes are a "special risk" for dehydration:

"- Endurance athletes. Anyone who exercises can become dehydrated, especially in hot, humid conditions or at high altitudes. But athletes who train for and participate in ultramarathons, triathlons, mountain climbing expeditions and cycling tournaments are at particularly high risk. That's because the longer you exercise, the more difficult it is to stay hydrated. During exercise, your body can absorb about 24 to 32 ounces of water an hour, but you may lose twice that amount in hot weather. With every hour, your fluid debt increases. Dehydration is also cumulative over a period of days, which means you can become dehydrated with even a moderate exercise routine if you don't drink enough to replace what you lose on a daily basis."

So, by having a goal of drinking 72 ounces of water daily had been my prevention for previous walks because I was overly hydrated prior to the walks. But by neglecting this goal, I was losing more fluids than I was taking in during the ENTIRE week leading up to walk and the cumulative lack of fluids caused my dehydration on Saturday. Let me tell you, suffering from vomiting, dry heaves, dizziness, and sinus issues is not fun, especially when you want nothing more than to participate in "Pirates Night Out!" I missed a fundraiser due to dehydration, so I learned my lesson and then some!

Here are some additional tips from the Mayo Clinic for prevention:

"Prevention - By Mayo Clinic staff

To prevent dehydration, consume plenty of fluids and foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables. According to the Institute of Medicine, letting thirst be your guide is an adequate daily guideline for most healthy people. Fluids can be obtained not just from water but also from other beverages and foods. But, if you're exercising, don't wait for thirst to keep up with your fluids."

I'm taking this seriously now, and I am uping my intake of daily water!!!!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pirate's Night Out!! August 14, 2010

Team Treasured Chests is headed to Midtown Atlanta on August 14, 2010 to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We will pillage our way through Flip Flops, CosmoLava, Cosmopolitan Lounge and Door 44 raising money for breast cancer education, treatment and research!!!!

Please read our Pirate's Night Out Press Release! 

Be on the lookout for PIRATES -- AARRRGH!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

3rd Time's The Charm....

or so they say! Well, in the case of RSVP'ing to a training walk and ACTUALLY attending said training walk, that 3rd time charm thing actually worked! Whoo-hoo!!

Oh, wait - do I really want to say "Whoo-hoo!?" I am SORE! Of course, I should have expected as much being I fell off the training wagon last week due to a root canal and seriously oppressive heat. If I don't walk a little during the week, how am I going to survive the longer weekend walks? Horribly - that's how! But, surviving I am doing, even if it is surviving in pain!

Here is the low down on the training walk I RSVP'd to... The 3 Day Training Walk blurb hailed it as an 11 mile Stone Mountain walk. Being I had never been to Stone Mountain, I inquired about the terrain only to find out that the walk was completely paved and only slightly hilly. At first blush, it seemed more like walking around a city block rather than a mountain because where I come from, mountians have elevations of anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, come in ranges, and are only paved with two lane (sometimes one lane) highways, not sidewalks. They don't stand by themselves at 2,306 feet or have a paved walking surface circling it. But, I'd never been there before, so who am I to judge? 

On the day of the walk, I met up with Michelle, training walk leader, and Sarah for a car pool at 6 AM. I am not a morning person and actually surprised myself by being there only 5 min late (thank you unexpected traffic at 5:45 AM on a Saturday)! I showed up a little sleepy, but really excited about arriving before my carpool! Once we arrived at Stone Mountain, the three of us met up with other walkers at the Walk Up Trail bathrooms at 7 AM. I surprised myself again this morning - first by being up so early and second by being awake enough to smile for this photo!

The plan was to walk the 5 mile loop surrounding Stone Mountain twice, but on our second loop we were supposed to walk the little bit to the carving, for an upclose view and extra mileage. Somewhere along the way, I'm not sure when, we lost Amanda, who headed to wait for us at her car, as her back prevented her to continue. Sometime after that, we ended up taking a left at Albuequerque and walking (hiking?) a stunning mountain trial  for 6 miles.

Being we were on an official 3 Day walk, we didn't stop to take pictures along the way (although I think I will talk my husband into this sometime soon so that I can have photos - it was AMAZING!), except for the one taken above. Thank you Sarah for stopping and snapping the photo!

The first loop went by fast due to the fact we were all talking and having a great time. The second loop (which included 2.5 extra miles) went by fast even though the conversation was completely at a stall due the fact we were getting tired and in a single file line. There is nothing that makes a walk more enjoyable than great friends and awesome scenery!

And here we are at the end of our 11 miles:

We are sweaty - walking through a heat advisory will do that - but we are smiling, even after tackling 11 miles. At this point, we sent for Amanda to pick up those that couldn't take the heat - 100 + degrees is no fun! I pushed to walk the rest of the way to the car, another 1.5 miles past this picture!

The best part of the day was after all the walking was done, Michelle, Amanda, Sarah, and I ate at Subway for lunch. We were so out of it, someone tried to order Starbuck's, and none of us could move the chairs! But, we had a great meal, plenty of laughs, and great camaraderie! I wouldn't exchange this experience for the world!  

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Preview Expo Day - Atlanta! Saturdy, July 24, 2010

So, my Saturday didn't start off well at all.....Friday night my WiFi system broke, which left me without the internet. Talk about cutting me off from the world....but I need to take you back a week to show you how this affected me this particular Saturday more than any other day since. You see, I had RSVP'd to a training walk led by my team captain for Saturday morning at 7 AM on Tuesday. At the time I RSVP'd, I put off getting everything together until Friday night - maps, phone numbers, etc.- thinking "if I do it now, I won't be able to find it on Saturday morning." When I lost the internet Friday night, I was flying blind. I sort of knew where the walk started (SBUX), and I knew the time I was supposed to be there (6:45 AM), but I had never been to that particular Starbucks before AND I didn't have my team captian's phone number. Procastination, it is a KILLER! Anyway, to top off being cut off from the world, I set my Saturday alarm for weekdays, not weekends, which just left me to oversleep by 1/2 hour! So, there I was, rushing to a place I didn't know how to get to hoping beyond hope I'd catch up with someone who I couldn't reach. How lame is that? Yeah, exactly! The reason I went anyway - I didn't want to let my team down AND I didn't want to go by myself to the Preview Expo...because the whole point of the "Join A Team Day" walk was to recruit new members and get the team together to carpool to the Expo!

What happened? Well, I got to an empty parking lot with no sign of anyone, anywhere. But, my car needs work, and I have to keep my driving to a minimum. So, I stayed hoping I was in the right place. I waited, and waited and waited. At 9:15 AM, I freaked out. The Preview Expo started at 10 AM and I was at least 45 min away....I still had no sign I was in the right parking lot and had NO idea where the Preview Expo was, because in my mind, I was getting there by carpool. So, I texted a teammate who was meeting us at the Expo hoping to get the team captain's phone number. She called to give it to me, only to hear my sob story that I had no idea where I was going or how to get a hold of anyone. What does she do? She RESCUES ME! She drove out of her way to pick me up, all for the price of a Diet Coke! And, wouldn't you know, as I walk out of the store with her Diet Coke, I run into my team captian returning from the walk! (Almost quite literally!!) For some unknown reason it all worked out perfectly as I had just enough time to meet a few new team members from "Join A Team Day" before my ride showed up. All smiles by 9:30 AM.

And all smiles it stayed during the Preview Expo! We played Expo Trivia - visiting all the stations on the Expo Hall Floor. We learned that DeKalb Medical is our local affliate hospital from the Education Station. We learned how big our tents will be, the set up of the route, and that our packs can only weigh 35 lbs - sleeping bag & all - at the Camp Station. We read interesting news articles from local 3-Day Teams (one such article was mentioned in this blog a few months ago), at the Inspiration Station. We learned about and shared fundraising ideas, teams, and other inspirations at the Ask The Expert Station. The best part of the Expo Trivia? We found our team's Co-Captian manning the Ask The Expert Station! While there, we introduced her to the newbie my ride recruited the day before and she filled us in how we got 3 more members through "Join a Team Day!"

Overall a great Expo - even though we didn't attend any of the Clinics - see schedule ..... Reason: too many people in rooms too small to hold them. I guess it was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing that so many are championing the cause to put an end to breast cancer and a curse because the space did not allow everyone to attend. I am very grateful that what I couldn't learn in the clinics I either learned at American Red Cross in 2009 (I'm certified in First Aid) or at the REI booth (my teammate had a blister that the people at the REI booth dressed, and while dressing the blister they gave an impromptu talk on what they were doing and why they were doing it.)

While at the vendor booths, I met up with Mike from THORLOs socks again. He said "Hi" and thanks for the shout out. The guys from Big Peach were also there. Along with REI, THORLOs and Big Peach were New BalancePhidippides, and SHOPTHE3DAY. We entered contests to win such items as a pink iPod Nano from New Balance and a $50 gift card to REI. We didn't win any of the give aways, but we did get lots of discounts that will help pay for items desperately needed on our 3 Day Journey!

After the vendor booths, a mishap involving GPS & Starbucks, and the raffle drawings, we headed back to the parking lot where my day ended with smiles, hugs, and new friends!

The most important thing I learned from the Preview Expo: bring duct tape!!! Not only will it fix holes in your tent (should there be any) but it will also keep the moleskin on your blisters from slipping off!! The most important thing I learned during my day: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I learned a new term on Saturday (July 17th): "canning." When I first heard our team would be fundraising by "canning" I thought we'd be adding fish to metal cans. But, as I have learned (on several occasions), Georgia is a LONG way away from California, especially when it comes to canning! The Georgian definition of canning is: begging people for money in front of a store with cans, usually tin. So, that's what our fundraiser was: begging people for money in front of "disco" Kroger's!

Upon figuring out that we would be begging for money, I couldn't imagine making any money. I know that people that beg for money on the street sometimes make more than I do in a year, but in my mind I couldn't translate the homeless guy on the freeway off ramp into a group of women dressed as pink pirates in front of a grocery store.

I mean, how much money could we really make here?

Answer: over $700 in 5 hours!

But this fundraiser wasn't just about asking people for money. It was about being visible to the neighborhood, because being visible shows survivors there are people out there fighting a good fight for them, and it shows former walkers that their cause lives on. It was about being audible to the parking lot so that we can share statistics of the disease (1 in 8 women will be diagnosed) to people who aren't necessarily shopping in our store but elsewhere within the shopping center. It was about  handing out flyers to people interested, but not willing - giving them a souvenir to take home to read in order to understand the enormity of what we are doing. It was about learning how much we mean to people who have been through it, and how much we are admired by people who have walked it.

It was about having fun, because life wouldn't be fun without a couple of laughs!

We harrassed the money truck......

We rode carts through the parking lot......

We danced..........
We held signs.........

AND We screamed "We have boobies, yes we do, we want to keep them, how about you?" back and forth, across the lot as well as across the store. We gained a lot of attention, pillaged a bunch of cash, and went home exhausted but fulfilled. Hearing the stories of survivors, relatives who have lost, and former walkers, I am now so much more committed to this cause! I even walked 5 miles by myself on Sunday - without any prompting by teammates or my husband. (And I did it before 9:30 AM!!) So, I guess it was about motivating ourselves as well. I can't wait for the next one!!!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna