Wednesday, November 16, 2011

With Helping Hands...

This would be the blog entry for Monday, November 14, 2011.
When I got up Sunday morning I knew that the day would be a challenge.  My left leg was acting up again and the pain was intense.  I still had it wrapped up from the night before.  I iced it all night long and kept it elevated.  It looked like I had one foot that belonged to a hobbit.  Rebecca & I went down to the breakfast nook that they had in the hotel.  We grabbed something quick, then it was off to the shuttle.  Once we got to camp we had a game plan.  Rebecca went to the main tent to catch up to someone from New Balance as she won the Jacket & Shoes they gave away in the raffle the night before!  While I headed straight to medical.  I waited for a long time before I had the chance to be seen, but I knew I couldn't head out on the route in the shape I was in.  Mean while, Rebecca went and got "Patience" for me.  Shortly after she returned someone came by and said that the route would be closing in 5 minutes and anyone that was left would be swept to the first pit.  Neither of us wanted to be swept.  At that point, I told Rebecca to head out onto the course & I would catch up to her somewhere along the way.  I somehow managed to get out onto the course with the help of my Medical Angel Rebecca Green, before they started to sweep the walkers. I was the last walker out.  Today, I decided that it was going to be less about socializing and more just about getting it done.  The sweep vans through out the day hung around like buzzards waiting to swoop in on their pray.  I know that they are there to help, but I just felt like they were looming today.  I walked by Pit One as it was just about to close when I got there, and I could hear people saying they were going to start sweeping the walkers.  I walked past the Grab n Go so that I might have a chance of getting to Pit Two with a few moments to spare.  I got to Pit Two, filled up and took a moment to use the facilities before heading out.  I saw some of my favorite people cheering and they were dressed up like Pirates!  My leg was throbbing, but I decided to take a quick break & get a picture.  They had a lavish set up that was wonderful.  I ended up using one of their props for "medicinal purposes".  It helped to get me to lunch, were I met up with my Medical Angel Rebecca Green again.  She managed to do a quick taping job in the am, but she knew that I needed something more if I were going to finish.  She was just about done, when they started shouting that lunch was closing.  I pushed back the tears and took off saying that I would see everyone at closing.  I walked past Pit Three, and as I got to Pit Four it was closing.  I had on my big dark sunglasses to hide the tears that were starting to well up.  When I heard that they were closing my heart sank.  I had a crew member help me back to medical so that they could take saran wrap and wrap my leg with ice so I could continue on.  A few people came back to talk to me and all I could say was I am in "Grit and Go mode".  I was wearing my Pearls for Bridget & Carrying Patience for Jim, quitting was NOT an option.  I had tears streaming down my face by this point, but I wasn't going to quit.  I did my best to collect myself and move on.  Every time the sweep vans came by me all I could do was flash them a Peace sign with my fingers.  I got about two blocks away when the pain became more than I could bare. I had just crossed the street and the bag that once held ice, became water and splashed all over my foot.  I managed to make it over to a lamp post for support.  As I held on to it, the tears that I was trying to hold back and not show again, came streaming down my face.  I could no longer hide the pain.  I was trying to get the bag and the plastic off my leg so that I could carry on.  At this point Dan Sinclair ( who is one of our 60 Mile Men ) came rushing to my aid.  He couldn't have been kinder to me if he had tried.  He got down on one knee and held my left leg in a way that the pain started to slowly subside.  He managed to get all the plastic wrap off my leg and then as I cried, he just continued to hold my leg.  He never once told me that I should stop my journey and get on a sweep van.  He just held my leg, and me, until I gained enough strength to finish out my journey.  His seemingly simple act of kindness rocked me to my core.  It reminded me of why I started carrying "Patience".  Jim told me that his journey was shouldered by many people, and that he did not do these walks alone.  I now know exactly what he meant.  As I got into holding they had already thought the last walker had come in.  My husband was frantic, as he knew I had not come in yet.  He met me with a huge smile, then helped me get to the stage so that I could participate in closing ceremonies.  As I stood on the stage and looked out at the 3-Day Family, with Dr. Sheri Phillips standing next to me and my children.  I no longer felt like a patch that was placed on top of the 3-Day quilt.  For the first time, I felt like I was part of the patchwork that made up the quilt... 
Me, with Dan Sinclair at the end of my AZ Journey

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