the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
Many of you know that for the last two years, I've been doing the cancer walk in September that fundraises for the Princess Margret's Hospital in Toronto - up till last year, it was called the Weekend Walk to End Breast Cancer, now it's to end Women's Cancers.

This is a hell of an experience, and last year, I got to share it with a dear friend of mine, [livejournal.com profile] cielf. She trained with me, she got to find out the pain and the fun of the walk itself and she made it a wonderful experience for me once again.

This year, I won't be walking. Between having munged my hip, my knee, and starting TenBareToes, I simply can't.

Cielf is walking. I'm going to sponsor her this year. If you find that you can spare the money this year, and if you can indulge me, please sponsor her as if she was me.

Given the events of the last couple weeks, call it passing on the torch.

Thanks, babe. On behalf of my family that has struggled with way too many cancers, I truly appreciate your effort.

Edit: To make it easier, if you don't want to see her reasons for doing this, you can donate directly through here
the_nita: (Thinking)
There are two things I'm considering doing next September.

1) Royal Medieval Faire - RMF to those who are familiar with it. Is a one day performance, primarily in improv format, loosely based around an existing script. Would be a chance to branch into another area, clean up my improv some and my fight more if I audition as an actor. Would be interesting to do director/SM again as well, though I think I'd need to try to be a little more involved in the process earlier on if I did that. While it's a one day performance, rehearsals are 1 or 2 nights a week (likely more if I'm fighting) for a couple months, plus 2 VERY full days prior as we set up. I also have a couple friends (and one in particular) that are trying to egg me on for this.

2) The Weekend to End Women's Cancers, formerly known as the Weekend Walk to End Breast Cancer (they've found enough crossover in the research that they're expanding the walk. Means committing to raising $2K (done before twice, shouldn't be the hardest thing ever), as well as training next summer (while I'm trying to get Shrew up - and one of the things I learned during Musketeers last year is that training PLUS a show tends to eat all my time (including that which I should spend with my family). But the Walk also means a lot to me - that part of me that says "hey, this isn't that much of my life and it can mean so much to someone else". It's also the weekend before the Faire. Which gives me exactly 3 days to recover from the Walk before I could do the Faire, if I did both. And I have a friend who's doing the walk who wants to know if I'm walking too.

So I have a conundrum. Which do I commit to? Can I commit to both, in good conscience? Probably not - see the earlier comment about spending time with my family....

Yah, I know - some of you are rolling your eyes now saying "Nita, that's not for another 11 months" but that's how my life goes - figure out what the commitments are down the road, then start backing through the schedule to figure out when I have to start getting my act together, then put in time for Nita's classic stall techniques, and then I'm good.

Do the thing that's right.

Do the thing that is fun.

Go with one friend.

Go with the other.

However, I'm invoking Rule 14 - I'm tired, in pain, and not perfectly well. I'll decide this later, but at least I have the start of an internal monologue about it....
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
So this past weekend was the walk. Stats first:

4600 walkers
$11.6 million raised for research at the Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital
Countless smiles, drinks, refreshments and words of encouragement from bystanders - including those from the Princess Margaret staff that were out front of the hospital as we walked past.
60 KM - 33/34 Saturday (depending on who I talk to), 27/26 Sunday.
Including pit stops & lunch - 8.5 hours Saturday, 7.5 hours Sunday
Last 4km Saturday, while the plantar faciitis struck, bawling my eyes out, and telling the staff & the "sweep vans" (those who'll pick up people who cannot keep walking) that I was okay.
2 blisters of any significance - both on the balls of my feet, one for each foot.
One burn (semi-bad) on my *back* through my shirt.
Two leg burns (I was wearing ankle length pants, dammit!) through my pants - mostly calf area
One very sore Nita who's extremely proud of herself and very very sore.

It's a hell of an experience. I don't think I've smiled so much my face hurt in a long while.

If you're curious where the money goes, see here - they've found a link between breast & gynocological cancers, so the walk isn't just for breast cancer any more - it's for all womens cancers.

And now, I'm going to work on getting my lower half speaking to me again. ;-)
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
To those who found the money & time to sponsor me, thank you. I have made the minimum goal for the walk!

I am really looking forward to the walk.

I am enormously blessed with friends who support me - financially, emotionally, and in all my crazy endeavors.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
Hi all,

I am once again this fall (eep - in a few weeks!) doing the Weekend Walk to End Breast Cancer. As many of you know, cancer has touched my family in a lot of ways, and the good folks at the Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto have been doing a lot of good work and excellent research into breast (and other female) cancer.

This is a 60 kilometer walk. It takes 2 days. It lasts roughly 6 hours each day on average. Last year, there were just under 5000 walkers and probably half that again in volunteers helping to keep the walkers hydrated, fed & safe. We raised $13 million dollars last year. That's a lot of money, but as many of you know, it takes a lot of money to do real research and to care for people who are really sick.

The folks who organize this ask for a commitment from each walker - raise at least $2000. I'm close to that goal this year, but I'm not there. Please - I know that times are very tough right now, but I have to ask one last time - if you can spare any money for this cause, I would appreciate it. For myself, for the men & women that I'm walking with, for the folks who will benefit from the money we raise, and for the people I love, so I never have to hear another one of them have to tell me they have cancer, or hold their hand while they go through chemo & radiation.

My page on the site is here. If you can donate, I'd appreciate it. If you can only cheer me on from the sidelines, I will gladly accept that as well.

Thanks for listening.
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
Good stretching routine for walking - need to work on making sure I get the soleus better stretched this year - still having issues.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
Just a quick reminder that I've started training for the Weekend Walk to End Breast Cancer, with the funds going toward the Princess Margaret Hospital's cancer clinic in Toronto. If you're in a position to sponsor me, more information is here.

Thanks, everyone. The emotional support last year, as well as the enormous sense of accomplishment made me want to do this again.
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
I am not giving up another one, if I can help it

In the last several years, I have lost a lot of relatives. My aunt, my mom's sister, passed away after an 8 year fight with cancer.

I hate feeling powerless to do anything to help - to alleviate the pain from the disease and the treatments. To know what to say to someone who knows they are going to die. I have friends now who are struggling with cancer. My sister, mother and myself all know that it is a strong possibility in our futures. Ultimately, I know that the only way to any power I can have with this is to fight it early.

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is a two-day, 60-kilometre walk through the neighbourhoods of Toronto. Proceeds benefit Princess Margaret Hospital, funding important breast cancer research, education, services and care. I did this walk last year and I am participating again this coming fall. I have to try to do something. To avoid that powerlessness again, even if just by flinging my passion for life into the teeth of a disease that takes so much. The only way I know how - body, mind & soul.

If you're inclined to help me by sponsoring me, you can get a copy of the donation form here, or you can go here to donate online.

I know times are tough and I appreciate you considering this.

Thanks.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
And I have a new favourite walking song.

Viva Las Vegas as covered by ZZ Top (okay, new for me).

It's FUN to walk to.

"Y'all still want me to come with you?"
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
Just in case I give you the impression that my sanity was ever out of question...

I want to do that again.

That was an amazing experience.

The walkers - for the most part (there's always a whiny brat in every group) - were amazing. Upbeat, supportive, and a bunch of extremely determined men & women.

The crew - sane setups, supportive as all hell, and organized. Really well done. I think there was *one* time in the whole thing, from my perspective, where I went "wow, I would have done that differently, and it would have seriously improved things"

The people we walked past - families out on their driveways with supplies - water, coffee, tea, popsicles, freezies, fruit, *beer*....sometimes it was a little girl in a pink tutu cheering us on with her unusual spelling of pink - "Give me a P! Give me an N! Give me a K! What does that spell?" blank looks "PINK!" rriiight (she was about 6, I figure) - ladies with "thank you - you walking means I survived" signs along the route - one amazing man handing out home made cake with a photo of his dad, who passed from breast cancer (roughly 50 men a year die of diagnosed breast cancer in Canada) recently.

A sign at the end of registration that will sit in my brain for a long while: "We don't want to beat breast cancer. We want to make it sorry it ever bothered our friends & family."

Yah. That'll do.

Here's the part that'll qualify as really crazy.

I want to do it with my friends next time.

Anyone wanna come walk with me?
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
60km.

2 days.

Even crossed the finish line of day 2 at full speed.

Zero blisters.

Two very sore legs & feet.

Walked with 4700 other people, and collectively raised over $13 million.

Am inordinately proud of myself.

Very, stupidly, extremely pleased I have a massage appointment tomorrow.
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
The walk starts tomorrow.

Today I go into TO and get myself registered and go through the safety video and get the route (I freaking hope!) etc, etc. Don't ask me my opinion of the "holding pen" we're going to have to wait in when we're done on Sunday until everyone's finished the walk. I am a cynic - the whole idea of having to spend time "in a high energy, fun-focused cheering area until we can all triumphantly march to the closing ceremonies" gives me the icks - I'm going to have just walked a whole hell of a lot. I don't suspect I'm going to want to be surrounded by strangers. I guess I'm going to have to make some acquaintances and quickly.

I have my plan. I have my gear. I have trained. I have my hotel room (cause my back isn't going to agree with sleeping on the ground when I've walked the first 30k). I have the love and support of my family & friends. I have raised the required funds.

Now I have to walk.
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
In a little more than 2 weeks, I start a walk that will take me 60km, and through the city of Toronto. It will take me to the end of my summer's training. What started in early April as an exercise to do something to try to raise money towards combating a disease many of the women in my family have had, as well as one I risk myself will come to fruition.

I've found that I enjoy walking. That the city I live in isn't nearly as large as it feels when I drive. Sunrises are a glorious thing, especially when you've been out for an hour before the sun even thought of getting up. That multicoloured pricey socks can keep your feet from being destroyed, and that good shoes are indeed worth their weight in gold.

I've toned down - not bunches, but there isn't as much padding to the saddle bags as there once was. That walking makes me want to eat less, which stuns me probably more than just about anything else.

I will walk with all kinds of people. Women. Men. Ones who've lost people, ones who've lived through the disease, and even some that are fighting it as we walk.

I said when I started this that I wanted to feel less powerless. That I could do something to help. With the support of my friends, my family and even some kind strangers, I've learned that I can do something. In the long run, it may only be a very small thing, but even the sun coming over the horizon comes initially as a very small thing.

Thank you all.

(If you haven't, and you want to, my sponsor page is http://www.endcancer.ca/site/TR/Events/Toronto2008?px=2348847&pg=personal&fr_id=1254)
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
But for now? I'm good.

Today was supposed to be 32km. At 27km, I decided I was done being rained on (it wasn't showing any sign of going away, and in fact was getting harder), so I called in the cavalry and got a ride home.

Because it was wet. Not because of my feet or my knees or legs or lack of energy.

I got ~4 hours of highly interrupted sleep last night.

I couldn't find my gel container, so no quick hits of energy while walking.

I seriously considered, at 4:15 this morning when my alarm went off, of blowing this off today.

I still did it.

I only have to do 30 each day when I do the actual walk.

I can totally do this.

I'll be broken seventeen ways from Sunday on the Monday, but dude. I can totally do this.

Go me.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
Let's see...I'm now at $1200 of the $2000 minimum I must raise (and the $4K I set as a personal target cause I *am* that cocky) to enter the Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk in September (No [livejournal.com profile] lovecraftienne, that doesn't count the money you've been telling me.)

I have the best friends and family.

I can do this. Even more now, I know I can do this - the bounce back from the longer walks is taking less & less time to recover.

Cool.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
My pants don't fit. They sag around my waist (not much, but an inch is an inch), and they're loose (of all places) between the caesarean scar & the tops of my thighs....

The belt needs adjustment to give it extra holes.

You'd think the walking might be doing stuff or something....
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
13K just doesn't feel that long (other than time) any more.

Cool.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
It's a really good thing I can manipulate myself trivially with music. It can be a very bad thing (gotten my mood shanghai'd by depressive music on occasion). Today, given how tired I am from the walk last night (roughly 13 k - measured via gmaps pedometer - yup - 13K - and thank you [livejournal.com profile] johnofnotrades), music will be what keeps me vertical and effective today.

Looking at my schedule for this week, I think I have to make a new icon....oy.
the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
6.9km or 4.3miles. 1 hour, 18 minutes, so the math says 3.3 mph or 5.3kph - which is much more plausible than the 11kph the pedometer read. Note to self - must check if it's set to walk or run BEFORE I head out.

7am tomorrow is the next walk - 10 miles (16km). Should take ish 3 hours. That should be fun.

Total distance to date: 26.4km. Almost one entire day of the big walk. Tomorrow will toss that up significantly.
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the_nita: usual shot when I'm directing - since I'm *not* looking at actors, I must be working on the script. (walking)
"You're not using time, you're generating time."

- Alan Durning, an environmental researcher, on the benefits of walking, considering a British study that suggests that for every minute you walk, you live about three minutes longer. Durning is the founder of the Sightline Institute. [http://www.sightline.org/]

[http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2008/04/21/walk-score-hits-the-big-time]
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