Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Edinburgh Moonwalk 2008

I did it! I am still recovering, especially my feet and my shins, but all is well. I managed it in about 8 and a half hours. There were 11,000 women and 1,000 men out in their bras, all raising money for breast cancer causes. I have yet to add up the total amount that I raised, but I think it is around £275. Thanks to everyone who supported me and helped me!!
It was very, very hard, especially the last 6 miles when the blisters on my feet were so painful. Looking around there were so many of us that were limping along, just willing ourselves to the finish line, and my heart broke for the women who weren't able to continue. I even saw women get sick and then carry on - oy. One of the best parts was seeing some truly large women on the route, women much bigger than me who walked the whole 26 miles. The last few miles I followed one bigger lady who had happy faces attached to the back of her bra. I just lumbered along after the happy faces until the finish line - it was such a big help.

It also made a difference when friends and family members of some of the walkers were along the route, clapping and telling us well done. Of course it was Saturday night and there were quite a few drunk men who found it entertaining to see so many women out in their bras. Well done for the men, who had to wear bras as well - what a testament to their commitment to the cause.

I don't know exactly how much was raised, but I did learn about where some of the money goes. Much of it goes to help with the care of patients, including a new hospital wing in Edinburgh that will give patients much more comfort and privacy. Also, the money helps fund machines that cool the scalp, which assists chemo patients to keep their hair.
The best moments during the walk were: 1. eating the oranges the volunteers had set out for us, because they were the best oranges I had ever had. 2. Watching the dawn break over the beautifully deserted Portobello Beach and feeling like Forrest Gump. 3. Calling Paula underneath her window at about mile 23 and waking her up. She leaned out the window in her leopard print robe, waving like a crazy lady. This cheered me up when I was feeling really tired.
And of course, number 4 - when John met me at the finish line and hugged me before shoving me in a taxi and taking me home, where I ate scrambled eggs and toast before easing myself into a hot bath. I tell you there are places that can chafe that you don't want to think about. And it stings...

I am proud of myself, but I don't plan on doing it again. The training, the fundraising, the stress leading up to the night - all of it was a bit much. But it was a great experiment in linear thinking, something I'm not naturally good at. I start a lot of projects but don't finish them, so this was a way to witness myself going through all the motions from beginning to end.

I bought a copy of the Scotland on Sunday, which printed all the names of the participants, and of course I have my lovely medal, which I shall cherish. And for all this week I am really enjoying taking the bus to and from work.

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