“I guess I should be grateful that I can walk in the rain,” Kristen said to me, nearly yelling over the sound from both out iPod earbuds. And I nodded because isn’t that the truth?
Two Friday nights ago the company I work at walked overnight at a local Relay For Life event. We spent the months of March, April, May and part of June raising over $12,000 to donate to cancer research and there we were the night of the relay, avoiding puddles as they filled my shoes.
It was a beautiful night. Lightening occasionally lit up the sky and whenever we reached a certain turn in our walk various nocturnal creatures sang us songs of encouragement while we passed. I walked for an hour, which was thirty minutes longer than I signed up for, around a high school track. I thought about counting laps, trying to reach a distance equivalent but soon gave up keeping track. It was too nice of a walk, I was too at peace with myself.
Even when Kristen muttered, “This sucks,” and I agreed with her, noting how my bright yellow jacket wouldn’t stay shut and my pants were soaked up to my thighs, it was still a nice walk.
It was nice because we could come together and raise money for a cause that’s so beyond the comprehension of most people. It was nice because at least it wasn’t freezing cold and bugs weren’t eating (or stinging or whatever it is they do) my skin off. It was nice because I was moving my body and exercising. It was nice because I’d spent ten hours that day mostly sitting and definitely inside. It was because of the participation of others, the girls who walked by singing pop songs and the various tents around the entire field. It was nice to see the words HOPE in huge letters. It was nice to wear a t-shirt for our team that displayed names of loved ones whose lives were personally affected by cancer.
And it was nice because I could walk. And I could put that ability to use for one wet hour to participate in the support of a cause that needs recognition and funding.
Have you ever walked for a cause? Aside from the Relay For Life (two years in a row now) I’ve also participated in barefoot walks put together by Hanson, to support causes that help fight poverty and HIV/ AIDs in Africa.