Here is my Washington, DC 2009 3-Day top ten "Things I'm Thankful For" list!
10. I'm thankful for these bright pink balloons that introduce you to the 3-day spirit at Opening Ceremonies. I definitely heeded the advice and took my time while savoring the experience.
9. I'm thankful the bright pink tent protected us from the wind and the rain. (We'll work on the cold next year!)
8. I'm thankful for friends who not only cheer me on, but stand in the rain on a Bethesda street corner to cheer on all the other walkers too! (The other side of my Meghan's sign had a more generic thank you to all walkers. And her and her husband, Gabe, cheered for you in pink!)
7. I'm so thankful for new friends (like Amy) who can, literally, pull you through! Ms. Ohio from Ms. America's Tata's really helped me get to the finish.
6. I'm thankful for all the love. For the people showing other people - almost strangers - that they care. It renews your faith in mankind.
5. I'm thankful for opening and closing ceremonies. They are incredibly inspiring and bookend all that 3-Day goodness in the perfect way.
4. I'm thankful for survivors. They give you courage and motivation and determination when you thought you had none left. (In case you didn't know, at closing we all lift one shoe to salute the survivors who did the hard work and participated in this event with us.)
3. I'm thankful for DC! These were only two shots at closing of the Lincoln and the Washington Monument - we had tons of other fantastic views. The Capital building, the Potomac River, The White House - all of it was great!
2. I'm thankful for crew! It helps you forget about your aching bones and painful blisters when you see a man in a kilt dancing on a motorcycle, or a girl with a cone on her head, or a man cheering to save second base. Yes, it really really helps!
I'm thankful I'm done! Okay, okay, I'm only kidding.
My real #1 is thanks to all of you. My supporters and donators. I couldn't have made it without you! DC raised over 5.5 million to fight breast cancer - and you were a huge part of that. (And a big shout out to my family who were invaluable in my 3-day pursuit. I love you all!)
See you next year! 2010, baby!