Monday, September 26, 2011

33+ Stats, Facts, & Observations of My 3 Days Walking 60 Miles


Opening Ceremonies @ National Stadium ~ Powerful!

This past weekend, I participated in this year's Washington, DC's Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure for Breast Cancer on September 23rd, 24th, and 25th.  Here, 24 hours after being home (and  spending a lot of time relaxing & recouping & definitely napping), I'm still so filled with so many emotions from taking part in this event.  Perhaps the best way to start would be with some of my personal statistics of the experience: 

♥ 3 days
♥ 60 miles 
♥ 20 pitstops

♥ 5 of us "Green Chicks 4 Pink" teammates
Day 1 "Green Chicks 4 Pink"
♥ $11,692 our 5 "Green Chicks" raised for breast cancer
♥ 1 de facto "Green Chick" we met along the way and adopted as one of us
♥ Countless other walkers we met, shared smiles, stories, and encouragement with along the route.
♥ 100s of people along the way who cheered for us, honked to salute us, had baskets of candy for us, & sprayed cooling misty water at us  

♥ 1 pink tent in a sea of tents in a pink tent city
♥ 2 nights
♥ 1 mudfest
♥ 2 amazing dinners that were devoured lickety split quick
♥ Countless water bottles full of Gatorade and water

Tent City and our camp:  Green Tree Frogs 4 Pink.
♥ 2 pair of shoes
♥ 9 pairs of socks
♥ 4 resulting blisters
♥ Copious amounts of bandaids, "2nd skin" gel cushions, & pieces of moleskin

♥ My Day 1 steps Friday:  41,014
♥ My Day 2 steps Saturday:  51,616
♥ Day 3 steps Sunday:  40,893
♥ 3-day total pedometer count:  133,523 mind-blowing steps

♥ Numerous slap happy silly moments
♥ More than a handful of emotional teary moments
Walking the Walk!  Day 1, downtown DC.
♥ Billions of raindrops that fell on us Friday
♥ Millions of prayers gratitude that the weather was dry yet cool on Saturday and Sunday.

♥ 2500 walkers covering a lot of real estate in DC, Bethesda, Potomac, & Chevy Chase, Maryland
♥ 425 crew members encouraging us on
♥ In total, over $7 million DC walkers raised for breast cancer because "everyone deserves a lifetime."
♥ Every 69 seconds, a woman dies globally of breast cancer 
Day 2:  Downtown Bethesda, MD about 1/2 way to 60.

After taking part of this experience, this 3 Day Walk, I am changed. I am achy, blistered, and tired; yet, I am awed, inspired, proud, and changed.  Seeing women who have battled cancer and are survivors and those who are still battling cancer walking, I am humbled.

Walking alongside me, there were women much younger and much older. Women of all shapes and sizes. Women with jitters and uncertainties...yet with hearts, compassion, courage, and triumphs. Now I am one of them.  I feel honored to be in their company.

Remembrance Tents for those who passed.
I feel doubly proud of our team, "Green Chicks 4 Pink."  I feel blessed to be part of my amazing team with our roadside addition of a 6th very special member we met along the way. I am proud of the money our team has earned for this cause. I am thankful to all of our friends and family members who helped with their both their monetary and emotional support.  Without them, none of us could have had the courage and ability to go forward and do this sizable accomplishment.

Day 3: What "We Made It" Looks Like!
Green Chicks 4 Pink!
While our team walked, we found inside of us strength we may or may not know we had.  Alongside that, we discovered an inner-current of perseverance to know how hard to push forward...and river of self knowledge to know when we had to step aside and rest.  While our blisters grew, so did our capacity to love and care for each other, and humankind.

Will I do it next year?  Um, let's not go crazy with that yet!  But this cause will always be important to  me.  A question asked often: "Why do you walk?"  Among my many reasons, a major one: "I walk for my daughter...so she won't have to."

My credentials

As an environmental educator, I feel strongly about the fact that little actions we each can take can make a monumental difference. Feeling the energy of these 3 days, despite Friday's downpours and the mud squishing through my toes in our pink "Tent City" that night, I feel the re-conviction of that sentiment. Yes, individual actions make a difference.  All of our little steps led to 60 miles. Every donation dollar led to an amount over $7,000,000.  My credential badge serves as a reminder of the power of one...as do the picture and memories I will always have.
  
Day 3: Closing Ceremonies ~ We Made It!
Raising the Shoe to tribute survivors!
To learn more about breast cancer, click here to discover more stats and facts, like: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.
Click here to find out more about the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure or to donate to a wonderful, important cause.


Pictures from my camera!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things I've Learned While Walking


For the last 6 months, I've been getting ready for the 3 Day/60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure. I'm coming up under the wire...the walk is right around the corner, this weekend: Sept 23--25th.

Am I ready?   I wish!!   I've earned my required $2300...no small feat (pun intended). My team of 5 "Green Chicks 4 Pink" has earned over the required $11,500. ($11,692... to be exact.)  Definitely no small feat!! 

Do I feel proud of that monetary fundraising goal? You better believe it.

Other emotions are surfacing as we're here, right up under the wire. It feels a little scary...a little awesome. One of my 3rd graders the other day said there's a word for that: "Scawesome!"  Yes, it's a bit "scawesome!"

In my prep (and associated shoe-conundrums and training-turmoils), I learned a lot while walking: 

Things I learned while walking:

1. $20 Shoes from Target can be your best friend...until the treads are gone.

2. Target rotates their shoes too quickly....The shoes I love and long for no longer exist. Very sad but true! (Yes, there was a moment of wanting to scream at the tops of my lungs in the Tar-ghzay shoe section!)

3. Expensive shoes can still hurt your feet, even if you do all the proper analytics to get you the "good" and "right" shoes.

4. A new pair of shoes that don't work can jack up your knees in a matter of days.  This is bad...very bad!

5. Numb toes are NOT a good thing.

6. Sometimes it takes 6 pairs of shoes to get to the right pair of shoes (or at least the "right enough" pair of shoes)....even after 3 months of perfect training in cheap Tar-ghzay shoes. (Add in, you need 2 operable pairs of shoes for THE Walk!)  I opted for the New Balance 860s  which were designed for the walk, and truly wish that I would have gone that route mid-June to avoid the quest I embarked on instead.

7. Shoes only have an odometer of 400-500 miles before you need to get a new pair.  For the price, it's sometimes mind-boggling.

8. Blisters hurt like a son-of-a-gun.  Avoid them at all costs.  When you feel that hot spot coming on, stop then and there to take care of it!

9. Walking is good therapy when someone you love is sick.

10. Walking is good therapy when someone you love goes on to heaven. (Well...sort of...is there ever good-enough therapy for that?)

11. Walking with buddies makes the time go quicker.

12. It takes a very long time to walk 10 or 20 miles. Patience most certainly becomes a virtue.

13. Fundraising is easy when the cause is good, but equally hard.   I don't like asking for money.

14. People are so incredibly generous.   I am soo incredibly thankful!

15. Doing something bigger than yourself feels good, even when the flip flops and cute sandals no longer do.

16. Cancer is an overwhelming, horrible disease that mutates into so many forms. Whether breast or bladder...I hate it.

17. Walking most certainly slows you down to make you better able to "smell the roses" and gain greater perspective. 

18. It's easier to walk in the springtime breezes or amidst the cool fall air than it is during the summer humidity.

19. Teaching in tennis shoes to save my feet for the walk is sooo against my aesthetic sensibilities, yet so necessary an evil.  So you learn to color coordinate.

20.  Having your family and friends behind you is worth its weight in gold!!

I normally have a tendency to get caught up in my work, and the hustle and bustle of all that needs to be done.  I have a feeling that during these 3 upcoming days, I'll get a grand opportunity to live in the moment. Regardless of what the weather holds.  I have a feeling the ripeness of the moment will be easily in reach.  I think it'll be a pretty phenomenal experience.

Catch you on the flip side! 
(Hopefully, the feet are functional on that side!!) 
 
Pic from our "Green Chicks 4 Pink" T-shirts graphics (names & logo listing for all of our team's $100+ donors), http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3651/3416001461_1e41d2ea26.jpg and http://www.shopnewshoes.com/new-balance-WR860KM/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Moving Planet ~ Go Global, Go Green, and Go Car Free

This weekend ahead, I'm walking in and around Washington DC for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day/60 mile Walk for Breast Cancer.  My shoes and pedometer are ready (not so sure about my feet though).  A-walking, walking, walking I will go.

Perfect timing:  Saturday, Sept 24th is the global event and day of "Moving Planet."  From their website:

Moving Planet will be a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.  WHY? For too long, our leaders have denied and delayed, compromised and caved. That era must come to an end: it's time to get moving on the climate crisis.

So, watch the movie below, and walk, bike, hike, scooter and skate...and check out some alternate modes of transportation, and take part in Moving Planet.


Video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ztEgLXSiek&feature=player_embedded and Image from http://thenailthatsticksup.com/2011/09/14/moving-planet-moving-louisville-september-24/

Friday, September 16, 2011

When Nature Meets Gratitude


"Oh My God" is defined in the above video...and I love the manner in which it is defined. Nature meets wonder meets awe and awareness. Ahhhh, indeed!

Louie Schwartzberg, award-winning cinematographer, director, producer and founder of Blacklight Films, spoke at TEDxSanFrancisco in June of this year. In 9 minute and 54 second, he was able to encapsulate the meaning of happiness, mindfulness, connection, and inspiration in such a swift and visual way...it leaves you saying "Oh My God."

If you haven't, go have a Schwartzber moment of "ahhhh!" by clicking the video above.

If you are unable to view this video here, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

[Thank you Les for illuminating me to this amazing find.]

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mark Your Calendars: Sept. 14 ~ Climate Reality Project: 24 Hours of Reality

What kind of difference can a day make?  Well, starting in T-minus 2.5 hours in my timezone (8 pm EST, 7 pm CST), Al Gore and Friends are going to show you.  

September 14th, 7 pm CST, marks the start of a 24 hour time period brought to you by the Climate Reality Project.  Check out the Video Below!

The plan?  24 hours 24 presenters. 24 Time Zones. 13 Languages. One Message: bringing awareness about Climate Change. Reporting from Beijing, Boulder, Canberra, Cape Verde, Dubai, Durban, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Husavik, Ilulissat, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Kotzebue, London, Mexico City, New Delhi, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Victoria.

In that 24 hours of Reality, all types of presentations about and from people living with the reality of climate change will address our extreme weather as of late.  With this message live streaming at http://climaterealityproject.org/, you'll be able to check it out and multiply your awareness of global issues as related to climate change. 

Not in the mood to stay up?  Odds are, that's probably okay, as the presentations will invariably make their way to recorded podcasts for later events. 

I'm sure, given the creators, it will be chock-filled with dynamic facts and images!  Take time to get a hefty dose of reality.

For more information about this, also check out the article Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project: The Denial Ends Today.

Images from the Climate Change Project Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=188742181183369) and http://www.sustainablemelbourne.com/events/the-climate-reality-project/

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the Cusp of 9/11

This weekend, as you know, is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Interesting and poignant:  those 3 numbers need no explanation, do they? Ten years. Amazing that a decade has passed since that horrific event. I think, especially with the televised anniversary shows and news reports, we are transported back instantly to where we were when it all happened and we all first witnessed this tragedy.

I think that the ladies of "The Green Phone Booth" (particularly "Going Green Mama" or GGM, as I like to call her) summed it up beautifully in their blog. I invite you to go over there to visit, and read GGM's reflection at "A Time of Need."  It helps us all remember the importance of what is truly important!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Power"ful Infographic

Here is an interesting and "power"ful infographic about energy consumption that comes from Power SuperSite.  Special thanks to Melanie for sharing!

Source by Power SuperSite

Power SuperSite helps engineers with maintaining power quality.  This can mean creating a custom UPS configuration for a battleship or renting UPS's so your server farm stays protected while you move equipment.  If you need something a little more complicated than your average uninterruptible power supply, then they're a good company to call.

Infographic from http://www.powersupersite.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/electricityinfographic.html

Monday, September 5, 2011

Farewell to the 2011 Park Quest Season

Ah...Another season of  Maryland Park Quest draws to a close here today, Labor Day. 

Our crew, Team Green Gators with our ultra-busy travel summer, just squeaked by.  We got in right under the line, just making the qualification of 10 completed quests by Labor Day.  In doing so, we have earned the right to participate with the September 24th Park Quest Rendezvous grand finale. Yay Us.

We're in awe of our buddies, Team Bay Bougheys, who completed 19 quests.  Many teams, as indicated on the Park Quest Leader Board, did the whole 24.  Knowing how tricky it was to get 10 of them into our schedule, hats off to anyone with 11 or more!!

Here's a great tribute to Park Quest which really gives you a feel for the wealth of activities that MD's Park Quest has to offer.  Special thanks to Team Bay Boughey for sharing their movie with us!




Park Quest Logo from http://www.facebook.com/pages/Park-Quest-Maryland/129931197022579?sk=app_2373072738

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Darkening Our Shade of Green

Friday was the 2nd day of school with my latest crop of 3rd graders....and the first Friday, which means it is our weekly "Capri Sun Collect and Count" day in my classroom. 

For the last 3 years, one of our 3rd grade duties is to go around to all the classes to gather up the bins of juice pouches, chip bags, ziplock bags, and glue sticks that we upcycle to TerraCycle.  Given my new batch of worker bees, I wanted to share with them the TerraCycle back-story so that they had more insight as to why it is that we do what we do at our Maryland Green School. 

Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green BusinessSo once again, I shared this presentation (see below or click here).  My favorite part (and the students' too) were the 4 animated videos I included with TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky.  (They also got a kick...and a little grossed out...by the fact that TerraCycle started with "worm poop.")

Watching the presentation, it was really neat hearing these 8 year olds and their discussions.  One of my gents made the comment that it got him thinking about the things he could invent, so that maybe one day he could help get rid of the idea of waste.  Those are the things that excite me as a teacher...watching them get inspired by the creativity of others.  They were getting it--that if we aren't careful on this planet, we run the risk of being over-run by landfills and trash. 

Just like the "If a pug can do it, why can't you" video...if a class of 8 year olds get it, why don't the other 6.9 billion people on this planet?

Book Pic from Amazon.com; Terracycle "Outsmart Waste" pic from http://www.greenfudge.org/2010/04/19/join-the-recycling-brigade-at-terracycle/

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Free Tech 4 Teachers


One of my favorite go-to spots on teaching trends and technology is Richard Byrne's "Free Technology for Teachers."  So, of course, as I was catching up on what Richard has posted lately (as I've been a bit backlogged with storm damage and the start of school), I found a lot of share-worthy goodies.

11 Resources for Teaching and Learning About The Forces of Nature
(Lots of great things here--11, in fact!)

A Great Overview of Web Tools For Teachers--Free eBook
(I LOVE "The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators")

Learn More About Geocaching--A Great Learning Activity

Teaching Library--Lesson Plans for Children's Books

Children's Books Forever--Free Children's eBooks

Lyric Gaps--A Musical Way to Practice Language Skills


Seriously...if you haven't spent any time at FreeTech4Teachers, please jump in.  There are some great finds there that'll transform your teaching and classroom!!

Pic from Richard Byrne's website:  http://www.freetech4teachers.com/