Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our First Training Walk

Our adventure began dark and early for the Juggernauts' first training walk, Pat's Run. In order to avoid the traffic that would surely crowd the event, we drove to the nearest light rail station, expecting to hop on and be on our way. Unfortunately, half of the 40,000 people participating in the event had the same idea...and ALL seemed to be @ the closest station to Mesa/Gilbert/Apache Junction and all points East. We didn't have a hard time finding parking but by the time we made it to the train we anticipating riding, the doors were closed. We sat on the next train for 15 minutes waiting for the train to take off. This being our first Pat's Run, we were worried we'd miss the start of the event...we were wrong!

We made it to the stadium with several thousand of our new friends (as you can't help but be friends with people you're so squished in with!) and it was overwhelming! People were everywhere! Once we got into the parking lots, we heard the Star Spangled Banner playing to signify the beginning of the run/walk. On a side note, I love our national anthem and I wish it were played in more venues, including the 3-Day. It provides a moment of reflection to anticipate what's about to happen and be thankful for everything we have.

I digress, we made it to our cattle corral in no time and were ready to start....after the 27 corrals in front of us! Lucky for us, we met up with our pals, Sara and Pablo and their friend and sister. We passed the time in our usual fashion, making jokes and singing songs from Pablo's phone (check out our favorite The World's Most Annoying Song). Some naughty walkers migrated to the joggers corral and were heckled by our corralmates "We better see you running!" or "Get back in the corral!". This cracked us up & we knew it would be a fun day!

Once we started, the jokes kept coming. We always have a fun time with Sablo, they're silly just like us. A little after passing mile 1, we stopped to take a pic across the lake from Sun Devil Stadium.

We broke away from our friends for a little bit to get the feel of how it would be walking and training together. One thing I noticed walking next to Alex is how tall he is! I know, I see him every day and he hadn't grown overnight but I don't think we've walked like that for awhile! We bumped into each other a couple of times (Alex walks close so I have to remember that) but I always say, "You're not walking partners until you run into each other"...I guess it's official!

We passed miles 2 & 3, having fun talking about what's going on in our lives and talking about what we would do in Seattle and how the 3-Day would be. Alex was concerned all of the walking in the 3-Day would be crowded like Pat's Run. I enjoyed describing what it would be like-some challenges and fun parts of the walk.

Mile 4 looped around back to Sun Devil stadium and we met back up with Sablo for a little bit. We grabbed free Jamba Juice for our victory walk into the stadium and I was overwhelmed by how awesome it was to walk through the tunnel and finish on the field!

The 4.2 mile walk was not much of a challenge for us. It was a great time to celebrate Pat Tillman's life and ease into our training season. Alex didn't really want to stretch afterwards...this is something that he will have to learn to keep his body happy while training and completing the 3-Day.

We relaxed on the field a little and went to scope out seats. Luckily, we found a nice couple that took a pic of us to commemorate our first training walk.

The ride back to our car was way better than the one to the stadium. As a treat, we ended the event with breakfast @ Village Inn....judging from our first training walk, the Seattle 3-Day will be a blast!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Garage Sale Figured Out

We have a date for our first joint fundraiser! The Juggernauts' garage sale will be Saturday, the 30th of April and Sunday, the 1st of May. We have received so many great donations, and they keep rolling in! Thanks so much for your support, but we need even more to help us raise at least $500 that weekend! Here are a few ways you can help:

-Volunteer to help run the sale...we'll be going from 7 am to 2 pm Sat & Sun in East Mesa. If you can count $, you can help! If you can give 1 hour or the whole time, anything is appreciated!
- Make and set up signs
- Loan your fold up tables
- Help the organize the Friday before the sale
- Donate your unwanted items, up to the Friday prior to the sale...I'll pick up or you can drop off
- Donate bottled water, pink lemonade packets, or baked items to sell
- Tell your friends and family to show up to the sale!

We've got a little less than 3 weeks to make this happen. I'm excited to see what my wonderful friends and family will come up with to help us fund support, better treatment options, and a cure for breast cancer!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Training Walk

Ready to kick off the 2011 training season. Alex and Mom have decided Pat's Run will be a great time to start training! Although it is a run, many walk/run this 4.2 mile event. Supporting leadership and service, like in the military, is important to the Juggernauts, Mom's a 9-year vet and Alex a supportive and flexible military kid...what a better way to start our commitment than to complete Pat's Run!

If you'd like to join us for this awesome event that will just happen to be our first training walk, go to and sign up! We'll hang out, have lunch afterwards and celebrate a brave man's life as well as an amazing journey to Seattle!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mom's First Tattoo

I have nothing against tattoos. Some of my favorite people have them and I believe they can be a great way to remember a time in your life, a person you have lost, or something important to you...I just haven't found the right tattoo to put on my body. Some people stigmatize those with tattoos, believing it says something about their moral code, I disagree...a piece of art on my body can actually express my morality and ethics for the world to see. What do I believe in? Look at what I put on my body!

Some tattoos are trendy and don't translate when they're a decade old. They "date" their wearers, who usually end up regretting that they put something permanent on their bodies. In an effort to not regret my tattoo, I have been putting off getting one for many, many years. I do believe 2011 is the year I ink my virgin skin. Since this is the year my son will walk in the 3-Day with me, I figured...why not get a tattoo in Seattle?

First, I went to google...HEY, don't judge, some people use it for medical advice, why can't I use it to find a tattoo artist? I discovered a woman who has a tattoo parlor in Pike's Market, a location on our tourism list. Her name is Vyvyn Lazonga. My attention was drawn to her because she works on breast cancer survivors, mostly those who have had mastectomies, to fill their scars with beautiful art pieces...making them whole again. She works on scar tissue, the hardest skin to work on because of it's inconsistent consistency (?!? huh?!?!?). What better person to deal with my deformed toe (this will be a totally seperate does relate to my grandma) and commemoration of walking for a cure?

Madame Lazonga, from what I hear, is a legend of the tattoo world. When I posted on FB that I was thinking about getting a tattoo in Seattle, a friend posted "Are you going to Vyvyn Lazonga?" This response almost took my breath away! Check out her amazing art at

Tonight, I emailed Madame Lazonga to initiate my search for a tattoo. I'm hoping, even if she is not the artist that gives me my first tattoo, she can point me toward that person. I have a loose idea of what my first tattoo will look like, I just need a sculptor to form it for me. When I drew it out for my husband on scratch paper, he practically urinated on the kitchen floor. Needless to say, I hope I find a great interpreter in Seattle!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Super Feet Cookie Treats & Other Fun Ways to Support the Cause!

I've come up with a lot of ways people can support the cause this year. My goal is to have every one of my friends and family members support a cure for breast cancer. I'd love everyone I know to be able to say they made an impact this year whether they are "too busy", "broke", "don't want to ask for donations" or some other affliction. Here's the plan...I hope all of my followers can find one category to help:

1. Make a donation online-ask your company if they provide matching gifts...doubling your donation
2. Send the link to my donation site to 10 friends
3. Receive a snazzy donation can (it's easy...just ask me for one!) & place it in your workplace or favorite business
4. Buy & Sell Superfeet Cookie Treats
5. Donate items for my garage sale in March
6. Volunteer to work a fundraiser (garage sale or Walmart fundraiser)
7. Hold your own fundraiser! I'll host a garage sale or pink just provide the location and attendants, and I'll provide the fun!

AND, if you can't find something to do...let me know what is holding you back, and I'll come up with something you can do!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fundraising Meeting

Most people I try to convince to do the 3-Day say the same thing, "I have no idea how I'll raise such a huge amount". Nevermind training for 4 months, logging between 200 and 300 miles per season, and spending weekends out on the road walking...people are most concerned about the fundraising. My son is not like most people. He has stepped up to the challenge like it's no big would think after years of watching me raise money and recruit walkers, he would have a better appreciation for the time and effort that goes into fighting breast cancer!

I called a meeting of the Juggernauts as a formal opening of the 3-Day season. I'm a planner...Alex, on the otherhand, is a "it'll just happen" sort of guy (which may be the downside of having a mother that plans and makes things happen). I knew to get him to'd have to make the meeting more attractive than sitting at home talking about fundraising, I'd have to provide food. Enter: Applebee's, home of the chicken fajita wrap and french fries.

The meeting started off great...neither of us remembered a pen or paper. After rummaging through my purse and begging a pen off the waitress, we were ready to record our "path to the big tent" (in every city, the walker that raises the most money and his/her tentmate gets a tent 3x bigger than the others equipped with cots. At the 2009 Denver walk, the top fundraiser collected $22K...the 2010 San Diego top fundraiser logged in $44K!).

Once settled, we started talking business. Of course, we will be having a garage sale. Mainly, to raise money...secondarily to clear the 3rd part of the garage so Alex's car can fit. The date will be around the beginning of March. We will accept any and everybody's hidden opportunity to clean out garages AND support a great cause! I will be in charge of the garage sale and Alex will help.

Next, Alex suggested he could call Walmart stores in the Seattle area, since the company emphasizes local donations (they've been great throughout the 5 years I walked in AZ). We decided on an event outside of the local store in May that Alex is also in charge of organizing. In year's past, this event has raised several hundred $.

We've come up with a couple of new things for 2011. My favorite coffee spot, Maui Wowi in Gilbert, has agreed to support us with a fundraiser. It's in San Tan mall, so I'm hoping to attract business for the coffee place, while raising a ton for the walk. I've also collected coffee cans to decorate and give to friends and family. This way, supporters can gather change at various locations to donate to our walk.

The meeting came to a close when the check came...lots of solid ideas and decisions were made. Here's to hope that this is the year we'll be in the big tent in Seattle, celebrating a cure!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Introducing the Juggernauts

I have been walking in the breast cancer 3-Day since 2004. I became involved with the adventure in July 2004. I signed up for my first walk as a commitment to my husband's 2nd cousin's wife, Jenny. The female members of her family had been obliterated by breast cancer and she needed someone to walk with. It was the 1st year the walk came to AZ. Alex was 9.

Fast forward to 2005, after my 2nd walk with my mother-in-law and a coworker, Alex had become accustomed to the craziness of the 3-Day. Pink was slowly woven into the culture of our family. Words like "boobies" and "juggs" became commonplace in a house with only one female (1 man, 1 boy, 3 male dogs, and a mom). My family readily accepted the new obsession, sometimes standing for hours by the side of the road, just to catch a glimpse of me walking by. After washing his brain pink, Alex came up with the pact: if I walked in a 3-Day each year until he was old enough (there's a 16 year old age limit), he would walk with me!

Alex knew his time was coming. Training walks occupied weekend mornings. Every donation prompted a quick happy dance in which he would participate. After each annual 3-Day weekend, I would come home with stories of blisters, walker stalkers, and camping. The tales always ended in, "and in "x" years, you'll know what it's like" With all of this preparation, I don't know that it's actually hit him that he will be walking in 9 short months.

There are a few goals I would like to achieve during the next year of walking with my son:

First, I want to know my kid better. When he was younger, I knew everything about him. I controlled, for the most part, almost every aspect of his life. Now that he is a teen, he is becoming mysterious. I try to talk to him about his dreams, his beliefs, and his friends...but he's a tough nut to crack...8 hours of walking makes people loopy...maybe he'll let something slip ;)

Second, I'd like him to know me better...the good, the bad, the blistered. Although I will need to modify some of my walking stories (those of you that have walked with me know what I'm talking about) I have some things I'd like to pass on that just need the opportunity to come out.

Third, natural learning opportunities. I've learned so much from the 3-Day. Adversity, challenge, conflict, triumph, joy, silliness, sadness, frustration, pain, admiration, and possibility are just some things I hope he experiences during this journey. I hope the comittment of raising $2300 will teach him goal-setting and planning. Basically, I hope that this experience will teach him things that will make him a productive adult with compassion and the realization that he is not the only person on earth.

I'm excited about the journey I'm about to take with my child! I hope to document the ups and downs of training, fundraising and completing the 60 mile walk with a teenager...I hope you enjoy reading about it! We are Seattle bound (forgot to mention...he picked the city AND the name of our team...Juggernauts, "you can walk whether you have juggs, or not") and ready to take on the challenge of walking 60 miles and raising $5,000!!!! We have agreed that we want to raise as much money as possible to fight breast (and all) cancer so the sky's the limit!!!!