Slice of Life Story Challenge March 24 -A Worthy Reason to Walk on a Sunday Morning

This morning Vicki and I woke early. We hastily dressed and prepared to face the challenges of the day. Firstly, drive to the other side of town and take part in the annual Relay For Life conducted by the Anti Cancer Foundation. It’s at the local high school. The relay kicked off at 4.00pm Saturday and continued through until Sunday morning. So while the majority of people in our community were safely tucked up in bed,  a group of committed souls were steadfastly trudging onward, ever onward through the night.  Our allotted walking time was the final two hours –Sunday morning from 8.00am until 10.00 am when the relay was scheduled to end.

We were greeted by our fellow team members, some of whom has stayed on after a long night of walking. -Rugged up and staring into the distance in that special way that tired people do. We immediately took up our place in the parade of people walking continuous laps of the course set out in the open space of the school’s extensive grounds.

Two hours pass quickly walking and talking to a sea of fellow walkers, united in purpose.  Some have the energy to run, others have slowed to a head-down slogging pace. Participants ages range across the spectrum. I find comfort in this.  Families and groups cheer and shout encouragement from the sidelines.  Tents and chairs ring the track. It has the outward appearance of a camping ground.  The grass beneath our feet has been dried and flattened under the continuous pounding of these relay teams.  At one point the organizers take pity on us and reverse the walking direction. It breaks the monotony of moving relentlessly in the same direction. A singer performs as we walk, further lightening the challlenge of the walk. The tyranny of distance is softened marginally. We surge towards the finish. A mass celebration follows.

Ten o’clock comes around and everybody cheers. We have completed a brisk 13 kms for our section. Our team from the Via Boffe Cafe has managed to raise just over $5000. All up, an amount of $78000 has been compiled by the participating teams in this relay. This scenario will be repeated at sites all over the state, such is the level of participation in this worthwhile venture.

It’s difficult to find a family that has not been touched by cancer. Our family is no different. Vicki’s Dad and both my parents were claimed by this insidious disease. We have friends who have endured similar pain and loss.  The money raised will be used to forward the research into finding cures. Advances continue to be achieved.

The sense of community on this Sunday morning is palpable. It is real and it is very much alive in such endeavours. We return home well pleased with having engaged in such a worthwhile activity. Those things that challenge us, truly make us stronger.





Comments

  1. Congratulations on the money you raised and on your dedication to make a difference. This post is particularly poignant to me, as I just found out that a dear friend of mine has breast cancer. Next Sunday, on Mother's Day, I plan to walk 5K for this cause.

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  2. You have captured the experience - the physical and the heart - beautifully.

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  3. There is such a feeling of camaraderie with the walkers on the relay for life. Hopefully someday this disease will be conquered.

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  4. Having participated in these relays, I know that that small gesture of reversing the walking direction makes a huge difference. Bravo to all you you for participating and working for this cause.

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