Archives

...now browsing by author

 

Three (more) days!

Written by on September 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I just realized that in three more days, we will be walking for three whole days. Coincidentally, my new favorite song is from Ray Lamontagne and guess what the title is? You got it — "Three More Days"! The song's lyrics are great. I was thinking, as we are crossing the starting line, that this song would be great to hear, either blasting over the loudspeakers or as my own personal soundtrack.

Another thing that keeps me moving is food, so I'm planning on bringing a couple of my own snacks. The rest stops provide awesome food, but the selection doesn't always vary among the different stops. It's all donated, so I'm not complaining, but something tailored to my tastes is nice to have, too. I like to put a mix of wasabi peas and almonds in a Ziploc bag to keep in my walking pack.  Over the next couple of days, think about what favorite snacks you'd like to have during the walk or at night!

Three more days! I'll be wearing the Kranny's Cruisin' Diva visor… please make sure that you say hello!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

Ask and you shall receive

Written by on August 10, 2009 at 10:03 am

I have to admit, I was nervous about reaching this year's fundraising goal. We are dealing with an unstable economy, and we all know people who are struggling financially. I had a friend who walked in previous years and decided to take this year off because she did not want to reach out ask for money this year. 

I approached this year's fundraising with the attitude that this was not going to be a record breaking year. This is my fifth year doing the walk, and it was hard for me to ask the same network or people for money. I sent out my emails, mentioning that I recognized that people are struggling. Within minutes of sending my first email blast, I was overwhelmed with the number of donations and inspirational messages. It is overwhelming to see the continued support that friends and family provide each year. I actually had a huge "a-ha!" moment when I realized that people will reach into their pockets even in these tough times.  Friends, family, and strangers continue to support a cause which which they have a personal connection. They will also find a way to support something that makes them feel they are making a difference. I had people tell me that they set aside this money every year in anticipation of getting my email. I had no idea!

We are getting down to the last weeks of fundraising. Don't be afraid to ask for support. I think that you will be surprised with people's generosity and their need to be a part of something positive.

Five more weeks. Woo-hoooo!!!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

Prepare for rain

Written by on July 20, 2009 at 11:49 am

Such a rainy June bought me back to last year's walk. I took for granted that, for four years previous, the weather was absolutely gorgeous; I should have know that it would not last forever. On the second day of the walk in 2008, we were hit hard by the remnants of Hurricane Hannah. I could not believe how hard the rain was coming down! It was mentally the most grueling day of walking that I have ever experienced, and there was no real way to prepare myself for that.

What I was able to do, however, was make sure that I did have a nice dry pair of sneakers to wear the next day. I did not go out and spend $70 on new pair of sneakers; they were an older pair that I had used for the previous year's walk. They were a little bit worn but, man alive, was I psyched that I had those the next morning.

I recommend everybody have an extra pair of sneakers that are broken in. You never know what the New England weather will bring us, and it would be such a bummer to start your day by putting on a pair of soaking wet sneakers. While you're at it, pack a really light rain poncho — not a full slicker, because it is too hot, and you'll get sweaty. But something to keep you dry is a must-have.

I hope I didn't just jinx all the walkers by writing this! What are the chances that we'll be hit with a hurricane two years in a row?!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

Save the pampering for after the walk

Written by on June 22, 2009 at 11:28 am

I just got my last pedicure before the walk!! I know that it is so nice to wear summer sandals and have nice soft heels to show the world, but you are a walker, and you need to toughen up those feet. You only have three months left to grow those hooves!

It's a little bit sad, but believe me, you will be thanking me when you are not walking 50 miles on baby-soft skin. Just think: it will be the perfect treat a couple of days after the walk to pamper yourself with a relaxing soak and a gorgeous pedicure. You can still wear your summer shoes right through September.

But remember: no more pedicures does not mean you can't get manicures and facials!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

If you can't walk, volunteering is just as rewarding

Written by on May 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Earlier this month, I had my first experience as a volunteer at a National MS Society-sponsored walk. Almost 500 people walked five miles in Cohasset that Saturday. I am used to being a walker, but this time, I offered to man a table to recruit people for the three-day MS Challenge Walk, and after the walk began, I went out to one of the rest stops to cheer people on. It was an absolute blast!!!

As a walker in the Challenge Walk, I can tell you that the volunteers truly make a difference to the walkers. Just when my feet and spirits would begin to drag, I'd be motivated and re-energized just by walking into one of the rest stops and hearing a little cheer, or somebody tell me that I was doing great, having a non-judgmental friend urge me to eat more Tootsie Rolls and Peppermint Patties. But I never thought that being that volunteer could be just as rewarding as doing the actual walk. Let me tell you, it is.

If you can't walk 50 miles and you still want to join the movement, be a volunteer! You will be making a difference and will feel amazing. I now know, because I have been on both sides! Many crew spots are already full, but we still have need for a few more. Please see what jobs are available, then email Brenda Barbour or call her at 1-800-344-4867 x135 to sign up. We can't do the walk without you!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

I'm a captain without a team

Written by on May 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

This year being my fifth Challenge Walk, it is pretty clear that it is hard to get people to walk year over year. For those that have walked it, you know they don't call it a "challenge" for nuthin' — it's hard!!

I hope that I didn't just discourage that person who was thinking of doing it and now thinks it is too hard. The challenge can be not just physical, but logistical. My friend Kara walked the Challenge Walk for the first time last year. She had such an amazing experience that after the walk she recruited her sister as well as five friends. I was psyched! This was going to be the Kranny's Cruisin' Divas team for this year. Well, I just got an email letting me know that one of the girls just got engaged. The place that she has dreamed about getting married has only one weekend available this summer, and guess what weekend it is? Yup: every single one of my team members is either in the wedding or going as a guest.

My team just went from 8 to 1. Thank goodness it happened now and not in July. These things happen, but it can't deter those of us who will still be pounding the pavement. I'm just going to have to put some effort into some recruiting. Any advice? Anybody want to be a Diva? :-)

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

Training schedules for the long road ahead

Written by on May 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

Yup, it is definitely that time of year: when the weather starts to turn beautiful and I begin to get out and walk. It is always such a moment of reality at this time of year when I begin to train for the Challenge Walk. I walked about 3 miles yesterday and can't image building up enough endurance to be able to walk 20 miles in one day by September. It helps me remember that there is a lot of work ahead of you.

But believe me, it is amazing how quickly your body will respond to training and conditioning. The best way to be ready for September is to slowly work your way there. There are some great training schedules; for example, if you start now, you can build your strength slowly with the 18-week training program. (There's also a 12-week training program on page 17 of the training manual)

You can do it! So get on out there, and let me know how the training goes!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.