Sunday, May 01, 2005

How Many Steps Does is Take to Walk 20 Miles?

Apparently somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000. This is the reading on my pedometer as of a few short moments ago. As some of you know, today I participated in the Walk for Hunger; a 20 mile walk around the city of Boston and suburbs.

As it was last time, it was an amazing experience which I had hoped to journalize somehow but instead, will summarize. We started out with a small team from the college - a nice mix of staff and students. The walk itself was a more intense challenge considering it rained, and pretty hard, for the first 7.5 miles or so. As such, the first three dropouts from our team came a the 5 mile checkpoint. I a "she'll never live it down moment", the athletic director of the college was amongst those three (tsk tsk).

The rain subsided somewhere in mile 8 I believe but by that time I was completely saturated. I was wearing 2 T-shirts, a longsleeve and a short sleeve on top - which turned out to be necessary as the temps were somewhat brisker than expected/hoped for. As I remained waterlogged for the entire 20 miles, the cold harbour breezes blowing on my musky, wet shirts causes what felt like a chilling sensation about my nipples. I joked about this until I got all the way home and showered only to find myself in excruciating pain and then discovered that the wet t-shirts must have actually caused nipple erosion. That's right folks, you may be cringing with disgust but I was, and still am cringing with pain because my nipples are actually injured somehow.

Somewhere into the 12th mile is when parts of my body were letting me know that it was aware of the fact I had been using them more than usual. These signals became quite uncomfortable over the course of the next 4 miles or so but around mile 17, adrenalin started to kick in and I began somehow to feel a bit better. Also, in something of a strategic guess, I popped 2 Advils at mile 12 thinking that it may have a positive effect.

Mile 17 through the 18.5 checkpoint dragged as expected but things began to move on from there and the last 1.5 miles was some combination of relief, a wave of emotions, adrenalin, and anticipation. As we crossed the finish line it was only Jim (the Dean of Students) and myself. We hadn't seen or heard from the others we began with since the 7.5 mile checkpoint though another Mass Bay student spotted us around mile 17 and also finished with us.

I sit here at 10:20 not as exhausted as I'd expect to be, but exhausted nonetheless. My body doesn't ache as expected, but it aches nonetheless. Of all the potential injuries and/or ailments, the last one(s) I'd have expected are giving me the most difficulty. The aforementioned nipple erosion and something similar to (brace yourself) diaper rash. You see, I was really wet (from the pouring rain) for the whole time. This apparently in combination with my having worn briefs and denim shorts have put me bottom in something of an uncomfortable state of being.

All of the pain, pleasure, and disgust aside...I thank all who supported my fundraising efforts as I raised $650.00. The most satisfying part of this whole journey was the spiritually enriching symbolism of being amongst 40,000 people who all had the same selfless goal. Now, I gotta get off this chair and into bed - you know why.

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