I participated recently in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, although I use the term “participate” lightly here.
So as to not paint myself an athlete, in full disclosure I did the walk portion, during which I raced at an absolutely glacial pace along with thousands of other human beings with whom you’d think I would walk in solidarity but from whom in reality I walked to get away. I may believe in coming together to support a cause metaphorically, but my desire to be surrounded by that many humans at once ends there. I wish I could say that I didn’t flat tire a breast cancer survivor or two, but I would be lying. I did steer away from those in wheelchairs because I do not suffer from the illusion that a wheelchair could and would not run me over.
Nevertheless, the race had more meaning this year than others now that breast cancer is strangely both a thing of my recent past and probably future, and it was also particularly special because sponsors were handing out string cheese and I got five of them.
But that’s not all! This year I woke up early to head down to the event and make sure I was first in line for the corporate giveaways. As soon as I got my hands on my pink Nextel satchel, it was full of Yoplait yogurt, Stanley Steamer carpet cleaner, New Balance shoelaces, Aveda haircare samples, Safeway mesh tote, indistinguishable-sponsor chapstick, unmemorable-sponsor phone pouch, and an incredibly tasty recipe from the Honey Smoked Fish Company that I will never replicate but that will nonetheless live for months sandwiched between my refrigerator and a Cat Butt magnet.
But wait, there’s more! With a survivor in tow, I had access to even more corporate giveaways that I didn’t know I needed, like a pink Skullcandy iPhone case that I put my survivor to work winning and a free pancake breakfast courtesy of Village Inn. Turns out, the benefits of surviving breast cancer go beyond continuing to live. I am going to remember this during my upcoming Oncology appointment and scheduled mammogram. After all, in times like these it’s important to keep your eye on the prize(s).