llkomen

Racing? No. Walking? Yes.

More than 25,000 people are expected to participate in the Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure© tomorrow, which begins and ends on the campus of Meredith College near downtown Raleigh.

I just made the decision to participate an hour ago, and that baffles even me. I mean, this event has my two biggest strikes against it: heat and humidity. It’s hot now, and tomorrow’s high will be 94 degrees. However, the race starts at 8:45 a.m., so it should only be in the 80s. I’ve already learned to welcome sweat. I’d just rather do it in the gym.

But there I’ll be, walking out any remaining soreness from this week’s gym visits. And 5k is just 3.1 miles. I don’t recall ever having walked that much at once in the past 10 years, except maybe on Black Fridays, when I likely log 10-15 miles. I’ll just imagine I’m shopping at the mall.

I’ll be on Elite Cheer & Dance’s team, and despite Skyler’s knee surgery just three weeks ago, she’ll be walking, too.  Her physical therapist this morning says she’s ahead of schedule, but cautioned her to refrain from running for at least two weeks. (Last week, she confessed to “accidentally jogging” at cheer practice.)

Hopefully, my ancient Avias are OK for this. I really do need to buy some new shoes, but tomorrow might not be the best time to break in a new pair.

Since I’m not registering until the a.m., I likely won’t get a t-shirt, which is exactly the last thing I need. I’ll just don one of the dozen or more Elite tees I already own. Half of them are black; could be good for extra sweat.

When I think of breast cancer, no one leaps to mind. Statistically, African-American women have fewer cases of breast cancer than white women, but die more frequently from the disease. I do have a third cousin by marriage who I believe had a double-mastectomy, but I don’t really recall, and we’re not blood relatives. I’m trying to remember if her daughter, who’s just a year old than I, had a cancer scare several years ago.

I thought I saw (not felt) something different last month, and had my boobies squished for the first time in 10 years – only the second time in my life. Everything was fine. Now, before you start yelling at me, I promise to have regular mammograms from here on out.

The more I think about it, the more I’m looking forward to mixing it up with thousands of others early tomorrow. I’ve never attended a Komen event, and was actually planning on maybe jogging through the Charlotte race this October, when the weather here in N.C. is more tolerable.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a Less Leslie team by then. J

The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.  ~ Charles Dickens

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.