Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coming To Your City. Ummm... where do you live?

I live in Nashville, TN -- the Healthcare Capital of America. (Believe it or not, the music industry doesn't even come close to healthcare as an industry in Music City.) You'd think, we'd have a 3-Day Walk here. But nope! I need to get on my friends at the NCVB about that.

Last year, we did Washington, D.C. Why there? Well the dates worked, 2 of my teammates had never been, it was a manageable distance, and it sounded like fun. Because, if you're going to walk for 3 days, you want it to be somewhere with some scenery. Obviously, Atlanta is closer. But I know that on more than one occasion I uttered something along the lines of "Who wants to walk around Atlanta for 3 days?"

Well this year, the two cities we're looking at are San Diego... and Atlanta. And about every 10 minutes, I change my mind. I was having this conversation (via email) with my friend Taylor (Who is an AMAZING cancer survivor herself.)ME: I'm trying to make a decision on where to do my 3-Day this year. There's a strong battle between Atlanta and San Diego.

TAYLOR: Ooooooo exciting stuff! I feel like the last time I heard you talk about it, you were still iffy about whether or not you were actually gonna do it for sure. When's the Atlanta one?? Wouldn't that be like...extraordinarily more convenient than San Diego, haha? Too bad Atlanta is ugly. And hot. And smoggy. And San Diego is gorgeous. And had consistently spectacular weather. And an ocean.

My friend Jenny has been bugging me to go out to San Diego to do it with her.

ME: Yes to all of the above. I was waffling... I wasn't sure I wanted to make the commitment to all that training again... it really kills your weekends. So I was thinking maybe I'd just crew Atlanta. Then I had a little epiphany that that was taking the easy way out... so unless they find a Cure in the next 6 months, I need to get my butt out there and walk.

In addition to the scenery and the weather... here's what I'm working with:

Atlanta (October 21-23) 

PROS: Location... Lower travel costs = more money towards the cause....Could get a bigger team together... Lots more people to train with locally on the same schedule... Our families could come down and cheer for us which is HUGE. People that needed to could drive back Sun night and be at work on Monday. Happens DURING Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is cool. The whole world turns pink.

CONS: Who wants to walk around Atlanta for 3 days? And a lot of the additional people I could recruit as teammates would come from my same fundraising base.  (Although in hindsight... I don't know that that's necessarily true.)
San Diego (November 18-20)

Yes that's my husband.  The picture was taken at a D.C.cheering
station. But he was a San Diego sailor.  Maybe they knew that?
PROS: Scenery. The weather. The Ocean. My friend Rosemary would join a team for this location, and do it with her sister, who lives out there. The Ocean. You and Jenny. Have I mentioned that I LOVE the ocean? And my dad and husband were both San Diego sailors and I've never been. Pretty much none of these except the people are good Pros. But my husband is Mr. San Diego! Surely that's a sign that I need to see the ocean? Plus it's later in the year, so it's longer to train and fundraise -- including ALL of October. And on post-walk Monday, the ocean could massage our aching feet.

CONS: Cost. We're looking at AT LEAST an additional $500 in travel costs. Less people would be able to join our team, AND none of our families would be there. Just Rosemary's family, and probably my incredibly loyal yet crazy friend Sandi.

TAYLOR: As I sat here reading and pondering your email, I too had an epiphany (I have lots of those in case you haven't noticed). At the end of the day, isn't this about finding a cure? And raising the absolute largest amount of money that you can possibly raise, so that there CAN be a cure? Aaaaaand maybe not so much about scenery, weather, convenience, cheerleaders, etc? While I totally and completely understand the importance of ALL of those things, looking at the bigger picture and the fundamental purpose of the walk, kinda makes all of those factors seem a little obsolete. It doesn't matter if you're walking through an ugly city, alongside the beach, or even around in circles in a 5 x 5 ft're still walking for the same purpose: a cure. As for convenience and cheerleaders...there ain't nothinnnn convenient about cancer and if I've learned anything over the last 3 weeks, it's that even if you don't have a room full of cheerleaders, they are still there with you in spirit and truuuuuust me, you most definitely can still hear and feel their cheers and support...even if it's coming from a billion miles away.

So at the end of the day, I think you need to pick whichever place will allow you to raise the MOST amount of money...whether that's Atlanta with it's lower travel costs, a bigger team and the fact that it's during breast cancer awareness month OR San Diego where you have more time to raise $$ and less people cutting into your fundraising base. I'm also a big proponent of following your gut...even if what you're gut is telling you isn't necessarily what you OR what other people want to do.

Regardless of what you choose, I'm REEEEALLY glad you're doing it again!

My husband pointed out that while all of that is true… getting the BEST possible experience out of the event (whatever that is, whether it’s scenery or cheerleaders or weather) is what is going to make people come back year after year, and raise more money over the long haul.

All of which means, I’m more confuzzled than ever. My gut says Atlanta. My heart says San Diego. My head says there’s not a WRONG choice. But I want to make sure we pick the MOST RIGHT choice.  And, that I don't let anyone down.  Which probably isn't possible.

The $25 registration discount expires at the end of the month… so I plan to make a decision in the next week.

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