• It's just walking, right?


    It’s just walking, right?

    My name is Aleta and I work in the Sales Dept. at WSOC TV and WAXN TV64. My job allows lots of freedom and creativity, giving me a chance to interact with many different people each day. It’s a great job – but the one thing it doesn’t give me much of is exercise. Combine that with a healthy appetite for good food and red wine and you have a recipe for physical disaster.

    So along comes the opportunity to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Oct. 26 and 27 in Charlotte. My stations are promoting the walk on TV and online, so I found out about it in December and just decided on the spot that it was the right thing to do. I used my outdoor voice to brag to my co-workers that I was gonna walk this year because it was the right thing to do. Me and my big mouth.

    Since then I’ve learned that the Walk is actually a marathon and a half, meaning it’s just under 40 miles. Now granted, those miles are walked, not run, and you get 2 days to walk them, and there’s no time limit. But still… 40 miles? What was I thinking? I’m totally, completely and undeniably out of shape. I haven’t covered 40 miles in a whole month for as long as I can remember – except maybe 2 years ago when we covered Manhattan on foot during the hottest week of the year. I can’t imagine how I’m going to walk 40 miles in this October event.

    So now I’m thinking about how to train for this event. Oddly enough, I’m NOT thinking about how to get out of it, even though my friends are still in shock that this sedentary gal is committed to this kind of physical event. Lots of them remember that I smoked like a chimney for many years, and that I often said I wouldn’t join a gym because they didn’t allow you to smoke there. Lots of them know that my favorite afterwork activity is having a glass of wine with my family at the dinner table, with no Stairmaster in sight.

    The reason I’m not thinking about how to eat that infamous “I’m gonna do this” line is simple and can be summed up with 3 words: Linda, Trudi and Kathy. Linda was my funny neighbor and friend, and she lost her battle with breast cancer several years ago. She was a trooper through to the end, compassionate and loving and spiritual and funny until her very last breath. Trudi lost her battle this past year and left behind a calm peace with her husband and 2 beautiful daughters, having battled breast cancer and its companions for several years. I’ll never forget the day I saw her at our kids’ school and she just blurted out that she’d just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I hugged her tightly that day and told her I’d do whatever I could to help her, but there was little anyone could really do. In the end she lost the fight and now she’s gone.

    Kathy is newly diagnosed, and a mammogram helped her doctors catch this early. She is a fighter and is one of the toughest people I’ve ever known, but still I want to help her any way I can. Participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer gives me a chance to raise money for research into how to prevent and cure this monstrous disease. Maybe my fundraising will help some really smart people figure out how to give Kathy the glorious future she deserves so that she will be around for her husband and kids, so that she will get to be a grandmother someday, so that we can go boating together and grill out on her back deck and watch our sons grow into the fabulous men we know they will become.

    So yes, it’s just walking. I figure it’s the least I can do for Linda, Trudi, Kathy and the thousands of other women who are defined by breast cancer against their will. I’m pretty sure if they could, they’d do it for me.

    You can get more information, register to walk or make a donation at www.avonwalk.org.