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Linda ' Walks the World' from the U.S. to Iceland and Beyond!

Volunteering your time and commitment knows no boundaries. It does not matter where you are from, be it London or the Highlands of Scotland or the United States.

For almost 20 years our amazing supporters from all over the world have been joining us for the famous MoonWalk London and together with our other challenges, have raised an incredible £112 million so far! Linda, a New Yorker, tells us how she has journeyed from NYC to Iceland and will be Walking the Walk in Dublin and London next!

I suppose it all started when I said to myself, “That’s something I could never do.”  At the time, I had been working out at a gym that was very pro-active about involving its members in local fitness events. A colourful page from the Walk the Walk website was stacked up at the counter: Register for the 2014 New York Full or Half Moon MoonWalk marathon through the streets of Manhattan. The stack remained mostly unnoticed by members along with the other tips like eat more kale or up your fibre to quell hunger pangs. But my heart was hungry for something very different than food and so the stack of flyers began staring back at me each time I went to the gym. For certain, I proclaimed to the unlistening world, “God, I could never do this!” 13.1 miles or even scarier the 26.2 – never. Yet as the weeks slipped by and the pages filled with colourful images of women and men in bras Power Walking across London Bridge, hands raised in unity, everything pink screaming out from the page -- all to raise awareness and fundraise for breast cancer, a thought finally fell right in front of me like an anvil: WAIT! You should do this!  

That night, like a soldier with her orders: I ate my kale; upped my fibre by downing an orange tablet to keep the pipes working properly; swore out an affidavit that I refrained from any intake of high fructose corn syrup; and then I settled in my pj’s and with wonder and amazement found the Walk the Walk site glowing back at me from my i-pad. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land. In the States I had never heard of Walk the Walk, a U.K based not-for-profit organisation. My fascination grew stronger and in no time I had registered for the 2014 Half Moon MoonWalk. I had months to train. I promised myself more kale. Stretch more. Go paleo... until one evening in July of 2014 I actually had to walk the 13.1 miles.

All I can say is I must have been in a brain fog from breathing in the noxious New York City pollution, but it sure was a fabulous evening and that voice that said "I couldn't" had at least been temporarily silenced. But even more important I found a new voice, I just didn't hear it over my aching feet and burning hamstrings. It did not take me long, however, to realise how meaningful the entire experience had been. With heating pads draped over my quads, later that evening I settled in donning my pj's and found myself once again staring down at the Walk the Walk site illuminated back at me on my i-pad from across the Atlantic Ocean. A new companion. A new commitment. A new opportunity to make a real difference.

There was an immediate connection for me to the grassroots development of this organisation by Nina Barough who with a level of pre-cognition Power Walked the New York City Marathon almost twenty years ago with a small group of friends to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, only to find out a short time later that she herself had fallen victim to this horrid disease. Everything happens for a reason.

I came to acknowledge the possibility that this organisation truly embodies all that I love: service to others; working collaboratively with other Walkers toward a greater good; travel and adventure; meeting people of like mindedness... and then I watched the Iceland video. That sealed my fate. With great trepidation, I did indeed register for The Moonwalk Iceland .. a full 26.2 miles in one of the most northern parts of a country I really did not know too much about.

Ironic, it all started out with me saying "that this something I could never do." I can proudly say that I did indeed join a group of about 60 other people this past summer and not only hiked up a volcano and made my way down (bit trickier), but the next evening on the summer solstice in the land of the midnight sun we set out on a mission to Power Walk 26.2 miles to raise money for breast cancer. Magical! Truly still processing this experience and the impact it has had on me. A day has not passed since then that I have not thought of the women and men on the road around Lake Myvatn that night. It has changed me forever and for the better.

After Iceland, it did not take long for me to sign up for Dublin (coming up this October) and the 20th Anniversary of The Moonwalk London in May of 2017. My friends in New York ask me, “Wait, you’re going to Dublin? And then London in May?". Simply put if you can do anything positive for another human being on the planet, particularly in light of the climate of our world today, then you must and should. With Walk the Walk, you cannot go wrong. You inure the benefit of travelling, meeting amazing, dedicated people, getting fit and staying fit (or at least trying) until the next event and most important you are simultaneously doing something wonderful by raising money and awareness for breast cancer.

Volunteering your time and commitment knows no boundaries. It does not matter where you are from, be it London or the Highlands of Scotland or the United States. I come from a place where diversity is embraced and my compassion does not see lines drawn on a map or oceans in between. If I have learned anything by being a participant in two prior Walk the Walk events and two more in the immediate future, it is this: the only way to put out the darkness of this disease is to be part of the solutions that are funded by organisations such as Walk the Walk. What matters the most when facing any threat, is that we can choose to be actively part of a greater purpose and a greater good. Give when you can and what you can and know in doing so, you are part of that light. Signing up for my first Walk the Walk challenge in 2014 allowed me to become part of a collective bonfire of energy that gives us an opportunity to help women battling breast cancer. £112 million raised to date by this relatively small organisation run by a handful of committed women and men. Whether I walk or I give, the question you have to ask yourself is not which one but your answer should be I can do both. Wish me luck in Dublin! Hope to see you on the road!

Linda

Join us on the 13th May 2017 as we celebrate The 20th MoonWalk London with a ‘Roaring Twenties’ theme... unite with us against breast cancer and help make a difference.

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