Monday, November 12, 2012

3 days and 60 miles closer!

Thank you to each and every one of you for making my 7th 3-Day a success. It’s been a little over a week now and I’m still searching for just the right words to sum up my recent journey. I’m at a loss for words.

This year, in particular, I feel like I have been touched by so many other walkers, teammates and friends. They tell me I inspire them but the truth is they are the ones that inspire me:

To our adopted team, Lindi, Lani and Jill, three sisters walking for their mom, there is no doubt in my mind that your mom is well on her way to being cancer free. Your team name says it all, “Fight like a Girl.” You girls are fighting and I am blessed to have met you.

To our other adopted team, the Cowtown Crusaders, Shelly, Cheryl and Holly. It was a joy having you on training walks and hanging out with us at camp. Your spirit and joy are with me to this day. You can walk with me anytime!

To Laura, a walker who set a goal and accomplished it even when her teammates backed out, you are an inspiration to anyone that ever wanted to quit. It takes a lot of drive and determination to not only fundraise on your own but to show up at the 3-day not knowing anyone and head out to walk 60 miles. You have a team now and we won’t leave you walking alone!

To Eric, the gentlemen that recognized me in the dark as the lady who gave a packing demonstration back in September. I am glad to have met you and it meant the world to me to know that I made a difference to you! I am inspired by your energy and efforts in getting your employees involved for 2013.

To Martha, you’ve been on so many training walks with us that I already felt you were part of the team but I’m overflowing with joy that you are now officially a Pink Sole for 2013.

To George, Karen and Jennifer, George you met two great ladies in Karen and Jennifer and I’m glad they pulled you into our family.

To Colleen, so blessed to have met you and all the way in Castle Rock, Co. Let this be a lesson to everyone, when you travel use the 3-Day friend finder and find a friend to walk with. Hope you are back in 2013.

To Terri and Ali, a mother and daughter (age 17), I don’t even know where to begin. Ali is such a role model and has accomplished so much at her young age. Terri, I know it’s because of the mother you are that Ali is such an awesome young lady. I don’t know how you find time to take care of all your kids, hubby and find time to train and fundraise.

To all my teammates, thank you for being with me every step of the way in training, fundraising and in life. You aren’t just teammates you are family and I treasure you all.

And last but not least, THANK YOU to those of you that came out to cheer me on, that sent me cards, donated and prayed for me. I cannot take this journey year after year without you.

Together we make a difference. Together we will find a cure!!!

Until there is a Cure!

Catrina Gibson

Pink Soles in Motion

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Year Older

On this day I find myself another year older and another year wiser. What? No, that doesn’t sound right. I think maybe I’m another year older and sillier! Yep, that sounds better!

I took a look back over the year and here is what I’ve been up to:

Walked, ran and trained almost 600 miles according to my trusty Garmin Watch
Volunteered for the Boston Marathon and raised funds for Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Cheered on runners and walkers at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen
Sold Pampered Chef
Painted with a Twist
Sold Tamales
Had a yard sale
Worked and helped organize Pink Soles in Motion Golf Tournament
Worked and help organize Pink Soles in Motion BBQ Cook-Off
Worked and chaired Pink Soles in Motion 5K in the Park
Worked at Texas Motor Speedway selling concessions for a Nascar Race
Worked 7 very hot Rough Riders Baseball games selling concessions
Sold Raffle tickets for chance to win tickets behind Home plate for a Texas Rangers Baseball game
Helped to set up Pink Soles in Motion as a non-profit organization and now serve on the board
Volunteered as a Pink Soles in Motion Team Captain for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day
Volunteered on the weekends as a Training walk leader for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day
Cleaned Pink Soles in Motion’s adopted street in Coppell, TX
Volunteered to assist at Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event Prep Seminars
Volunteered as the Web Master (I use that term loosely) for
Supported and attended numerous individual fundraising events put on by fellow teammates

You might be thinking, “Wow, is she looking for a pat on the back?”  The answer is NO! What I am trying to show is that I’m willing to do anything and everything I can to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer. I, however, can only do so much and that is where you come in.

As I celebrate another birthday today, I’m hoping that you will be able to give me the best birthday present I could ever want and help me reach my goal of raising $8,000 this year. The 3-Day is just a few weeks away and I’m really close!

How amazing would it be if the dollar you give is the one that finds the Cure!!

Until there is a Cure!
Catrina Gibson

Friday, September 28, 2012

Inspiration for Friday!

I received a donation that brought tears to my eyes today. It just goes to show you that there are peoples live you touch that you may never meet. Just share your story and talk to other people and walkers. We are all an inspiration to the world and we are making a difference 1 step at a time.

I met a girl on the 2010 3-day. We were walking along and there she was walking by herself. I started a conversation and found out she was walking for her mom that she had just lost in August. Her mom was suppose to be there cheering her on but was there in spirit instead. The girl was finishing up college, had just gotten married (so her mom could be there) and they moved in with her dad to help him out. I had told her she had to come to Dance Party that night and if she didn't show up I was going to her tent to get her. And that's what I did but she wasn't there. Good thing her next door neighbors told her I came for her. She showed up at Dance Party!!! I thought that might be the last time I saw her as the 3-day is a big place but nope, I ran into her the next day at the first pit stop and then again at closing ceremonies. I keep up with her now and then and invite her to our fundraisers. I won't ever forget her or the 2010 3-day as that's my biggest memory. She touched my life forever.

Keep up your hard work training, fundraising and sharing your story, the big weekend is fast approaching.

Note on the donation I received today from friend’s twin sister today:

You met/walked with my twin sister at the 2010 3-Day. She forwarded me your donation request a few months ago and I finally took the time to read it and am glad I did! You're amazing and inspiring. Thank you for walking and best wishes :)

Email that my friend had sent to her friends and family:

Hello All,

The email below was sent to me from a friend I met in 2010 while doing the Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk. I met her one day while walking the 17mile route by myself. I just so happened to walk into her group of walkers and she immediately started talking to me asking about my “story” and why I was at the 3Day. The event itself is such a challenge and its people like Catrina that make it so worth the time to meet people and hear others stories.

Since the walk in November of 2010 she has stayed in contact with me through email and the walk is starting back up again this fall. I wanted to forward her email in hopes you would be interested in hearing her story through her blog or would like to donate on behalf of her team for this year’s walk.

Catrina is a very sweet lady and I’m thankful we crossed paths that day. You can visit her web pages at the bottom of the email if you are interested.


Please pass this along to help Catrina and her team meet their goal for the 3-Day walk!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 3-Day Friend Finder in action

I recently found myself traveling to Castle Rock, Co. to visit my sister, aunt and uncle. I knew I wanted to at least get 1 training walk in while I was there and the schedule was for 7 miles on that Saturday. I thought about the 3-Day Friend Finder and thought why not give it a try and see if by some chance I could find someone to walk with me. I found Colleen, a survivor and first year walker and she just happened to be signed up for the Dallas 3-Day like me! I quickly sent her an email through the 3-Day website and asked her if she would be interested in walking with me. She wrote me back and we made plans to meet at 6am Saturday at Rock Park (the Rock is in the background of the picture of Colleen).

Colleen had a nice 7 mile route all planed out for us and it turned out to be a very nice morning for a walk and to get to know a new friend. She told me that she knew she would be coming to Dallas alone and that coming alone didn't mean she would walk alone. Now she is even more excited to come as now she knows not only me but will have the entire Pink Soles in Motion team welcoming her to Dallas.

The 3-Day Friend Finder really works!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just DO IT!

Every now and then I think maybe I need to slow down and not volunteer myself so much so that I have more free time for “ME”. That thought only lasts a moment. It’s not about ME ME ME! It’s about finding a cure for cancer and not just one….CURE THEM ALL!!!

This will be my 7th 3-Day 60 Mile walk in 5 years and I will once again be walking Dallas with the best team ever, Pink Soles in Motion.

Every year brings on new challenges (my body feels 100 years old some days), adventures and new people that I honor as I walk. I hate that my Wall of Honor keeps getting longer only because I want a world without cancer and no one on my wall. I do however, take consolation in the fact that it means I’m reaching more and more people and that I continue to make a difference to so many friends and family.

I thank all of you for the support, encouragement and donations year after year. I sometimes wonder if I’m wearing everyone out with my emails, fundraising, and stories. It’s hard sometimes to get motivated to send emails and ask for donations and support. That is until your co-worker’s dad is diagnosed with melanoma and passes in less than a month; a high school classmate’s mom losses her long battle to cancer which she fought with grace; and a woman that is married to a man you are acquainted with through work is diagnosed with tumors on her brain and needs a miracle to be able to spend more time with her three young children. This all just happened to me within the past month and I’m motivated now more than ever.

If I can make a difference to just 1 person by walking just 1 more mile to send just 1 more email to raise just 1 more dollar that funds the research that saves just 1 more life, then I will just DO IT!

I am truly blessed by knowing each and every one of you and I can’t thank you enough for making a difference in my life and that of others.

If you would like to donate it would be greatly appreciated and any amount is welcome. If you would like me to walk in honor of someone please email me their name and if you would just like to share a story or give me encouragement I would love that as well. Together we will find a Cure!

Until there is a CURE,
Catrina Gibson

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Last 3 months in a Nut Shell

Where does the time go and why haven’t I updated my blog in 3 months…… Oh I guess it’s because I’ve been busy!!!
April 16th: Tracy and I were off to Boston where she ran the marathon and I volunteered. It turned out to be the Hottest April 16th in Boston history and a very hot marathon. So hot that they left the route open an extra hour and encouraged rookie marathoners to defer their entry to next year. Allowing deferments is unheard of for the Boston Marathon so you have to know they were worried for everyone’s safety. I, in turn, was very concerned about Tracy. Luckily she had the right frame of mind. She had been struggling with a leg injury and knowing how hot it was she told me “I’m not worried about time I just want to finish.”

I was volunteering at Mile 25 with Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). I was in charge of helping any of the Dana Farber patients find a place near the fence and make sure they had signs and cow bells to cheer on the DFCI Runners. I was having a great time cheering them on and each time a DFCI runner was in sighted we yelled out “Here comes Dana Farber,” that way we all knew to yell, cheer and shake our cow bells. I was getting text messages of Tracy’s progress and so I had a pretty good idea of when she would be showing up at mile 25. I had told myself if she was struggling I was going to jump the fence and help her make the last mile!!!

When I thought she was getting close, I actually jumped the fence (I stayed off the road), got my camera and my cell phone camera ready to shoot. Needless to say I almost missed her. I had turned my attention to a runner that had gone down a little ways back and when I heard “Here comes Dana Farber” I looked up and Tracy was half way by me. I hollered at her wait, wait I need a picture. Can you believe I made her run backwards to me but it was worth it as I got a big hug and a “Cat, I did it!” The smile on her face said it all and I will never forget that smile the rest of my life (photo not so good, memory will last a lifetime). I am SO proud of her as she not only overcame an injury but she persevered the heat. The Boston Marathon is the marathon of all marathons and Tracy ran every mile. Not only that but together we raised $4700 for the fight against Cancer!!

May: Pink Soles in Motion had our annual Pink Soles in Motion Golf Tournament and I have to give a special shout out to PlainsCapital Bank for stepping up as a presenting sponsor this year. We couldn’t have had a successful tournament without them. If you need a bank I would encourage you to give them a look!

May also brought about the start of our 24 week training plan. Yep, 24 weeks of training walks so from May 26th to November 2nd if you are looking for me on a weekend morning, I will be out leading and walking training walks with my fellow teammates.

Also in May, PSIM had a Pampered Chef fundraiser. If you need Pampered Chef check out Fonda Wirth. She helps PSIM every year by donating to the team. Pampered Chef

Oh and I almost forgot, I started making seat covers for a team fundraiser. It’s basically a beach towel with a hood that fits over your car seat head rest. It’s great for people that work out, swim, or get dirty. You just put it on your seat and then take it and wash it. A few people like to use them to keep their seat cool in the summer too! If you need one give me a shout $20.

June: This month was very busy and flew by way too quickly. We had our annual BBQ Cook-off, which has been our biggest fundraiser of the year so far! I worked concessions at several Frisco Roughrider baseball games and worked concessions at a very HOT Texas Motor Speedway Indi car race.

Also in June Pink Soles in Motion adopted a street in Coppell. If you are driving down Sandy Lake road between MacArthur and Starleaf, be on the lookout for us as we will be cleaning the street. We cleaned it for the first time on June 17th and I must say it looked beautiful when we were done!

The end of June brought about our first meeting for the Pink Soles in Motion 5k in the Park. I’m heading up the event with lots of help from teammates. The 5K will be Sept 1 at Andy Brown Park in Coppell. I’d love for everyone to come out and get some exercise. We all must stay active to stay healthy. You can Register Now!.

That’s the last 3 months in a Nutt Shell and I will try to better in the months to come!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No time to feel sorry for myself!

It’s so easy to get in a funk and feel sorry for yourself that life isn’t going the way you planned. Have you been there? I have. In fact, it was just a few weeks ago. I was running a 5k, feeling strong and even posted my personal best 5k time. The thing was, I hurt myself as I was finishing the race and saw my goal of finishing the Dallas Rock N Roll Half benefiting Susan G. Komen on March 25th become a thing of the past.

I was devastated. I run and walk to fundraise for cancer research, to help raise awareness and to honor those we’ve lost and are in the fight. I found myself not able to do the one thing that I thought gave people a reason to donate to my efforts. I quickly got in a funk, felt sorry for myself and was determined that I would at least walk the half marathon.

Then something clicked. Here I am always telling people that we each play a role in finding a CURE. Some of us run/walk, some make donations, some volunteer and some cheer and offer encouragement. It hit me that my role has currently changed and that I don’t have to always be walking or running but that I can fundraise and cheer those who are doing the walking and running. I always remember how the 3-Day cheer stations lift my spirits when I’m out walking 60 miles for a cure. I know how important that is to each and every one of us even when we don’t know each other.

So instead of willing myself to walk 13.1 miles and possibly delaying myself from healing, I will be out cheering on all the runners and walkers. I CAN make a difference in the fight against cancer and you can too!

Oh and I can’t forget, Team J&S4EVER is only 4 Weeks away from our participation in the Boston Marathon! Tracy will be running and I am volunteering. My official assignment is 25th Mile Support Crew. I will be right near the finish making sure that each and every runner makes it all 26.2 miles!

Tracy and I are fundraising for Dana Farber Cancer Institute and we have a long way to go to reach our goal. Please visit our website and donate if you can. Every little bit helps!

What was I thinking? I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself.
I have a lot of things to do Until There Is A Cure!

Catrina Gibson

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Running Update and the Rock N Roll Half

Where do I begin to start my update? I signed up for a running class through RunOn! to train for the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen on March 25th. The class started in mid December with group runs on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Training was going good and I was even getting use to getting up at 4:15am to run. In January, I ran the Hotcake Hustle 5k and Too Cold To Hold 15k. I was so excited and amazed at how strong I had started to feel running and that a 6 mile run was nothing to worry about any more and then………

Saturday, February 11th came along. It was a very cold morning of 17 degrees and I was all set to run the Hot Chocolate 5k. All was going well and I was a short distance from the finish line and started to speed up as I always like to finish strong. My leg, however, had other ideas and it’s hard to explain how it felt but just know it was not a good feeling I made it across the finish line and it turns out it was my personal best time for a 5k since I started running a year ago. I tried to play off the pain I was having in my leg but every step I took hurt. I smiled and said, “I’m ok, it will be fine.”

I took the week off from running and went to my Primary Care doctor the following Friday, February 17th as one of my coaches had told me it’s always good to be safe. Turns out I’m very glad I went as by Friday my back had started hurting as well and by Saturday I was unable to put my shoe on without my back screaming at me. I was rather baffled as to why my leg and now my back was hurting a week later? The Doc had given me meds and told me to give it 5 days so I gave it 6 and tried to run again on Thursday, February 23rd.

That wasn’t a good plan as it turns out. I started out and thought maybe my leg just needs to warm up and it will feel better but that was not the case. We had made it to our turn around for our warm up mile when I let my coach know I was done. He ran with me a little ways and at one point said, “You look like you are swinging a dead leg.” Yep, that’s pretty much how it felt too! I made it an excruciating warm up mile. Good thing we were close to home as we were scheduled to run at the track that morning.

Next, stop Texas Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, however I couldn’t get in until the following Thursday, March 1st. I left the Dr’s office totally baffled as he wanted to get an MRI of my back and prescribed 10 sessions of physical therapy. What? My back, I swear it’s my leg?!?!?!. I mean I know my back hurt that one weekend but the Meds made it feel better. Granted it didn’t feel great but I could deal with it as I’ve had to before, but my leg was sooooo not better.

The bad thing is I would be traveling all next week and so I knew my MRI wouldn’t be for another week. I feel like I’m just wasting time and all I wanted to do was get better so I could join my running group again. I was able to get to the Physical Therapist (PT) before leaving town so I had exercises to do while I was traveling. This made me feel a little better and at least I had something to work on and give me hope until I knew what this MRI would tell me.

I got back to Dallas and had my MRI on Monday, March 12th and my follow up visit with the Dr. on Thursday, March 15th. I was on pins and needles wondering what the outcome would be……………..

I left his office frustrated:( He told me I had a small bulging disc. Good news is it’s small:) He suggested that since I hadn’t felt much change in my back and the nerve issue I have in the bottom of my leg/foot to get a cortisone shot. I asked him does this explain the pain I have in my leg (it’s my sit bone). He said “No, where is it hurting?” So I showed him and he felt it and said, “I think we are dealing with two issues, your back and your hamstring.” Really, I already knew that?!?!?!

In case you are counting weeks, it’s been 5 weeks and I sure felt like I was right back where I started. Let’s just say I wasn’t real happy.

I talked to my PT the next day and was able to ask him some questions that I didn’t think to ask when I was at the Dr. I’m a little less frustrated now as I know that the lower back and hamstring are connected. If my hamstring is strained then it pulls on my lower back. So I’ve been working on strengthening my core and hamstring.

I am scheduled to get my cortisone shot tomorrow March 19th and we shall see if that helps the inflammation in my back and then we will go from there. Still not sure how long the road to recovery will be but I’m going to do what I’m told and I know I will be back and stronger than ever before. I have to be as I have to continue to fundraise and bring awareness to finding a cure for cancers.

I’m really bummed that I won’t be able to run let alone walk the Rock N Roll Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen this coming weekend. As the saying goes, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. So guess what, I will be there cheering loudly and holding up signs for all those I know and don’t know that are running and walking it. Like I’ve told all of you before everyone plays a part in finding a cure, sometimes it’s running/walking, sometimes it’s giving donations, and sometimes it’s just cheering people on to the finish line. Together we WILL find a cure!