Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Walking a Way

There are times in your life when you are required to walk a certain path – whether you want to or not. The way has been chosen. It doesn’t matter if you think you are walking toward something or someone, or away. The path is lying there before you and you just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep on walking until the path comes to its inevitable conclusion.

It might be only a warm up, leading the way to another path that is clearly the one you know you are meant to walk, or it may be a detour taking you on a journey you are not at all prepared for and resisting with each step. Maybe you’re walking a route out of curiosity and a sense of adventure only – just because? Nope – the path doesn’t much care about the reasons; it just sits before you, expecting you to walk along.

Most of the time, the path is well-worn and safe, and you can keep your eyes on the horizon. You are safe – knowing that many have strolled this way before you, and made their way through with minimal effort. The kind of walk where you know the sights along the way, and all of a sudden you stop short and wonder how you got to a particular landmark so quickly? Walking along unconsciously, on autopilot; a great many of our days are walked in this way.

But there are times when you have to keep your head down as you walk – scanning the terrain under your feet to avoid major hazards that could cause you to stumble. On the lookout for the type of inconspicuous little hazards that, if you only gazed sleepily ahead to the end of your trail, would surely trip you up and knock you down. And on these walks, you might be called upon to find your way up, over or around a major roadblock, or to forge a new path altogether.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Many women are walking the breast cancer path – some to survive, and others to find a cure.

In November I will be walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in San Diego benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. Many others will be walking with me – for 60 miles over three days, and many have already walked, in other 3-Day events in other cities this year. I am choosing to walk this path, and raise funds for breast cancer research, because there are way too many women who didn’t get to choose. Their bumpy and rocky path was laid out before them, and they are walking it with dignity, grace, strength and absolute fearlessness.

Yep, there are many paths. Some we choose and others are chosen for us.

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