(First in an "I don't know how many or how often" series of misconceptions about The 3 Day that I've come across while talking to potential walkers & donors)
"I have to walk all 60 miles."
I would LOVE to tell you that I've walked all 60 miles. That I've struggled up that last hill... put on my $2 plastic poncho when the rain starts... danced my way in to camp each evening.
Let's be real. I'm a sweep van fan & I'm not ashamed. (Hey, they usually have candy!)
The first year I walked, I trained to the letter. I followed the 24 week training guide like a Bible. I walked all of Day One. And then, instead of taking a long shower in my own bathroom, eating some homemade food and going to sleep in my comfy bed, I found myself at camp. The shower was good. The food was eh. (To be fair, it ROCKED last year!!) And then I went to sleep in a tent. On the ground. Because I had forgotten an air mattress.
I made it about 5 miles in to Day Two before I ended up on a sweep van. I'd walk a little, then van hop, walk, van, walk... you get the idea. I rode in to camp on a big grey bus.
And I don't feel bad about it at all.
There is no shame in getting on a sweep van. Like I said before, they usually have candy. I like candy. I do not like it when I am unable to regulate my own body temperature and have blisters the size of small children.
On the flip side of all of this, we have one of my teammates. We'll call her Beige. (We all have nicknames.) Beige does not train. Like, at all. And yet each year, she walks all 60 miles with hardly a blister. She then proceeds to go home after the event and run on the treadmill. Yes, we hate her, too. (Not really, Beige, you know it's all love!) Apparently, her body is genetically predisposed to walking 60 miles.
I will say this: When I walk with Beige, I always walk further than I had originally planned or believed I could. She's the only reason I finished all of Day One my first year. And we walked together on all of Day Three last year.
If you're one of the proud full 60 miles walkers, I take my shoe off to you. One of these days, I'll do it.
For my newbies who are scared to death of 60 miles, don't let it stop you. Do what you can. That's really what 3 Day is about: Doing all you can, the best you can. I promise you that you'll get much further than you think.