As most of you know, I've been living with lupus some 10 years. Actually I started having symptoms waaay before first diagnosis. I just didn't know what it was. So looking back, I've had it for some 16 years. It's nothing I talk to much about. As a matter of fact, I didn't mention it for years here on blog until one of my favorite bloggers asked me to discuss this "chronic disease" I had. And I gathered up enough courage to talk about, which is a good thing.
Anyway, I have been wanting to check out the Georgia chapter of the Lupus foundation, but haven't really gotten around to it. One of my blog sisters alerted me of the walk, and that we should do it together. I was delighted about this and made plans to go. She had other plans, which was cool, and I went by myself. (She was a tad bit upset about this. I was like uh... O_o. It is ooookay, lol).
The walk was last Saturday down at Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta. It was odd that it started in the late afternoon, around 5:00. Not sure what that was about, as most walks and runs start way early in the morning. Since it started around 5, I left the house at 3:30, because traffic and parking is HORRID around the park on a beautiful sunny Saturday. I parked about a half mile away and walked to the park. I had pre-registered online, so I just picked up a tag for my shirt.
(I was going to do some REALLY wild graffiti drawing of my name, but I didn't want to draw attention to myself. Plus I'd seen plenty of other folks around with "Me!" on their tags. So I wrote "Me!" on my tag also!)
There were tons of signage all around the park that day. Here are two of my favorites.
And here's a picture of the stage.
There was a DJ and a drum team for entertainment.
Drums... they are really loud. Shockingly loud, lol. *lee walking in other direction, away from drums*
There were some really good speeches from people from all walks of life who have lupus, even a 8-year old girl who had been diagnosed when she was 6 year old. I have never seen someone so proud to reach their 8th birthday. I was NOT thinking of these types of things when I was 8 years old. I can't even imagine.
The walk started at around 5:30 p.m.
And it was a slooooooow walk. I had been joking around that week with my friends that there was NO way that they were going to have 5Ks and 10Ks for folks with lupus. Our joints are much to janky for all that! (Although I am sure there are runs for this. Sure of that. But this Oldgirl wouldn't go near such, lol)
There were some 4000 people. Not sure how many were there, but you can see from the pictures below that there were A LOT of people.
I was particularly interested in what else was going on at the park. There is a mile long track and there's a volleyball field in the center of the park. I've been in the ATL all my life and never seen any of this.
It must be something new. Hmm...
I'll have to get down there more often. I'd love to walk on that track!
The walk wasn't too hard. We were going a bit sloooow. But I was a little tired due to having to walk 1/2 mile from my parked car, and then standing up for about an hour. THEN walking the 1.5 miles. Next time I will have to make sure I sit down on the grass or something.
I was just thankful that I wasn't walking in heels like this young lady.
My goodness. The shoes looked quite comfy, and I am sure she like them.
I almost wanted to holler "Serenity23, is that you, hon?"
LOL (Ya'll know how she likes her heels. lol)
I crossed the finish line in about 40-45 minutes, I believe. Like I said, it wasn't a long walk, but we were just moving slow. It was literally a nice walk in the park on a pretty sunny day. < I really loved the music, the comradarie and such. But what I liked most were the t-shirts. There were many groups of people there walking for people who had passed from this disease. Here are a few of the shirts.
I was really surprised by the size of the teams walking. They had some great shirts. And it seemed as though the biggest teams were there walking in memory of those long gone. I thought that was really special.
All in all, I had a good time. I'd never been around so many folks who have what I have. I never really even thought much of it, much like I don't focus too hard or get all out of sorts with this disease. I have my good days. I have my bad days.
I am thankful that my good days faaaaaar outnumber my bad days. By far.
And I'm happy for that.
This was a good day, and a good function. I even got a sticker when I finished!
I look forward to walking for "Me!" and so many others next year :)
You all have a great weekend.