We want to hear from you! Please write us to share your story on our blog at info@walkthewalkamerica. Erika tells us all about her first experience at the MoonWalkNYC.
How did everyone learn about The MoonWalk NYC event and what encouraged you all to sign up as volunteers?
My mom was first to hear about The MoonWalk NYC from a work friend in early April. Since her favorite way to exercise is to take a brisk walk along the hilly streets of our town on Long Island, she was naturally intrigued. She also goes about life with a “You Only Live Once” sort of outlook and literally, nothing embarrasses her, not even walking throughout Manhattan in a decorated bra! Right away, she began to spread the word to friends, family and coworkers. Her targets were extremely hesitant at first, but fortunately my mom was equally as persuasive or shall I say, persistent? May was nearly gone when she was diagnosed with liver cancer; her doctor insisted she begin chemotherapy two weeks later. Already knowing the answer she’d hear, she asked her doctor if it was ok to walk 13.1 miles overnight in Manhattan. Keeping true to her character, she refused to sit this one out. My Dad, who is in bed by 8:30pm on the dot every night and probably couldn’t point Randall’s Island out on a map, was her first recruit; I followed shortly after.
What was your first impression upon arriving to MoonWalk City? How would you describe the atmosphere?
It was so exciting to walk up on MoonWalk City and see all the men and women waiting to be let in! We were so happy to be given neon green t-shirts and hats at Volunteer Check-in with the infamous bra design printed on them, that felt very special. Little did anyone know, my mom had decorated a bra and wore it to MoonWalk City under her clothes, still refusing to miss out on any aspect of this fabulous night.
What were your job assignments?
My mom and I were assigned to work at the Help Desk tent, which was located right next to the entrance of MoonWalk City. You couldn’t help but feel the anticipation of the Walkers waiting to be let into the City. Listening to Nina, the Founder of Walk the Walk get the crowd hyped with the help of the marching band gave us all goose bumps. My dad was a Bike Marshal, which was the most perfect designation for him. Getting him to sit still in one spot is nearly impossible and when my sister’s and I were young, he would follow us on his bike from a distance when we wanted to walk to school because it was the “cool” thing to do (the walk was less than a mile and every step with him trailing behind us was mortifying, but that’s neither here nor there)!
What was your most memorable part of the night?
A few actually come to mind…
First was when my mom finally got to bare her bra and pose for a picture with the team she had created, GET IT GIRL!
Second was watching the Walkers, my mom’s team especially, pass by our post in MoonWalk City once they were on the route.
Third was watching the warm up session, led by the CRUNCH trainers.
Fourth (but certainly not least) was watching my mom’s team cross the finish line. Some members skipped, some members couldn’t help run the last few yards, others walked hand in hand! My mom had to call it a night shortly after the Walkers started their challenge but I stuck around to take pictures and video to share with her over breakfast Sunday morning.
Do you feel inspired to volunteer again next year? Or perhaps even Walk the Walk?
I can say one thing for sure, my mom will be walking the Half Moon next year! She is nearing the end of her second round of chemotherapy and through it all has maintained the most resilient, positive attitude…if she can battle cancer, I can Walk 13.1 miles and my dad can get back on his bike; I think that’s a fair deal.