Last year my best friend told me about the AIDS Walk. Let me take a minute to share the fact that I honestly was never that interested in the AIDS epidemic. My apologies. I was never into anything science related before so I figured disease-related topics such as Breast Cancer and Autism would not be interesting. HOW WRONG WAS I?!
When she told me about her experience, I looked past the “AIDS” health part and got excited about the volunteering opportunity. Ehh. So I made sure she signed me up for the 2011 AIDS Walk in Manhattan. The experience was something I would not trade for anything.
Waking up at 4am was not the highlight of my day but it was nice to inhale the fresh damp air before it became polluted with the busy-ness of the day. I guess that’s a perk for early morning joggers. We met up and headed to the city via the subway system. If anyone from the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority-the good ol’ folks who take care of the transportation in NY) ever decides to read this…please, I beg of you, increase even slightly the salary of the subway station cleanup crew. Sunday morning trains are filthy. Ehh. It’s what you get for $2.25 as fare.
Anyhoo, we arrived in Central Park a little over 7am and registered. Immediately sprinting for the team with the neon green hats (yes, that’s how we picked our team-thank goodness it was crowd control and not cleanup). Fortunately for usm we were able to get hats. Three people after us had to settle for caution tape to tie their heads with.
Watching people as they marched on through Central Park for the cause they believed in was powerful. No one had to say a word. Their presence spoke for them. Picket signs displaying the name of the organization, deceased friend/relative, or victim, were too numerous to count. From the shy folks to the flamboyant ones, people lined the route standing proud and confident that they made it. THOUSANDS SHOWED UP IN THE RAIN! WHAT DEDICATION! When our group switched to the Finish Line, people kept walking, jogging, and even decided to sprint their way through. The joy and pride written on their faces was astonishing. It is forever imprinted in my heart. Putting mankind’s differences aside to unite for this one cause is truly remarkable. Already looking into more walks for the summer. There really is just no price you can put on that kind of happiness.
Within Each Soul Is A Tiger
We May Growl but We Are Fearless.
We May Get Hurt but We Move On.
We May Stumble For A Second but The Journey Is Never Over.
Within Each Soul Is A Tiger.
A Tiger Ready To Fight.