(a repost of Posh guest blog with a few minor changes)
I’m writing this blog on a pad of paper because typing at my computer seems too much like work …. and this isn’t work, this is an adventure. Adventures are written on paper … like a treasure map. Sometimes you can’t decipher the symbols, some parts of the map may be torn off, and sometimes it’s worn so thin because of the number of times you’ve examined it trying to figure out where the treasure is.
I recently guest blogged on the Posh blogsite, a site created to connect, educate and inspire women visual artists. How flattered was I to be asked to contribute? Well … very! Duh. But what on earth to write about? As the perpetual student (but I guess, aren’t we all?), I didn’t feel an educational piece would be for me. Something fun was a suggestion. Fun? Hmm, ok. What’s more fun than an adventure?
So here’s a story … my story … my little adventure.
A couple months ago I picked up a magazine. The cover story – an L.A. woman that decided to walk 38 miles along the ocean over the course of a few days. She stopped along the way, check out the sights and then moved steadily on. Hmmm. Interesting. What a cool mini-vacation without leaving town. Now, I’m not big walker but the thought of experiencing the city at a 3-mile per hour pace intrigued me. Granted, given L.A.’s infamous traffic sometimes a 3-mile per hour pace is exactly what you get on most freeways.
I Googled maps of Southern California and mapped out a walk. I like to call it a walkabout. Maybe it’s my love the show ‘Lost’ or maybe it’s because I plan to walk about 50 miles but a walkabout sounded pretty to me …. that, and I also didn’t know what else to call it. Now on ‘Lost’, John Locke took his set of knives for his walkabout. What I’ll be carrying is my backpack is a camera, a couple t-shirts, a toothbrush and a few pair of unmentionables.
Now, a walkabout refers to a rite of passage during which male Australian Aborigines undergo a journey during adolescence and live in the wilderness for an extended period of time. So I’m pretty much off the mark on a lot of different levels here. Aborigine? Nope, nah ah. Adolescent? Well, I act like one most of the time. Does that count? Live in the wilderness for an extended period of time? Come on, I’m walking thru L.A. I’d say it’s a wilderness of sorts. Rite of passage? I’m going to guess it’s not.
I did have a rite of passage at one time however … an unconventional, non-traditional event that could constitute a rite of passage … at least in my book … and definitely for this sake of this story.
As a junior in college, I was diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer. It’s pretty rare for someone of that age to get that type of cancer but I got it. Long story short, it kicked my butt for a couple years with two major surgeries, a year of chemotherapy and the wonderful side effects that go along with. The prognosis wasn’t great but my reaction was (prep for another ‘Lost/John Locke’ reference), “ Don’t tell me what I can’t do”.
I’m now cancer free and have been for many years. It’s not something I think about very often but it dawned on me as I was mapping out this walk how many charity run/walks there are out there … many of them breast cancer related. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the boobies. Go team boobie! But if I’m going to walk why not raise money? And why not make this a walk about the ovarian, the female gonads … the she-nads! … the mental and physiological ones. The mental ones that tackle obstacles and the physical ones that help create life.
So on the last week in June*, I’ll be walking from San Pedro to Malibu. Making many stops along the way, enjoying a good meal … or two … or a lot, sleeping a good sleep and documenting as I go. Much of my time recently has been about capturing the lives of others. And for that I feel incredibly lucky. But on this trip I’ll be turning the camera around and documenting my adventure … and for a good cause. And for that, I feel incredibly blessed.
I’ll have a map with me but I’m not out to look for a treasure, I’m in it for the adventure … and for an amazing foot massage at the end! Woohoo!
I’ll be walking for myself.
I’ll be raising money for The Lynne Cohen Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research.
Anyone wishing to donate may go to www.firstgiving.com/isabelgonzalez. NO amount is too small. Just know I will find you, unabashedly ask for a donation and if that doesn’t work I’ll bludgeon you with silly tweet after tweet until you give.
Go team she-nad!
*Since the original posting of this blog on the Posh site, I’ve solidified the dates of my walk. Read my next posting for more info.