I am wrapping up such an incredible day that I am not quite sure where to begin. Let’s see…I arose to that sweet blend of fresh morning air and sunshine that screams “Spring!” and lingered in my bed just a little longer to ponder the day ahead. After a few weeks’ wait, the time had come for Team Afightbackwoman to strut around the town green in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event supporting the Milford Rape Crisis Center. The past week, some of the men participating on my behalf had shared photos of themselves shoe shopping. The images they texted to me made me laugh out loud and then promptly tear up at the beauty of the gesture. Men who know and care about me were fully embracing the spirit of the walk and it touched my heart.
Earlier in the week, I had special t-shirts printed , and then yesterday, I ran out to purchase some accessories: hot pink feather boas and Carrie Bradshaw-esque flower clip-ons. I was going for ‘understated elegance’ with the team’s ensemble.
As this was my first time participating in this event, I hesitated to be too outlandish with our team’s attire. Upon arrival at registration and seeing the other participants, I quickly laid that fear to rest. I saw men in halter dresses and one-shoulder gowns.
And then, there was this dude:
Our team gathered itself and posed for pictures while making some last-minute adjustments involving nylon footies and other blister-preventing tactics. And just for a few minutes, I tried to absorb the fact this would probably be, for me, the start of a sustained presence in the activist community.
I turned in our team packet of more than $650 in donations with swagger, and soon after, the walk began. Men and boys wobbled and teetered their way along the route. Motorists stopped and townspeople leaned out of buildings or sat on stairs to watch the motley crew pass by. We were a sight to see.
For the entire walk, I had a dopey smile plastered to my face. You would too if you saw your friends and pure strangers support survivors this way. I almost didn’t want it to end. My friend Rob clearly felt differently as he knelt down at the finish line and kissed the ground – for real. He’s a total ham. And totally wonderful, as I told you all in a much earlier post last year.
The best part of the day might have come after the event was finished. We saddled up to a favorite watering hole and sat in the bright sun on a patio overlooking the river, and we talked. We laughed. We reviewed our photos and dreamed about next year’s team and next year’s shoes. I am not sure the day could have been better.