On June 20, 2015, over 2,300 people spanning 5 countries participated in this year’s Climb Out of the Darkness event benefiting Postpartum Progress.
Mine was one of those, and I’m so excited that it was a success!
By Climb Day, my team roster looked an awful like my wedding guest list. Some of the same aunts, cousins, parents, siblings, friends, and co-workers that were invited to our wedding almost five years ago signed up to Climb with me to show their support.
Our team totaled 19 adults and 6 kids. My parents and one other Climber had to drop out the week of and one no-showed the day of, but we still had a good turn out!
I was starting to think my Climb would really be like a wedding reunion when one mom, Rachel, showed up with her son. It turns out we were at the same birthday party a while back and she blogs! I’ve been following Rachel’s personal blog, Stickers for Mommy, for a little while and didn’t realize we had met before! She also blogs for the parenting magazine I started blogging at a couple months ago.
Being June, it was HOT! Even though the picnic/playground area was wooded, it was still so gross out. I wore a tank top under my Climb t-shirt, but it was soaked by the time we started our walk so I couldn’t strip down to it. Despite being gross, I was thankful it wasn’t raining. I had absolutely no back-up plan if the weather was bad, and the weather forecast couldn’t make up its mind whether or not it wanted to be sunny or stormy all day. Luckily, the storms held off until later in the day (and they were intense!).
Our Climb wasn’t anything formal. We met at Alum Springs Park and hung out, let the kids play on the play ground and ate our lunches before we got our group picture taken.
I also had my picture taken with Adrienne Griffen, the founder of Postpartum Support Virginia. There were four other Climbs in Virginia that day and someone from Postpartum Support Virginia was supposed to walk at each of them. I still feel so honored that she chose my Climb as the one to walk with.
My original plan was to walk the trails at the park. Some of them are right along a creek that a lot of people will play in. The Sunday before our Climb we made a family trip to the park to test the trails. I realized two things: 1) I was SO glad I insisted on taking the jogging stroller. 2) The trails were SO not stroller friendly.
I was disappointed, but there is a paved bike path that runs alongside the park, so at least I had a backup plan. Katherine Stone writes a letter for the team leaders to read to their Climbers on Climb Day. There was a bike stop at the top of the stairs we had to climb, which was the perfect place to read the letter. I think having familiar faces helped me from feeling anxious about this part. I didn’t want to puke like I did before my movie screening. I was able to read the letter without feeling faint (or crying! But I attest that to practicing a couple of times.)
We walked about a mile of the bike path. When we got to a main road we turned back. It was too hot to go any further. Once we got back to the park, we packed up our picnic spot and said our goodbyes to everyone.
G wanted to play in the creek so we stayed a little longer and hung out with Rachel and my friend Jenni and their boys. Walking through that water was the best feeling after sweating for so long!
Our boys had a blast playing in the water. They got along well too, so I hope we can find a time to get together and hang out again!
Thanks to amazing family, friends, and readers I surpassed my goal to raise $1,000 for Postpartum Progress. This means a ticket to next year’s Warrior Mom Conference, which I hope I’ll be able to attend.
My team has raised $1,500, but that will be higher once we get our last three fundraising checks in the upcoming weeks. Donations are still being accepted and I’d love to see our team raise $2,000!
But even better, Postpartum Progress surpassed their $200,000 goal the night before the Climb. As of today, they are a little over $224,800!
I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that has happened in the last few months. Leading an event like this, trying to raise money and awareness, has been the biggest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve learned a few things and already have plans for next year! But even better (and most important), area moms will hopefully be getting few more options for support within the next year. The seeds I’ve planted during these last few months might just start sprouting.