Walking For Health And Friendship

Numerous studies show that walking is good for your health, but oftentimes it helps to get out of the “around the block” rut and into something a lot more challenging and enjoyable.

Long-distance walking events help have you in shape–and if you walk for a good cause, your walk can increase funds for groups that need it. An added bonus: Walking as part of a group can improve the satisfaction, keep you concentrated and build great friendships.

However, what is really a walking teams? In the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, teams include two people or dozens-women and men, neighbors, colleagues, family, partners or new acquaintances, from the same town or throughout the country-who share a dedication to taking personal steps (literally) in the battle against breast cancer.

One group that uses humor in stride is the “Back of the Pack Walkers”. It is made up of nearly 10 women who come together each year for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. They will walk in memory of a friend, Robyn Cain, who lost her fight with breast cancer in 2004. Team Captain Candi Hoffman states that “after spending so much time together, training and at the Walk, I consider the girls on my team to be some of my closest friends.”

“Team Maureen” is a fixture at the Avon Walk Chicago, with group members taking part as walkers, volunteers and cheerleaders, all in bright green shirts. According to Donna Lahey, “Team Maureen” Walker Captain, the 2006 team has got 64 members from age 1 to 81. The team is named for Maureen Buescher, who died of breast cancer in 2002. It includes family and friends who walk for their individual health and also the health of all women.

Mike McElduff has placed a unique spin on the team concept by heading “Team Peggy’s Spirit,” named for his mother, at all eight Avon Walk activities throughout the country from April to October. “Peggy’s Spirit” includes McElduff’s siblings, friends and solo walkers who are searching for camaraderie as they take on the lengthy walk.

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