A Walk to Remember.
For those of you who have been following my blog this summer, you will know that this past Saturday was the day I walked in a 32km charity walk to raise money for cancer research.
After many months of training and pushing beyond my limits, the big day arrived. I rose out of bed at 5:30 AM to get to the starting point on time for our team’s 7:15 AM photos. I looked out the window to check the weather and it was pitch black and pouring rain.
I madly rushed around getting my gear ready and thinking about how I would stay dry throughout the long walk. I had been given a rain poncho in my walk kit so I decided that it would go over my walking gear to keep the rain away. I packed my gear, called a taxi and off I went.
After the opening ceremonies, team pictures and a few stretching exercises 4,590 walkers made their way to the streets of Toronto. A river of bodies moved like a colourful snake along Lakeshore Boulevard wearing their multi-coloured rain ponchos. Each person moved as quickly as possible toward each rest stop, carefully avoiding puddles and running water along the streets and sidewalks.
We walked for four hours before the rain let up. Once it had stopped I ripped my rain poncho off in one fast motion. I wanted to get rid of the wet, nasty feeling as quickly as I could. Unfortunately; it was no longer usable and the rain started again an hour later. We reached the lunch stop at the 16km mark where I purchased another rain poncho, enjoyed a 30 minute rest stop with a healthy bagged lunch and started off to conquer the next 16km.
The rain finally stopped for the last 11km and we enjoyed a warm, sunny afternoon after all. The walkers raised over $10 million for cancer research that day and they never gave up in spite of the weather. People came from all over Ontario to walk. Some walkers were cancer survivors; many had lost friends and family members to this terrible disease. All were there with a purpose. This year I walked to support my colleague who is a brave young single mother who has been fighting breast cancer for the past year.
It was a day filled with laughter, with tears, with plenty of hugs, a day of stories, and most of all it was a day of hope.
After a walk that long I prefer to eat a light dinner and relax. This Chilled Cucumber, Basil and Mint Soup is fast and easy to make. It is light and fluffy but packs enough flavour to make it delicious. The recipe would be perfect for a summer lunch or as a first course on a summer meal.
Chilled Cucumber, Basil and Mint Soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup sliced scallion
1 cup water
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
Puree sour cream, basil, mint, scallion and water in a blender. Add cucumber. Pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
Stir in lemon juice and hot sauce, season with salt to taste.
Chill soup at least 3 hours but not more than 12 hours. Top each serving with slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint before serving.
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living