And we're off!!!!!! It was indeed a beautiful sight to see so many women moving forward together smiling, talking ... until I noticed one small detail. Where were the men? I mean even men can get breast cancer! (my attempt at humour - its very rare & difficult to detect due to being heavily shrouded by sarcasm) Why were we the only ones that cared? The pieces of the puzzle then came together when I realised that men were in fact participating in spectator capacity. All along the route were clusters of men with alcoholic beverages in hand cheering, jeering and evaluating women walking against cancer.
I also found myself admiring all the adorable little girls walking with who I assumed were their mommies and then I thought ... where are all the little boys? Why had mothers chosen to bring their daughters and not their sons? There was however a Rastaman painstakingly trying to sit his son still on a bench while all the little girls ran by.
But this does not mean to say that no men took part. I did see a few in the warm up session but they all looked pretty fit/professional and were perhaps too far ahead of me. And I'm sure a number of mothers brought their sons but due to the large crowd I wasn't able to sight any. The point I am making is how come in an event that attracts thousands, men were hardly visible? When does that happen? Only when it comes to something... anything that concerns women. So please indulge my not so scientific reasoning - Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than women and if the walk attracted about 6,000 participants, I assure you that no where near six hundred men were present. Don't these women have husbands, partners, sons, uncles, brothers?
One member of my team told me after the walk was over that she over heard some women talking about another woman's cellulite. Being the naive and hopeful individual that I am I was still surprised. You know the saying if you don't have anything good to say don't say anything at all. Apply this here _______ In fact apply it everywhere, especially when walking for a cause as serious and as important as breast cancer.
A dear friend reminded me that we were a part of something sacred and that silence was the most reverent gesture we could make. I like being alone ... with my own thoughts and to walk or run at a pace suitable to me. Maybe next year I can wear headphones to block out the unnecessary noise but I will continue to see myself put one foot infront the other to walk against breast cancer.