Denver! This Will Make You Rethink Your Plans for Saturday, Sept. 16

In my experience, people fall into two categories: 1) Every moment of every day is planned, planned, planned, or 2) Plans are the devil and commitment cannot be forced. Whatever category you fall into, after reading this post, you’re going to put the Lupus Colorado Community Walk (AKA, the chillest charity event ev-ah) on your calendar.

7 Reasons You’re Gonna Looove This Walk

  1. You’ll get your steps for the day. But you don’t even have to break a sweat if you don’t want to. The main walk is just half a mile with an alt route of ¼ mile, a deliberate choice. Grandma, the kids, and many of us with autoimmune disease are big fans of such low-key walks. Plus, not being totally out of breath and not competing with the fittest of the fit means it’s easier to chat. Being Outdoors + Moving Your Body + Gabbing with Someone You Love = A Win, Win, For Your Health!
  2. No dealing with your dog or others. I love dogs. I have a giant, sloppy kissing, bad breath having beast on my bed most nights. But crowds with packs of canines are a stressor I just can’t handle. I mean, I get it: Before I was self-employed, I felt so guilty leaving Farley alone. On my days off, I took him everywhere (despite his tendency to hate on 10 percent of the canine population, with no discernable reason as to why). It was stressful for us both. I’m guessing it’s stressful for some of you, too. Now you have an excuse! Saying “sorry buddy, you’re not invited to this one” while making boo-boo/kissy faces through the closing door may feel bad for the moment, but inevitably you’ll feel pretty darn good. I look forward to NOT having my mutt drag me around. And I look forward to NOT tripping over someone else’s buddy on a retractable leash.
  3. Shade all the way baby. Prospect Park in Wheat Ridge was chosen for one reason: It’s mostly shaded. If you were here for the eclipse, how grand was it to sit under a dimmed sun and enjoy being outside mid day without feeling scorched? This Colorado sun…am I right? Intense. September shade shall feel so good.
  4. Ample parking, day or night. I lied in #3. Prospect Park in Wheat Ridge was chosen for two reasons: Shade and it’s not a pain in the you-know-what to park.
  5. The timing is just right. This is a great event for those of us with kids. Scheduled from 4:00 p.m., with the walk starting at 5:30 and wrapping soon after, it totally fills up that awkward meltdown time (too late for naps; too early for bed). Plus there are food trucks, so dinner is done. My daughter and her buddy had a blast last year. She remembers it as “that time Mom let me get seconds of (free) cotton candy.” She’s already making plans for face painting. Last year she barely had to wait in line, which all you parents know is a small miracle. 
  6. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t know what lupus is. A part of me is glad you don’t! I didn’t really know what lupus was until my rheumatologist handed me a post-it note seven years ago with the handwritten words “systemic lupus erythematosus.” Sure, I’d heard of the word: House joked about it. And then there was the pale kid called Lupus on the hilarious but wildly inappropriate 70s masterpiece The Bad News Bears. So here’s what you need to know: Lupus can be really isolating. It’s a life-changing, life-long diagnosis. It’s a mind-*(&% that makes you question your own identity and sometimes, sanity. By showing up at the walk, you’ll be helping a lot of people who feel invisible, feel seen.
  7. You’re helping your neighbors. When you raise money for national organizations, you might not know where your hard-earned dollars are going. With this walk, they stay here. In Colorado. And even if you’ve never heard of lupus (see #6), you probably know someone with lupus. Many people never talk about it, for fear of reprisal at work, or the shame of being sick, or the fear of appearing weak. Autoimmune disease is on the rise. One in 13 people have autoimmune disorders like lupus. And if we’re able to figure out lupus, it’s systemic nature will give us tons of clues for pretty much any disease state out there, including cancer.

Come on out on Saturday, Sept. 16 and join the fun. I know you want to, you good-doing, fan-of-all-things-simple-and-fun, you!