It was an exciting kick-off to Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Guzzy and I participated in the Third Annual NEDA walk in Minneapolis at the Mall of America – there were over 500 registered participants, and I’m sure there were a couple hundred more folks in attendance. They raised over $50,000 to in the fight against eating disorders.
Terry Marks, the Chief Development Office gave an introductory speech, followed by a short set by ‘The Mrs’ an all-female rock-n-roll band that had me in tears with the lyrics of one of their songs that captured the dynamic of a mother-daughter relationship. While I was wiping my eyes, I recognized the woman next to me taking pictures as Terry Marks. I introduced myself and told her that I was organizing a walk for Madison in September. In response she gave me a great big hug. I introduced her to Guzzy, who also received a bear hug. Guzzy convinced me to take a selfie with Terry not the most flattering pic of me… but it captures the moment.
The venue at the rotunda was perfect – we were able to take one lap around the mall in about 20 minutes. I was able to visit all the sponsor tables, and got lots of ideas for what will be a more modest walk in the fall in Madison. After the walk, Guzzy and I were really pumped up. I chatted with a few participants and organizers, giving and collecting business cards.
Then Guzzy and I spent a couple hours shopping, including a stop at the first national sponsor of NEDA: Aerie, a lingerie store, which is basically a scaled down and less sexualized version of Victoria’s Secret – so it felt good to spend some money there. They have a campaign targeted to keeping it ‘real’… while also feeling good about yourself. During our shopping expedition Guzzy found a cool hat and we greatly enjoyed our lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp.
Guzzy and I had left our coats in the car in the mall parking lot to avoid having to lug them with us everywhere we went all morning. The scurry INTO the mall was invigorating at the least, with an air temp of -8 degrees. Heading back to the car in the early pm was even more chilling, since the mittens and coats waiting for us in the car were a chill -5 degrees. My hands protested greatly at being shoved into my frozen mittens for the short ride back to Eagan; where we spent a few more hours with the grandbabies before heading home for Madison.
Late last night after we arrived home after the long drive from Minneapolis, Guzzy gave me a great big bear hug, saying she’d had a great time. Me too, sweetie… me too.