I've thought a long time about the word that best applies to Day 3.
If "overwhelming" covers Day One and "energy" applies to Day Two, then "persevere" aptly describes Day 3.
I went to the 3-Day with one goal: Finish. I had already met the goal of raising money, so I had contributed all I could to ending cancer - the 3-Day itself, for me, was about proving the amount of fight in me.
The last day of walking took every ounce of fight I had.
I was hurting so badly the night before that I didn't even bother hitting the medic tent (it was just muscle pains), I turned to prayer. "Dear Lord, please give me the strength to finish what I started. I can do this, I know it. Please be with me as I take each step tomorrow."
I awoke on Day 3 ready to go. Sure, I was stiff, but who wasn't? The first thought I had that day was "Why are y'all awake and taking down your tent so early?" (it was 4:30 a.m.). But then, as consciousness hit me, so did another thought, "You can persevere."
It was a mantra I pulled out whenever I felt the next step would be impossible.
When it started raining and I couldn't see or hear anything beyond the hood of my poncho, "You can persevere."
When the rain stopped and my right foot was suddenly on fire, "You can persevere."
When the sun came out and turned Chicago into a sauna, "You can persevere."
When the last two miles seemed to go on forever and I thought I would never see that One Mile to Holding sign, "You can persevere."
And I did. I've got the t-shirt to prove it.