LIFE Walk 2017: As told by a student

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“I’m just going to get hot and sweaty, and then they’re going to force me to play a game,” I thought, as I came to campus on the morning of what is considered, every year, to be the most anticipated school event.

Living in Faith Experience (LIFE) Walk, an event where students walk from Sacred Hearts Academy to Palolo Valley District Park, concludes Catholic Schools Week. The walk is meant to raise awareness about an issue; this year, we walked to bring awareness to human trafficking.

Unfortunately, the ill-willed feelings I felt toward the event are echoed throughout the student body every year. Mostly because students dislike walking in the hot and humid weather.

But this year, the attitude among students seemed different, somehow. Little did my friends and I know, it would prove to be one of the most memorable LIFE Walks we’ve ever experienced.

This realization did not hit until we started walking. As we wrapped up mass and prepared for the trek into the valley, I was already tired and regretted not staying home. The only incentive that kept me going was the fact that we didn’t have classes that day.  

With earphones in hand, ready to breeze through the walk, I was suddenly jolted by a friend. She ripped out my earphones and encouraged me to take part in the experience; so I did. I pulled myself into the present, where music blasted from someone’s phone and students were dancing along Palolo Avenue.

Little by little, the mood was lightened. We were greeted with huge waving flags and shouts of encouragement by members of the LIFE Team–signaling, we had made it. Following our arrival to the park, we grabbed a few snacks and settled in on the grass. Just as the good mood was dying down and the sun was getting hotter, we decided to move beneath a shaded area.

That’s where we really relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. We played card games and even threw water balloons at each other to keep cool.

After the card game, we split up to try out the different field games set up throughout the park. Every year, the LIFE Team organizes events, like volleyball, tug-of-war, dodgeball and yoga.

The atmosphere on the field was friendly and not just divided up by divisions; everyone mingled with people of all grades. I was even pulled into a group of juniors dancing to some of our favorite music. With almost every game played and some good laughs, we all returned to the tree to take pictures, documenting this momentous occasion.

The walk back was livelier than the walk to the park, as the people in front of us pulled out their speakers and played songs that brought back great memories of the early 2000s. I weaved in between friends, chatting with them along the way; even giving each other piggyback rides, racing to see who could walk the farthest.

By the time we set foot on campus, we were running to our air-conditioned homerooms. That’s where we ate our lunches, relishing in the cool air, and already reminiscing about how this year’s LIFE Walk was one we will always remember.