Walking across the country was surely an undertaking that would undoubetly bring many unforseen and unpredictable scenarios. This was one truth I knew would be right on point. Everything else was, and is, “up in the air”. I’ve endured blisters that would make the toughest of cookies hurl onto their computer at it’s very site. I’ve felt pain that I sincerely thought was a hairline fracture running across the top of my foot. I’ve been dehydrated and delerious in the scolding heat as miles of ground were still needing covered before fresh water. Limping into stopping points as my hamstring was wound so tight I could barely extend my leg. I won’t even start with my ankles. Physically, walking has been one of the hardest feets I’ve sought to accomplish thus far in my life.
I’d like to say that I’m in pretty decent shape. I’ve spent years building what I thought was a relatively capable body to carry out some pretty demanding of tasks. The past two weeks had me questioning all of it. If purely walking was breaking me down, where did I go wrong? What should I have done to prepare? All these questions were running through my head this past weekend and I envisioned having to hop on a bike in order to make this happen. A bit disappointed, but one way or another this mission to get across the country must go on.
Last Sunday, I spent the majority of the day letting my feet rest and stretching periodically. I was deep in thought as to why I was enduring so much pain… One thought kept surfacing to the forefront of my mind and ignoring it wasn’t an option. I was pushing myself too hard. I wasn’t listening to the natural rhythm of my body as I pushed the miles and shortened rest periods before I was ready to move forward. This had Everything to do with walking with a partner. TOdd Bandiagara is an ex-marine infantry grunt who spent years physically pushing his body to the limits on forced ruck marches. He is a yoga stud who has conditioned his muscles to be pre-habbed and avoid any injuries that may try to sneek in and dominate him. His pace was forocious. And while I can accept “defeat in competition”, I am very competitive at heart… being the weak link wasn’t an option.
That evening, TOdd returned from a full day of true Hobo’n it at a local restaurant and we came to an open conversation about our Trek. It was painfully obvious to us both that we should continue separately. While the two weeks we spent together was packed with many months of memories and good times, we both knew that to physically accomplish this journey it must be pursued independently. And so we parted ways the following morning from Georgetown, SC. The rains were torrential. Our first day of rain in two weeks and the lightning was crashing all around. TOdd was returning to his bat cave to re-evaluate his plan of action and I continued south towards Charleston. The Walk is on pause for TOdd and continues for me. I spent the next two days walking through some of the most powerful storms I’ve experienced to date. My injuries? They vanished.
By the end of the first day walking alone I realized that all my ailments were nil. I could hardly believe it. The following day I walked the most miles to date… My feet are back in action!
To pace. To embrace our own perspectives. To listen to our natural rhythm. To bring our own unique vision on this game of life. We all have much to give and much to embrace. I think this scenario of pushing our bodies to conform to what is expected happens to us all. We are constantly pushed to do things deep inside we know we shoudn’t. Yet we give way and allow for the flow of the masses guide our way. And it’s only in these breaking points of realization that we adapt and stride forward with what was so painfully obvious early on. It’s so important to be open and aware to the signs of life leading the way and to not fight that current. When that moment of something different seems oh so right… it probably is. Embrace it. Always remember that in life, change is the only constant. Be alive, be aware, and listen to all the voices of reason speaking to you from within.
Live, Love, and Thrive with Purpose…
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As long as I can eat, I’ll make the Trek across the country. Feel free to buy me breakfast or even a years worth of Ramon Noodles!