Monday, February 7, 2011

I was already wet...

When I said I was going to rest for the day, I could have lain around in the van and slept. But when the rains ebbed and the roadway dried, I couldn't fight the urge to go on. I put my gear on, made sure Nice (the dog) ate his morning meal, filled the world with air, then made the final decision to go or stay by the highly scientific manner of flipping a coin.

I lost.

Before I was able to walk fifty yards, I was reminded that I am doing a good job of bringing awareness to diabetes when a woman came out of the business where she worked and told me so. As the mist we walked into grew heavier, many people stopped on the side of the highway to encourage us while others stopped to get a picture and ask, "Why?" One couple stopped, and the woman informed me that her partner had just been diagnosed with diabetes. When he asked what he could do for me I sad he could get out and walk to help his diabetes. He offered me a donation instead. At least he walked to me from his car.

The heavy mist turned to rain as the wind blew in our faces and, like the waves on the beach, the wind came in sets of three with the last being the strongest. I was soon soaked, and the gusts forced me to use the slope of ditch to help me keep forward motion with the waterlogged canvas ball blowing backward in the heavy gusts. The rain was so heavy at times I had trouble rolling for the water pouring down it. My hand would hydroplane or slide without any traction. The gusts and rain came stronger, colder, and more relentless. The dye from my hat dripped from the brim as I held my head down against the stinging rain. Nice walked behind the world to get shelter as we walked. The wind nearly bent me over backwards many times. I laughed at the wind and called out to it, asking if that was all it had.

It had more.

There were a few brave souls who stopped during the windy downpour. One to get a picture. It was raining so hard she kept wiping the water off the screen to make sure her pictures came out well. A couple stopped with a bagged lunch and a large meat covered steak bone for Nice. I stood there and ate the sandwich as Nice tore the meat off the bone in the hard rain as the world whipped to and fro held by the rope and mast I have attached to it. The dye from my hat didn't change the flavor of the sandwich or the banana at all. Loosing my body heat I crammed the extra water and the can of cola in my leg pockets and pressed on. The couple said their house was not far and he would wait for me. I never saw a house or "not far" has a different meaning at sixty five miles per hour. A woman stopped with a pickup truck to offer a ride. The truck was filled with tools and a compressor. I was already soaked, I could never have held the world in the blowing wind and the thing weighs so much I'd have never been able to roll it atop the tools or the high bed of the four-wheel drive truck with the added height of the lift kit. She told me she had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I thanked her for the offer but I was already wet and asked her to take good care of herself. She assured me she would. Nice loves blondes in pickup trucks so he was not too happy when I sent on her way.

Ten minutes later we made out way to a shopping center with a large overhang and shelter from the rain. We had walked six miles in the harsh weather and made great time doing it. Sometimes when the world is soaking wet it is easier to force against the wind. A man had given me his phone number the day before to call and get a ride for the van. I only had to wait a couple hours for him to get off work. I was grateful for it.

The day of rest was a struggle, but I did reach a few people. So, I call it a success... even if I did feel like Lieutenant Dan strapped to the mast in a movie I saw long ago.

Get fit, stay healthy, go for a walk. Even if it's raining a bit.

1 comment:

Alison said...

My husband was one of the Marines that you met yesterday while taking shelter from the pouring rain! He called & told me about you & what a great person you are.. then I googled you & read up on your walk/walks that you've done & are doing.
My mother has been a diabetic since she was 28 and she is now 56 doing insulin shots many times a day- and I worry about her so much! I wish she would really take better care of herself.. anyways- I just wanted to let you know what a great person you are & I am so very thankful for every step you're taking on your journey! God Bless You! ♥