There are days when I speak to hundreds, sometimes I am asked to share with school children or visit with a nursing home. This morning I began at four o'clock in order to beat the heat of the day. Yesterday we began after eight when the sun was already high. We walked the length of the city of Winona, then to the edge of Goodview. It was only about seven miles, because of the sun and heat we had to stop for shade often for temporary relief. Nice (the dog) is constantly scouting for shade and puddles or streams, he has his way most of the time. I share the shade, not the rain puddles. This morning just after the sun rose over the Wisconsin shore across the wide Mississippi River we had traveled more miles than the day before. It was hot and muggy' but with the morning mists and light cloud cover we made our daily walk with little need for water. Gallons yesterday, one bottle today. We stopped just a few times and never were we baked by the sun.
It was twelve miles to Minneiska (min-e-s-ca) and I almost felt guilty for not pressing on another dozen to the next town. (I'd pay dearly in pain if I had). All morning only one person stopped to talk, though many honked or waved as they passed. When I told him my quest message for diabetes prevention and control he shared with me he had been diagnosed one year ago with diabetes, had lost eighty pounds and was now healthy and free of diabetes. He said, in a way it was the best thing that had ever happened, it was a wake up call to change. This man looked great, was living the dream. He was fit and had his bike he rode "all the time" in the back seat of his convertible, was no longer miserable. My one stop, my inspiration.
In town I rolled toward Buck's where the morning locals stop for coffee. There I hoped to get a ride back to the Quik-Trip and my van but a woman next door came out and before I knew it I was inside for coffee and a shower. We later had breakfast at Buck's, but the morning folk had left and as the woman's car was being serviced I was without a ride until I remembered the one man who gave me his number yesterday. When I called him he and his friend where there in minutes. When I returned with the van I was able to get a power cord to the van and get a nap with a fan blowing the sweat away. The night before I was wet from the heat and humidity all night and the mosquitoes were my alarm clock even coated with bug repellent. After my nap I spent some time getting to know some of the people at the grill before now settling in for the evening. A cloudy and sometimes raining day has made for a cool van, fan included.
While I sat and talked I received my first and only message via email on my "smart" phone. It was a message from a woman. She had seen a picture of the World on her friends' profile, looked up my story and sent me a message. Her mother had been type1 diabetic since ten and outlived her doctors guesses and fights the disease still, after amputations and transplants. One kidney was from the daughter who sent me the message. She was writing to than me but what I am doing is nothing compared to what she, and other who give one of their kidneys for a life of another. She said I spurred her to action, yet she and her mother are my inspiration.
At the end of the day it may be some researcher,or group of dedicated doctors will re animate failed organs and help cure type 1 diabetics as well as those with adult onset diabetes. If you do some research you may find, and give to the one that can make this happen. Your steps may be the one. The one that changes our world.
Love yourself. Take a step.