I thought I'd make it further than the Police station in Robertsdale but with the breeze in my face, the many relaxed conversations during the day, the interviews with the Mobile Alabama News stations, the little talk I had with the class of elementary children as their class was searching for bugs and birds in the schoolyard and the lunch break at the yard sale the offer to stop for the night at the police Department grounds and a ride to get the van was just the ticket. The Robertsdale Alabama police patch was also a welcome addition to the collection. Some days it's not the miles walked as it is the quality of the steps.
During these Years of rolling the Worlds over hills and dales, through ditches and over bridges I have progressed from a man who charges into the fray and forcing my mind and body to power through obstacles to a much more relaxed approach where I will accept a ride past dangerous narrows, bridges or tornado filled wall clouds. Still the constant pounding on my joints is taking a toll. Today I began making myself step more softly, not pounding my boots into the pavement when I transition from thick grass to the edge of the roadway. I notice, now at the end of the day, my feet don't hurt as much, my knees and hips aren't as fatigued, my back is not as stiff. All that from a simple change, walking softly. Not slowly, just softly. Who knew?
Years ago, when I first began this odyssey of rolling the World for diabetes I walked without the World on a string. Only after walking hundreds of miles I found myself going down the side of a long valley road with a cross wind, a rocky trench on one side and a guardrail on the other. Fatigued and desperate for relieve I had to stop. I took out a spare leash I had for the dog and attached it to the laces so I could hold the World at bay while I rested on the hill against the railings. When I continued on I left the leash on the ball and soon realized how much safer it was, how much control it allowed, how stupid I'd been thinking I could walk along the highways being blown to and fro by the elements and passing semi trucks. That I didn't have to jump down revines to retrieve the World after avoiding some dangerous incident. I had a new leash on life. Some five hundred miles later I picked up a broken broom handle as I was plodding up a long hill, tied the leash to the short piece of wood and realized I could steer much better while walking behind the World. All that time "I coulda' had a V-8!" When that broom handle broke I took and old vine-twisted willow walking stick, added some spin toggles and I had a mast that didn't bind or knot at the most inoportune times. I thought this willow branch would. Last a little while, it survived two mountains, twenty six states and over three thousand miles. I glued it back together when Mount Washington's Wind bent it nearly in half, I bound it with fiberglass reinforced oil line pipe wrap after accidentally stepping on it, shattering it. Finally the bottom six inches fell off so I had to bring out the new stick today. It is also willow, very light and since the pipe wrap worked for the broken staff I reinforced the new one from the start. The slightly bigger stick made a noticeable difference for the better. Not a V-8 moment, but close.
To sum up, I walked softly today with a big stick and it felt good.
I was visited tonight and had a great time. The bag of fruits and veggies is the best kind of food to bring the guy walking for diabetes. You deserve a star for your lunch box my friend!
To those who make excuses why they can't walk... It doesn't get easier later. Was that too harsh? How about... Love yourself or walk until you do.
Enough rambling for today, time to settle in for the cool night.