The first pulled up just as I was taking the first steps away from the van. I had a hard time starting and almost dreaded walking. Reminding myself that I may reach some old grump that may begin to walk every day and that couldn't happen if I gave in to excuses. This first gentleman told me he had heard I was stopped there and had come to thank me, he was insulin dependent since he was child, had taken good care of his body but as his family members who also had suffered from the disease had passed at the same age in their mid forties he had recently redoubled his efforts to watch his diet and pushed himself to hard exercise even after his twelve hour work shifts. He said his doctor, at his last checkup told him he was the healthiest patient he had. His story energized me and brightened the already cloudless morning.
The next morning after I began walking the first person to stop and talk was also a man dependent on insulin since he was young, also a father, also went to the gym to keep active. Like the day before, meeting someone who for one was more fit than I have ever been, I was humbled by the thanks he gave me when it was obvious he had been more dedicated to a healthy lifestyle than I during my life. I have said it before that some of the healthiest looking people I meet are diabetics who care for themselves, in turn, for their loved ones.
The third, more a story like mine, a man who was overweight, had decided he would change his diet and get back to walking and exercise rather than slip into diabetes and dependence to medications. He had lost and incredible amount of weight and enthusiastic about getting back to the man he was when he was when he served in the military. Again I was inspired. If I could eventually loose the weight he already has I would be the size I had been when I left high school.
I have many friends and relatives who gave up and are no longer here. They didn't give up really, they didn't see signs, listen to their loved ones trying to help. Because of these relatives, friends and a few god folks I meet on the road who spur me on positively, I will walk... One day at a time.