Advice time, please.

Okay, friendly friends of mine, I need your help and/or advice.  I ask because I don’t always have the best judgment; I mean really, who does?  So at times I need a good sounding board.  Enter YOU.

I am currently feeling a huge urge to walk.  I don’t want to walk around the block or through the woods on a trail.  I’m thinking from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to say Aberdeen, Washington – 3030 miles as the crow flies, or as the lesbian walks.

And I’m thinking of doing it for Cystic Fibrosis, to raise awareness of this little known disease.  Do you guys know what it is exactly?  Well, my little 6-year old grandson has it and before that, I could spell it but really didn’t know what it was or what it did to your body.  If he doesn’t exercise and remain active, it solidifies his lungs, like cement would basically.  So he takes a breathing treatment every night, where he has to blow hard enough to make his chest rattle.  And he has to swallow two huge pills before anything he eats and even if he just ate an hour ago, he has to take two more pills.  He also takes about 5 or 6 pills every morning, plus a measured amount of a powder in a PediaSure drink.  And for whatever reason, he also must eat at least 3,000 calories a day, just to maintain his super skinny figure.  That is what I know, what I lived through with him for those two weeks – what he lives with every day of his life.

So what do you guys think?  I need feedback, ideas, concerns.  Of course my girlfriend thinks I’m crazy and refuses to come with me.  Doesn’t want to contemplate where her next meal might come from or if we might have to sleep on the ground.  I am taking no money with me, just a tent, a change of clothing and shoes.  I am going to depend on the kindness of strangers and/or the validity of the barter system.  Hey, if I did some kind of chore for you, you’d feed me dinner, wouldn’t you?

Of course I called the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation yesterday and they’re excited with me, and a nice lady is going to meet with me the first week in August to brainstorm ideas on how to keep me safe during my trip, etc. 

Does anybody out there know how I might get sponsors, how to go about such things, etc.?  I’m not a limelight kind of gal so this will be a challenge for me.  Also I’m not exactly in great health.  Diabetes is a constant thing, as is my blood pressure, although I feel I have both adequately controlled at the moment. 

My daughter thinks I’ll get killed by bears.  My girlfriend thinks I’ll die of a heart attack on the side of the road.  I think I’ll just cry myself to sleep each night with blisters and/or sunburn, but I do think I’ll make it, probably take me a year and a half, maybe longer, but I think I’ll make it.

Suggestions?  Ideas?  Concerns?  Thoughts?  Don’t leave me hanging here, I need you guys.

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18 thoughts on “Advice time, please.

  1. First of all I think you’re wondeful, kind and adventurous and your family/friends are lucky to have you around.
    The first thing that came to mind was and is your health. We’ve had discussions about this in the past. I wonder if such a long walk is sensible? Can you not make up the miles rather than doing the distance? Walk maybe 20k a day for example but stay closer to home? With time it will become the distance. Does this make any sense and is it possible?
    As for sponsors – if you decide to go ahead email me a link and I’ll make a donation.

    • I get what you’re saying about the distance but I think you’ve missed my biggest accomplishment, seeing America, and on foot! I mean, you know? Shit, I’m crazy, aren’t I? UGH. But don’t you see, if it were easy, everyone might do it. 😛 I’m thinking, Time off from work, doing something I love (road trip! yes!) and plus seeing things I’ve never seen! And all for a great cause! Easy? NO. Challenges? Yes. Worthwhile, yes, even if I do die along the way, I won’t be sitting in this room. I’d rather die trying than live doing nothing. Christ, that might make me crazy. Yes, I worry about that one, I mean do crazy people ever know? Shoot, I don’t want crazy sneaking up on me – I want to embrace it full on! HA!

  2. What a great thing to consider doing for a worthy cause. There are few people that have walked or biked across the US for military related causes. Troy Yocum walked over 7,000 miles. I would reach out to a few that have had this experience and ask them for advise. They have first hand knowledge on things to be careful of. Good luck and keep your health in mind when you make your final decision.

    • Thanks for the advice! And I’ll look him up. I recently watched a video by a man named Tyler Coulson who walked from Delaware to California, with a puppy – took him eight months. Drawing inspiration from Terry Fox, who walked across Canada with one leg AND cancer – I’m in better shape than that!

  3. If your health is a concern…what about raising funds and awareness another way? There are many other options to choose other than a walk. Consider that…you do not want to put your own health in peril while advocating for someone else’s health. The idea is health for everyone, including you. So…get creative. Have a toy drive, or an auction, or donation drive of some sort. A huge bake sale! Anything that will keep your health sound so you can show your grandson it is possible.

    Having said that…you are an awesome grandma with a huge heart. Well done! Blessings to you!

  4. You are amazing and so inspirational! That said you do need to consider your own health while helping that of others.
    In the past I have raised money for charity by doing head shaves, sponsored silences and a darkness into light walk (starting in the small hours of the morning and finishing at sunrise). It doesn’t always have to be massive to be life changing. Could you maybe get your community involved in a locally held event? Or perhaps you could do a series of fundraisers/challenges including a shortened walk. Think about it and if I can help at all please don’t hesitate to ask.

    • That’s amazing! Like the concepts. I dyed my hair pink for Breast Cancer month two years in a row, and also in support have buzz shaved my head more than a few times; I stopped when I noticed people being extra nice to me in stores (thinking I had cancer). I just want to do more than sit here. Life isn’t getting shorter! WHEN will I get to do this, if I don’t go now? Timing will never be good – let’s face it, it never is for anything hard.

      • You’re right, the hardest things to do are the ones we put off but they’re often the most worthwhile too. Nobody will ever expect you to do something outside of your capabilities so you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself either. Any effort you make will not go unnoticed. Even the smallest lions can roar and even the smallest of actions can become something truly special 🙂 I understand your desire to aim high but keep your own well being in mind too please. Aside from that, I wish you every success in whatever you decide to do! I’m sure you’ll be wonderful as ever.

      • Well, to be honest, no one expects me to do anything other than what I do and that’s take care of someone else. THIS would be something FOR ME. Entirely for me. The rest of the world would have to fend for themselves for a bit. In fact, that may be my greatest motivation. I am currently reading a book by Joan Anderson, A Weekend To Change Your Life and in it she talks about doing everything for everyone else all of her life – that’s me. I can so relate. If I can make this walk happen, it would be for me, and for a worthwhile cause at the same time. But I do need to ponder this a bit longer. I hate being outside in the sun for long periods and that may be the killer of the idea. And traveling at night, well, that would defeat the purpose of seeing America.

      • I get that, I really do. I hope you do get to do something that fulfills your desire. Think about it, do a pros and cons list, do whatever you need to do to make the best decision for you.

      • Oooh a list. That’s a good idea. I do love a good list. Wait, I think the pro list will be incredibly short. 1) Off work for at least a year. 2) …. yeah, that’s all I have really. Hmmm, filling my desire. There’s a longer list.

  5. Believe it or not, there have been others before you. A few were over 50. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_walked_across_the_United_States. Here’s the story of one, “Peace Pilgrim (born Mildred Lisette Norman) was an American pacifist, vegetarian, and peace activist. Starting on January 1, 1953, she walked across the United States for 28 years until her death in 1981. She had no organizational backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter. ”

    Good luck. 🙂

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