Well I did it! I’ll try my best to tell a good story of the walk, there are lots of things to share. Fortunately I like to take pictures and they are supposed to be worth a 1,000 words so that means less reading and more looking which is always better!
The reason I have decided to do these various walks is to simply start conversations and raise awareness for some things going on in our world. I am also exploring what it means to Love my neighbor as myself and try to put that into real everyday practice. In my opinion if we all Love one another just a little bit more we can change the world.
So here is my story, my two feet one in front of the other from Conroe to College Station.
My dad and nephew started the journey with me! My sister wasn’t feeling well but she has been there the entire time supporting me so that’s OK.. I walked 15 miles on Saturday (5k for Free the Captives in Houston, a few at the zoo for family day and about 6 miles that evening to help with the long day that was ahead on Sunday).
I tried to rest on Saturday night but spent my time in prayer and on the phone making final preparations and dealing with emotions. Having no idea what the next few days were going to look like, I allowed myself to become somewhat nervous.
I talk a lot about the people we surround ourselves with, so I knew exactly who to call for encouragement, comfort and prayer! Having insomnia as it is and added emotions I started Sunday’s walk on about 2 hours of sleep, not the most ideal but there was no turning back now.
I had already turned down an offshore trip on the tournament boat chasing blue marlin, plus Erika had publicized that I was going to be departing Sunday morning to the College Station group so the only option was to get started walking!
So here we go! Dad dropped me off on 105 and I headed West. My goal for the day was Plantersville.
My friend Tracey had called me on Saturday and said her husband Johnny would like to walk a few miles with me if that was OK, my answer was absolutely! I enjoyed a beautiful morning walking along the various stretches of Lake Conroe and met up with them in Montgomery.
This doesn’t look like much as far as a nice picture goes but it is important to me and would bring up painful and healing memories over the next few days of my walk. This storage building is the last place that I saw my mother and sister alive, they were killed in 1991 in a car accident leaving the lake. That day obviously changed my life.
Life is better with friends that love and support you! Thank you Johnny and Tracey for being those people in my life 🙂 After exchanging much needed hugs Johnny and I started walking with the intention of getting about 5 miles down before Tracey would pick him up. It worked out that Tracey would be little longer than expected so we walked about 10 miles and shared some of the best conversation and stories that I can ever recall!! She came and picked us up for lunch with the kids and then dropped me off to continue walking.
Sean and Amy happened to be in the area so they stopped to say HI.. hugs are always welcomed.. love y’all!!
This is my favorite picture from that day!
After walking 22 miles (personal best) I made my daily goal of Plantersville, my cousin had ribs on the pit waiting for me! I was able to see my Aunt and Uncle, it had been years. I would spend some summers as a kid on their ranch in Arkansas, those years shaped my life (was just after Mom and Jeni passed away) a very welcomed reunion. We enjoyed the afternoon sharing stories, food and fun. I was looking forward to a much needed shower and good nights rest!
This is day 2 just west of Plantersville, it was a nice cool morning. Not much traffic so I was able to hear the birds singing their beautiful morning songs! Psalm 19 says “The Heavens declare the Glory of God”. I am pretty sure this was one of those moments for me, it seemed as though all of my senses were intensified a 1,000 times.
No Caption Needed!
Being the “Hopeless Romantic” that I am, this Texas Wildflower Bouquet was picked for a special someone 🙂
I came across a barn sale.. of course I stopped! Shared the reason I was walking, spent a little money, and basically filled up my backpack with gifts lol. I thanked them for the ice cold water they gave me and told them I would stop by on the way home in the truck and buy more stuff!
The walk had been an amazing time of reflection and prayer for me up to this point and would only get better. The amount of support and encouragement that my friends have shared is very inspiring, even strangers have showed compassion which for me is very humbling. This brings to mind 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Encourage one another daily”. I believe its healthy when we surround ourselves with people who encourage us. This would prove a fact that same day!
I made it to Navasota just before lunch, Derek and Erika met me there. Derek had taken the afternoon off work and wanted to walk some with me. I had already reached my daily goal, anything else was just a bonus! SO after Erika helped me with some stretching we turned North on Hwy 6 and walked.
We were able to maintain about a 3mph average speed, although I did have to take a couple of breaks. Erika was somewhat concerned for me because of the high miles I had put on my body the past few days, so I was trying to be aware of how I was feeling. I was definitely getting tired but Derek encouraged me and I was thankful for his company! At this point here I had already surpassed my personal best of 22 miles in one day 🙂
Just under 2 miles from my overall trip goal I had to stop. My body was tired and I was hurting. Having pride and an ego, after 28 miles of walking I decided to run the last 1/8 mile… that may not sound like much but for me it was HUGE. In 1995 after breaking my neck and both my legs the Dr told me I would never walk again. Guess who’s smiling now!! This picture is me laying on the side of the road waiting for Kyle to come pick us up.
I overdid it for sure. The pool was still very cold and felt great on my legs (they were on fire). Erika fixed me up with an ice pack for a muscle that I stressed. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing, good stories are sometimes painful!
Day 3 of my walk was only a couple of miles. Erika and I enjoyed some conversation over coffee before we set out to finish the walk. She has been a huge part of this journey with encouragement and especially helping me with the physical preparations needed. I am forever grateful for her love and support, she’s the best YIN-STER ever! (follow the link below to her website, it could change your life… IT DID MINE!!)
In conclusion, this is only the beginning! I would like to thank each and every one of you that have called, text, commented, shared the story, and most of all THANK YOU for your PRAYERS! I cannot nor would not want to imagine my life without you in it. Please continue to pray for us and our journey, after all I am not in this alone 🙂
Stay tuned for upcoming walks and please look at the links below. I am asked all the time why I am walking and the following organizations and their missions are most of the reason. They are actively making our world a better place to live.
Again, Thank You… I LOVE You and You are AWESOME!!!