Wednesday, December 11, 2013

     My early Christmas present to all of you following my journey is in the form of a story and hopefully inspiration. Many of you know that when I started my walk that day in June in San Francisco, that I didn't last long. On my second day I had walked 17 miles and made it across the golden gate bridge to Sausalito, CA when I stepped off a curb and sprained my ankle. When I first arrived in San Fran at the downtown bus station, it didn't take me long to notice that there were a lot of homeless people. I basically fit in at that point. I had a beard, a backpack and looked lost! Oh and I didn't have a place to sleep. I really didn't think much about the homeless at that point. I knew that I would encounter these people without homes on my walk, but it was just a shock as to the number I came across on that first day. The end of that first day I had made it to the Atlantic side of town and planned on camping on the beach. It was just turning dark and I was up on the boardwalk when a man came up from the beach wall and approached me. He spoke broken English and asked me where I was going to sleep. I told him on the beach and he told me to be careful. I stood there in awe of the ocean really not paying much attention to him. It had been misting all day and the view was amazing even if it was overcast. This guy didn't even look at the ocean. He kept looking at me and my bag. So I asked him if he had eaten and he replied no, so I broke open my bag and gave him some bread and tuna. I also gave him an extra poncho that I had brought along. This guy basically had nothing! No food, water, jacket, shelter or money! I didn't know his whole story, I didn't really want to or need to. I felt bad for him, but still not enough to give him more. We parted ways and I walked the beach looking for a spot out of sight up against the sea wall to pitch my tent. That night was rough! It rained all night and I didn't sleep but maybe a couple hours total and it wasn't all together. It was still raining that 2nd day when i started taking my tent apart and getting my bag ready. I had a mission! I was going to make it to the far edge of Sausalito and find a place to camp. It rained the whole way. It was just a shitty day! I made it to Sausalito and "it" happened. So as I sat there in agony as my foot swelled up like a football on the side of the road I thought for sure that someone would stop to see if I was ok. I'm pretty sure people saw me fall, and I know for a fact people saw me sticking up my finger trying to get them to stop and help me. Not one did! The only reason I can come up with, is that they thought I was homeless. That in their eyes, I was less and didn't deserve to be helped. I know how I felt, and it was probably one of the low points of my life. I cried like I never had before, my heart hurt. I can only imagine how the thousands of homeless felt in that city. Sleeping on the streets, and trying to get warmth anywhere they can find. Hoping that maybe someone will stop and help. They soon become hopeless because most people pay them no mind. So I want to ask everyone of you, are you helping and giving what you can? In this holiday season do you and your kids really need more junk that brings no value to your life? Instead of giving to those that already have everything they need, give to those that don't. I'm not talking about buying someone's coffee or paying their dinner bill either. While any giving is good, this Christmas I imagine most of you are spending hundreds of dollars if not thousands on things that your kids or you could have any day of the year. Take every amount you were going to spend and give it away to someone who can truly use it. A family who needs clothing or food. A homeless man or women who need shelter, clothing or food. When you do, it will have a tremendous effect not only on those you give to, but also on you! It will have a long lasting ripple effect! One that can't happen without people giving! Don't worry about all their details, just give! I promise if you do so it will be the best Christmas you ever had!
Love, Mark


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chip

    My mind has never been busier than in the last 6 months or so. I have replayed the past and tried to remember things that should have been long forgotten. In the last week I have felt the need to put those memories to paper in the form of poems. Keep in mind, I have never wrote a poem. Even when i was required to in school years ago, it always seemed to escape me. I have never felt the need to or want to. Just wasn't something I thought I would ever do. So it was very funny to me when that thought entered my mind, and even funnier after I wrote the first one. Funny that I actually did it, not the poem itself. It, is not funny. It is real. I also must say that my childhood wasn't all bad, it just seems that all i remember lately is.



Thursday, October 3, 2013

     As many of you know, I had to postpone my walk because of early foot issues. My original plan as listed below was a complete failure! I will keep it there as a reminder that plans are just plans. Going through all of the emotions that people go through when setting out on an adventure such as mine, coupled with the facts of my personal life had me on an emotional roller coaster. Then to have that temporary high of setting out on my own to be followed quickly by the lowest of lows in failure. The mind, such a powerful thing!

     Now, I make new plans! As of right now, those are to leave from the east coast in March and hike west on the American Discovery Trail. This route will give me more miles in the end but will get me off the road some and on trails. As far as the purpose, it remains the same! To learn, live, and love!

     My relationship with my wife has grown and is better then it was 6 months ago. That time has been filled with very emotional days and weeks. I am so happy to say that we are still husband and wife! We still have a long way to go, but what couple doesn't? She supports me no matter what! She knows that this adventure has nothing to do with our relationship and everything to do with my relationship with mankind and myself. I can't imagine any person in this world that  would go through what we have been through and to still be there supporting me unconditionally. The fact is, is that i have lost family and friends through this and she is still there! She is truly one of a kind!

     Thank you, to all of you who show your support! I appreciate it more than I could ever tell you!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

World Suicide Prevention Day

     Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Please, if you know someone that is down and depressed or otherwise going through rough times, please take the time to reach out to them. A few minutes of showing that you care may be all that it takes. If there is anybody that's sees this and you need someone to talk to, you can message me any time of the day or you can call 1-800-273-TALK for a trained counselor. There are people who care! I care!

Love, Mark


Monday, August 26, 2013

     Good morning friends! It's been awhile, so I figured it's about time for an update. I have been home for a month now and really haven't done much of anything. I have not been on one significant walk or run, or even worked out. Let me tell you, it sucks! I feel lethargic and depressed. Time to get my butt in gear! The orthotic is working well, and is taking the pressure off my small toes like planned, but like I said I haven't really tested it on runs or long walks so I plan to do that this week. So the plan now is to start getting ready for a mid to late March departure from the east coast and head west.
 
     I also want to help a few others out who are making their own trips across America this summer. It would be awesome for all of you to follow these guys, each on their own journey. the first is Ben Lee, a young man from Australia who is walking for OxFam. He started in San Fran, and is headed east and is about to cross into Nebraska. A truly awesome young man! You can follow him at https://www.facebook.com/10MillionSteps .
   
     The next gentleman is Joe Bell. Joe is walking in memory of his son Jadin who committed suicide because of being bullied because he was gay. Joe is a man on a mission, please follow him at https://www.facebook.com/JoesWalkForChange and http://joeswalkforchange.org/.
 
     The next is Josh Seehorn who is hiking and running the America Discovery Trail From west to east and is currently in Colorado and headed into Nebraska soon. Josh is hiking to promote Envirothon and the outdoors. You can follow him at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Josh-Seehorn/253473538111392 and http://outdoorjosh.com/.
 
      Last but not least is James. I don't know a whole lot about James other than he is walking west and is in Missouri now. You can follow him at https://www.facebook.com/JamesWalksAcrossAmerica .

Thank you all for following me and showing your support!

Love, Mark

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

There is no doubt that this last year has been the darkest for me.  I have learned this little lesson of late, that there's really only one person you can count on. I have decided that im not going to let people in anymore, it hurts to much when you need them and they're not there.
On another note, I have decided that I will wait until spring to start my journey again. I am going to pour all my energy into being a positive person and helping people in need; I truly think that is where I excel. I am going to keep hiking and walking for myself and others. It won't be everyday or across the country at this point, but I will keep walking. Again, I thank all of you for the support you have given and hope you continue to follow me on my journey and help spread the word by sharing and liking my page.  I will continue to post inspirational and thought provoking items on my page and updates about my walks. If you take anything away from page, I hope that it is the gift of giving!  When you give, give freely! Don't expect anything in return, other than the pure joy it brings to whoever you are giving to!

Love, Mark

Thursday, August 8, 2013

So I go back to the doctor Tuesday to have a technician fit and make me an orthotic for my right foot. I want to thank Dr. Kaylor for the help with the foot and wish him a happy retirement. We will see how the foot feels with the insert and go from there. I am worried now that getting such a late start in the year is going to be very unpleasant when I get further west through the Rockies and Nevada. Going to go over the map again today and see if I can make it through Nevada by the end of October. If not, I will just give it another go in the spring as I don't really want to spend winter nights in the mountains or deal with the snow.