A Step At A Time….

It is 6:00 a.m. and my internal clock says it is time. Like every day for the past 143 days I rise up with no hesitation. There are no thoughts or consideration of that matter. One cannot open the door of doubt because if you do it will never be shut again. The clock is running. My day has begun. It is normally a short breakfast of either oatmeal and toast or french toast with maple syrup, after all it is New York. I am driven out to my start point which is my end point from the day before. A few words are exchanged with my host, a handshake a hug and then goodbye. What I will miss the most is the visiting with my friends who have so graciously taken me in. We have a few hours at night to share stories and such about our lives over dinner and then the next morning I am gone, most likely to never see them again and yet their part in this run is of such importance that I am humbled by their hospitality. The first flag of the day and the first mile come slowly as my body is a bit slow to warm up. As the sun rises and my attention is drawn to my surroundings the miles pass quickly. Normally by mile 5 I have found my first coins of the day which I will send home to add to the jelly jar that is filled with $16.73 of money from America. It has actually taken me 3775 miles to find my first dollar bill. At gas stations I will stop for a Starbucks Mocha Frappaccino of which I have now consumed over 133 bottles. Yes, that along with the 35 gallons of chocolate milk has me thinking I may have an excess addiction. Another mile, another flag, a farm, glass on the road, cows, a hill, another one, another one, trains, a river. I have noticed that the locusts are now gone and that the crickets are silent too. I think of Cooperstown, NY. They race giant pumpkins on a lake. Actually paddle them in the water and I thought Nebraska had the blue ribbon for floating in horse tanks till I saw that. I think of my friend Dick who gave me 4 sheets of paper last night over dinner. It was photos and signatures of 14 German Officers put on trial after WWII in Nurenberg for War Crimes. Dick was a Sergeant of Guard for the prisoners and had acquired all the signatures. A piece of history, however cloudy it was. I think of an older gentleman who hugged me this morning and said goodbye with tears in his eyes. He said he had lay awake most of the night thinking about what I was doing and wished he could do the same thing. He told me I had squeezed a lifetime into one summer. I think of my friend Bob who ran with me a few days ago. He is 64 and never had run more than 13 miles and yet he did 30 that day. Kudos Bob, your company and conversation were great. I pass through the Mohawk River Valley and realize that there is more to New York than just the city, come and see. Another step, another telephone pole, another mile. Shoes are done. Cut the laces and tie one on my handlebars….17 pairs so far. There is my host. A smiling face welcomes me. The day is done…….

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6 Responses to “A Step At A Time….”

  1. kath Says:

    One Flag. One Mile. One Life.

    My assumpution is…

    When your book is published – your journey – your experience – your trails & suffering – I am confident it will be extraordinary! Extra ordinary to say the least.

    Thank you Mike – you have and are making a difference in this world!

  2. TB KATE Says:

    Mike…
    Feeling your life light all the way back here in Idaho… You are an amazing, inspiring nut!
    Cheers!
    Kate

  3. Linda Wright Says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey. I can’t wait to see it in print. I can’t wait for you to come to Fort Collins, CO again so we can see you. You are amazing and I am blessed to know you my friend. Every mile I run in my daily routine I think of you. The flags are still here and there from your journey through. Rainbows and angels all around you and all you touch.

    Thank you Mike for making a difference in so many lifes including mine.

    LINDA

  4. Adele Bachman Says:

    MIke, You are winding down your run. It has been a great pleasure watching your progress across the nation. It is a great honor to know you. I am so glad that you will have a contingent of Crested BUtte people to be with you on your final lap. I don’t know the projected final date, but I will probably miss it on the computer since I am joining Genevieve in New Zealand for a while.

    Having grown up in a very small town in Colorado, I know the kind of people you have met across the nation. They are quiet, unassuming, loyal to this country and honest folk.

    See you in CB sometime next year.

  5. Howard Longway Says:

    Once again America has another unsung hero.Just saw the news about what you are doing and I’m amazed and honored to know that a true hero is running through my state,VT. God Bless you and may he always keep you in his arms.

  6. Todd Holmes Says:

    Well done, Mike! I often wonder about all the host families you’ve been meeting along the way. Must be like making new friends every day. It must be very interesting hearing each of their own stories. What an adventure!

    Wishing you the best over the next few weeks. Then………. LOBSTER!!!

    Todd

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