Walking to RDU – Well, Almost

The previous night I stuffed my backpack with items I plan to lug across the country between January and June 2018. And though the contents added up to nearly 30 pounds, they mostly resembled what I’d haul on a two night, no-frills camping trip. The basic essentials including a day’s worth of high-calorie snacks and 6 total liters of water. Turns out one liter of water weighs 2.2 lbs—which means nearly half my pack’s total weight is water. Hopefully, once I get on the road, I never go too long without this much water on my person. I can already…

Leave Home to Get Home

I wrap up my brief, impromptu México City visit with a blog written in the same format as part 1. Once again, I leave feeling super humbled by all the city offers. This time around, not only did I write months of new material in a week, I also sought out moments of purposeful vulnerability. Now it’s time to leave, but I’m not ready to go. I never am. ****************************************************** I never know which direction I’ll go until the time comes to decide. If I’ve listened to my gut I always find signs, like an Oración al Coyote, reminding me…

Ain’t No Drag

I stood beneath the tattered awning of a llantería and waited for the rain to let up. But it just came down harder. Streets turned into ankle-deep rivers as thunder rocked buildings. I didn’t have an umbrella, but I was wearing a parka. And though my torso was dry, five minutes in the rain had soaked my pants straight through. I pulled out my phone and started to send a text. Canceling. But I backspaced my words, knowing I’d regret chickening out. So I locked down my hood and stepped back into the downpour, taking a beeline to the Metro…

Book Review: Dirty Inspirations

Review of Dirty Inspirations by Terri Schneider At face-value, Terri Schneider’s Dirty Inspirations (Heatherleigh, 2016) is a memoir of her ground-breaking exploits as a world-class endurance athlete. Readers follow Terri around the globe as she muscles through a lengthy resume of outlandish events. Each of which, for most people, would represent a one-and-done, bucket list sort of adventure. The kind of thing you’d talk about forever after, and mostly because you remain eternally shocked that you survived the gory ordeal in the first place. But Terri is cut from a different cloth. And a closer read of Dirty Inspirations’ thrilling stories…

Carrboro to Hillsborough

Love, Not Hate When I was a kid, I was pissed off. Red-faced most of the time. Anger was my default emotion and served as the stand-in for most other feelings. Frustration, sadness, embarrassment, intimidation, even happiness or appreciation were all expressed through anger in some weird way or another. Safe to say that years of therapy have helped me manage this tendency. Which doesn’t mean I’m ‘fixed’. No way. But I am able to healthily recognize when less-experienced emotions get the shove from the more comfortable feeling of anger or rage. But I’d be lying if I said anger…

Carrboro to Pittsboro

After barely one mile, my left knee started to buckle. Blame it on a tight IT band, the 6 hours of yard work I did the day before, or last September’s shoddy surgery meant to get me running again (it didn’t). Whatever the case, all I could think about was failure. I freaked out, a hitch in each step. I wasn’t as concerned about turning around and limping home as I was about the big picture. What if my knee says no? Merely glancing at this prospect devastates me. I stopped on a wide and shady shoulder to reassess. In my…

Carrboro to Saxapahaw

Today I knocked out a nearly 20-mile walk, following a standard local bike route from my house in Carrboro to the Saxapahaw General Store. I figured it would take a bit more than 5 hours, so to beat the heat I left at 6:45am. Scores of cyclists seemed to have adjusted their Sunday rides for similar reasons. But maybe so many out on a Sunday morning is normal? Last week I learned what not to wear on a long walk in North Carolina humidity. So today I confidently rocked a pair of running shorts, a snap-up cowboy shirt, and a…