Heading west on foot soon – Day 6

Things are good to go for the 6th.

Lots of contact with folks that are struggling.

My second set of Brooks shoes arrived today. Thanks for the special delivery FedEx.


Brooks Pure Connect

6 miles today. 88°

12 days until we get out on Highway 341 again.


Let’s get it out of the way now: your going to fail. No one does it right the first time. Failure is how we adapt, learn and toughen up so we can get to the point where we may succeed, at some point. Get over it and go forward. In our world, failure is everywhere, and always has been, but fortunately, it’s also what keeps us going. (anonymous)
Wow, what do you think of that?

Sometimes folks put so much into not failing at one thing, that they fail at other things and don’t let their followers know of that. That’s a lot of pressure. I have had that before. It was my responsibility, noone else. I intend to not let that happen anymore.

I’ve been reading about how the fear of failure keeps the vast majority of folks from pursuing their dreams. I read several pieces about this. No links, so if you want to read more, their is a lot out there.

I’ve been reading about how the fear of failing or quitting something may play a part in teen suicide. Again, no links, so if interested . . . . . well you know

Yet, I look up and see it everywhere. Ultra runners, ball players, scientists, politicians, entertainers, religious leaders, mountain climbers and on and on. Article after article of so called “elite” folks quitting something or failing or whatever you would call it.

But it doesn’t seem to stop certain types from coming back and trying again, at something.

My plans are this –
I plan to Never Ever Give Up on Life!

At this point in my life, this continues to be my favorite quote.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me
Erma Bombeck

We are all capable of doing extraordinary things. It seems like we should try and not fear failure or quitting.

This is an interesting quote.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

I will say this in closing. If anything I have ever done seems extraordinary to you, that’s cool. To that I say this; “If I could do it, most likely you could too”

At this point in my life I will not be fearing failure or quitting. I fear most, sitting to long!

Heading west on foot soon – Day 5

The BOB Jogging Stroller plays an important part in spreading awareness. An American flag flies above it and the sign on the front speaks of the 24/7 Helpline at the Alzheimer’s Association.


this picture is from 2013, with the old signs

Well folks, on June 1, I can exclaim that I have been raising awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association for 4 years.

I got up early this morning and completed my 1/2 mile barefoot walk.

Competition is important for me. I compete with me. I have a lot aspects to my life so I am extremely happy with small success. In fact I consider trying a success, if it’s my best.

Ya know, it seems almost prophetic getting that phone call last night. That was pretty cool.

13 days until we get out on Highway 341 again.

an awesome phone call

“It’s about the caregivers Jack”

A young lady from the North Georgia Mountains told me that a few years back.The insight she had is remarkable.

I will admit that I have struggled with knowing the role that accompanies what I have been doing the last 4 years.

Tonight, my phone rang. It was a man I respect. We chatted, small talk at first. I wish I could divulge his name, but I will not.

During the small talk, he stopped me, when he felt the time was right.

He told me that he had read my blog since the beginning. He said he saw the ups and the downs.

He finally asked me this question; “Jack, where is your heart“?

I immediately said; “it’s about the caregivers

He told me to go help the caregivers. Focus on them, thank them, cry with them, and laugh with them. Focus on each one you are near, and make them glad they were near you. And Jack – “tell them about the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline

Caregivers – this is for you!

Heading west on foot soon – Day 4

Everything is a go for the 6th of June. I think for some time I’d been a little bit worried that we might not get out there again. The plans are in place and they are good solid plans. They make sense, to all involved. I have flew by the seat of my pants many times, but not with this.

I awoke this morning thinking of a caregiver that passed away shortly after the lovely lady she cared for. They had a 10 year relationship, born from alzheimer’s disease. This caregivers attitude was amazing. She was always smiling and always full of Hope! She loved life!

I would like to get back out there and raise awareness. I want to tell folks about the 24/7 Helpline at the Alzheimer’s Association.

I did my 1/2 mile barefoot walk.


sorting some gear I keep in the trunk

Some pictures from today’s 6 mile run.


14 days until we get out on Highway 341 again.

week ending May 22, 2016

Ended up with 27 miles for the week.

I went into the aerobic zone 5 times this week. 30 minutes on each run. Basically 14 to 15 minute miles.

I stopped and smelled a few roses and met some awesome folks.

The new heart rate monitor is a management tool for me.

I am managing my resources.

In 15 days I start heading west again, with the stroller.

Heading west on foot soon – Day 3

It’s been a couple of days since we decided to get back on the road pushing the stroller. Mom and I went over it again last night. Her health and well being is top priority. It’s a go!

This is the most important point I believe I could ever make. It’s what I am supposed to be about.


This sign rides on the front of the stroller

Here are milage counts for this section.
Hazlehurst to McRae – 24 miles
McRae to Eastman – 20 miles
Eastman to Hawkinsville – 19 miles
Hawkinsville to Perry – 21 miles
Perry to Fort Valley – 12 miles
Fort Valley to mom’s – 15 miles


I have to remember every day that what we are doing is not about entertaining the awesome people on Facebook. It’s about getting folks talking about alzheimer’s disease. Awareness must continue to be raised. It’s about speaking with folks along my way, about alzheimer’s and fitness.

It’s about the caregivers!

I say that to get the point across that mine is not an athletic event. I enjoy following the ultra runners that cross the country. Each has their motive, and I certainly respect that. Mine, although I lose sight of it from time to time, has to do with an incurable disease that took the life of my dad and millions of other folks. Right now, in America alone, someone is diagnosed with alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds.

I look back at my post sometimes and can tell I lose sight of my original mission. I’m a work in progress. I will strive to be better.

I covererd 6 miles today.

Here are a few pictures . . . . .



I’m excited about getting back on the road again on June 6th.

15 days until we get out on Highway 341 again.

Heading west on foot soon – Day 2

Wow, what a wild day yesterday. With that decision made, I got up this morning, snapped the BOB Stroller into the “Go” position and took it with me on my 1/2 mile barefoot walk. In fact, it carried my phone and reading glasses.

A couple of cars passed, slowed down and tried to see what the baby looked like. They were disappointed. No baby.

Later in the day I jogged again. Ah, total for the day is 6.78 miles.

16 days until we get out on Highway 341 again. We will do what we can.

Heading west on foot soon – Day 1

It’s been an extremely busy 4 years for me. I was looking for 2016 to be as busy, but in a different sort of way. Another trip across America, but not the same as before. Something deep inside of me wanted this Journey to be a little different.

The 2016 trip was planned in a way that I could spend more of my talking time with rural Americans.

Also, in 2013 when I went from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, I was on foot 2,594 miles and in a car 450.

The 2016 Journey was planned in a way that would allow me to cross America on foot every step of the way. This part is personal.

No time limit on the 2016 Journey.

I was able to start the 2016 trip on January 1st of this year, as planned. I left St. Simon’s Island, Georgia and my destination was set for Monterey, California.

Ah, but “Life” happened.

On January 25th, I headed to mom’s and have been there ever since. She lost her husband and best friend on March 12th.

I help mom, as needed, and I have maintained my fitness level. That is important to mom, my fitness.(she remembers before the ICU visit)

I have been able to continue my mission, albeit in a much smaller way.

I considered the 2016 Journey over.

Mom started talking yesterday about me continuing the Journey, in sections. This evening we had family over and spoke of it, in much detail.

The idea is to drive me back to Hazlehurst, Georgia, drop the BOB Stroller and I off and then I travel on foot to mom’s house.(she lives on the route)

That’s about 114 miles. No rush.Once I get to mom’s, we will convene once more and see how we all feel and then make decisions from there, about the future of the Journey.

Mom, Scott, his wife and their children want to help me do this.

They have offered to fill in the gaps.

Mom will not suffer logistically in any way. I will phone 2 – 3 times daily and would come home immediately, if she asked me to. Right now, her spirit is Strong for this. In fact, this was her idea!

So here is plan. On June 5th they will drive me to Hazlehurst, Georgia. They will go home. I will stay in a motel.The next morning, on June 6th, I will head west with my stroller.

17 days until the stroller and I get back on Highway 341 and head West.

thought things were good

Sometimes, as a caregiver, you ask for help from family. Sometimes the stress you already felt, increases dramatically, upon hearing their answers.

She said she became a caregiver for her dad. She finally moved from far away to move in and take care of him. She left her son and his family behind. He is a manager of a well know coffee shop.

The new caregiver has a sister that lives about 6 miles from her dad. Over a several week period of communication, she found out her sister’s “perfect life”, is far from perfect. Her sister and husband have a myriad of family problems that will keep them from helping much. In the past, the caregivers sister had always exclaimed that things were great. It seems they were not.

My friend says the problems in her sisters life are real. She loves her sister and hurts for her.

Near the end of our conversation she told me that she misses her son and his family deeply, caregiving is hard and now she wishes she could help her sister.

She told me that she will contact the Alzheimer’s Association via the toll free number. The number is 1.800.272.3900 and it’s available 24/7.