|Commrades in arms: Simone, Leesa, Dru & Mina|
I became involved with this spectacular event mostly because I felt a huge vacancy in my life. I didn't feel like I could look back at anything I had previously done in life and say, "That was a truly great thing I did." This vacuum was filled tenfold, a hundredfold. Have I done anything nearly as challenging? No. Or as noble? Nope. Have I ever felt so scared and unsure of myself and ended up so proud? No way. Have I ever felt so fortunate to have such supportive and terrific friends and family? No, again... I had no idea. Has the goodwill that humanity is capable of ever been so evident? Never to me...
I also learned to look at the concept of time way differently. For instance, it was the last day and we had about 6 miles to go. At this point we were so close to being done we were renewed by adrenaline... another 6 miles was a piece of cake. Leesa called her husband in Santa Barbara and he said he would soon be on his way to meet us in Malibu. Then it dawned on me that he was going to pass us on the way. It would take him a shorter amount of time to drive all the way down there than it would us to walk our last 6 miles!
On my trip I was fortunate to meet a lot of neat people. I was extremely fortunate that three of them happened to walk at the exact pace of me: Mina, Leesa and Simone. You see, a lot of people asked me, "How can they run that event?" because they imagine 3000 people walking in a big clump. But it's never that way. We start out somewhat all together, but people's differences in pace naturally spread us out. You could see someone walking in the morning and never see them again all day. So even if you met someone you'd really like to talk to, a lot of times they were going too fast or slow for you. We had a fifth member, Sienna, of the posse we had formed, but she was so fast we only saw her once we were in camp. Mina was my tentmate. We met on one of the training walks in Santa Barbara before the event. It was some kind of sign-- neither of us had started training or money raising until the very last minute, so obviously neither of us had selected tentmates yet. At that time, I had only met a few other people doing the walk and everyone had already pretty much partnered off. So thank you Mina, for walking (ha-ha, literally) into my life. We had so much fun together. Although it's weird that the first adjective that came to mind was "fun." I guess I should say, thanks for helping me get through this challenge with as much fun along the way as possible. It's true that people who forge friendship under adversity have made a very uncommon bond.
Finally, this is my opportunity to thank everyone that supported me through this long and strange trip. I had such great support from my friends, family (even quite distant relatives that I've never even met!), Giancarlo's family, my co-workers at Santa Barbara City College, and even This Ascension fans:
This site created by Dru