You find out a lot about yourself over the course of 50 miles.
This year will mark the seventh time I’ve walked 50 miles in a single day, and each time has brought new insight and discovery.
I don’t know what you will discover, but I invite you to join me and find out. Here are a few of the reasons that I love this challenge.
Because it IS challenging. Walking 50 miles in a single day is, for most of us, very far outside of our everyday experience. I’ve run a number of marathons and I’ve walked 50 miles six different times. And I think they’re about equally difficult, though they’re very different experiences. You don’t really train to walk 50 miles—it’s just something you endure. It’s good to get outside of your comfort zone every now and again. That’s where growth and learning occur.
Walking 50 miles is an opportunity to slow down, to ponder, and to notice a great deal of things that you normally don’t see. It makes me think of a line in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, “I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly. If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles per hour and they jailed him for two days.”
Also, walking is healthy. At least, that’s what I hear. And it’s a good excuse to spend time out of doors. When was the last time you spent twenty consecutive hours outside?
There’s also the confidence aspect. Completing 50 miles is a way to prove to yourself that you have the fortitude to complete some pretty difficult things. And that confidence carries over to other aspects of your life. As they say, success begets success.
Then there’s the social aspect. Walking 50 miles is a lot like a road trip without the car—you’re with friends, headed somewhere, with the occasional stop for snacks and drinks along the way. And there’s time for conversation. LOTS of conversation. Before you reach your destination you talk about anything and everything—favorite foods, vacations, jokes, movies, books, and, of course, why you accepted the invitation to participate in this event, whether you would (or will) do it again, and what you’re going to do when you finish.
Invariably, one topic of conversation that come up during the walk is other people who have walked long distances. Pioneers. Refugees. And you realize that many people have walked much further under much worse circumstances. It can be easy to take the peace and freedom we enjoy in America for granted. I have found that the pain and discomfort I experience while walking 50 miles gives me a small sense of what so many others have endured (or are now enduring) in order to achieve freedom. Walking 50 miles is a way for me to better appreciate what I have.
That’s why I do it.
Your reasons will be your own.
I hope you’ll join me on September 12, 2015.
Who: This walk is open to everyone. Each year I invite all of my friends. You are welcome to do the same.
What: A fifty mile walk from Provo to Salt Lake, to be completed in twenty hours.
When: Saturday September 12, 2015 beginning at 5:30 a.m.
Where: From the Provo temple to the Salt Lake temple. (Not an LDS event, just recognizable landmarks)
Why: For the fun, the challenge, to enjoy being outdoors, to be healthy, to move your body, to meet new people, to have great conversations, to do something new, to learn a lot about yourself, to develop confidence AND I’ll donate $100 for each finisher to 100% of Humanity.