Checking in from Arlington, TX …
On Monday Memorial Day, I walked 13.2 miles in the morning and then enjoyed the holiday. Brenda and I went back to the SMU area and downtown sites for some photos and then went to a cookout at the home of Peter Cooney and Sheila Pedersen. We were joined by more friends, Jeff and Diane Kassing. Both the food and the company were great. What a nice reprieve from our normal days on the road. While gathering food for the cookout, Sheila had mentioned my walk to a cashier at the grocery store. This cashier, Rosario, whose has a family history of heart problems was moved to reach in her pocket and hand over all the cash in her pocket as a donation to the AHA; and then another cashier did the same. It always warms my heart when people identify with the purpose of my walk.
While the day was nice and memorable, the night brought a rude surprise. A really serious thunderstorm with high winds and hard rain rocked the RV right at bedtime. There were moments when we thought we might end up on our side. Like the rest of Texas, the storms here are big and quick.
Other activities prevented me from walking on Tuesday. After cleaning up from the evening storm, we took the RV to Camping World for minor repairs and maintenance. Then we headed back into Dallas for an event at the National Headquarters of the American Heart Association. In mid-morning, a group of the staff did a ceremonial walk with me through their campus in support of my journey across our great country. It was so nice to have these folks joining me in this venture. When ever I have the opportunity to have a one-on-one with individuals in this type of setting, I always run across several folks who either know or have a love one who has suffered from heart disease and shares their story with me. This trek not only raises awareness of heart disease but helps me share their stories through this blog. Everyone is affected by heart disease.
Audrey Ward, an Intern with AHA, interviewed me for the AHA newsletter. Stay tune for this article on the blog “news”. After lunch, I participated in a webcast originated by AHA along with Bobby Whisnand, a fitness expert who is the founder and CEO of Victory of Life. I described my walk, and Bobby and I answered questions from people who want to establish an individual exercise program or take on a larger challenge like a marathon or triathlon. Some 7,600 people tuned in for the webcast. It is encouraging to find so many people interested in heart health and exercise.
There is a new way to help me reach my fund raising goal for the American Heart Association. By going to the AHA website, http://www.heart.org, and clicking on the icon for my walk, you can pick a song with a “walking” theme off the Songza list. For each play you purchase, ten cents is donated to Heart Trek USA and the AHA. Happy listening.
Much thanks to our friend, Jo Ann Stockwell, who sent me two more reflective vests to wear on my walk. Jo Ann had made the first one that I wore for the first three months of my walk. With “Walking Across the USA” on the back, the vest draws great attention as I tread the roadways and keeps me visible to crazy drivers. With the first vest about to wear out, the new vests, one yellow and one orange, are certainly appreciated.
Late in the day on Tuesday, we picked up our RV and moved to OmniAmerican Bank in Arlington for the night. Tomorrow after a morning walk, I’ll participate in a ceremony at OmniAmerican at lunch and a bicycle ride with Mayor Price in the Tour de Fort Worth in the afternoon. Should be a full day. Here is the projected schedule for the next few days:
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 … into Fort Worth on Lancaster Avenue
Thursday, May 31, 2012 … on Hwy 199 past Lake Worth to Azle
Friday, June 1, 2012 … thru Springtown on Hwy 199 toward Jacksboro