We left from JC’s Recovery House at 7 am, before anyone else was up. We wanted to get an early start to try and beat the Florida heat. It was a nice morning and we had our first interaction with someone early on.
A man named Alan saw us and turned around to pull over and talk to us. He asked about the walk. We told him and he said that we were his heroes. I am not great with age, but he seemed to be anywhere from late 50’s to early 70’s. What I mean is that he is well-lived. He said that he has always wanted to walk from Fort Lauderdale, where he lives now, to Long Island, where he grew up. I told him that I wanted to help him make that happen. We exchanged contact info and I look forward to hearing from him to discuss his preparations for his big quest. Ya never know, it may just happen! I thought the whole moment with Alan was awesome.
Not much longer, I had another interesting opportunity arise as a young man was getting out of his car as we walked by. He was dressed nicely but was holding the tie in his hand and looking defeated. We figured out that he was having a hard time with his tie. I took the tie and tied it around my neck and then loosened it to transfer it over to his neck lol. He was going in for a job interview. We all wished him the best and walked on.
We had to do some weird backroad maneuvering to get around the Fort Lauderdale airport but once we did, we were basically in Fort Lauderdale Beach. It was awesome. I’ve spent a lot of time down here in my life so I know the beach well, but I’ve never seen it from this current perspective. There were lots of people and we tried to talk to them but no one seemed to be very interested. I think they were all trying hard not to think while being on vacation. I can respect that. We kept stepping along…
We walked and walked and started to get very hungry. We looked on our phones and we had already passed all the restaurants and the only things to eat up ahead were either really expensive or over a mile away. We went for the distance. The closest thing was a 7/11 gas station. We lugged our way there and I know we all thought it, “oh thank heaven…”
I ate 10 mini tacos and 2 slices of pizza. This was just lunch. I had been eating all morning also. I can tell that we are all starting to eat more and more now that we are doing longer days.
We left feeling fresh and full. A woman walked up next to us and told us that she saw us on the news and wanted to know more. We told her more. She said that she was very intrigued by our cause. She wasn’t affected but she promised to do more research as she was terrified when I showed her some of the facts that we are all going through.
The team split up at this point. Stick and I took the lead and Meghan and Abhay stayed together. They were going slower and taking in the moments. Stick and I just wanted to get done for the day now that the heat was kicking in.
I noticed something. So we have been walking on streets in Florida on the beach with hotels and shops on both sides of the street. In the morning we walk on the sidewalk on the east side of the street because the buildings provide more shade on this side. In the afternoon we switch sides because the sun is now casting shadows onto the other side. Every little bit of shade helps once it gets over 85 degrees.
Domino saw an iguana who was laying out and didn’t seem to mind the heat of the sun. She looked at the iguana and looked at me and back and forth and back and forth. It was in a large empty parking lot and seemed safe enough. I gave in. I said, “go get it!” She darted off and actually touched it a few times. She didn’t seem to want to hurt it, just had the instincts to chase it. She had a blast. The iguana did not. I called her off before either of them got hurt and she came back running. She was excited. I calmed her down and let her rehydrate and we got back to work.
Miles and miles pounded under our feet. Beautiful scenery but too many cars were our surroundings. Stick and I made it to our stopping point first. We got a ride back to our hotel room that was given to us for the night. Bryon has been in touch with me since I met his family when I started my first walk. They lost their Brock to this crisis. Bryon hooked us up with an awesome hotel that has everything and more. I jumped in the pool as soon as we arrived. Then sat in the hot tub and let my muscles relax. It was amazing!
We all met up together at a restaurant named Kapow. This is too freaking cool. I can’t even believe all of this happened. Anyways, a woman who I know who is part of a group called Mothers With A Purpose messaged me and said that her son lived in this area and had an awesome thing that he started. He started up an organization called Temperance Training. What they do is provide FREE community-based fitness training to individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse. He is amazing and he brought a lot of his friends out to join us for a great asian-fusion meal.
We ate and ate and ate. We had a table full of gym-rats and cross-country walkers. I am surprised they didn’t run out of food. And the food was SOOO good! So was the company. A few of them will be joining us tomorrow while we walk. They are all in recovery. Too freaking cool! I love it.
Tomorrow looks like it will be a fun day too. Until then…