Saturday, January 24, 2015

#YourTurnChallenge - Day 6 - Walk a Mile in Somebody's Shoes

What to do When it's Your Turn is a book by Seth Godin.  It's been morphed into a writing challenge and you can click the book cover up there to find more information.


Day 6:  Tell us about a time when you surprised yourself.

That would be the time I did a walk-a-thon (before they shortened them in general).  It was in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The walk-a-thon started at Sugarhouse Park, went through Research Park (a business-type park), around the University of Utah, through the mouth City Creek Canyon, past the State Capitol, Trolley Square, Liberty Park and back to Sugarhouse.  The total distance was 30 km (18 miles).

I had never walked so far in my life, but had a little of the swagger of youth left and thought it would be no problem.  Wow.  I was SO wrong!

At a little way station in the Avenues, I changed my socks.  That helped.  I also put bandaids over my several blisters, and ate an orange.  I love the aroma that bites the air when you peel a ripe, juicy orange.

One thing that helped was having a portable tape player with earphones, which I had bought especially for the walk-a-thon.  I think I had one tape - Introducing the Hard Line According to Terence Trent D'Arby.  I bought that tape because of the song they used on the show 21 Jump Street (the tv series, not the movie).

I changed my socks again at Liberty Park.  It was amazing how (relatively?) better I felt with a clean, dry pair of socks.  By the time I climbed the last hill back to SugarHouse Park, I was sliding my feet along the ground.  But I felt like a mongoose holding onto a snake.  I would be ok if I just kept held on.  If I let go (stopped putting one foot in front of the other) I would have been a goner.

Later that night, I went to a bbq/party for the department I worked for at a local bank.  One of our staff was moving to Hawaii with her family.  At the end of the evening as I was preparing to leave, I had to walk through a hallway from the kitchen of the house towards the front door.  Probably half a dozen people were sitting staggered on opposite sides of the hall with their legs out in front of them.  I had to ask my co-workers and their family members to move their legs because I was physically unable to lift my legs the 4-6" necessary to climb over them!

But I finished the walk-a-thon and survived!  That was a huge surprise to me, because on the last couple of miles I thought many times of the van that would circle around and pick up people who couldn't take another step.

This experience taught me the value of dedication to a task.  And that lesson would stand me in good stead years later when I worked a Christmas season at an Amazon warehouse in Lexington, Kentucky.  But that's another story altogether.


  1. Sometimes we set a goal to do something and surprise our selfs in a way when we reach it, attain it. Other times something is totally and unexpectantly thrust upon us and we rise to the occasion by tapping into something deep inside of ourselves to do something we have never done before.

  2. excruciating!
    I did a 20 mi walkathon that I'm sure permanently flattened my feet!

    and the amazon Christmas story sounds like a book title awaiting your expert writing ;)
    Thanks, as always, for sharing...