“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” –Winston Churchill
Don’t give up. Keep walking.
Edward Payson Weston walked across the U.S. at the age of 70.
He first received attention as a notable pedestrian in 1861, when he walked 478 miles (769 km) from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington, DC in 10 days and 10 hours, from February 22 to March 4. During the walk, he faced snow, rain, and mud, and he fell several times. His longest period of uninterrupted sleep was 6 hours, and he usually ate while walking. He arrived in Washington at 5:00 pm, and was strong enough to attend Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural ball that evening.
The walk was part of the terms of a bet on the 1860 presidential election. The bettor whose candidate lost was to walk to Washington to see the inauguration of the new president. Weston lost when he bet against Lincoln, and received only a bag of peanuts for his trouble. However, he also received newspaper coverage and a congratulatory handshake from the new president, which inspired him to further pedestrian feats.
On March 16, 1909, at age 70, he started to walk from New York to San Francisco, aiming to do it in 100 days. Fans turned out by the thousands along the route to cheer him on. “He was snowed on, rained on, attacked by mosquitoes, and menaced by hoboes. Crossing the Rockies winds were so strong that he had to crawl on hands and knees, [making] four miles in 24 hours. But the old man pushed on, hitting San Francisco in 104 days.” He deemed it a great failure and the following year he hiked back, “this time starting from Santa Monica, aiming to reach New York in 90 days. He did it in 76.” (source: Running Past)
See photos and read more about Edward Payson Weston’s walks here: http://www.runningpast.com/pedestrian.htm
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.