“It’s a learning experience.” That phrase has come to be known as our Running For a GMO-Free U.S.A. mantra because so much of what we are doing as David and I run across the U.S.A. is a first time thing for us. Following are a few of the more important things I’ve/we’ve learned and/or relearned.
1. Kris is a good woman. As the lead support person on a rather grueling GMO Free USA run and mission with Olivia and two stinky guys crammed into a tiny travel trailer, Kris is one busy person! And as always, she takes care of business with grace and beauty.
2. Olivia is a hard worker with a great personality. While David and I are running, Olivia and Kris get stuck with a lot of the dirty work involving the truck and trailer. Olivia’s a natural at it. What’s more, even though she tells us she’s miserable and she’d rather be elsewhere, she is often humming and singing. Should I be concerned that the 13-year old baby of our family is singing about beer? “I got a little drunk last night.” “Can’t believe you’re really gone. Don’t feel like going home. So I’m gonna set right here. On the edge of this pier. Watch the sunset disappear. And drink a beer.” Or should I just join in with her and sing about Arizona’s and New Mexico’s favorite beverage? Either way, we love her spirit and energy.
3. David’s got a good heart. Sure David spends his days talking about the weapons and assassins associated with his favorite video games, but he also told me about how it bothered him when I konked a king salmon on the head.
4. David’s focused. Not necessarily focused on getting the things done that need to get done before running each morning like consuming a massive breakfast, filling water bottles, gathering gear, etc., but—in addition to video games—he’s totally focused on running. Running last year, running this year, running across the U.S.A., running with the cross country team this coming season, running in college, and his running career.
5. We can do this??? At age 15 and nearly 53, David and I are getting up to our weekly goal of 120 miles. It’s not easy, it’s exhausting, and we’re slow, but we’re getting there. Some days David runs out of gas while I’m still feeling strong and other days I run out of gas while David is still leaping over the shadows of oncoming traffic, but overall we make good running partners and we’re running our way across the U.S.A.
6. People are good and kind. As a professional counselor, I’m well aware that we humans can be real stinkers with each other, but day after day, we bump into great people who show us all sorts of love and kindness. People often stop on the road to make sure we’re okay. (Some stop to help the baby they think we’ve got in our jogging stroller.)
7. Pro-GMO activists are mythological creatures. I say that it jest. Of course there are real people out there who sincerely believe that poisonous chemicals and genetic modification are the only thing keeping billions of people alive, but we’ve not met any such creatures on the road yet.
8. There are two kinds of people: those who know about and oppose GMOs, and those who have never heard of GMOs. Again, this is only a slight exaggeration. After running some 741 miles, we’ve found that nearly everyone we meet knows nothing about GMOs, and those that do know agree that the “s” in “GMOs” stands for “suck” as in Genetically Modified Organisms Suck.
9. The chemical companies aren’t going away. Corporations exist to make money, even if that money comes from the intentional poisoning of people, communities, and the environment.
10. The U.S. government and the chemical companies play together in a large, crowded, and dirty bed. If this were not the case, we wouldn’t have to fight for GMO labeling because the government never would have approved the release of GMOs into the environment in the first place.
11. Faith without works is dead. We can pray and wish and hope until the organic cows come home that government and chemical co-conspirators will clean up their act, but the system won’t change until you and I change it.
12. Faith without works is dead, part two. We can’t possibly afford to quit our jobs and run for a GMO Free USA. We can’t do it on our own, that is. But we have discovered that a whole lot of people such as yourself support our run and our mission and, because of people like you, we can afford to run for a GMO Free USA. For that, we are eternally grateful!!!
Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett wrote this blog in Gallup, New Mexico, enjoying a much needed day of Sabbath rest. Brett and David blog at RunningTheCountry.com. Support their run and mission at RunningTheCountry.com/donate.