Wichita Kansas is famous for the old Chisholm Trail and is known as the Air Capital of the World, but for our family we will always remember it as the halfway point on our Run For a GMO Free USA.
Even though David and I have pounded the pavement and trails from Huntington Beach, California, to Wichita over the past three months, it’s still hard to believe that we’re actually here. But when we open up the USA map, there it is, Wichita, sitting right smack dab in the center of the USA.
David’s been talking about needing a new pair of running shoes for a while now. I don’t know exactly when he first brought up the subject. It’s hard to take him too seriously, because we just bought him a new pair a couple of months ago. Let’s see . . . where was that? Oh yeah, we bought him a new pair of shoes back in Flagstaff, Arizona.
So our conversation back in Texas and Oklahoma has been, “Yep, when we get to Wichita, we’ll stop by a shoe store.”
David did some Internet research and discovered a store by the name of GoRun. He liked the store long before we went there because they’ve got a treadmill with a video so the store employees can analyze your running style.
We arrived at GoRun even before it opened. When Pam arrived with the keys, we followed her in. Pam asked David how long he had owned his shoes. We all answered, “Since Flagstaff.”
“Since Flagstaff?” she replied in her Scottish accent. “That’s a long ways.”
Kris checked out the distance on her iPhone. “Over 900 miles,” she said.
Pam checked out the soles of David’s shoes. “Yes, a long ways. I’m surprised you made it this far looking at these things.” I’m not sure is she was judging the condition or the smell of the shoes. According to Kris, they’re both pretty bad.
David finally got to jump on the treadmill and ran for 20 or so seconds. Pam played back David’s gait in slow motion. “Slight over-pronation,” she said. That was the same thing we heard from the store employee back in Flagstaff. Pam used that information to fit David in a suitable shoe which turned out to be a Asics GT 2000 2, the latest generation of the shoe that had carried David from Flagstaff to Wichita.
I, on the other hand, just barely bought a new pair of Hokas back in Albuquerque, and even though I’ve probably exceeded the recommended number of miles, I’ve also spent more money than we have to spend, so my wallet stayed in my pocket and my Hokas stayed on my feet and will likely stay there until I have sense enough to buy a new pair.
While we were shopping for shoes, Pam’s co-worker, Zach, pulled up the Boston Marathon on the big screen we had used to analyze David’s gait. We have a personal interest in the run because my brother Rob, and his wife, Stacy, were both running the race. Rob ran Boston last year and, like many other runners, he tells stories of inspiration and love that arose out of the violence and chaos from last year’s bombings.
We were surprised and a bit disappointed to see that Rob wasn’t running a few steps ahead of Meb and Stacy wasn’t leading the pack among the fastest women runners. Oh well, maybe next year.
Anyway, it was fun to stand there watching the marathon and take in the breathtaking beauty of these world class athletes, analyze their strides, admire their courage and athleticism, and cheer them on with millions of other people from around the world.
Next to the treadmill, GoRun has a wall for people to sign their names along with their dates and times on a notable race. For most people, “notable race” means a 5 or 10K, half or full marathon. Not many people have run from coast to American coast. Not many 15-year old runners have run from coast to coast. In fact, as far as we know, David is both the second 15-year old runner and the second youngest person to ever run across the U.S.A. The first, Tobias Cotton, did it in 1928 as a competitor in the first Great American Foot Race. David was so impressed with Tobias that he wrote a blog about him.
Anyway, Zach grabbed a marker so David could add his name to the runners’ wall. If you know David, you know that he is a man of few words and he’s definitely not one to brag about his accomplishments. And if you know David, you will also know that he is easily distracted by what’s going on around him. So there David stood with marker in hand with the nearly impossible task of writing on the wall while the final miles of the Boston marathon were playing out on a large screen in plain view just a few feet away. No easy task!
It took David a while, but the following words are now inscribed among the others on the Runners’ Wall at Go Run:
2014 15 years old
Technically we’ve only run half way so far, but—aside from the first day’s run when we ran on little sleep and not the best foods—David has never doubted that we are indeed going to run the distance.
There are still a million things that could sideline us, but none of that matters right now. What matters is that we get up and do what we need to do today. As Jesus sort of said some 2,000 years ago: “Sufficient unto the day are the miles thereof.” And in David’s case, John might have said, “Sufficient unto the day are the miles and schoolwork thereof.” Between running and schooling, David is one very busy boy!!!
We’re not running 3000 miles today. We’re running our 20 or 18 or 25 miles. And we’re running those miles one mile at a time, one step at a time.
Of course Running across the USA is far easier than reclaiming our food supply from chemical based, industrial GMO agriculture. But the same principle applies; we don’t need to do it all today. We just need to focus on the task at hand and get ’er done, one blog at a time, one face to face discussion at a time, one seed packet at a time, one petition at a time, one boycott at a time, one garden at a time, etc.
The work we do makes a difference. Of this I am sure because it was the work of many others who influenced me with my own food choices a couple of decades ago. I’d particularly like to thank and honor John Robbins. His book, Diet for a New America, played a large part in helping me go nearly 100% plant based for a good many years now. I’ve not yet had the honor of meeting John, but I’ve spent dozens of hours listening to his voice on-line both from YouTube and from the first two of his Food Revolution Summits he co-hosts with his son, Ocean.
John and Ocean will launch their Food Revolution Summit 2014 tomorrow, and unfortunately, I won’t be able to catch the interviews live because there’s just no way to squeeze them into our days as we continue our transcontinental run Eastward.
But you can listen to the summit for us. John always interviews some of the world’s brightest people, but more than ever before, this summit will feature a long list of experts on the subject of GMOs as well as a host of other food related topics.
If you’ve never listened before, take advantage of this free opportunity. And while you’re listening, David and I will keep on Running For a GMO Free USA.
Thanks to the warm and welcoming people of Wichita who are doing all they can to keep GMOs out of their backyards and out of our grocery stores. Thanks to John and Ocean Robbins and so many others who have been working for decades to protect the Earth and our food supply. And thanks especially to you for everything you do!