Stupid Is As Stupid Does…Twice

Shouldn’t the title of this blog post explain it all? Probably not…

Within 24-hours I will begin riding my (donated) bicycle from Seattle, WA to Jacksonville, FL! Which means that my original “Long Walk Home” is going to be extended about 6-weeks longer. This might make sense to some of you who know me well, but for most of you, I’m guessing you will think I’m a bit off my rocker! I’m not nuts (a relative term), but I am bent on reaching goals that I originally set when this all began.

What were those goals?

The goals were:

  • Walk across the country in 4 1/2 months with an average of 25 miles per day. – ACCOMPLISHED
  • Build audience from 3 people to 5000 people. – ACCOMPLISHED
  • Raise $100,000 for Seattle Children’s Hospital. – NOT ACCOMPLISHED (still need $75,000)

After completing my walk, I have had a LOT of time to think about what I could have done better. It’s easy to be self-critical and I was able to come up with a fairly long list of things I would improve next time. Unfortunately, I have retired from cross-country walking and confident my hips will back me up on the decision! That doesn’t mean that another form of exercise wouldn’t qualify for helping to raise money. Does it?

Before finishing my walk, I was already forming my plan to reach my goal. I shared this idea with some people, which was usually dismissed as silly or too early to discuss. So I tucked this plan away to marinate awhile.

A couple of weeks after returning home, the fire was still burning within to make something happen! Still not firmly committed to a bicycle ride, I wrote a marketing plan to incentivize businesses to donate, instead of asking for individual donations. Walking door-to-door and knocking on as many as 100 small business doors a day, I started making a little progress. But the progress was slow and I had other stresses beginning to influence my focus. Those included family, finances and just the pressure to resume living normally again. I’ll write about this in future blog posts, but I will tell you, reality is NOT all its cut out to be! 🙂 I’m joking a bit, but after you have been living like a wild animal for 4 1/2 months, jumping back into society isn’t easy.

I soon gave up on my mission. Not that I couldn’t make it happen (because it was slowly), but mainly because I still haven’t found my new career opportunity. This was a key piece of the returning to reality equation! Giving up isn’t something I am very good at doing. As my girlfriend (yes, you heard that correctly) pointed out, it appeared that I was going through a period of mourning. And now that I look back…I WAS! I wonder if there has ever been any studies conducted on this?

This all changed several days later.

I was quickly converting my focus to becoming gainfully employed again. Showered, my hair cut, and donning my suit, I was out to find my next career move! This didn’t take long, as once again, my walk exposed me to people and opportunities I may have never had. Within a few days, I had a hand-shake agreement to be part of a new company forming in December! A new company that supported me in my efforts to reach my goals. Specifically, supporting me in my quest to raise the money for Children’s Hospital!

With limited time to make something happen, I returned to my door knocking and received $50,000 in verbal commitments. The commitments were simple. Each business would sponsor my website as long as I had 50,000 fans to expose their services to.  The businesses were committed, now it was just up to the general public to do their part, and simply click the Facebook ‘LIKE button. A task (as we know today), that is much harder then expected…

Over the last 10 days, the Facebook (www.facebook.com/mylongwalkhome) fans have grown to over 5000 fans. Yeah! But it didn’t get the critical mass needed to reach 50,000 fans in time. Time meaning, when I needed to begin riding my bicycle and hopefully dodge the snow and ice that is soon follow. No matter, I still have faith we can make this happen! Most of the businesses will still donate, but we still need to reach the 50,000 fans by the time I finish. If we do, I’m confident that all the businesses will donate/sponsor. If we don’t, they will not be required to.

So now what?

Tomorrow morning I am getting on my bicycle and beginning my ride Back to Jacksonvile (Back to Jack/B2J) with hopes to inspire YOU to insist that ALL of your FRIENDS ‘LIKE my Facebook Fan page. For every person that clicks “LIKE” on the page, we will get $1.00 closer to reaching the fundraising goal!

Similar to my walk, I have a general direction in mind, but each day will depend on the elements and safe travel conditions. At a high-level, I plan to head south and reach the phoenix area A.S.A.P.. From there, I will head east hugging the southern U.S. border until I reach Jacksonville. Currently the weather conditions are supportive of my ride (albeit COLD). If that changes, I will have to be flexible and absolutely make safe decisions. For those of you who followed my entire walk; this could be similar to when I was walking through Tornados in Missouri!

What about my equipment?

A key sponsor for this event is the Kirkland Bicycle Shop in Kirkland, Washington. They have generously provided 100% of all my biking equipment for this ride! I can’t say enough on how much their support means to this whole operation. It’s simple though, without the bike…it wouldn’t happen! 🙂 If you are in need of any bicycle equipment, please give them a call or shop them on the internet. You don’t need to live in Kirkland to purchase your bike equipment. Give them a call and have them ship it to you!

That’s about all I can write for now. I have a lot of things to accomplish today before I begin pedaling tomorrow. So get ready for the next 42 days of blog postings, as well as some closure from the completion of my walk!

Jackmo

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Welcome Home Party Details

Well, Jack has completed his last step. And by that I mean the last step of his long walk home. He is still working on Step 2 of the 12-Step program he started years ago. So come on, get up and move, get on your groove, and join in a celebration for Jack completing his long walk home.

The party will take Place at the Pony Keg Grill & Bar in Kent, WA on Saturday, September 11th from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Minors are welcome but must exit by 9:00 PM. Look at this map link for the Pony Keg location.

See if Jack has any other clothes than his walking duds. Is putting his reflective vest on such a habit that he won’t be able to not wear it? Hear some behind-the-walk stories that never made it to the blog. Is he really 7 feet tall? See what he looks like without a ball cap. Maybe he will have a ceremonial burning of a walk companion like a pair of worn out shoes.

The Montana Grizzlies will be on the TV at 6:00 and karaoke starts at 9:00 if you want to stay longer and howl at the moon. Maybe the real good stories will start to come out about then.

So please, come show Jack some love and maybe he can put faces to what have now only been names. And I know he would be extremely happy to see all his old Seattlite friends.

Day 127 – Meet Jennifer Ollice!

Day 126 – Meet Tre’Shaun!

Day 125 – Meet Irelyn!

KING 5 LIVE Interviews at Redmond Marymoore Park

All,

KING 5 Television has offered to make My Long Walk Home the feature story on Wednesday September 8th, 2010. The early feature date will accomodate their scheduling requirements AND help bring attention to the cause before the finish date. What does this mean? Well, the My Long Walk Home team will need you to come walk with us EARLY on Wednesday!

How early you might ask?

KING 5 needs us ALL to be at Redmond’s Marymoore park by 4:30 am on Wednesday, September 8th. Go ahead…let’s hear the boos’ now! BOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Now that the boos’ are over, let’s rally around the cause and get our butts to Marymoore park at 4:30 to support Jack and his final days’ of walking.  So what does Jack need of you? Jack needs you be there for 2 hours and participate in the KING 5 LIVE broadcast.

Details are as follows:

Description: KING 5 television will be providing 4 LIVE broadcasts and 1 recorded interview of Jack’s My Long Walk Home. For the televised event, they would like to interview Jack, his fans, family/friends, and two of the children who have benefited from SCH.

Requirements: We need 100 people to participate in the interview! Bring all your friend and please come support Jack in the final days of his walk.

Date: Wednesday September 8th, 2010

Time: 4:30 to 7:00 am

Location: Redmond’s Marymoore Park

– East Lake Sammamish Entrance

MAPS

From Issaquah: CLICK HERE

From Seattle: CLICK HERE

From Kirkland: CLICK HERE

The Last Day’s Walk (details) on Friday September 10th.

All,

Member of the My Long Walk Home team have put together (very detailed) instructions for the last day of my walk. For details, Click Here or go to:

https://mylongwalkhome.wordpress.com/last-day-walk

BIG Thanks to Tom and Darce for putting this together in such short notice!

Jackmo, Tom and Darce!