Today, I met Erik. Erik and his dog, Nice are taking the world on a walk. So far they have walked over 5,000 miles. According to his website blog (www.worldguy.org), the duo has walked in at least 30 different states as well as in Washington, DC. Erik says that they average around 10 miles a day. This recent walking goal is to walk from Washington state to Oregon. He and Nice have been doing this for 5 years now.
So, you might wonder. Why in the world does some guy decide to walk with his dog all across the country?
Not only is he walking with his dog, but he is also walking the world. This huge rubber ball has a way of catching one’s eye. Painted like the world with the Worldguy’s website address on it, it rolls along beside Erik and Nice. It’s also the reason I stopped to talk to him, I just had to know what in the ‘world’ he was doing.
I caught up to him when he stopped at the town’s library to rest and I did something I very rarely do– started a conversation with a stranger. “I just have to ask…” I said.
Erik smiled and said that he was raising awareness for Diabetes and that he was trying to get people to get up and take a walk.
He allowed me to take a picture of him with his walking buddies as he told me where he’s walked and why he was doing it.
His mother, Gerta Bendl, a Kentucky legislator, died from complications with diabetes when she was 56. Erik (50 years old) decided to get the word out about diabetes and let people know about the disease.
So he walks the world and his dog, stopping to answer questions and posing for pictures. As I wished him safe and well on his travels, Erik said, “Take a walk with a loved one and live healthy.”
I encourage you all, if you see a world rolling on by with a dog and a man- stop and talk to him. Offer him a honk of the horn, a wave, or a handshake– for trying to keep you healthy and aware.
Do you have a passion or a desire that you would be so willing to walk across the country to raise awareness for?