Saturday on September 19 was the American Heart Association Virtual Heart Walk. I did 2.5 miles with the family and some friends at Pope Lick Park, which was great. Beautiful weather recently and it was great to be able to enjoy it.
But, given the virtual nature of walk this year I wanted to do something else. Something harder. Something people would remember. Something that makes an impact. Something to keep accelerating.
I thought about trying to ruck a route that spelled SAMUEL, but, city blocks are really the only way this would work and there was no way I wanted to go downtown to do that. So, I talked it over with Captain Crunchberry [my brother] and he had the idea of rucking the outline of the Superman logo:
But, there would be NO WAY I could find that on a map in Louisville – right?!? Well, if you don’t try then you’re right…nothing will happen. But, it didn’t take long and actually the route was pretty close – which was a double bonus. Here she is in all its glory:
So, like any other CSAUP event I threw it out to the group to see who wanted to join in on the fun. The following PAX accepted the call:
- Captain Crunchberry
- Slide Rule
- Honey Do
- Holy Roller (R)
- Meter Maid
- Lucky Charms
- Jolly Rancher (Q)
The HCs kept coming in on Saturday – even into the late night when Valdez put the EH on Airplane to join. It was great to see everyone at 5am in the morning when we started.
I gave a quick disclaimer. I told everyone that the route isn’t perfect as we’d be taking sidewalks, sides of the road and also straight on the road during certain stretches. Asked that those without reflectors to say in the middle and be vocal for incoming cars or trucks. Time was called and we set out.
The route was fairly simple:
- LaGrange Road to Westport Road.
- Westport Road to Hurstbourne Lane.
- Hurstbourne Lane to LaGrange Road.
- Lagrange Road back to Startex for the Endex.
Here’s the final results:
Unfortunately, things got off to a rough start from the very beginning. To get to Westport Road I decided we’d take Factory Lane out to Old LaGrange Road on the other side of the railroad tracks. Problem is, as we started to get closer to the O’Bannon Crossings [the tracks leading / supplying the Ford Truck Plant] I kept hearing a train. But, despite the crossing arms and alarms going off a car just came through there so we should be good to go, right? Well, about 150 feet out we saw the damn train backing right across the road. Time to improvise. So, we rucked the train tracks for a little bit until the locomotives passed and then went back to the road. Crisis avoided.
Asphalt set a strong pace in the beginning. Captain Crunchberry in fact called it a blistering pace – and, he was right. At the Home Depot on Westport Road, Asphalt stopped for a sock change. But, it wasn’t until he got home that he saw his new pet friend for the first time:
Ouch. That’ll leave a mark. Heal up brother!
We kept moving down Westport and I think it was fairly uneventful. Made it to the halfway point and turned on Hurstbourne Lane and at some point Valdez made his way to the front and said they haven’t seen Asphalt or Captain Crunchberry since they did the sock change…so, I gave Crunchberry a call to check in and see where they were. Good news is they were not too far behind. So, we slowed the pace and took a quick restroom break near Hurstbourne Lane and Old LaGrange Road for them to catch up.
When they arrived, some PAX noticed Asphalt had his fresh pair of socks on, but also a bloody spot on his right knee. Apparently, after the sock change he had a bad fall due to uneven sidewalks. Soldier on, he said – and that’s exactly what he did.
Going through Anchorage was pretty peaceful – after all, the speed limit is like 5 mph in comparison to 70 mph that cars were passing us on Westport Road. The sun started to peak over the horizon and we knew we were in the final stretch.
Another quick break at Lucas Avenue for the group to bunch back up together so we could finish together.
And, we were complete.
We did countarama, namearama, announcements and intentions.
I told the PAX that I was extremely humbled that they CHOSE to get up on Sunday morning [most of the PAX’s rest day] and ruck for 10+ miles and to do a CSAUP [with a purpose] event with me to honor Samuel in this way. For some of the PAX, the 10+ miles was the longest they’ve ever rucked. For some others, it was their first ruck with F3Louisville. But, just like Asphalt, they soldiered on.
I just hope it was memorable. I just hope that Samuel continues to impact the lives around me just like he did when he was living on this Earth. I just hope that a lesson was learned today…one that Samuel taught me and just like we witnessed Asphalt doing real-time during the ruck.
That lesson is one of perseverance.
Each and every day you have options. You have 24-hours of your day to spend however you want. Could you sit on the couch and watch television for 14-hours? Sure. Could you lay in bed and sleep in? Sure. Can you play XBOX or Playstation for 6-hours a day? Sure. Could you go outside and play with your kids and watch them grow? Absolutely. Can you wake up in the morning and push yourself and others to soldier on; despite the obstacles, challenges and the possibilities that you may fail? You better believe it.
Life has all sorts of choices that we make each and every day. And being by my son’s side during his courageous battle taught me a lot about these choices. It humbled me. It cut me to the core. It made me a better man. And, I’m grateful for the way in which Samuel made me who I am today.
Keep accelerating and solider on, PAX.
Jolly Rancher out!