Thursday, August 11, 2011

Underdog, idiot, or bad-ass?

I'm gonna hit the road to begin the 48-state walk on about August 17th, even though I'm still nowhere near recovered from the punishment I put my body through last year. 'Handicapped' is an appropriate word to describe my current physical condition. My feet are still kind of numb and my legs feel heavy when I walk, which makes me very prone to tripping. I also get worn out pretty quickly whenever I do any kind of physical activity because I usually can't move my hips or legs how they're supposed to move, which forces me to put extra work into every move I make. In addition to all that, I don't have any endurance because I've been physically inactive for the last 11 months. However... my condition has definitely been improving, slowly, and I finally feel like I know how to continue improving.

The big picture: Even though I've trimmed a lot of weight from my gear, the odds are not on my side, and I may find after a month that I'm physically unable to do this. That means I might have to quit after a month or two. So don't be surprised if I end up quitting (or postponing) this ridiculous megawalk.

You may wonder: If I'm in such bad condition, why am I even considering doing such a long, difficult walk, and why do I have to start now? Here's why: If I don't start now, I probably won't be able to start until this time next year. I need to start in Maine in late summer, then make my way south through autumn and into winter, for obvious reasons. I need to head north again during the spring, and so on. It's important for me to be in the right places at the right times because this will be a continuous walk (with no extended breaks), and I will sleep outside almost every night regardless of whether it's 10 degrees or 90 degrees at night.

Even in my current condition (which is worse than I've made it sound), I think I can do this. By doing the right stretches and by using a tennis ball to simulate massage of the muscles I've ruined, I THINK I'll be able to walk and heal simultaneously. And if I'm wrong, all I have to do is quit.

But even if I realize after a month that I should quit, it doesn't mean I will quit.

Even with all the trouble I'm having, I remain optimistic because I remember how I felt last year during the final month of the coast-to-coast walk. Whenever I stopped for more than a few minutes, my body would tighten up so much that I could barely walk. But once I started moving again, my mobility would return after a few minutes. So as messed-up as I was, I still managed to average over 21 miles a day for the last month of the walk, mostly in mountains. And that average includes a couple days off. (Yeah, I was trucking.) So I remain optimistic.

(ER: You will be very pleased to hear what I have to say in my next post.)

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence


ER said...

Ryan, for the past few days, I've been patiently waiting for your next post, which you've said will please me. Please post it so that I can be pleased. Please?

Daniel said...

I envy the hell out of what you do man. I wish you the best, and I look forward to reading your latest adventures.

Ryan M. Powell said...

ER, I think I'm going to write it soon (hopefully within the next few hours). Been real busy the last few days: Cake concert with an old buddy Friday night, then I was in Indy all day Saturday. I've been hanging out with my grandparents all day yesterday and much of today. Just got back from their house.

Thanks Daniel. I hope you'll hang around and say something every once in a while.