MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
UPDATE : January, 2008
LOCATION: Milledgeville, Georgia
TOTAL MILES: 9000.9
It’s a NEW YEAR and it’s going to be a GREAT YEAR!!!!!!!! This is the year that THE WALK™ will be wrapped up. The completion date is December, 2008. And, although there are still 1300 tough walking miles ahead, it will be walked and the next 11 months will pass quickly. So, mark December, 2008 in your calendars and know you are invited to join me for those final miles!! I have been interviewing companies and individuals who are well qualified to handle this type of “event” and have settled on the services of one such company. I will elaborate on that in future UPDATES, as plans become more solidified. Suffice to say: WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A PARTY!!!!!!!!!
Okay, back to the here and now. Tour Managers, Russ & Shirley Barriger, returned from their vacation as scheduled. They had gone home to their farm and family in Michigan for the Holidays. Anyone following the frigid winter we’re all having this year, it’s always a bit more so in the northern tier. Well, as cold and nasty as it’s been here in Georgia (and it has been all of that) The Barrigers, to add insult to injury, brought their even worse Michigan weather back with them – they showed up in a SNOW STORM!!!!! BBBRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome back, guys??!!!!?? HHHMMMmmmmm…………………………..
I got past that (like I had a choice) and we were back to walking two days later. We picked up where we had left off, the western edge of McDonough, GA. There is always an adjustment period getting back into the rhythm of THE WALK™. [AN ASIDE: Did you know that the word “rhythm” is the only word in the English language without a consonant?]
To begin, after not having walked in a month, it takes a few walks just to get these 62 year old joints working again. Also, the cold weather, which continued through the month, didn’t help. And, on top of that, during The Barrigers’ absence, I did something (and I can’t remember what it was) to throw out my back. That, too, continues to plague me. So, in those regards, I have been dealing with a few additional challenges which will abate in time. What seems to be a constant and will not go away are the walking conditions of the roadway(s). The traffic is heavy and there is no shoulder upon which to safely walk. So, long story short, progress is very slow.
However, that said, Russ, in his diligence to the job of finding the safest and best routes to follow, decided to get off RTE 23 (the most obvious and direct road from Atlanta to Savannah – 248 miles). He mapped out a series of back roads and then a long stretch along RTE 212 that took us (and will take us) through a series of different cities and towns other than Macon, etc. These cities & towns, to this point (Milledgeville) are Jackson, Monticello (Home of Tricia Yearwood), Eatonton and now Historic Milledgeville. More on this fascinating city, shortly.
The route he picked is incredibly much safer than the suicide walk down RTE 23, as it surely would have been. To help make that decision, of course, was the fact that we had already walked 100, or so, miles on this same (and extended) roadway and it was relentlessly busy with traffic and dangerous. This “other” route is non-stop hills and valleys to climb. I welcome the challenge, although, it hasn’t helped my back, which continues to be an issue. But, traffic is a whole lot lighter; in that regard it is really quite relaxing. Interestingly, this alternate route is only one mile longer from McDonough to Savannah than RTE 23. (We have found Mapquest and GPS to be quite accurate.)
Before going on, I want to mention the huge honor I have been given by the highly regarded and nationally distributed “Diabetes Positive Magazine”. DDF’s Public Outreach Director, Dawn Swidorski, arranged for an interview for me with this premier diabetes magazine. On the heels of the 2 hour in-depth and probing interview, they decided to put me on the cover of the February, 2008 issue. To that end Russ, Shirley and I went to the historic Stone Mountain to meet with Publishers Mike T. & Allyson Prins, who handled the photography honors personally. It was a sunny, but cold and windy day. They are wonderful folks who made this two hour photo shoot experience quite memorable. We had fun!!
Before moving on I added some colorful graphics to the RV and Support Vehicle: THE ULTIMATE BLACK TEST www.ultimateblackbelttest.com
I am a proud member of TEAM 5.
So, now we are in camped at The Scenic Mountain RV Park & Campground in Milledgeville and here is where I have passed the 9000 mile mark!!!! And, I couldn’t be more pleased that this landmark moment occurred here.
Once, again, I marvel at the reception I continue to receive as I move forward. “Southern hospitality” is quite real – as real as it gets!! Now, for Historic Milledgeville, GA.....
This city of approximately 50,000 people was once the Capitol of Georgia. The Capitol was moved to Atlanta in 1868. When General Sherman of the Union Forces during the Civil War proceeded on his infamous “march to the sea” and destroyed much of which characterized the South, at that time, he camped here in Milledgeville. And, although he did wreck havoc, he largely left this city in tact. (That’s a comparative judgment by a few of the citizens with whom I have spoken.) So, there’s lots of historic architecture still standing. And, incidentally, Milledgeville is where the vote was taken when The South determined to secede from the Union.
Also, here, is a very large student population attending the University of Georgia and Georgia College. I’m particularly partial to college towns because these are pockets of new and progressive thoughts and ideals – always interesting!!
And, conversely, Milledgeville has the distinction of housing the highest number of convicted criminals, in the State of Georgia. I don’t know the number of prisoners, but there are six State Prisons here and another is under construction. Quite a “melting pot”!!!
I want to thank the following people for making this landmark destination so much fun: Johnny Jackson, reporter with The Henry Daily Herald (McDonough, GA); Stewart Voetkin, reporter with The Jackson Progress-Argus (Jackson); Kathy Mudd, Publisher & editor of The Monticello News (Monticello); Rufus Adair, reporter with The Eatonton Messenger (Eatonton); Pam Beer, reporter with The Baldwin Bulletin (Milledgeville); and the most fantastic tour guide reporter, Alex Cain, who is with The Union-Recorder (Milledgeville). To conduct this tour he walked with me for five hours as I covered the 1.9 miles into the city (like I said, he gave an incredible tour), and the several miles out of Milledgeville as we climbed the challenging hills of King St SE the next day. Well done, Alex!!
I apologize for not posting the exciting and colorful pictures that show the wonders of this fantastic journey I call THE WALK™. But, lack of time and being technically challenged don’t permit me to, at this point. But, I will…………..
Okay, that’s it for this UPDATE. We have a New Year to look forward to and lots of good things to accomplish. We will continue to build on all the wonderful accomplishments of 2007 and the years leading up to now. For those of you (44 million) in the position of “caregiver” do yourselves a favor and check out our Defeat Diabetes® CareGiverHelper program. It’s located on every one of our approximately 3000 pages of our website: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
It was in development for 1 ½ years and it works beautifully!!! And it’s FREE!!!!!!
If you wish to advertise your products/services on our website, or be a Sponsor please go to our Products & Services tab at the top of all website pages to learn about our prices and policies.
Also, when at the website, I urge you to make a donation to help us to continue to help you. Even if I haven’t asked you personally, we need your help to get some other worthwhile programs launched, as well as keeping other programs ongoing, like our KIDD™ Project, MADDCAP™ Project, THE WALK™, the DDF website - which is an incredible diabetes information resource second to none, and others.
If you are diabetic, or know someone who is, I guarantee you all are benefitting from what Defeat Diabetes Foundation is doing in the areas of early identification and prevention. That is where this fight will be won. If you are holding out and waiting for a cure – FORGET IT!!!! IT IS NOT COMING FOR 20-30 YEARS, if THEN!!!!!! We know how to prevent Type 2 diabetes up to 95% of the time.
1 in every 3 children born after the year 2000 is expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime!!! That is SCARY!!! 54 million Americans are already pre-diabetic and means they will get diabetes in the next 10-15 years UNLESS……………… YES, we can prevent it in up to 95% of ALL those cases. But, it takes support from YOU to do it. The government isn’t doing it, the pharmaceutical companies aren’t doing it, other diabetes organizations aren’t doing it. Defeat Diabetes Foundation IS doing it.
But, we need your HELP to broaden the programs that will get it done. Get involved with DDF. PLEASE HELP!!!! If you designate a program for your support 100% of that donation (less bank processing fees if you use a Major Credit Card) will go to that program. Defeat Diabetes Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, which allows for your donation to be tax deductible. Donate to Defeat Diabetes Foundation with our GroundSpring.com secure online donation form. You may donate to any of our programs with either VISA, MASTER CARD or AMERICAN EXPRESS.
Remember, What’s worse than finding out you have diabetes? …….. NOT finding out!!!!
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