One of the several runners/walkers currently taking on the endeavor of crossing the country recently wrote: "Paul Staso is a hero... In 2006, Paul crossed the nation pushing his jogger, Bob... Can't wait to dip in the Pacific to feel what Paul felt." For the past 11 years I've had coast-to-coast crossers mention me online. They usually find my 2006 website, which I have linked to paulstaso.com, and they study my daily journal writings, pictures, videos, route, and more... aiming to experience what it feels like to "dip" into the ocean after running 3,000+ miles across the country. Some never make it to the starting line. Others start, but don't finish. And then there's the few who actually succeed and get the chance to feel the satisfaction that comes with knowing that their legs (and heart) carried them from one ocean to another. It truly is an indescribable feeling. However, there is a lot of pain, sweat and tears (literally) that must happen before the waves are felt.
It was 11 years ago today that I logged my highest mileage day during my run across America. I was in South Dakota and logged a 48-mile day in 12 hours while pushing my 80-pound jogging stroller, "BOB" (which is an acronym for "Beast of Burden"). That was a long day in 80-degree temps and it brought me to the halfway point of my run from Oregon to Delaware. I summed up that particular day with this writing:
"If you were to go to a standard 1/4 mile running track, you would have to do 192 laps around the track to equal 48 miles. Now, think about doing that while pushing 80 pounds the entire way. That's sort of what it's like out on the road. Of course, there are other factors that I contend with on a daily basis... such as weather, road conditions, elevations, cars, people, and more. I often have people tell me, or write to me, that they are absolutely amazed that I can cover such long distances on a daily basis. Much of my ability is rooted in my personal faith, a tenacious determination, acquired mental strength, and a genuine physical ability to withstand hours on the road. Many athletes possess these qualities and I am certainly not "unique" in the world of ultra-marathon runners -- or "journey" runners. I may be unique to you because you don't personally know anyone else who can do such extreme running. For me, it's just something I can do well... and I am very motivated to cross the entire United States and stop when my running shoes have touched the edge of the Atlantic Ocean."I wish all U.S. crossers, either running or walking, well on their journeys and I hope that each of them gets to experience what it's like to feel the ocean waves against your weary legs upon completion!
Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,