Thursday, April 9, 2020

Some Parts of Life's Road Are Filled With a Whole Bunch of Nothin'

During my solo 506-mile run across the Mojave Desert in 2011, I ran the equivalent of 19 marathons in 17 days while pushing a heavily-weighted jogging stroller of gear, food and water. I started at the south rim of the Grand Canyon and finished at Badwater Basin, Death Valley. While on the journey, I placed my shoe prints in Arizona, Nevada and California -- enduring heat and desolate surroundings. My goal was to be the first person to complete the route unassisted... completely alone.

Along the way, I stopped in Goffs, California to top off my water supply. This tiny unincorporated community of only 23 people doesn't have much to offer, but it did have some water. While I was filling up my containers, an elderly gentleman asked me what I was doing. I explained that I was running across the Mojave Desert alone and that my goal was to finish in Death Valley. He looked me in the eye and said, "That ain't possible!" Then, he took off his hat, looked down the dusty road where I'd be going, and said: "Do ya know what's down there?" I just looked at him as he spit in the dirt, and then he said, "A whole bunch of nothin'!" He then told me that I was about to head into the most desolate part of the Mojave and that it was his bet that he'd see me again... when I would turn around and head back to this tiny watering hole. With those words, he walked away.

I indeed ran down the road that he said was full of a whole bunch of nothin' -- and he was absolutely right! However, he underestimated my determination and I came out the other side of the Mojave and ran into Badwater Basin, Death Valley. I conquered that whole bunch of nothin' and never looked back. Sometimes, that's what life requires.

From Him, Through Him, For Him (Romans 11:36),

Paul J. Staso

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