Last month I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to take some time away from work to travel the US and Canada. All I can say is “what a journey!”. I was able to workout for free at a different gym in each state and I also reconnected with old friends in multiple states! There are so many stories from my trip that I could write about and I will do my best to highlight the experience.
I began the trip by leaving the comfort of my friendships in North Carolina (which was extremely difficult). I drove through the smokey mountains into Tennessee and it was then that I realized I was in love with both Tennessee and western North Carolina. While driving to Nashville, I remember seeing the most magnificent sunset I had ever seen. It somehow blinded me, humbled me and made me feel alive all at the same time! I believe Nashville to be one of the greatest cities in the world. The people I ran into while there truly love life, friendships, family and Jesus. Their social wellness is unmeasurable and their emotional happiness is astounding. I recommend Nashville as a destination for any of you who share those same values.
Next up was Kentucky. I was able to stay there with an amazing family who showed me what Kentucky was all about. The people there seem happy and they love the outdoors as much as corvettes and NCAA basketball! They treated me like a king by taking me out to a nice dinner, giving me a warm bed and they made sure that I was comfortable as we shared stories together around the fire. They were some of the nicest Americans I have ever met! From Kentucky came the climb north to Naperville, IL. While there I was able to workout at an awesome gym, meet the coolest spin bike instructor and even learned some strings on my new guitar. Illinois was a fun place with lots to see and do, but I was on a mission to pursue my first spartan race in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is the coldest and friendliest cheese loving place in the world! Upon entering Wisconsin, I was able to reconnect with a Phys. Ed leader named Joey Feith. We shared numerous stories as we attended the WHPE conference in Wisconsin Dells. After a great workout with some teachers and some great conference presentations, I began heading east to Milwaukee for the last leg of my U.S road trip. It was time to venture to Miller Park for my first Spartan Race. I had been training for 5 weeks for this event and I was more than ready to compete at this level. I finished the Sprint race in just over 1 hour and finished 69th in my age group and was ranked 438th out of 1,593 participants. The most important message I took from that race is that I did my best. It was a completely new event for me filled with challenging obstacles and I was so glad to be able to compete at such a high level physically. I am already planning to compete in a another Spartan Race in 2015! Immediately following the race, I had a protein shake and headed east for Windsor, Ontario. Stay tuned for my Canadian road trip reflection in the coming weeks.