Blog 21 – 7million steps: Kelly

Four weeks out we had no RV and no volunteers to accompany me! You can’t image how stressed I was. My training faltered, I was impossible to speak to; thank God my poor long suffering family understood the pressure I was under.

Shirley and Bill came to our rescue when they bought the most perfect RV, but 2 weeks and 2 days out and we had NO volunteers to drive with me!

In desperation I posted in several of the more “mobile” SCI sites, asking if anyone wanted an adventure!

I received a message from Kelly McCall in Phoenix AZ., asking if the volunteer opportunity was still available! I arranged a Facetime call and immediately liked Kelly’s attitude. Kelly has an injury. She is a walking paraplegic and she wanted to drive the RV not just to Flagstaff but accompany me on the whole Walk. Kelly quit her job and I met her on September 22nd – the day the Walk started…“Talk about a baptism under fire”..

We have been travelling together for nearly seven weeks (except the two weeks when she returned to Phoenix for some commitments). While she was gone, I felt lost and missed her terribly, in such a short time we had become a great team.

Kelly is amazing. She researches all the places we need to stay, she checks the maps to make sure all the routes are safe, if not she researches other options for me to walk the 22 miles I need to do each day! Together we are figuring out the RV and all we need to do! We are always traveling East towards our next destination, but for safety reasons we make changes to the route. The reality is, there are two of us and we have to look after each other and be safe; after all, we are travelling in some very remote places! I am hoping once we get further East we will have more volunteers to help us with the day-to-day of the Walk and maybe walk some miles with me! I adjust my pace to whoever is walking with me, I want to ensure they enjoy the Walk as much as possible.

Today, Kelly and I were talking as we drove to a safer area for me to finish my last seven miles. I said I believe this was all destined, I was “commanded” to Walk across America, Shirley and Bill found the most perfect RV, and when it looked like the Walk would falter at the last minute Kelly came on board.

Kelly and I are very different, she loves the hot weather, cooking in her “instant pot” – and cutting up vegetables… Kelly is calm to my volatile! When I am overheated and exhausted she is alive and bubbly. She is wise and knows a lot of very cool things! She hates TV, so my special present that Shirley and Bill gave us reposes in my bedroom, unfortunately I haven’t been able to get it going yet! Kelly’s passion is to ride her hand cycle bike – she loves going fast down hills and enjoys exploring, she never seems to tire which is the opposite of me – always exhausted after walking 7-8 hours…

We agree that the Walk is both ours equally; we are learning from each other all the time. Every Friday we celebrate “Shabbat” with her son Benjamin via Skype or Facetime, another set of customs I am learning! And we get to have a glass or two of wine!

We both believe this was a match made in heaven and I know after this is all over, we will still be amazing friends who have shared a very special experience  – the Warrior Momz Walk…