Monday, October 14, 2013

Sam's Big Walk

Having myself undertaken a very long walk for charity (and written a book about it) I am always interested in similar experiences and similar books.

Sam walks 500 miles from his home in Kentucky to Oprah Winfrey's TV studio in Chicago. His objectives are to raise funds for a cancer charity and to present the manuscript copy of one of his other books to Oprah in the hope that she will be impressed enough to help him get it published.

Sam is a young man so, based on my own experience of walking more than twice the distance at the age of 70, his walk should be an easy one. But Sam was recovering from (fortunately successful) treatment for testicular cancer when he set off from Kentucky to Chicago. Clearly this put his walk into a different league than otherwise.

Unlike some other walkers I have read about, Sam did have the sense to train for his ordeal. When people ask me what advice I would give, I always say the more training you can do, the better. The second thing I say is "Use Vaseline on your feet and on all points subject to friction. Fortunately Sam found out about the Vaseline during the walk but before it was too late.

His book is entertaining and informative. He takes the space, in flashbacks, to give a very good impression of what a horrible business it is to undergo chemotherapy.

I really enjoyed the book and am sure his experiences will enrich his life but I share the disappointment he must have with the celebrities involved, and with some of the support he rightly expected but did not receive.

Keep up the writing, Sam. It is your dream to succeed, and you surely will.

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