“It wasn’t so much what did I want to do. It was who I want to be.”
Diana Nyad, EverWalk Founder
EverWalk has become known for bringing EverWalk Founders’ Diana Nyad and Bonnie Stoll’s epic ethos to the walking world.
In case you’re wondering, the dictionary tells us that epic means: “telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures. : very great or large and usually difficult or impressive.”
Here at EverWalk, Epic means a great many things. It can mean our 135-mile walks from San Diego to Los Angeles, from Boston to Maine, from Vancouver to Seattle, and from Philadelphia to Washington DC. It can mean our Epic Habitat for Humanity Walks in Key West. But it can also mean getting up out of bed on a day when you just don’t want to do anything, or when your body or mind is saying NO! and getting outside for The EverWalk Mile.
The fact of the matter is that Epic is individual — and when we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others, we often end up failing ourselves. Which means that, even in a super supportive community like our EverWalk Nation, if we look at our own walking habits in comparison to those of other super walkers, we can feel badly about ourselves. And THAT is NOT Epic!
If Epic is a hero’s journey, then Epic means that you must be the hero of your own story.
So what is your story, and how can you be its hero?
Do you struggle with a physical disability or with depression? Do you consider yourself lazy? Are you always comparing yourself with others? Do you walk a lot but always the same places or with the same people? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try — or would just walking halfway around the block feel Epic? To be the hero of your own story, you need to figure out what walking story you want to write — and then how to walk your talk.
Epic means exciting, adventurous, very great or large. Usually difficult or impressive. There are folks in EverWalk for whom half a block is all of those things. There are folks in EverWalk for whom an EverWalk Mile a day is a BIG DEAL! There are folks who walk more steps in a month than others of us walk in a year. Or two. But does that make them more epic than the EverWalk Milers? Absolutely not!
Diana said it wasn’t so much what she wanted to do, it was who she wanted to be. Who do you want to be as a walker? Not when you finally walk the Camino. Not when you look back on your life. Let’s pare it back to something much simpler.
Let’s just look at one chapter of the story of your walking life — this month.
In the new month, why not take the EverWalk Epic Challenge?
Try this: Pull out a piece of blank paper and do what’s called a FreeWrite. Which means write for five minutes without stopping. This may mean that some of what you write is blah blah blah or I really need to do the laundry. It doesn’t matter. Just keep writing. It’s part of your Epic training. Not to stop or talk yourself out of something.
Make your topic: What is Epic to me when it comes to walking?
When you’ve done your FreeWrite, go back through it and circle what’s interesting. This could be goals like “I want to try to walk a little every day no matter what.” Or “I’d like to walk someplace and watch the sunset every evening.” Or “I just want to walk a little every day.”
OR it could be those nasty little naysaying voices in your head. Like “This is stupid.” Or “I can’t walk this month because of my injury.” Or “I already walk enough.”
Then go back through and find what seems like a reasonable answer to this question:
My own personal Epic EverWalk Goal (which no on else needs to see or know) this month is: ____________________________
And then write it down.
Next, write down the three excuses that will try to deter you: I’m too busy. It’s supposed to rain a lot. I’m already epic enough. Whatever comes up. And then pay attention when they try to pull focus from your Epic EverWalk Goal. Just escort them out of your thinking, lace up your walking shoes, and go for it. Even if you’re rehabbing from an injury, think of your Epic EverWalk Goal as preparing yourself to get back out there!!
And that’s all there is to it. To be the hero of your own story, to decide — as Diana did — who you want to be, you have to set your own goal. So Just Do It! Set your individual Epic EverWalk Goal this week and then keep going. . .Onward!!!
AND DON’T FORGET TO TRACK YOUR MILES ON PACER AND DOWNLOAD THE EVERWALK MILE CALENDAR! YOU CAN DO IT ALL ON THE EVERWALK NATION APP/WEBSITE!