So what to do now that my wife is couch bound for six weeks? What now that I have been let go from my seasonal work obligations? Back to basics! Walking, letter writing, social networking and getting my Indegogo campaign ready to launch by February. The only issue is motivation. This past week broke up the routine so much that getting it back together seems difficult. It is cold outside. If I am away from Elika for too long my imagination goes nuts and I start to worry. Vaas is still wreaking all sorts of havoc in Far Cry 3 so I should probably hunt him down. Sometimes the hardest part of doing something is just making yourself do it. Let’s test this theory. I am going to hit return and when I start the next paragraph four miles will have gone by for me, yet a mere second will have passed for you. Literary time travel! What a crazy concept.

And I am back, and feel better for it. It is getting out the door that is the hurdle. It is picking up the shattered remains of my routine and building a new one. It is moving forwards towards March 10th while assimilating these new challenges into our lives and I feel I have just made the first step.

I am not even sure where to begin. This past week has been both a blur and a painfully slow crawl. It marked a few notable dates and events, the first of which was my four-month “Walkiversary.” It is hard to believe that I have been planning this for four months. The second event was my birthday! I turned thirty-six. I have been asked if walking across the country is a mid-life crisis. I suppose that is a fair question. If it is, at least it is cheaper than a sports car.

Oh! Elika shattered her ankle. She was playing catch with my niece and nephew. What should follow that sentence is an epic story about how she did a fool hearted leaping dive to catch the pigskin. Sadly that is not true. She was almost standing still. She stepped to the side a bit to make a catch, twisted her ankle, she went one way and her ankle went the other. What resulted was three different broken bones and a dislocation.

We had a lovely ride to Christiansburg, Va. hospital curtiousy of 911. She had to have emergency surgery to put her ankle back together. I turned into a stressed insomniac worry beast. I did manage to sleep a bit though…

And here she is looking all happy on her super narcotic pain medication. I am going to start calling her “Franken-ankle.”

I found this sign in the ER very amusing.

So Elika is now bionic! She has a metal plate and two screws in her leg which gives her the power to get searched thoroughly by airport security. She is also pretty much immobile. She cannot put any weight on that foot at all for six weeks. Let’s see… oh!… I got let go from my seasonal work obligations. I saw this coming. It would not have lasted past the second week in January and seeing as I am now a full, live-in, health care provider I could not have gone back until around that time.

We had to stay with my sister for a week, which was nice. I do not get to see my family often enough and I wish it were under different circumstances. I was able to drive the four hours back with Elika yesterday after making a huge pillow nest for her in the back seat. So we are home now… and I slept. Today I am going to rent a wheelchair. Elika wants to go see The Hobbit. We will see if I can get her “There and Back Again.”

Oh! One more thing! Best birthday present ever? The Hero of Canton! The man that they call Jaaaaaaaaaayne!

I have issues with commitment. I have been with my wife for twelve years. This is the topper perched on my “Commitment Tree.” Sadly few other ornaments adorn said foliage. I beat Donkey Kong Country Returns at 100% even though I almost chucked the controller at the television on more than one occasion. I am not sure that was commitment rather than just being stubborn. That was a tough game that harkened back to the old days of Ninja Gaiden and Contra sans “The Code.”

Jokes about games aside I have quit many things in my life. I harbor much regret over more than a few things I let go by the wayside. When I did not show up for the National Yodeling Finals…well… I shall never yodel again. I could have won gold. See what I did there? I diffuse things I am uncomfortable with using humor. I suppose it an internal defense mechanism. I cannot help it. Rather than face these regrets I make jokes about them.

Four months ago today is when I officially decided to walk across the United States. At this time neither Elika nor myself to be honest thought I would stick with it. Commitment issues. Yet not only have I not let it falter, I have built upon it and let the momentum of the project feed me.

In four months I have slowly started building a social media network to back me on the walk. I have Child’s Play officially on board. I am sending out donation and sponsor letters. I already have my first donations. I did a marathon. I have seasonal work to see me through until March. I have walked almost five hundred miles. Four months ago I had mental anguish over walking to 7-11 for a Slurpee.

It would be a lie if I said I had not thought about quitting this. The entire project is scary. Yet those doubts I have I feel are a natural part of something like this and I do my best to squish them. Actually Elika squishes them. Without her being a driving motivational force with this walk I doubt I would be writing this today. I would be playing Far Cry 3. Actually I am still going to do that once I hit publish.

So four months down and three months and three days to go until the start and I am only gaining momentum. I honestly feel that joking about things you have accomplished might be better using humor to avoid things you have not. Funny thing is… I cannot actually think of anything funny to say at the moment. That sentence made no sense. I am going to go play Far Cry…

Two things.

First, I got my first donation to Child’s Play! I am still three months and 5 days away from starting my walk and we are already raising money! I am very excited about this. Thank you so much Marlene. Every day this seems more real to me and you just helped draw that reality filter further into focus.

Sadly this wonderful news was interrupted by my second thing… I got eaten by a crocodile.

So there was this pirate camp you see? They were smuggling a staggeringly inappropriate amount of weapons and explosives onto the island and well, that does nobody any good. I was perfectly quiet. I snuck around all of the guards like a cat. They never knew I was there. A well tossed rock distracted the door sentry long enough for me to sneak inside. I planted a timed bomb… for only 15 seconds. You would think I would be smart enough to allow a bit more time for such subtle work. Oh well, the time for stealth was over. I kicked open the door, took out two guards and made a mad dash away from the ticking powder keg of a pirate camp. I turned around to see the camp go up in a blinding huge fireball. Those guards were chasing me. They started shooting! In front of me loomed a lake! I plunged into the water to escape the hail of gunfire… right into the mouth of a crocodile.

Seriously? What were those kids doing vacationing on that island? With the pirates, crocodiles, tigers, bears, komodo dragons, hallucinatory plant life, death goats and magical tattoos… it seems a horrifically dangerous place. Oh! I have been playing Far Cry 3 by the way.

The harsh truth of the matter is I have had two knee surgeries. My left knee will never be 100% again. My knee hurts. Often. I deal with it, but not like I should. My orthopedist for years has said two things. I need to get special shoes and I need to wear a knee brace. I have done neither. I purchased a knee brace. I hate it. It is my hope that just being within close proximity to the brace might somehow help my knee. As for shoes I tend to buy them as cheap as I can go and well, you get what you pay for.

My knee blew out yesterday. This is not a walk effecting incident. It happens. It makes a funny little popping noise then feels like someone has smashed my knee with a hammer. The pain fades after a few days.

So I am going to walk across the United States. I suppose I had better get serious. Today I went and had my feet, gait and stride measured and now own a new set of bracing walking shoes with custom in-soles. I also bought a new knee brace, a real one and not the silly elastic thing that lurks in the corner of the bedroom. Here is to doing what it takes.

I am thankful for seasonal work. I want to get that out of the way. It keeps me busy. I think it is actually good excercise being on my feet all day; it prepares me more for what is ahead. It helps pay the bills. It was part of the plan. All of the being said… it is driving me insane.

I have what is possibly the biggest adventure of my life looming in front of me. When I am not blogging about it I am walking. When I am not walking I am taking care of “The paperwork.” I am writing sponsor emails. I am constructing my Indiegogo campaign. I am talking to the charity, I am checking and re-checking all of my gear. My eye is fixed on Rivendell. Wait… I mean the walk. I am fixated on the walk. I am not Sauron. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

So the walk rules my life now. It is a full-time job. Then I go to work. I go to work and I do work things. I pick things up. I put things down. I show people where tuna fish is located. I sit in the break room and watch Iron Chef. The entire act is like a huge ticking, slow clock. Every day is a painful slow “Click.” It lasts the entire shift. And it seems the hands of this clock make March 10th feel further and further away. I am being dramatic yes. I know this. But as you Whovians out there know the ticking drove The Master to the far reaches of crazy. What if the retail clock is doing the same to me? Tick…tick……..TICK.

And, thus, the first and probably only Walking Gamer Reston to Washington, DC marathon has come to an end. Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to inform them that the Persian army had been defeated. He was the equivalent of texting back in the day. He ran 26.2 miles and I have no idea why people still do this thing. I walked it. It took all day. It hurt.

Still… I am glad I did it. I had not had an endurance walking day in a while due to the seasonal work. It would also appear that uploading from the road to everything was a smashing success. I also took some pictures throughout the day. Take a look (it’s in a book).