To prepare for this I walked up and down a steep hill next to my house several times a day. I was building up stamina.Then came the penultimate moment. It was a beautiful early May day, cool, yet sunny, with a pleasant breeze. This was helpful. My knapsack was packed with snacks and sunblock. I had arrived at the starting gate.
I was joining thousands towards a common goal. To walk 20 miles. It was a daunting proposition. But I felt energized. There was music and laughter. And all along the route volunteers cheered us onward. There were many stops for water. And to get check marks indicating progress on my Walk for Hunger brochure.
There was a seemingly endless stream of humanity. It stretched out as far forward as one could see, and as far back. I wasn't the fastest walker, but not the slowest. We walked through Brookline, Newton, and crossed a bridge to Watertown. Then we circled back to Cambridge. At the half way mark we were given sandwiches, snacks and fruit juice. The noon day sun was quite warm. And there were stretches of desert-like conditions. But we carried on. In many ways, the middle miles were the most challenging.
Then there came a moment when I realized, as tired and achy I might feel, that I was going to make it. For the last handful of miles, I was in a trance. I was soldiering onward, with sheer willpower and determination. I was in the home stretch. Crossing the Mass Ave bridge and coming down Comm Ave. I knew this.
I took the subway home. With me were many weary yet satisfied walkers. They were laughing and smiling. When I got home I went to my room and listened to the radio. And there was this experience I will never forget. It was a song that opened with a few lovely notes. And it expressed entirely how I felt. It was happiness washing over me on this wonderful moment. This undeniable victory. An accomplishment I still savor, even many years later.
I know these glory days are gone for me. But I am grateful to have had the privilege to do so many great things in my time. I went on to do many walks for hunger, before retiring with dignity. I have found I can continue to contribute in a myriad of different ways. And I always have that warm feeling of well being when giving. It is all still meaningful, vital, and invigorating. I went on to do many Walk for Hungers, before retiring with dignity. I have found I can continue to contribute in a myriad of different ways.
The Walk for Hunger in its 54th year will be held virtually on May 1, 2022, and continues to raise funds to support anti-hunger efforts in Massachusetts every first Sunday in May since its inception. Register today - its free - and start your personal fundraiser or fundraising team - or donate.