Today is Patriot’s Day, or Marathon Monday as those of us in Boston call it. Aside from when the Red Sox win the World Series, Marathon Monday is the best day to be a Bostoner. The entire city heads out to watch the marathon – sitting on the side of Beacon Street, there is this crazy emotional tie to the city, the runners and your fellow beer drinking spectators. Watching the athletes who are running for awesome charities like Dana Farber, the Leukemia Society, the American Heart Association and seeing the incredible people who run in crazy situations like the man who has no legs and the father who runs while pushing his son in a wheelchair is just amazing.
In honor of Marathon Monday, I wanted to pick a book that highlighted marathons or strength or overcoming unusual odds. I chose Peter Jenkins’ A Walk Across America. I read this book in 10th or 11th grade and have thought about it enough to know that it had a pretty big impact on me (thanks Ms. Wrye!). This book is a true story of a man who sets out to walk across the country and in the process learns more about himself, his country and his fellow Americans than he could have ever imagined. A great thought-provoking read and a feel good story about community and connections to others.
Twenty-five years ago, a disillusioned young man set out on a walk across America. This is the book he wrote about that journey — a classic account of the reawakening of his faith in himself and his country.
“I started out searching for myself and my country,” Peter Jenkins writes, “and found both.” In this timeless classic, Jenkins describes how disillusionment with society in the 1970s drove him out onto the road on a walk across America. His experiences remain as sharp and telling today as they were twenty-five years ago — from the timeless secrets of life, learned from a mountain-dwelling hermit, to the stir he caused by staying with a black family in North Carolina, to his hours of intense labor in Southern mills. Many, many miles later, he learned lessons about his country and himself that resonate to this day — and will inspire a new generation to get out, hit the road and explore.