Good morning! Each Sunday I have the opportunity to speak with Chris Across America Sams and ask him 3 questions about his journey. As I’ve mentioned, Chris is running from Baltimore, MD to San Diego, CA to help spread awareness about living a fit and healthy lifestyle. Last week we asked his followers to list some of the questions they had for him. The response was great! You can check out our interview from last week as well as this morning’s on our PerspeKtive fan page! Enjoy…
Jennifer McMullan – What has been revealed to you, about yourself, that you may not have known prior to embarking on this journey?
I’ve been relatively independent for the majority of my life, especially after college. Well now, in a lot of ways I’m completely on my own. Throughout my run down the east coast I had a lot of host families, back-to-back-to-back with a random hotel stay here and there. But after I dipped further south into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana…I haven’t had nearly as many host families. So basically I’ve been running from hotel or motel 5-6 times a week without the excitement of meeting a new host family or talking to someone excited to see me and anxious to become more knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition. I’ve learned that I need to talk to my close friends and family much more than I thought I needed to. Talking to them on the phone, even though I’m not seeing them, just hearing their voice on the phone and hearing all of the encouragement they’re giving is so important for me. I’m learning that the people that are close in your life, those relationships, you need to keep them going and keep them strong. Connect over the phone, email, text message because that’s what keeps you going and keeps you motivated. I’m basically by myself every single night, staying at random hotels…and sometimes the person at the front desk is friendly and they’ll talk and sometimes they aren’t. It’s just me and the room, so it’s crucial to keep contact with those that I’m closest with.
There’s certain people that call me and certain people that I call. These are folks that have a great aura and energy about them. People like you (thanks Chris 🙂 ), and other friends, clients, family that I talk with…I feel a good positive charge when I get off the phone with them. So a huge part of this that I’ve learned is how important it is for me to keep in contact with the right kinds of people that lift you up and motivate you to continually do great things.
Niki Lawn – Which state is your favorite so far and why?
My journey so far has taken me down through southern Maryland, into DC, through Virginia, down to North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and then across to Alabama, Mississippi and now I’m in Louisiana. Each state has been amazing in its own respect. I do have two that are tied right now. As close as I’ve lived to Virginia, on this run I’ve been able to see parts of Virginia that I’ve never seen. Just pure beauty and really awesome scenery and people that I met along the way. And the people that hosted me were awesome. But I guess the wildcard state that I could probably say has been my favorite so far has been Alabama. Because that’s when you really see, for me, a big change in culture and people. Obviously the southern accents, but as far as how willing people were to help me and lend a hand. People who barely even knew me were willing to go further lengths than people that may have known me for a year or two, to help me in my endeavors…with really whatever they could. Just the straight up hospitality and pure good hearts from most of the people I met in Alabama. It really made me take a step back and look at that state and say “wow, people are really and truly out there to help you without any ulterior motives.” I don’t know that you necessarily see as much of that in the northeast. I had especially awesome times in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.
Tamara Bauer – Is this the longest you’ve been away from both friends and family? Have you been feeling homesick? Have there been stretches where you lose cell service and feel anxious you can’t reach them?
The only thing I can come close to comparing the distance from family to is college. But going to Salisbury University I could easily drive 2.5 half hours if I really needed to see family. And obviously I was surrounded by friends. I don’t have that same luxury here but I wouldn’t say that I’m homesick. As I move along this journey, I talk more and more about connectedness, the importance of hearing the voices of mom, dad and my sister and people that are there to give you that good positive cheer. I’ve gotten homesick here and there, but nothing that has made me want to quit and turn around or fly back home.
As far as losing cell service…there has been a few, not that many, but there has been a few places where I’ve lost cell service. But I’m just on the run and have to have confidence the service will kick back in. I’m ok because I know that once I get to a hotel or host-family’s house someone will have a landline and I’ll be able to use that if need be. Sure I miss friends and family back home but as I’ve touched on before, the ability to stay connected with everyone via phone, email, text etc has really been huge for me as I get further and further into my journe