My first 27 mile hike on my first day of Crossing Maryland for Cool Kids(my story) is for a boy we all met at The Cool Kids Campaign running Festival. ‘Batman Jack’ or Jackson Buck is 5 years old, and shares a birthday with my little Alex. His mother introduced herself with me and asked for a photo. It was our honor to feel the authentic smile of someone who deserves to smile everyday.
When I run, certain songs are always on my playlist. The local (DC) group Citizen Cope always spoke to me with “Son’s gonna rise” with a metaphor that works on many levels… especially while running… “in a mile”
“Well a son's gonna rise in a mile
In a mile
You'll be feeling fine
In a mile you will see
You'll be out of the dark, yeah
You'll get your shot”
I first thought this was about the actual sun, and it yearn for it this morning through some rain as I look east over the mountains of western Maryland. But this song is about a man racing in his car to the hospital while his wife is about to give birth to their ‘son’. The man seems to have already been through his worst days personally and the woman saw the best in him. He sees this child as an opportunity to bring light into his world to make everything better by giving him a purpose outside of himself.
“Man she saves me, To this day
I don't know why
She picked me up, When I was down
on the road
With the wind when it blowed”
Yes! The sun will rise in a mile, AND I am doing this trek in part for my own sons. I told them both that this challenge of 300+ miles ahead of me is more than I can imagine. I don’t know how my health will hold, but I feel that I need to do this (in part) to prove to them to reach beyond their perceived limits. When you do something for a good cause or purpose outside of yourself, then the ultimate good will uplift you and carry you farther than you can imagine.
5 years old
Type of Cancer: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
Lives in Baltimore
In his mom's words:
"Jackson was diagnosed with ALL on March 5, 2014. He started off low/standard risk, but was moved into the high risk category after a small amount of leukemia was still present after his induction therapy.
We are thrilled to report that on July 4, we learned that he is in remission! He will still be in treatment for the next 2 and a half years so the doctors can help make sure it doesn't return. He is treated at Sinai and he loves his nurses and doctors very much.
He lives with mom, dad, sisters, Madeleine (4) and Finley (18 months), and his yellow lab Maggie. He's starting kindergarten this fall. He loves Batman, Star Wars, Harry Potter, pirates, video games, and scary things like monsters and zombies. His favorite holiday is Halloween.
He has a Facebook page called Jackson's Journey.
A large group, mostly from the law enforcement community, are running in the Baltimore Running Festival as part of Team Batman Jack. They are raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so we can eventually live in a world without blood cancers. Jackson is our superhero!"
This is for you Batman Jack! No fear!
See my planned Day 1 Route including elevation. Make sure you click 'imperial' units instead of the default for metric on the right side.
Follow my Trek on live at this link. This changed my route a little. I will be staying on MD 295 in Garrett County north to Rt 40. This will be embedded in my web site as soon as it is available.
Wilkins Automotive (and the wonderful Wilkins family with me for the start)
Gold's Gym Eldersburg/Shrewsbury
If you drive by or stop to say high, we can take a pic and post it using the hashtag #cmd4ckc to help document this once in a lifetime journey. Post that on social media or tag @justinweather.
Let’s DO THIS!
I start off every run with this one song. While there are explicit lyrics, the message is one of rising to the challenge, and the rhythm and beat are hypnotic to me. So caution if you listen to it, but get past some profanity and you will hear this at the very end, but it is at my very beginning:
Lose Yourself – EMINEM
(4:08 into the track)
So here I go it's my shot.
Feet, fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got…
You can do anything you set your mind to, man