Monday, April 28, 2008

Half Acre Hike.... Over and Out.

I decided a couple of months ago that I would walk a case of beer up the coast of Lake Michigan about 10 miles, without putting it down once. This was an effort to raise money for the local charity, First Slice, and to deliver the ceremonial first case of beer to the Heartland Café, the northern most location selling Half Acre Beer.

I’d been training by walking around town with a case of beer (makes sense). I’d gotten to the point where I could walk over an hour and feel pretty good. A case of our beer weighs a little over 30lbs and is pretty cumbersome, so eventually it just gets heavy and awkward, no matter what.

I’d walked the route I was going to walk without the case and it took 3.5 hours and was pretty tiring all by itself. Ten miles on pavement seems to be harder on your body than a natural trail of the same length. I knew that if I was going to make it without putting the case down I was going to have to walk fast and not stop at all.

I had some great people come out for the walk and hang out. Thanks to all those guys who made the effort and spent time. I can’t say how much I appreciate the support. It was a sunny, cool day with a bit too much wind, but all in all it was perfect case carrying weather.

Many kind people sponsored the walk to help and raise money and that in and of itself was motivation enough, but I had a couple close friends that doubted the fact that I might be able to go the whole way without putting it down. Frankly, I doubted it too, but their doubts served as a motivation of a different kind.

When all was said and done, I did it. I walked all ten miles in three hours without putting the case down once, raised some money for a really good cause, did something good for a place that sells our beer, got some positive press for Half Acre Beer Co and got to shatter my buddies (and my own) doubts in the possibility that it could be done.

As I type these words, my body is sore in ways I can’t remember experiencing. All the things that you would think hurt the most, feel fine. The pains come from nooks and crannies of my body that probably go unchallenged for the most part. I got my body to the point where my shoulders, biceps and standard muscle groups were fit and ready, but come two hours into carrying that case – joints started to hurt, the weight became too much for things that aren’t generally burdened, and I just had to grind it out.

This was a great experience. I’m very glad that I did it. I’m pretty certain that I won’t ever do it again. Maybe something else, but not this.

My buddy Paul – who had wagered against my success, and also joined me on a bike for a good portion of the walk – said to me numerous times, “I think this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done.” Part of me can’t help but agree, but a bigger part of me is really glad to help out the folks that First Slice will aid with the funds raised (over $2,000), and another part is really glad to take Paul’s money and buy Half Acre Beer for the patrons of The Heartland Café.

Off to soak.

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