Walking with a mission: A coast to coast odyssey
By Taylor Kaser -
Over a month ago, Sterling Cleveland set out from his native New York City with a lofty goal in mind — to reach the west coast of the United States, entirely on foot.
His main objective is to raise awareness and funds for the American Diabetes Association; he hopes to raise $10,000 for ADA along the way. Cleveland said that his grandmother’s fight with diabetes was the main inspiration for him to embark on this walk. Although his grandmother passed away, he pointed out that diabetes is a disease that can be prevented and maintained.
A life long resident in and around New York City, he says he’s never taken on a challenge quite like this before. Many people embark on similar walks, he noted, and there are a variety of trails to follow. He plans on reaching Los Angeles sometime this summer.
Speaking with Cleveland, his resiliently positive attitude is as surprising as it is infectious. Despite extreme weather conditions, Cleveland remains undaunted, and the countless hours walking haven’t chipped away his confidence in achieving his goal one bit.
Along the way he’s been staying in motels, “couch surfing”, and camping — despite the frigid temperatures. One of his favorite aspects of the trip so far, he said, are all of the great people he’s met. Last week he passed through Morrow County and “surfed” one of the local couches.
At different stops along the way, Cleveland will have packages waiting for him with additional supplies and gear as needed. He looks forward to travelling through the west and enjoying all the scenery along the way.
Cleveland expressed his gratitude to all the people who helped him thus far and offered their support and encouragement. He’s thankful that his work as a concierge for Cipriani Wall Street allowed him the time off to pursue his goal.
As difficult as his endeavor is, Cleveland certainly seems to be enjoying this once in a lifetime opportunity for a real adventure. Even though most of us won’t be embarking on any bicoastal power walks, we can all benefit from his example of stepping way out of your comfort zone and taking an exciting new leap.
Check out his website, www.soil trek.com to see photos from his journey and read his live journal. The website also has a link to the ADA website where you can learn additional information and make donations.