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SiNa94
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Where to begin?

 

My name is Matt. I've been vegan for just over a month, actually since the week of Robert's Holiday Festival, which I attended. I was lacto-ovo vegetarian for about a month and a half before that, but I couldn't stand doing anything half-assed.

 

I was "converted" by a professor of philosophy at the university I started attending this year. Initially I claimed that it was for health reasons (there's a history of diabetes in my family) and for environmental reasons... and I still try to stick to that argument when I'm questioned about it... but I find that the longer I go without animal products the sicker I feel when I see someone else consuming them, or see ads for them, or am subjected to conversations about hunting, etc.

 

So... now that I've started an environmental activism group on campus (to more or less overthrow the inactive one that already existed) and started veganizing the cafeteria (I had a meeting with the head chef who has given me a list of new vegan options that will be available next term), I have one new goal that I'm tossing around inside my head.

 

I want to walk across the U.S. under some sort of eviro/vegan context. Of course, I have about 4 years of schooling ahead of me at least, and as this trek will take several months I won't be able to give it a shot until after I graduate. That just means I have 4 years to train for it.

 

I've already come a long way. I've lost 60 pounds in the past year. At the end of June I made an attempt at walking from my house to a friend's house about 19 1/2 miles away. I make it about 14 miles before I ran out of water and had to stop for fear of dehydration (that, and because of the immense amount of pain I was in). I did this with absolutely no training or preparation of any kind... and I paid for it. I was bed-ridden for the next 24 hours and in a great deal of pain for several days after that. Blisters persisted for several weeks. I tried to avoid moving my legs at all costs and when I did move them I literally had to pick them up with my hands and place them where I wanted them (and wince in pain the whole while).

 

Then, in August, as a kick off to the school year I went on a backpacking trip with some other incoming freshmen. A trek that was supposed to last 4 days and just over 20 miles only ended up taking 2 days. I ran out of water again on the first day and had to steal some from everybody else because the first two streams where we were supposed to be able to refill were dried up (and I've noticed that my body is really inefficient at using water). We had to push ourselves a lot farther the first day than anticipated to get to a source of water. The steep incline was hell on my underworked legs, but this time I managed to get through the trip with no blisters (though, I did lose a toenail). On the downside I had to take painkillers for the first time in over two years to make sure I could keep up with everyone else.

 

Right now I'm walking about 2 miles a day (though, the cold weather the last week or two has been deterring me). I'd like to gradually increase speed and distance so that I'm walking about 8-10 miles a day in hopefully under 2 hours. Hopefully quite a bit under 2 hours. I think that would be the biggest part of my actual physical training for the trip across the States.

 

My biggest concern is finding vegan/eco-friendly clothing for the trek. Any suggestions? I'm trying to avoid petrochemicals like polyester, though I looked at the Patagonia website and it looks like they have stuff that's make with recycled polyester, so I might think about that. Another alternative would be to buy second-hand stuff. I just don't have a lot of experience with buying eco-friendly vegan clothing since I haven't bought any clothes in the month that I've been vegan. And, I'll likely be in for a wide variety of conditions since it'll probably take me somewhere between 4-10 months to complete the journey. Maybe more than that... I'm trying not to overestimate my abilities like I did on my attempt to walk 20 miles in a single day (though that might not be as big of a problem for me now that my feet have thickened up and and I'm a little more used to the distance).

 

I'd also like to make arrangements to stay in vegan friendly households along the way... but I probably won't get that lucky. I guess we'll see as I start planning this thing over the next 4 years or so.

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Welcome to the forum!

 

Great intro and I'm really glad you attended and enjoyed the Vegan Holiday Festival. It sounds like you are involved in some really cool things. We have a super supportive vegan community here and you can get pretty much all your questions answered.

 

I'll look over your questions again soon and maybe I'll be able provide some answers for some of them.

 

All the best and welcome aboard!

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Hi Matt, good news about going vegan! Welcome to the board!

 

Check out http://www.peterjenkins.com/. Peter wrote his first book A Walk Across America when he was about your age. He set out walking the Appalachian Trail and it turned in to the adventure of a lifetime, he only made it half way down the trail and ended up living in a trailer with a poor black family in Tennessee. Thirty years ago that was a really radical thing to do. After spending the winter in Tennessee working in a sawmill, he walked to Mississippi where he met his wife and completed college. After college, he and his wife walked to California. Since then Peter has walked across Northern China and lived with the Mongolian tribes he met along the way, and even walked across Alaska.

 

I think the mental preparation for a journey like yours is more important than the physical. Good luck!

 

`Michael

 

PS Check out http://trailjournals.com/ for insanely interesting personal journals of folks hiking the Appalachian trail, 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. I would reccomend Ron Rod's journal from 2003 http://trailjournals.com/rocket/ I read his journal in real time as he started hiking at the craziest time of year January 1st!

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hello and welcome

 

awesome to hear the Vegan Holiday Fest was inspiring for you!

Yeah to Robert again for putting that together

It was an amazing event

 

i need a hiking buddy, but i'm a fair weather outdoors person

and when it's freezing and rainy, i don't do so well outside

 

i go to 24 hour though, in hollywood and pearl

they have good classes you could take to train

i like spinning class

and love lifting weights

 

glad you're here

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Thanks for all of the "wecomes"!

 

Check out http://www.peterjenkins.com/. Peter wrote his first book A Walk Across America when he was about your age. He set out walking the Appalachian Trail and it turned in to the adventure of a lifetime, he only made it half way down the trail and ended up living in a trailer with a poor black family in Tennessee. Thirty years ago that was a really radical thing to do. After spending the winter in Tennessee working in a sawmill, he walked to Mississippi where he met his wife and completed college. After college, he and his wife walked to California. Since then Peter has walked across Northern China and lived with the Mongolian tribes he met along the way, and even walked across Alaska.

 

Wow, that's amazing. Especially since I am a writer on some fundamental level. On top of wanting to inspire others, I hope this journey inspires me to write something amazing.

 

I think the mental preparation for a journey like yours is more important than the physical. Good luck!

 

Yeah. There's going to be a lot of isolation, at least on some level, but I love being out "in the world". It'll still be tough. And then having the constitution to face the elements and so many other things. But, I know from experience that not being in the proper physical shape is that much harder on the mind.

 

Shame your not in Texas coz I need a hiking buddy!....welcome!

 

Well... maybe if this trip turns out good I'll make a little trip to Texas one of these days.

 

i need a hiking buddy, but i'm a fair weather outdoors person

and when it's freezing and rainy, i don't do so well outside

 

I don't have very good winter clothes... so that's been deterring me recently as well. Hopefully I'll get something soon because I'd much rather walk outside. I definitely know what you mean though. I was glad that the weather was nice during our backpacking trip because then we didn't have to pitch tents. We got to sleep out under the stars.

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Welcome.

 

So... now that I've started an environmental activism group on campus (to more or less overthrow the inactive one that already existed) and started veganizing the cafeteria (I had a meeting with the head chef who has given me a list of new vegan options that will be available next term)

 

Nice work getting some vegan options in your school's cafeteria! I'm sure that all of the vegetarians and vegans on campus, as well as some of the omnis, will appreciate your efforts.

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Nice work getting some vegan options in your school's cafeteria! I'm sure that all of the vegetarians and vegans on campus, as well as some of the omnis, will appreciate your efforts.

 

Thanks!

 

They were actually a lot more receptive than I expected. Most people complain about the food but don't offer any solutions. I did both.

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