Danny and Hillary Dannels on top of Mt. Fagan in Arizona.
We have finally made it to Texas!
I have waged war in the mountains and come out victorious. I have skated 620 miles since writing my last story. All told, I have skated 825 miles in three weeks over some of the toughest terrain the United States has to offer.
Now I start my run through the flatlands.
Taking a Beating
My ankles are swollen and in constant pain. I have bruises on my ankles and toes. I have endured constant pain skating roads that seemed unskateable. I have learned to skate dirt. Yes, dirt is skateable. You have to want it. You have to order your feet into action. You also have to pray a lot. In retrospect, I wish I would have skated dirt rather than some of the roads I was on.
I broke my body in New Mexico. I reached "the wall." I have never felt my body scream at me that way before. I tried my best to force my muscles into action, but pain left me crumbled on the side of the road.
The wall is a special place you reach after you exhaust all your reserves. It is a place where you find out what you are really made of. You either conquer your fears and start again or you pack up and go home.
I am still here. I am still skating. I am still loving this.
Something else I've discovered along the way is the support of benefactors. The entire skating community has come together to help us on this quest. I have often said that I meet the best people skating. I was right about that. Skaters are special human beings. They are filled with love and hope. They have embraced our dream and have ensured that we will have a way to finish.
I have also begun to realize my ultimate dream. That is the goal of getting more people to skate more often. Crossing the USA and getting a world record is a means to that goal. It is by far the hardest means to a goal that I have ever pursued, but it is working. People are writing me. They are telling me that they are skating more often and further because I am skating. This inspires me. Together we can get the world to skate.
I get to skate my home state of Texas now. I am so proud to have made it here. I've finished a third of my journey [Total distance: about 2500 miles].
I have a built-in support system here in Texas. I feel safer. But don't mistake that for complacency.
The desert instilled fear in me with it's harshness, but Texas is almost overwhelming in size. I will be skating another 800 miles here. The sum of my entire journey to date will be replicated.
So lookout, Texas. Your son has come home. But I'm just passing through. See y'all on the other side.
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