Danny and Hillary Dannels reach Florida.
Since finishing our journey two weeks ago, my wife, Hillary, and I have spent the majority of our time sleeping. For the first week, I slept as though I was in a coma, only interrupted by throbs of pain from my broken appendages (ankle and wrist). It was only during the second week that I could get out of bed on my own.
Fortunately, my recovery is going well. I can walk on my ankle again, and I can even use my broken right wrist to some degree.
I have tried to decide how I feel about our trip and the world record. Right after we finished, I just felt numb. But since then, I have experienced increasing waves of satisfaction, mixed with a strange detachment about everything that happened.
Part of my satisfaction is due to the fact that I finished an endurance event that few would have attempted, and I beat the existing Guinness World Record by 46 hours and shortened the course by 40 miles.
Another accomplishment was that Hillary and I found a skate-able — though just barely — route across the USA. Some questioned whether one could be found. But we did it.
The question we have heard so many times since we got home is: are you going to do it again?
Yes, we are. ... And yes, I am crazy.
We know so much more now. And we know we could make the trip considerably quicker.
Among the things we would do differently:
(I also can't overstate the need for a bright headlamp. I used multiple lamps and flashlights when I had to skate at night.)
We are talking about doing it again next year at the same time. A late summer run is also an option. But first we will have to see how my body heals.
Trans USA Route
Through all this, I hope to establish a Trans USA route that other skaters can follow. That is why I have made the maps public. (Map 1, Map 2, Map 3, Map 4, Map 5, Map 6, Map 7, Map 8) Someone else should have the right to beat me on the same course.
Now that we are back in Texas, we have a few ideas about what is next for us. The immediate future will be about rebuilding our life, though not the old one. Some of the old life gets to stay, but we are different people now. We are stronger. We know that we can accomplish our dreams.
One thing I can say for sure is that I will return to racing marathons. I love to skate. ... I'm a skater. ... It's what I do.
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