He we are, 40 miles into the Walk 4 Life. That's about how much ground I covered today the first day in about 12 hours taking one 2 hour break to get some work done.I got to the State House in Trenton, NJ where Governor Corzine just signed the bill to become the first state to abolish the death penalty in over 40n years, at about 4:45am with my long time confidant Prince LSD. LS did roadside assistance all day. He did a great job leaving me to feel secure so to focus on the task at hand.Now I had asked for 500 people to join me at the State House to walk the first mile with me. I was a bit disappointed at the turn out. No one showed up. But this did not stop me. We took a quick ride to get some coffee and the morning news paper which made up for no one showing up to walk the first mile with me. The Capital of New Jersey's news paper the Trentonian ran a real nice story about the walk. Knowing a few hundred thousand people would be reading the story they titled "Stop Killing" had me pumped up and ready to walk. I actually didn't get started till 5:28am by the time we got back from the store. It wasn't real cold out, but it was very cool which was good, it made me walk faster. Within 15 minutes of leaving the State House I was crossing the Delaware river. It was still dark and not a lot of traffic at all, it was peaceful really. As you can imagine a million thoughts were running through my mind. The thought of Mumia and all the other captives in Pennsylvania sitting in cages waiting to be murdered made me walk more upright, like a guerrilla marching into combat.
I got my first phone call just as I was crossing the Delaware. A dear friend of mine from California called. I was surprised, figure it was like 3am in Cali. I was pumped up already but by the end of our brief conversation I was a fiery ball of energy. Yea the first 4 to 5 hours I was non-stop, I felt really good. Now, no one had chosen the first day for a prisoner. I actually think we were to dedicate it to all the death row prisoners in the country. We ran short on time to do something special but we will be honoring them all before the walks end. Anyway I took it upon myself to dedicate March 31, 2008 to Mumia Abu Jamal about a week before I began to walk. It seemed right seeing I was walking into the state the holds him captive. I thought of all the prisoners believe me not just those on death row. See I have been to some of the worst prisons in the country and I know any sentence is like a death sentence seeing that death is always a possibility in prison.
I want to say that not long ago, some time in late 2006 I got to travel to Italy for the first of many times. I love Italy. It was in Italy that I actually felt free for the first time in my life. It's hard to explain the feeling but I will say it felt great. I had never felt so at peace, I was in a great place. I felt a strong presence of God in Italy. I am saying this because this is what I began to feel as I walked today. It was not as intense as the feeling I had in Italy but it was a good feeling regardless. This feeling of freedom I believe we were born with it's just not recognized much in these very difficult and trying times. It was strange feeling this freedom here in the US where I have felt like a prisoner for as long as I can pretty much remember, it's crazy.
About 5 or 6 hours into the walk I was giving thanks to God for my partner doing roadside assistance. I had somehow missed a slight turn off and walked about 5 miles in a wrong direction. I called LS right away when I noticed. He picked me up and we drove back, tracking the distance from where I realized the mistake to where I made the mistake and LS then drove that distance in the right direction then he dropped me off. I was grateful for the foul up though because there were some great sights on that 5 mile stretch.
I didn't look at the time of day it was when I reached Philadelphia but let me tell you it was a great feeling for some reason. I never walked such a distance before so I'm guessing it was just seeing that sign, Welcome to Philadelphia. I felt like what I imagine a child feels like on Christmas morning, just breaking at the seams with joy. I say I imagine what a child feels like because I would not know. We didn't celebrate holidays when I was growing up. I quickly took out my camera and took a picture. It wasn't good enough, I ran halfway across the highway and got a great shot. The feeling of accomplishment was amazing even though I was only just starting my long journey to Texas. It was just great.
I am going to tell you from the very first moment the idea of doing this walk came to me I felt the Hand of God guiding this what I call movement. This is still very much so and I hope through my sharing you will all see the evidence of this. I pray for this. See I mapped out the walk as best I could using a map and map quest. I didn't get into many specifics I just made sure I was away from major highways. As I was walking I prayed for Mumia and his family as well as the victim Mumia is accused of killing and his family. I then came upon the sign above. I had no idea believe me. What's crazy is it fit into what my thoughts were on what this walk was to stand for. Building a bridge joining all the victims involved together. I was pretty much speechless after I took that picture thinking of how it all came together like it was planned. I believe it was to tell you the truth.
A few hours later into the walk I was met by my comrades Therapist and Unabeatz. We loaded my gear into their ride and they followed LS for a few miles till they learned the ropes of working roadside then LS headed back to Jersey. It was a great day even though is was raining most of the day, I seen a lot of beautiful sites and met some good people. I don't remember the exact stop time I stopped walking I believe after 6pm, I was just exhausted. I didn't even eat after walking. I just did a bit of work on my computer and did a couple of radio interviews set up by a dear friend in Maryland. Not long after hanging up with DJ RBI I passed out.
The first day changed me. I haven't pin pointed yet but yea, the experience had a very powerful impact on me. I am curious to see how this ends up really.
In closing I just want to say thank you to everyone who called as I was walking. And to everyone who wrote and text me. And thank you to everyone who prayed for me, God bless you all. I wouldn't have made it without you all. Till next time, peace, love and progress. "X"