A year and a half ago, George Throop departed from his home in Vancouver, Wash., and set out on a walk that would take him all the way to Washington, D.C.
With almost 3,000 miles already behind him, Throop’s arrival in Abilene marked the half-way point in his “Walk of Inspiration” across America.
Throop said he wants to use the walk to encourage people to live healthier lives and to engage in activities that will pull them out of the monotony of everyday life.
“You may have to give some things up – some comforts or luxuries – to radically change things, but if you follow that voice of intuition inside you, down the road, you will see it was the best thing you could ever do,” Throop said.
After quitting his job in January of 2007, Throop bought a ticket to Latin America and spent five months touring and volunteering. He said it was there he decided he would come home and do this walk.
“I’ve served my time. I’ve served my sentence, and I feel as if I’ve been sort of liberated, and I’ll continue my path to keep my freedom,” Throop said. “I’ll never go back to the way it was.”
Doug Timmons, senior information systems major from Weatherford, met Throop on Friday and was able to hear a lot of his story.
“He is the manifestation of the desire for change that is inside our generation,” Timmons said.
Throop carries signs on the road as he walks and, freqently, people stop to inquire about his journey. Even if they do not, Throop said he is content knowing it has, at least, caused some people to consider what they can do with their resources, time and potential.
“It was exciting at first, but it has become routine, which is beautiful it’s own way,” Throop said. “When I put on that vest, and when I get my cart, it’s a good feeling because that means I’m about to make progress.”
Throop has had the opportunity to meet and share his experience with countless people along the way who are curious about his endeavor.
Wiepie Rojas, sophomore environmental science and politics and public policy major from Waxahachie, said one of Troop’s most striking characteristics was his desire to be intentional with all of the people he engages in conversation along the way.
“He has this incredible demeanor when he talks to people, and you can tell that he genuinely desires to know and understand where the person is coming from,” Rojas said.
Throop said he does not expect to change the world by going on this walk; it is merely his contribution to a greater change. He believes that actual global, societal and personal change will require a collective effort.
“I want to be able to look back, if I’m dying, and smile because I’ve lived exactly like I wanted to,” Throop said.
To follow his journey, visit www.enjoythewalk.org.