Ari sent us another update, and her starting statistics really show how committed she is to this adventure. Here's her latest update:
"I think I will start with some statistics.
It's been one month
I have crossed Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and now I am in Louisiana.
3 rest days
Replaced 2 pairs of shoes
The south was hit with another storm. This time I felt a bit more prepared mentally. I made sure everything in my Thule stroller was properly covered to survive the storm. I changed my attitude regarding running in the rain. That particular day I arrived in Bayou La Batre, Alabama (Bubba’s home town) I didn't know where I would be spending the night so I went to the fire station and the fire fighters introduced me to the mayor of the town. She took me around the Bayou to see the effects of the incoming storm...We did a wellness check with local artist, Rita Greenwood, in Coden, AL; we enjoyed a great visit with her as we toured her outdoor studio area. The mayor treated me to a hotel. We actually still stay in touch. A beautiful woman inside and out.
In Bioloxi, Mississippi I attempted to speak at the schools. The man who is in charge of clearing the speakers for the schools for the district told me that it wouldn't be possible for me to speak because I didn't give enough notice. As I was getting ready to leave the building I asked the secretary if there was a good place to find coffee. She recommended that I use the break room there in the district. I went in and started talking to a gentleman about his day and I told him about my dream and how I was denied speaking rights at their district. He said “come with me, you are going to speak at the Jr high school.” I was shocked and told him that it wouldn't be possible because I needed the clearance from the other individual. He said "I am the superintendent of the district, I am his boss."
I just followed and felt a sense of magic being able to share my dream to a group of young Jr high girls. I was very, very thankful.
I was hosted by Margaret McMullan, author and her husband Patrick O'conner, producer. Their home is right on the Gulf of Mexico and it was taken right from a magazine. They treated me like a queen and we all participated in a local 5k race! Not sure why I decided to add an extra 3.2 miles to my journey. The day after sleeping in this picture perfect home with a sweet couple and their cute Labrador, Samantha I slept in a tent. I actually woke up the next day and a homeless man gave me $4. Not sure if he gave me money because he supported my cause or because he thought I needed that money more than he did.
Currently I am 22 miles from New Orleans. I am actually sleeping in a boat tonight. I hope to have a rest day there to get a bit more organized. - Ari."