by Will Perry
Two days later I was back on the trail—albeit 50 percent. Adjusting my initial path somewhat, I reached the North Sea coast with the excitement of a little boy hitting his first home run. The nerve-racking experience of a few days ago faded quickly once I saw the sea. I seemed to forget that I was sick and my sore legs and blistered feet stopped preoccupying my thoughts. As I hugged the coastline for a few miles, I could spot the quaint village of Robin Hood’s Bay. The goal I had fought so hard to reach was finally near at hand. As chance would have it, on my last mile to the village, I ran into my friends Phil and Alex, the father-son team with whom I had crossed paths several times during my journey.
With Robin Hood’s Bay in sight, I began jogging for the first time since the nightmarish midge encounters from earlier in my walk. Despite some setbacks, I finished what I had started 192 miles/13 days ago on the cliffs of the Irish Sea. As I limped into the small village, through its narrow cobbled streets, I felt like a hero returning home from battle. I dipped my feet into the North Sea, grateful to have crossed “home plate” and traversed the whole of England.
Soon, baseball equipment will be loaded onto pallets in the United States and be shipped to São Paulo, Brazil, where a Little League baseball community will receive enough equipment to put 12 teams on the field. This walk, while challenging at times, has been one of the most worthwhile endeavors of my life. I have enjoyed a contented sense of accomplishment from overcoming the obstacles placed before me during the walk and having the thrill of knowing I have helped “glove” more than a hundred Brazilian youth.