August 18th 2009
Athens-Clarke County / Madison County
Day 53: 20 miles walked today. I woke up this morning and began walking just south of downtown Athens. Seeing this place reminds me of my time here as an undergrad, which somehow still seems like yesterday. It is absolutely amazing the way the time flies. Walking through downtown, I continued out along North Avenue, which becomes Highway 106. We’re starting to get into hill country here, and I’m bracing myself mentally for the last couple of weeks of walking before arriving in Atlanta. We should know our exact finish date sometime in the next couple of days, and it looks like that will be sometime before the end of the month, God willing.
After about fifteen miles, I took a break to grab a quick bite to eat before driving back to campus to sit down with Ron Courson, the Director of Sports medicine for the University of Georgia. He was kind enough to share a few minutes of his busy day with me, and I certainly enjoyed hearing his excellent suggestions. When I asked him (as I ask everyone I meet on the Walk) “What would you do if you were governor for a day and how would you do it?” his answer was that he would like to see athletic trainers in high school sports programs throughout the State. There are a few such trainers already, but not nearly enough, he said. Last year, four students in Georgia died of heat stroke, and countless others suffered needless injuries. With athletic trainers in high school sports programs, we could keep a better eye on the student athletes’ physical condition and shift some of the burden away from the coaches when it came to making health-related decisions about the students. He also mentioned that the next governor ought to ensure the State takes steps toward requiring coaches in schools to be certified in first aid/CPR. It is remarkable that so few of them are, and certainly that is a low-cost solution that would make life better for the people of this State—the exact kind of suggestion I set out on this Walk of Georgia to hear. Ron, like anyone who has responsibility for others’ well-being, is charged with telling his athletes what they need to hear, even if its not what they want to hear. Hearing that, I asked him to give my candidacy serious consideration.
I hope he will. I know I am the candidate for anyone who appreciates being told what they need to hear and not just what they want to hear. If you look at the other candidates, you’ll see right off the bat that some of them are willing to pander to whichever audience they happen to be in front of at the moment. Win or lose, I won’t do that. You may not always like what you’re going to hear from me, but you can rest assured you’re getting the honest-to-goodness truth of my opinion. As your Governor, you’ll know where I stand on issues. After the meeting, I went back out to spend some more time on the road, because tomorrow I have to be in Atlanta to meet with Governor Perdue about the water crisis in Georgia. I’ll still be walking in the morning, but I want to be on time with this Walk and I’m willing to do it today if I can’t do it tomorrow. As always, thank you for following the Walk of Georgia and God bless.
GPS: N34 09.104 W83 18.006 879.03 miles walked