I really dig this idea (courtesy of BoingBoing) of using a trek taken by fictional questing hero-types to set a personal goal for yourself, be it walking, running or maybe even miles you want to travel on weekend “one-tank trips.”
Geeky? Yes. Slim figure, super pulse rate drop and sense of accomplishment from walking 1,625 miles? Uber-cool.
My secret shame is that I’ve never actually read Tolkien’s masterpiece; the (great) movies obviously condense the sense of travel. So I’d have to adapt a few noble journeys from my own mental mythology. A sample:
**“Stumble through Sergio Leone’s Desert”: **Admittedly, it’s a terrible idea to dehydrate, suffer third-degree sunburns and be continually beaten and whipped through the desert by a depraved Mexican gangster. But even though you’d end up looking like this, you’d be able to say, “Eh, Clint Eastwood, not so tough” and be able to back it up … kind of.
**“Laugh annoyingly across Pee Wee Herman’s America”: **Giant plastic dinosaurs! Historic Texan landmarks lacking subterranean living spaces! San Antonio, Hollywood and chance encounters with an undead trucker! Say what you will about Mr. Reubens, he keeps a trim figure.
**“Run and run (and run) to Maniac Magee’s Buffalo Pen”: **Running continually between the East and West sides of a city can attract unwanted attention, but a steady diet of pizza, spaghetti and whatever food’s available at the local YMCA, combined with a nearly endless day of running, would have to have results.