CAMAS — Walking from Seaside, Ore., to San Diego is so 2016.
And apparently too easy.
Dale Rule needs another calling.
“I stay motivated. I stay hungry. I stay driven,” he says.
That is Rule’s way of saying that he is spending the rest of this year in preparation for his next great challenge.
Next June, Rule plans on walking from Portland to Chicago, to raise awareness to fight obesity and to champion his charity.
Everyone Walk is the name of his organization. Dale Rule is alive today because he followed that simple advice: Just walk.
“I always said it. I thought it. ‘Walking maybe saved my life.’ Now I know walking did save my life,” Rule said. “My doctor told me so.”
Rule’s backstory started around 140 pounds ago. At one point, he was carrying 363 pounds on his frame and had little motivation. Until he realized he could not last too long at that stage.
An improved diet jump-started the weight-loss process. Then he started to walk.
On Feb. 10, 2010, he weighed 335 pounds when he began a walking regimen.
That first day, he barely made it a mile. It took him 41 minutes.
“I thought I was going to die,” he would say.
But he kept forcing himself to walk the next day. And the day after, and the next day, too.
On Feb. 10, 2011, he weighed 219 pounds.
Rule, a teacher and an assistant football coach at Camas High School, has since tried to spread his message that we all have it in us to make a positive change.
In oneself. In others.
“Everyone’s quality of life can be increased through activity,” according to one of the many messages on his charity’s website: everyonewalk.com
Long term, he wants to raise money through his charity to build parks in every state. Today, though, he wants to raise awareness about obesity, how it kills. He wants to show others they can lose weight, too.
And for Rule, that means a very long walk in hopes of attracting the attention of celebrities, politicians, health care experts and anyone who can send out a positive message. He has used social media to try to interact with all walks of life, hoping they will join his team.
His next big push to gain that spotlight will come next summer as he tries to walk to Chicago.
“It’s to get eyeballs to visit the site, to get eyeballs to see my vision of building athletic parks across the country,” Rule said.
He and his team are in the beginning stages of raising funds for the trip. The website has more information.
A year ago, Rule averaged better than 34 miles a day, walking 40 consecutive days to San Diego.
Rule experienced a temporary delay early in his journey when he only covered 14 miles on the fourth day. His body started crying out for more nutrition in order to endure such an extreme schedule. He and his support team figured out the necessary changes to his diet, and he cruised from there. One day, he went 41 miles in central California because he felt so strong.
In the end, he had walked 1,369 miles in 40 days.
Next year, he wants to go more than 2,100 miles in 60 days to the Windy City.
“If you want to make a difference, you gotta shock people,” Rule said.
Why Chicago? Football, of course. That might sound like an odd answer, but it is true. That is as far as he could go and still get home in time for August practice.
“I’m a football coach,” he said.
As well as a motivator.
And one person who really does walk the walk.