[ Living a Dream ] Walking Route 66

The First Step is Taking a First Step

Sometimes there is an incredible opportunity to attend a meeting with a guest speaker who captures the very essence of what it means to live a dream. Rasheed Hooda, author of Life: It’s a Trip, was the guest speaker at the Conroe Business Women Networking Meeting, Thursday, May 25, 2017. You may have heard of him in local news reports when he walked from Chicago to L.A. along the classic Route 66 in 2016.  Though he walked all that way (which is amazing!), the story of his achievement had other remarkable elements that were also intensely inspirational.

Firstly, Rasheed Hooda demonstrated what anyone with a big idea does: gets everything ready and commits to it. The thrill of making a bold move towards something fuels the first fruits of labor, and then the second-guessing starts. Mr. Hooda was not immune to it either and said that around mile twelve, he questioned what he was even doing trying to walk all that way at 62.  He spoke about the physical trials that walking such a distance entails and detailed some of them to the audience. However, he showed that age is not an obstacle, and that anything worth doing takes perseverance. As with any endeavor or goal, they are never easy, but he made it past the doubting phase and the physical hurdles, and continued succeeding in his aspiration by making it to L.A.

During Mr. Hooda’s walk, the country was in the midst of the presidential election turmoil.  People were on edge, and as he traveled along the route, there was reasonable fear about the mindset of the individuals he might encounter. However, as Mr. Hooda spoke, a beautiful story began to unfold about real people in American who shared meals, stories, and even their homes with him when he traveled through their states and towns. Their kindness, generosity, and selflessness seemed in direct contrast to reports by the media that were dividing instead of uniting. Rasheed Hooda showed love and compassion for people. In return, complete strangers demonstrated, not only him but also all of us listening, a profound faith in humanity.

Though there was much more that took place during the months of his walk, Mr. Hooda spoke on the power of what it means to live, have a dream, be human, and all the compelling stories in between.  Mr. Hooda lives a life of freedom that inspires and empowers others to pursue enrichment in their own lives. In his speech today, Rasheed Hooda said (also in his book), “Whatever it is that you want to do, whatever it is that you want to accomplish—write a book or climbing Mount Everest (both of which, by the way, I want to do), the first step is to take the first step” (Hooda, Life: It’s a Trip).

Thank you for sharing your “steps” with us, Rasheed. Yes, age is just a number not a destination.

~Suzanna Reeves

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