Well, he’s not “slow” like Forrest, but Steve Fugate has been walking across the country for years covering over 40,000 miles helping people and even saving a few lives in the process…
Steve Fugate’s life has had more tragedy than any father could bear, but somehow, with a simple sign and a pair of sneakers, he’s been able to use the profound pain in his life to inspire, uplift, and even save others around the world.
It all started a few years back when Steve lost his son to suicide at the age of 26. Like Forest Gump who took off running after Jenny left him (only this time, the tragedy was real and on a magnitude much greater than a lost lover), Steve simply took to walking to “mend the broken heart while still beating.” He fashioned his “LOVE LIFE” sign, now his calling card, and walked thousands of miles as his soul began to heal. On this first walk, Steve logged over 30,000 miles and crossed the country 6 times.
Fast forward six years from his first journey and Steve is closing out yet another journey by foot. This time, another tragedy has led to his walkabout. Steve’s daughter, battling Multiple Sclerosis, suddenly died of an accidental drug overdose. Steve, facing the death of his second and last child, laced up his shoes for healing once again.
The then-66-year old started his newest journey from Vero Beach, Florida on March 23rd, 2013 and has been covering state-after-state ever since. This is the Steve Fugate Love Life walking campaign:
While on the road, Steve and his famous sign have started to gain followers and, on more than one occasion, he’s helped save a life:
Steve is inspired to share the love he would otherwise be sharing with his children with the people he meets, many of whom are deeply distressed either at a loss or are considering giving it all up. That is until they see his LOVE LIFE sign and strike up a conversation. He’s had people tell him that he’s come into their lives in person or interviews just as they were in the act of taking their life.
Steve’s mission is simple: show people that if he can still love life after suffering the devastation of losing all your children, then anyone can.
This walk will be Steve’s last as he admits, he’s almost 69 years old and the whole deal is a little tough on the body:
I’ll be 69 in June and my knees are making noises they didn’t used to make.. And my right foot which had to be reattached after a motorcycle wreck in 1969 has decided to just now make the doctor’s words to me back in ’69, that my injury would always prevent me from walking or running for long stretches at a time, to come to pass. Doc was only off about 46 years, it is starting to bother me a little more. NEVER EVER quit!!!! LOVE LIFE and embrace it for both emotional and physical healing. LOVE of LIFE gives us the strength to push forward and carry on.
His latest walk comes to an end this month… In fact, just days ago Steve crossed into Florida, so his journey is finally coming to an end. That doesn’t mean, however, that you still can’t support his cause. Follow along on Facebook and visit his website to learn how you can buy LOVE LIFE swag.
If you’re near Vero Beach on June 20th, you can actually join Steve to celebrate his final journey and the impact he’s made with his more than 40,000 miles of walking and spreading his simple message: LOVE LIFE.
And what will Steve do when his walk is over? Well, if this doesn’t make you cry…
My actual living space is a van, given to me by a beautiful friend in Vero Beach, Florida. Tagged and insured and all that stuff by a beautiful friend in Coronado Beach, California. Just recently I was given a Jayco 25 foot Travel Trailer by beautiful friends, a Vietnamese couple residing in Pomona, California! Sooo, when I finish walking in a year and a half or so, I will drive my gift van to California and pull my gift Jayco Travel Trailer home to my special gift place where my most special gifts of all, my two babies, grew up, in beautiful Vero Beach, Florida
(Quote above from Vero Vine)
Cover Image: Youtube
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