For those who don’t know, on July 17, 2021, I (Eric) along with Chris Nolan will be Climbing Devil’s Tower for ALS. It is a daunting bucket list item that to be honest, kind of makes me nervous. But despite my apprehension, this climb will hopefully be a way we can educate others with ALS. Plus, we are doing it to honor Chris’ brother Sean. Back in 2016, Sean was diagnosed with ALS. But in talking with Chris, we also wanted to find a way to do this for others. So, we came up with an idea to Climb and to Pray Devil’s Tower.
History of Praying while Tackling a Bucket List item
A few years back, I undertook perhaps one of my greatest bucket list adventures, the Camino de Santiago. To tackle this pilgrimage, I took the traditional and most common route, known as the Camino Frances. Essentially it is a 490 mile walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The purpose was to walk to a holy site where it is believed that the remains of the Apostle St. James the Greater are buried.
Now people embark on this adventure for many personal reasons. Some walk as part of a spiritual retreat and others to discover themselves. There are even some people who spend the 30 day walk in hopes that a miracle touch them or someone they love. For me, it was a combination of it all because I had kind of lost my “way” with my life.
So, I wanted to find my way back and the idea came to me to Walk and Pray.
To do this, I had decided to commit a portion of my daily activity to prayer while walking The Camino. But I didn’t want to make it all about myself. So I asked for the personal intentions of others. Essentially, every morning at the start of my walk. I would focus on my personal intentions of that day. Then I would focus on the intentions of another and then pray the novena for both our intentions. Then as I continued to walk, I tried to stay in reflection of that daily prayer and intentions of the day.
Why we want to Pray while we Climb Devil’s Tower
Now of course, we are raising money for two different ALS foundations to donate in Sean’s name. We are raising money to donate in Sean Nolan’s name to both the The Steve Gleason Foundation and The Tennessee Chapter of the ALS Association.
But while promoting something strange happened.
People kept sharing how ALS has affected their lives. Whether it struck them personally, ravaged a loved one, or affected a friend, countless people have been telling me their “ALS Story!” In telling me their story, they would passionately thank Chris, Darcee, & I and say how they felt like we were doing it for them too.
It was then that we realized that our climb was bigger than us and perhaps even Sean. We were going to need to climb and to pray Devil’s tower in our task to summit the nation’s first National Monument.
Discover how two men want to climb and to pray as they summit the first National Monument in the United States at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. #DevilsTower #RockClimbing #ThatsWY
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