Riverton teen walks the distance
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Sometimes, they literally get going.
So, how about a walk to Jackson, Wyo.? Not exciting enough? How does walking to Anchorage, Alaska sound?
Riverton teenager Brooke Nixon, 16, has walked those equivalents, and more.
“At one point, we had a lot of family stress. I needed a way of being alone and getting out of the house. I also wanted attention. So, I started walking. I’ve seen choices that others have made, but those wouldn’t have given me what I wanted,” Brooke said.
She started out small. It began with a walk around the block, but Brooke kept walking a little more each time she went.
“I kept track of the distance, and eventually realized that I walked the equivalent of Riverton to Jackson, Wyoming in the summer of 2011,” Brooke said.
Brook set a goal for the next year. In 2012, she would walk the equivalent of Riverton to Anchorage, Alaska. She completed the goal by Dec. 31.
“Brooke’s walking really evolved. So, it started with a walk around the block, and I would ask her what time she would be back. Eventually, she was going farther, so I made her take my cell phone,” Laura Nixon, Brooke’s mother, said.
As her distances increased, Brooke began to map out her walking routes so her family would know where she was planning to go.
“When she first asked to walk to the Draper LDS temple, I gulped. I had to drive it first before I would let her go,” Laura Nixon said.
Brooke has a goal for 2013: walk the equivalent of the top to the bottom of India. That will be 1,714.4 miles by Dec. 31.
To accomplish the goal, Brooke walks five and a half miles a day, six days a week.
“Sometimes, it’s hard to fit it in. I do homework as much as I can during the day. I walk when I get home while it’s light out, and then do more homework,” Brooke said.
Brooke’s favorite way to walk is to strap on a Camel Back and pack some food, and head out for 12-hour stretches.
“I will stop after six miles to change socks and shoes. I slap on a Band Aid if necessary, and keep going,” Brooke said.
Brooke keeps all of her old shoes hanging on her bedroom wall as her version of trophies. She has gone through six pair since her journey began.
“She has become aware of how her example has helped others accomplish difficult things,” Brooke’s father, Dell Nixon, said.