Sometimes people find it interesting that I call this walk “my job.” I cut conversations short by saying, “Sorry, gotta get back to work.” I turn down invitations by saying, “Sorry, tomorrow’s a work day.” Sometimes people are amused. Sometimes people are confused. Sometimes people get slightly pissed off. Sometimes they just think they misheard me.

This is why I treat this walk like a job…

When I was in Seattle in 2010 and 2011, I used to go over to my friend George‘s house. George and his wife Napua have a son named Pryor. Before Pryor would go to bed, he and I would go out into the garage, where we could play rough, and play “light sabers,” like in the movie Star Wars.

We would play light sabers until I was exhausted. Not only did I get exhausted, I would lose my voice, because I made sound effects to accompany my light saber, and making sounds like a light saber will kill your voice pretty fast. By the way, Pryor never seemed to get tired — he has that bottomless pool of energy kids tend to have.

Anyway, one day in September of 2011 I was playing with Pryor, and I thought, I love this kid, and I need to do something big for him. So I thought about it for a while, and I decided to do this.

This project will be my gift to Pryor. Walk across a country for Pryor. Write a book for Pryor. My gift to Pryor will be a large project finished, not a large project unfinished, in┼čallah. And to ensure this project gets finished, I need a phrase I can repeat to myself each morning when my alarm goes off, or whenever I am tempted to sit a while longer and drink yet another cup of tea. And for me, a phrase that works well for that is “must get to work.” That is why I call this my job.