I’ll Push You – The Story of One Friendship Able to Conquer The Mountains of El Camino

Welcome back readers~

This week I had the pleasure of finishing I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair. While this book centers around Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck’s friendship and journey on the El Camino Trail, it is so much more than that. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. At an early age, Justin began noticing a weakness in his feet and legs; after a string of misdiagnoses, he is finally given a name for his condition- a neuromuscular disorder- called MAMA. Like ALS, this disorder causes one to progressively lose the use of his body. Despite the devastating news, the two are determined not to put limitations on what is possible- what they do, where they go or how they travel. Case in point- their most recent quest of walking 500 miles of the El Camino together. Not only did that require a lot of physical training on Patrick’s part, but they had to find and invest in the appropriate equipment for Justin (a three-wheeled lightweight chair that would be able to handle all surfaces); this investment cost over $8000. Thanks to the sponsorship of a business, they are able to buy the equipment… Under one condition though, that they record their journey

On this 500 mile journey, the two friends encounter there share of challenges- including a broke wheel and what seems like the impassable. These difficulties challenge them to think outside the box and accept help from strangers along the El Camino; in doing so, this causes them to redefine their meaning of community. In the same way, I felt challenged in reading this book. It caused me to look at how I defined community and church in a sense. A church is more than just a building; it’s a group of believers that you can trust and be yourself around. It’s letting go and letting God provide for you by the people and things God gives you. It’s letting go of control, staying in the moment and being thankful for everything you have.

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