After the celebration, Jimmy sat down with The Boot to reflect on how he feels now that he is halfway through with his 1,700-mile trek from Nashville, Tenn. to Phoenix, Ariz. "I cannot believe that I'm here and that I've actually made it halfway," Jimmy says with a grin. "I'm relieved that half of it is behind me, and I only have half of it to go!"
Jimmy says he often thinks back to the night before he left on his campaign and how far he's come today. "I remember the night before I left. It was New Year's Eve, and I was standing in my bedroom packing my backpack trying to make sure everything was perfect. I had mixed feelings ... I knew I wanted to do something that was going to make a difference. I knew what I was doing was very risky, outrageous, courageous, adventurous, and a little bit crazy. I remember looking out the window seeing all these fireworks going off, but I was not feeling the same thing everybody else was feeling. It was a weird feeling. I was celebrating in my own way. It was a new year, and I was getting ready to do something that I didn't know at the time was going to take up half of the new year. The next morning I got up, made a cup of coffee, and I thought to myself, 'Wow ... I wonder what it's going to be like when I get halfway.' I knew it was going to be a long way from that day. I just really didn't know what to expect. I thought I'm just going to walk. When I look back on it now, I'm thinking that's just crazy!"
The three months that it has taken the singer to reach his halfway point have not been easy. Jimmy has slept through three ice storms, battled a serious cold, had his suitcase of clothes stolen, and has dealt with his share of painful blisters, but he has continued on to finish his mission to help end teen homelessness.
"It really doesn't feel like it's been three months to me," he explains. "I will say once I reached Texas, I realized that the three months that I have been walking hasn't been as hard as the last four days that I've walked. When you're cold and [the temperature's] in the teens and it's raining or snowing and you're sleeping outside, you can layer and you can get warm. Then you can take some of that off when you get hot. When you're out here in the heat, and the wind and sand is blowing, you can't take off everything because if I do that then I'm going to be just like I was when I was at the Oakland airport ... in handcuffs! There's no consistency. It's cold in the morning and hot as hell in the middle of the day. Every day you just don't know what to expect."
[In a hilarious case of jet lag last year, Jimmy was once detained by airport police after he mistakenly thought security was telling him to take off his pants after setting off the metal detectors ... which he did, walking through in his boxer shorts and almost being arrested for indecent exposure!]
As Jimmy closes in on 100 days since launching his campaign, Jimmy says he has very few regrets. "Will I be glad when it's over? Yes, I will!" he admits. "But I wouldn't trade anything for the experience. The experience so far has been absolutely incredible. The people I've met have become friends, and they will be friends for the rest of my life."
On April 17, Jimmy will take a much needed week off from the walk so he can regroup and prepare his feet for the second half of his campaign. "When I'm out there walking, it takes a lot of focus and energy," Jimmy explains. "I'm surrounded by people I don't know. I'm going through neighborhoods that I don't know if I'm getting ready to be shot. I went through neighborhoods where they're finding dead bodies. There was a murderer running around in a neighborhood that I was in and I didn't even know that he was running around. The cops were chasing him. I found that out after I left. When I'm walking, I'm in a mode, and it has taken up a lot of my energy. There's nothing hard about walking, but when you're walking across the country you have to be alert. That takes energy. So I'm looking forward to a week off. My feet need a break. When people say, 'Well you've taken a few days off for shows,' it's like yeah, but I'm still walking through airports, standing on stage, running around ... you're still on your feet. That's not really relaxing and unwinding."
Prior to returning to his walk, Jimmy will perform a full show with his band in Amarillo, Texas at the Rex Baxter Building on April 23. For those fans who were unable to attend the "halfway" celebration, they can watch the rally in its entirety on Jimmy's Ustream page. For more information on Meet Me Halfway or to purchase the official merchandise for the project, click here.
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