Thank you for visiting!
My name is Ben Clagett, and I’m a Colorado Springs native who loves walking!
I have completed three walks across America. In 2015, I successfully walked from Virginia Beach to San Francisco. Over the course of 191 days, I connected 3,250 miles worth of steps. In 2018, I stepped my way from Portland, Maine, to Seaside, Oregon, covering 3,402 miles in 150 days. On November 11th of 2020, I began my third walk at Kathryn Abbey Hanna State Park near Jacksonville, Florida. Over the next 122 days, I walked 2,800 miles and arrived at Ocean Beach in San Diego on March 12th, 2021.
As a walking advocate and “addicted walker,” I have been incredibly blessed to successfully cross the country three times on foot. The primary goal during my three journeys was to inspire people to walk for 60 minutes every day, take tangible “steps” towards achieving their long-term goals, and experience growth during the process.
My life has changed and evolved significantly since I began my first walk in 2015. By the time I was 30, alcohol had taken over my life. It became apparent I couldn’t reach my full potential if I continued drinking. On May 14th, 2017, I began a new chapter and committed to sobriety. With the help of my incredible family, support system, and a network of others in recovery, I have stayed sober for four plus years and counting. Walking has been one of the most valuable tools I have utilized in sobriety.
Walking daily promotes my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is a meditative, thought-provoking, and relaxing process that calms my mind down and allows me to connect with my Higher Power. My outlook on life has changed and I have experienced significant growth as a person. Walking has been a key contributor to that growth.
Though walking can have a different results for different people, the long-term physical and mental benefits that result from regular walks are unquestioned!
There is incredible power in “taking steps” every day. Whether it’s walking or performing a series of small, beneficial actions, my recovery gets stronger. Focusing on taking these small steps has become the driving force of my life. Actions like praying and meditating, journaling, attending meetings, even making my bed every morning, eventually lead to big changes and growth.
I hope that my walks, life in sobriety, and the ongoing challenge to “take a step today” inspires and encourages you to take small steps every day in order to achieve your goals and grow.
My sincere hope is that my journey inspires you to use walking as a tool to grow as a person. I challenge you to walk. Walk for better physical health. Walk to cope with loss, depression, anxiety, or addiction. Walk for spiritual progress. Walk to reconnect with the world around you – and yourself in the process. Take a step today. You’ll be amazed at where those steps can take you!
5 thoughts on “About Me”
Kelly from the Loop here. It’s been real neat to follow your writings of your journey. I hope your (ankle?) foot is getting better. Any chance you have a map posted of where you are and how far you have gone.?
Stay strong and grounded. Smiles, Kelly
Hey Ben, it was a pleasure meeting you and getting to appreciate your presence. You truly are an inspiration and look forward to the journey you have to share and the positive connections created by you. Safe travels my friend!
Dear Ben, My fellow teacher and I met you today on your walk across the Southern part of our country. We feel so fortunate to have met you. Susan, Leslie and our mascot and hiking hound Annabelle- my little 13 lb. Lhasa Apso- are also addicted walkers. I’m 69 (Leslie) and Sue is 61. We walk a minimum of 60 minutes a day. On the weekdays we have to get to school for our students so we meet at 5:30 am and walk until 6:30 am. On the weekends we go at least 120 minutes. We have taken 9-10 mile hikes into the local Tucson Mountains, or just 6 mile treks along the Tucson bicycle loop trail (58 miles in length) which we walked in its entirety taking 6-12 mile sections each day over our recent Christmas break. We applaud what you do and encourage you as you continue your journey.
My students got a surprise lesson today- one I hadn’t even planned. On Mondays, I always ask them how their weekend went and then I tell them about mine. I am an outdoor person and I usually have hikes to tell my students about. But, today, I told them how Ms. Creenan and I met a man yesterday who was on his third walk across America. I told them about how we had met you on the Tucson Loop trail and how inspiring you were. Then, I played your TED talk for them. It was fun watching their faces light up with smiles of amusement as they heard you talking about your walk and how you named your backpack Forest and your cart PJ. I just wanted you to know there are many middle school students who felt inspired by your story today. You are making more of an impact than you will ever know. Keep up the great work. Just another of your inspired fans- Leslie
Thank you so much for sharing that, Leslie! That seriously made my day! What a great story 😁 I hope they all got something from my talk! Walk on!