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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Jeremy Williams’ 500-Mile Walk | Connecting Point | Feb. 6, 2020

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>>> SINCE JANUARY, ONE GREENFIELD RESIDENT HAS BEEN

WALKING EVERY DAY, AND WILL KEEP WALKING UNTIL HE REACHES

500 MILES.

THE REASON HE'S WALKING IS PERSONAL, BUT ALSO AN EFFORT TO

RAISE AWARENESS FOR A PAIR OF ISSUES THAT AFFECT MANY IN

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

"CONNECTING POINT"'S ROSS LIPPMAN JOINED JEREMY WILLIAMS

FOR HIS WALK ONE MORNING TO LEARN HIS STORY.

>> SO THIS IS WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING PRETTY MUCH EVERY DAY,

RIGHT?

>> RIGHT, YES.

JUST HAD A COUPLE DAYS OFF SO FAR AND THAT'S IT.

>> UNDERNEATH THE PINK AND ORANGE SKIES OF THIS EARLY

JANUARY MORNING -- HOW MANY MILES HAVE YOU DONE?

>> 153.

>> ALONG THE TRACK AT GREEN FIELD HIGH SCHOOL.

>> I'M A THIRD OF THE WAY THERE.

>> JEREMY J. WILLIAMS IS LETTING HIS WALKING DO THE TALKING.

>> YES.

JUST LOST TRACK OF WHAT I WAS SAYING.

>> HE'S FOCUSED ON HIS GOAL.

>> JUST ONE DAY AT A TIME.

>> 2,000 LAPS, THAT'S 2,000 TRIPS.

>> I LIKE TO CHALLENGE MYSELF.

>> AROUND THE TRACK.

>> IT'S BEEN A LITTLE ROUGH BUT I KNEW WOULD IT BE.

WHEN I GET HERE AND I HAVE ROUGH MOMENTS, MY BIGGEST THING IS TO

REMEMBER WHY I'M HERE.

>> TO REMEMBER WHY HE'S HERE, JAY CARRIES THIS SIGN, EACH SIDE

A REMINDER OF WHERE HE'S BEEN.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

>> I'M DOING IT, WELL, TO RAISE AWARENESS, BUT OBVIOUSLY IT'S A,

PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT HOMELESSNESS AND OPIOID ADDICTION, BUT I'M

ALSO HERE TO COLLECT FUNDS OR FOR PEOPLE TO SEND MONEY IN BULK

DONATIONS.

I'VE EXPERIENCED BOTH IN MY LIFETIME AND I'VE SEEN A LOT OF

PEOPLE GO THROUGH A LOT OF STRUGGLES AND MART WAKE.

>> WHEN WILLIAMS WAS 19 HE WAS HOMELESS, LIVING OUT OF HIS CAR.

IN THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED, HE MARRIED, STARTED A FAMILY OF HIS

OWN, THEN HE STARTED TAKING OPIOIDS, NOT PRESCRIBED TO HIM,

TO TREAT PAIN IN HIS BACK.

ADDICTION SOON FOLLOWED.

>> SOMETIMES I'D HAVE THE MONEY, SOMETIMES I WOULDN'T.

SO I WAS GOING BACK AND FORTH FROM BEING HIGH TO NOT BEING

HIGH AND AFTER A WHILE IT JUST MESSES WITH YOUR EMOTIONS LIKE

YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE.

SO I GOT TO THE POINT WHERE I COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE, HIT

ROCK BOTTOM.

>> A DECADE LATER WILLIAMS HAS BEEN ABLE TO MAINTAIN HIS

SOBRIETY.

>> IF I DON'T DO THIS I'M EITHER GOING TO BE DEAD OR, YOU KNOW,

HOMELESS.

AND I JUST, SO I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION.

>> WE'RE GETTING NEAR THE END OF THE FIRST LAP.

THIS IS THE BIG IMPORTANT MOMENT.

SO AT THE END OF EVERY LAP, WHAT DO YOU DO?

>> I DROP A TOOTSIE ROLL IN THE BUCKETS, BECAUSE IT'S A QUARTER

MILE, SO I GET AN IDEA OF HOW MUCH MILEAGE I DO.

>> THAT'S ONE.

EVENTUALLY THE TOOTSIE ROLLS ADD UP.

AND SO DO THE MILES.

>> IT'S LIKE DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER, BUT I KNEW

IT WAS GOING TO BE LIKE THAT.

>> BUT TIME ALONE ON THE TRACK CAN PASS SLOWLY BY, GIVING JAY

PLENTY OF TIME TO SPEND WITH ONE OF HIS FAVORITE THINGS, HIS

THOUGHTS.

>> I LOVE MUSIC, BUT I'D RATHER JUST BE IN MY OWN MIND.

TO SOME PEOPLE, 500 MILES IS A LOT TO BE IN YOUR OWN MIND, BUT

I LOVE THE PEACEFULNESS, I LOVE THE QUIETNESS.

TO KEEP ME GOING EVERY DAY I ACTUALLY HAVE, MAYBE SEVEN TIMES

A DAY OR SOMETHING I'LL SAY THANK YOU GOD, THANK YOU

UNIVERSE, THANK YOU DAD, THANK YOU, CHARLIE, THANK YOU LILY,

FOR GETTING ME THROUGH TOUGH PARTS OF THE DAY.

THEY'RE EITHER PEOPLE I LOVE OR PEOPLE THAT PASSED ON THAT I

LOVED, AND IT KEEPS ME GOING.

>> AND JAY WILL KEEP GOING.

HE EXPECTS UNTIL AROUND VALENTINE'S DAY.

WHERE HE SAYS HE'LL BE GREETED BY HIS FAMILY, A LOT OF RELIEF,

AND MILE NUMBER 500.

>> I'LL BE PRETTY EXCITED, AND PROUD OF MYSELF FOR MAKING THE

500.

AND DOING FOR THE REASONS I'M DOING IT, TOO, BUT YES, IT WILL

BE A GREAT MOMENT.

The Description of Jeremy Williams’ 500-Mile Walk | Connecting Point | Feb. 6, 2020