How many of us have done exactly what we wanted do in this world? Whether it is through career, family or spiritual means.
For most of us, we are still working on that dream. Katie Visco, 24, of Boston, is living proof you can accomplish any goal, even running across the country with little more than your best friend cheering you on.
On March 29, Visco began a 3,200-mile cross-country run from Boston to San Diego to inspire other people to follow their dreams.
“I want people to think about the things that give them wings,” she said. “I am just some crazy girl doing her passion, but you can do it in any capacity.”
On Friday, Visco jogged through Payson on her way to San Diego with Jenny Sadler, her friend and support van driver, who often runs with her on morning runs or drives ahead and waits for her to catch up.
On average, Visco runs five hours or 18 miles a day to promote her campaign, Pave Your Lane, and to raise money for the nonprofit group, Girls on the Run, which empowers girls to follow their dreams through the sport of running.
After eight months on the road and eight pairs of shoes, Visco said she is more in love with running and life than ever.
“I am absolutely passionate about running — it’s me,” she said. “I want others to find and follow their passions in life, but I am not trying to get people up and running.”
Visco relies on the generosity of strangers to make her run a success. She doesn’t stay in hotels, preferring to stay with a different host every night. Sometimes she has to visit the local library or even knock on front doors for a room, but it always seems to work out.
“The best part is meeting all of the people along the way,” she said. “If you simply ask for help people will stand up and help you.”
In Overgaard, Visco ran (literally) into local runners John and Larry who proceeded to run with her for five miles, put her and Sadler up for the night and then run another seven miles with Visco on Nov. 16.
Every time she runs across another runner, supporter or just curious onlooker, Visco said she meets with nothing but encouragement.
Visco says she fell in love with running at an early age and decided as a freshman in high school that she should do a cross-country run to help the world.
“Since seventh grade I have been hooked,” she said. “Every time you take a step, you accomplish a goal. If you just put one foot in front of the other you can achieve.”
Visco put her cross-country dream on hold for a few years as she attended college for an economics degree.
Then two years ago, while on a run with a friend in Boston, Visco said she got a tap on the shoulder.
“We were out running and talking about life goals and I turned to him and said, ‘I think I was born to run.’ I remember that moment,” she said.
With only 40 more days left on her run, Visco is excited to see what the next chapter in her journey will be.
“I don’t have a five or 10 year plan,” she said.
After reaching San Diego, Visco plans to take a few days off and then drive back to Boston, stopping at schools along the way to speak. She eventually plans to write a book on her travels. For more information, visit www.paveyourlane.com.