Palm Springs, CA
A modern-day Forrest Gump ran into the Coachella Valley Thursday, but the run was only a small portion of his eight-year journey. Leading by example, he hopes to encourage others to take charge of their path one step at a time.
“I’m a South African dude who is running around the world. I started in Northern Norway and over the next eight years I’ll try to get back to South Africa,” said Dave Chamberlain.
From Norway Dave ran down to Italy and then flew over to Canada to begin his trek across the United States. Before he knew it the comparison to the American icon, Forrest Gump, began.
Dave decided he had to make a stop at the famous South Carolina plantation where Forrest started running in the movie. Dave says Forrest represents the epitome of who he is trying to encourage, after all, Forrest suffered from both physical and mental disabilities.
“But he achieved so much more because he didn’t believe in the negative press of people telling him what he couldn’t do,” said Dave.
And that is the exact message Dave wants others to hear when he runs by.
“The project itself is really about taking control of one’s life, if you are unhappy with the way things are, you have the ability to follow one’s dreams to make it better, which is what I’m doing,” said Dave.
Dave has coined his adventure the hug run.
“The idea behind this is to tap into the idea that everyone is valuable, doesn’t matter where they are, social status, beliefs, as a human they are valuable,” said Dave.
If you want more information about Dave’s journey visit his website hugrun.org. He is also hoping people will donate to Children of the Dawn on his behalf. The organization raises money for AIDS orphans in South Africa.
European tour shots courtesy of rhysmorganimages.com.