Buen Camino, friends. I’m sharing an amazing and inspiring story and documentary, “I’ll Push You” about a lifelong friendship, love, community, courage, faith and The Camino, the story of moving Beyond the Borders of limitations. Watch the Ted Talk and be inspired.
In the Documentary, “I’ll Push You,” we meet two Pilgrims, Justin Skeesuck, in a wheel chair, and his lifelong friend, Patrick Gray, pushing. Soon they are joined by other pilgrims along the Way. With the Power of Community they never imagined when they planned this journey, they completed the 500 miles, (800+ kms) of the Camino Francés, over the Pyrenees, and more mountain passes, through mud and rain and all the ups and downs of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
You can view the trailer, “I’ll Push You” and see the film in theaters for one night, November 2. To hear the story of their friendship and the community, check out The Ted Talk, “500 miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair | Justin Skeesuck & Patrick Gray | TEDxBoise” I’ll Push You” to be inspired, not just by what you see, but by what you hear: the gratitude and reflection that empower us to understand the value of community.
Justin Skeesuck: “I do know this: I might not be able to walk . . . but through the power of community I climbed mountains. I believe . . . that these people were selfless – they did it because of joy . . . of love . . . a deep desire for us to succeed . . . it’s the power of community . . . it can move you to places you’ve never been before.” His best friend, Patrick Gray, who pushed him up and down the mountains, often with the help of pilgrims along the Way, reminds us all, “So mountains, every life has them, every life has broken wheels . . . adversity is all around us.” That adversity didn’t stop them.
Walking the Camino might become a reality, if we are lucky, when we talk to others, or join a Pilgrims’ Community, like Sacramento Pilgrims, or a Facebook Page or the Camino de Santiago Forum. Or see a movie or documentary. We might walk solo or with another pilgrim. I walked the Camino twice, with a friend and then solo, but I was never alone. Justin and Patrick were never alone either.
Justin Skeesuck learned about the Camino when he watched a Rick Steves documentary of Northern Spain. The Camino found him, the way for many of us. Then he asked his best friend to join him on this pilgrimage. Beyond just a dream that comes true, here is the inspiring story, about two incredible men who join the Community of Pilgrims. They embark on their journey, following in the footsteps of pilgrims before them, those who have walked or are walking an adventure, for many a spiritual experience, that will transform them and change the lives of everyone in their community forever.
Below is the French village of Saint Jean Pied de Port, with the Pyrenees in the distance, the starting point for Justin and Patrick. They Followed the Camino up over the Pyrenees, then down into Roncesvalles, Spain. Steep both ways.
Just a sample of some of the terrain that challenges all pilgrims on the Camino.
If you ask Pilgrims why they return, sometimes again and again, to walk the Camino de Santiago, you will hear many different responses, but “community,” is often part of a very complicated answer.
Justin and Patrick’s friendship and journey reminds me that we rarely accomplish great feats by ourselves. Perhaps it looks like someone crosses the finish line alone, but truly, there are so many people– parents, teachers, friends, strangers, coaches, volunteers, even just one person in one encounter– who make a difference to another, a child or an adult. Some we don’t know or will never see again. Someone who pushed us or came along and walked beside us.
I’m inspired, especially when I recognize that we are not alone in our sorrow or our celebrations. This is the power of community. Thank you, Justin and Patrick and all those behind you, who supported your journey and created and shared this documentary.
Ultreia, Suseia, Pilgrims
Onwards and Beyond, Irene