Meet Steve Fugate, the real life forrest gump whose walk across America will inspire you to live and love life!
When Steve Fugate decided to walk across America like Forrest Gump, it wasn’t in a bid to amuse people because the comedy of movies doesn’t always spill over to real life.
Steve Fugate was a man who suffered the most profound tragedy in life. First a failed marriage and then the unbearable death of both his children. But do you think Steve gave up on life?? No!! Steve Fugate was a resilient old man. He did the most amazing thing possible.
Through his self styled walking therapy, he traversed all of America on foot carrying a placard which said “LOVE LIFE”. His message of celebrating Life over death went on to inspire hundreds of Americans suffering a similar fate.
1 Tragedy in 1999 Left Steve Fugate Devastated
For Steve Fugate now 70, Tragedy struck 17 years ago in 1999. That was when his marriage failed. Even his business was suffering. He couldn’t cope and decided to go trekking on the Appalachian trails to forget his worries. He left his 26-year-old son Steve Jr. in charge of the business. Little did he know that his son too was suffering from problems of his own! Steve returned to the next harsh blow of life. The suicide of his son.
It was then that he decided it was all too much for him to bear. From his grief sprung an idea. He would walk away the pain; he would make people believe that memories of life should matter more than death. He made a large placard saying “LOVE LIFE” and set upon his most arduous journey of walking across America.
2 Death Stole His Daughter, Yet He Walked Again. Steve Wasn’t Giving In!!
It was no mean feat that Steve Fugate covered 40,000 miles, crossing the country an unbelievable 6 times. But for all that Steve went through; life had still not finished with him. Death again stole his youngest and only living child. His daughter! Steve was devastated, when his daughter, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis, died by accidental overdose of drugs. Yet he took up his placard again. Death it seemed would never defeat this man. How many would manage a fraction of Steve’s actions if in his place???
Steves 7th attempt across America wasn’t to create a record. It wasn’t going to be just another walking feat. This time he was going to spread the message in a much stronger way. His journey began from Vero Beach in Florida on 23rd march 2013. It would take him 2 years to complete the journey crossing 27 states culminating in the start point on 20th June 2015.
3 Steve’s Message to the Nation “DONT QUIT ON LIFE”
This time America sat up and took notice, Steve was welcomed in every state and the influence of Steve’s inspiration was unimaginable.Throughout his journey, Steve began touching lives across America. In death and tragedy, Steve’s message of “LOVE LIFE”, actually began to help others cope with their own problems. He began receiving endearing messages on his Facebook page, from people who were contemplating suicide but went on to the path of being healed, by Steve’s simple message of “LOVE LIFE.”
In his own words “You can do anything you want in this life except hurt other people. You are not allowed to take your own life. It does not belong to just you. You are not getting rid of your pain, you’re passing it on.”
He also says, “NEVER EVER quit!!!! LOVE LIFE and embrace it for both emotional and physical healing. LOVE of LIFE gives us the strength to push forward and carry on.”
4 Steve Gained Hundreds of Followers Wherever He Went
There was a time when Steve accepted donations to fund his walk but he stopped that. He was on his own and all he needed was a pat on the back by the nation and the people he loved. People gave him food and water and though he was always thankful, this is what he said, “That happens all the time, People think I’m homeless, but I’m not. But I never ask for money; the only things I ever ask for is a bottle of water or a place to charge my electronics, my phone and laptop.”
Fugate has his own website www.trailtherapy.com. His Facebook page LOVE LIFE has over 10,000 followers and growing even as you read this. He says,“I go on Facebook and I give everyone a barrage of truth and a barrage of acts of kindness. People say, ‘I’m glad there’s still good people out there.’ Still good people? What do you mean? They never went anywhere!”
5 Steve Fugate Was Welcomed In Every State. He Was Changing America
Steve’s usage of social media to pass on his message became a resounding success. From far and near, people welcomed him even before he entered a state. His inspiring walk was waking up the entire nation to derive sustenance from Steve’s therapy of loving life. His love for life is clearly evident in his talks, take a look at an excerpt from his latest Facebook message and you will know what we mean-
“Love, I’m choosing Love. I have seen the power of Love. I have seen the effect it has on others when they feel that love coming from me, from anyone. Love creates a spirit of calm, of inner peace, not a spirit of fear. I know that the choice to make sure Love and not fear is flowing from me will indeed affect others positively and help change my little piece of the world.”
6 “If You Love Life, You’re not going To End It on Your Own.” –Steve Fugate!
For Steve, his 7th walk across America was to be his last. He needed to rest he said and so was hanging up his walking boots. But this did not end Steve’s therapy. Through social media,Steve still remains in touch with people, carrying on his message of celebrating life rather than glorifying death. Steve’s message is simple. Why ponder over death when you can relive the memories of a loved one. Wanting to die or commit suicide isn’t the answer, because life comes just once but that one time is abundant with memories of happiness and love, thus we should like Steve Fugate, all,LOVE LIFE.