STL ⏩ Chi

It feels like only yesterday I was aboard Amtrak 322 Texas Eagle south bound from Chicago to St. Louis.

I remember this city calling to me.

No clue why or what was bringing me here but the feeling was undeniable.

(March 5th 2019)

Eager to explore this city and find my own space within it to flourish I just started skating.

I found the Ted Jones Trail

A place that became my morning ritual.

A ritual of movement through body and mind.

It took me a few week to get used to the train. The rhythm of the stops. The flow of people and which train-car to go for (especially on cards game days).

I had my fare share of bizarro on the train experiences.

but ultimately it became a part of my morning ritual just as important as the trail.

(alone at umsl north)

I rode that train almost every single day the last 2 months.

Downtown STL quickly became my space.

My zone.

My canvas.

I was united with my Pack.

Spending my days delivering food for Foodpedelar downtown.

I learned all the streets and shortcuts

and every crack in the ground,

bump in the road,

You know,

I developed a very intimate relationship with the streets of downtown St. Louis.

(all this ⬆️ turned out to be perfect training for a century…)

I found a place in these streets I could go that I will never fully be able to explain.

(Similar to my vibe with Des Moines)

Time passed,

I was just working towards my goal of getting to Nigeria.

That feeling St. Louis had been sending me slowly started to become clear,

St. Louis would be the location for my first in-city Century.

And like clockwork the universe connected my dream to a motivator..

My cousin was having a benefit dinner to help raise funds for her upcoming pancreas transplant.

I couldn’t make the dinner, I thought at least I could donate. Then I thought wait.

I. Can. Skate.

Not to the dinner necessarily,

but for my cousin.

So next thing I know I’m planning a month long stay in Nigeria while simultaneously planning a week long heart health campaign and a 100 mile skate to raise funds for Shannon.

I don’t know how I didn’t lose my mind.

I’m going to leave a gap in this post right here⬇️

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This is space for me to write about that century skate as soon as the words come to me…

it was a huge success!

My cousins surgery went well, she’s been in and out of the hospital handling both expected and unexpected complications of such a life changing operation.

And it feels incredible to know through hard work and the support of an amazing community we reached the goal of $1,000 to help ease some of the financial worry of this time in her life.

So my last day in STL was a regular yet spectacular beautiful sunny day of skating the trail, taking the train, working the city, and catching an impromptu late lunch with my boss Alex.

I met up with my friend Kaitlin(we discussed our vibes of the city as we often did, we both love STL) we shared home cooked spaghetti with Hannah and Jordan.

And then I spent the evening reflecting as I packed my things in preparation for my next journey… Nigeria…

// special note

Thank you to my baby sister for opening her home and heart to me and my crazy skate dreams,

(Hannah & Jordan, Ted Jones Trail 3/17)

Traveling and living how I do often makes me long for the feeling of having a home and a family to share time with.

So staying with my sister in Ferguson was a nice relaxing time for me.

We shared family dinners and talked about life, we skated the trail and discussed hopes for the future over coffee and cookies.

My little sister is a remarkable woman and I couldn’t be prouder of how she is raising her daughter and living her life as a “woke” and positive human.

//

My experiences in St. Louis were a gentle and necessary reminder that we are all humans,

we all feel this great force that is the human condition,

and most importantly we must generate love from within ourselves to be shared, Otherwise what are we even doing?

I know St. Louis is so much more complex and has so much more to teach me in the future, but for now..

Au revoir St. Louis!

(view crossing the Mississippi from Amtrak 322 Texas eagle stl-chi)

This past week in Chicago has been insane..

Visa issues,

Putting all the skates together

Everything is strangely & perfectly falling into place exactly how the universe sees fit.

Anyways, more on that soon.

For now

Peace, love, good vibes

– Caleb