What do you do when your life's work crumbles? You walk it off over 2100 miles and 6 months, get your shit together and write a book.
The Goods: I’m going to write a book called Walk It Off, Nottoli that should be ready by May 2013. I want you to buy it now and so I have the means to finish it up.
The Idea: When I was kid and I got a broken finger or a baseball to the head, my coaches would say, "Walk it off, Nottoli." I think they over-prescribed this panacea, but for certain kinds of pain, it’s the only remedy. Walk it Off, Nottoli will chronicle every angry, reluctant step of my SECOND 2000-mile march for answers to the mystery of my frickin’ existence.
The Story: Twenty years ago, restless and full of competing ambitions, I walked the Appalachian Trail in hopes of launching my life on a firm footing. That journey left its imprint on everything I do. It showed me the meaning of possible (impossible minus the belief that it is impossible), impossible (a task not yet completed), and the depth of my resolve (Murietta Trench-ian), which has gotten me into so much trouble.
After completing the trail I looked for an "impossible" mission to throw myself into. The most impossible thing I could find was non-profit theater. From 1997 to 2012, I poured all of my resolve into a small professional theater company. I went from patching holes to building sets to spearheading the expansion of the award-winning theater and serving as its Artistic Director. On Dec. 31st, 2011, the theater folded, a victim of my grandiose visions, a global economic recession and some rotten timing.
Three weeks before the 20-year anniversary of my first completion of the AT, I was still stewing in my failure, when my old trail-buddy, Moonshine, came to me in a dream and said, “Grab your shit, we’re going again.”
“But, I’ve got a wife, a life," I said, “And, I don’t even have shoes!”
“Dude, you’ve got a credit card, just get your shit in the truck and let’s go.”
So, I furiously stuffed things into my pack and ran out of the house without any shoes. Crazy thing is, in the dream, it felt like absolutely the right thing to do.
I woke up laughing. It was really hard the first time. Why would I do that to myself? Again? I told my wife about it, expecting her to laugh with me.
“Well, obviously, you have to go,” she said. “You’ll write about it, of course.”
Walk it Off, Nottoli is the story of shedding the pain and outrage of the last 20 years, and acquiring perspective for the next 20. I'll retrace the steps that launched my life on such a hair-raising trajectory and, in the process, bring myself back down to earth.
My wife says it’s an archetypal journey, the Odyssean journey home and the stripping away of the ego so I can be king of my own life. Um, okay. I just know that if I don’t get out there and hike like hell, the foundering of my life's work will eat me like a giant, one-eyed sheep herder.
A key part of this journey involves comparing notes with the three friends that I originally hiked the trail with to see how the experience directed the events of their lives. These guys shared a thousand of my most formative miles and it's time to re-connect. Since Cool Breeze is deceased, Kunning Kat is missing and Moonshine, despite his dream visitation, is adamantly opposed to this mid-life return to the trail, this would seem an impossible task. But, lucky for me, I know that an impossible task is just a task not yet completed. Thanks, Appalachian Trail!
I hope you'll support me in my 2,000-mile quest for mid-life meaning.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $9,000 goal
seconds to go
Apr 17, 2012 - May 17, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $5 or more
Upon my successful completion of the whole trail, we'll have a party and slide show just for you, the backers of this loony adventure. And, I'll mention you in the book.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $10 or more
You'll get a pdf copy of the book. I figure it will take 6 months after I get back to make it sing.Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $20 or more
You’ll get a signed, hardcover copy of the book in addition to the pdf copy. It should save $5 off the price of the book.Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $50 or more
I’ll compose a poem using you and a particular place on the trail for my inspiration. Then I'll put it on my blog. You'll be famous!Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $100 or more
I’ll send you an original, motivational video from the half way point. Cause hell, if I can walk 1000 miles, you should listen to the kind of encouragement I'm giving. Plus all the other stuff mentioned above of course.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $250 or more
2 backers Limited (1 of 3 left)
You can come out and hike with me for up to 3 days and two glorious nights. Sleep in a shelter with stinky hikers, crap in the woods and get devoured by mosquitoes. Oh, and get your head out of the 'real' world and back into the real of nature. Your nature.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $500 or more
I’ll come to your house and do a slideshow of the trip, photoshopping you into many of the shots as if we hiked it together. I'll give you a fake trail name, spin stories of your towering hiking abilities and tell everyone about the time you saved me from a ravenous bear or a deranged psycho-killer. Your choice.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
0 backers Limited (2 of 2 left)
You can come and climb the final mountain with me in October, in Maine. It’ll be the drop-dead amazing Fall foliage of your dreams. Gorgeous. Then you can give me a ride back to civilization. **(It’s a 10-mile hike with 4000 feet of elevation gain in 4 miles = pretty strenuous. Make sure that you're in shape or that you have a helicopter.)**Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $2,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
This is corporate-level sponsorship aimed at companies who want to reach my savvy, adventure-minded supporters. You get everything already mentioned, plus your brand will be a sponsor on my Blog, in special shout-outs during my “In the Tent with Nottoli” video interviews, and in email alerts for an entire month. So, you're not a corporation claiming to be a person but an actual person-person of the human kind? Let’s see if we can figure out something that will work for you.Estimated delivery: May 2012