Date Archives June 2018

WWA Crew Newsletter – June 19th

Walking With America Crew Newsletter

Celebrating 1,000 miles of happiness, health, and building community

Tuesday, June 19th

Announcements / Initiatives

  • Sponsorships—Viva, Zenify, Vitalign, Nutraceuticals
  • Partnerships —Thermau, Sprouts Farmers Market
  • State Gazette Interview —While passing through Dyersburg, TN, Sheryl and Xavier were interviewed by the State Gazette. Check out their interview here!
  • VanArtwork—WWA was lucky enough to cross paths with Khari Turner in Clarksvile, TN, who became our next local artist to leave their brushstrokes on the van! Check out our “On the Road with WWA” section for pictures and details on Khari Turner’s
  • Congratulations,Taylor!— The WWA team would like to extend a huge congratulations to Sheryl’s daughter Taylor, who just graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Business Economics/Sociology. Sending all of the high-fives for a job well done!
  • New Blog Post— This week, the World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition and a growing global concern. Check out our blog post for more information on what gaming disorder is, and how Walking With America can
  • Regrouping, Re-branding, and Resting—At the 1,000 mile mark, Sheryl and Xavier have decided that the best way to bring WWA across the country is to take a sorely needed rest to evaluate their progress, spend time with family, and prepare for the next steps in this epic journey. See this week’s “Message from Sheryl” for an in-depth discussion of what to expect in the interim, and all of the exciting changes and growth that WWA is preparing for in the weeks ahead!

On the Road with WWA – Khari Turner

While walking through Clarksville, TN, Sheryl and Xavier visited a local artist co-op. They were introduced to Khari Turner, an unbelievably talented portrait artist who added portraits—yes, actual portraits!—of Sheryl, Xavier, and Haywood to the WWA van.

This addition represents the collective efforts of the trio to inspire a nation of walkers, asking people to get outside without the distraction of digital screens and devices. A huge round of applause and gratitude to Khari for helping to make the van into a beautiful and vivid representation of Walking With America!

Khari Turner WWA van Khari Turner WWA artwork WWA Clarksville TN

WWA Event in Nashville, TN – The Turnip Truck

We had an amazing turnout for our event at The Turnip Truck in Nashville, TN. It was wonderful to meet so many locals, make new friends, and mingle with the CMA crowd (and even see Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton)!

Everyone was so receptive to the WWA mission, and we truly had a wonderful weekend. Nashville is a wonderful city (if for nothing else, the peach moonshine is worth a visit!).Once the live bands were playing and those cowboy boots were on, you would never know that our feet had walked 1,000 miles!

A big thank you to the folks at The Turnip Truck for welcoming us with open arms and for letting us set up shop for a few hours!

Turnip Truck WWA Nashville

Message From Sheryl – Highlight of the Week

My Dearest Walker Friends,

First and foremost, I want to tell you that Walking With America is still very much alive and well—but that we will be taking a much-needed, brief respite to regroup. When all is said and done, WWA is much bigger and much grander than I would have ever thought, and it’s a lot to take on! I want WWA to be a household name and to be around for many years to come, and the best way to do that is to make sure that every mile is focused, organized, passionate, and purposeful.

This past weekend was the beginning of a regrouping—I have the wonderful opportunity to take the first 1,000 miles, think about what I learned, and then explore how I can implement what I have learned during the next 1,000 miles.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking time for meetings with sponsors, upgrading our media coverage, implementing new ideas for events, evaluating our branding, and more.

Our aim is to pick back up right where we left off and continue walking to Madison, WI. Haywood has some great local ties, and we’ll be organizing a huge WWA event to welcome us back onto the road. (Of course, it’s also going to help that it will be at least 30 degrees cooler in Wisconsin!)

So, let’s get down to it: What’s changed? What can you expect now?

The end goal of WWA is still the same — we are still going to walk 3,000 miles by October 1st. Our vision is still the same — to heal, connect, and gather as many people as we can to walk with us in each community we cross paths with. The only thing that is different is that we realized that we are human! There will be times where each of us needs to hit the reset button — to reflect, to process, and to spend time with the people that we love the most (don’t ever forget how important it is to have quality family time!).

During this quick break, you can expect that we will all be hard at work, brainstorming about our brand, chasing down media contacts, planning new events, and continuing to build WWA into the national movement that it is destined to be.

Until then, my Dearest Walker Friends, stay tuned! Walk with me on Saturday mornings, keep an eye on social media, and check your email for our next newsletter. There are big things in store, and I can’t wait to share every step with you!

Thank You, WWA Crew!

sheryl lynn WWA

As always, this is our opportunity to extend the warmest of thank-you’s to everyone who has contributed their time, support, sponsorship, donations, and help. Every week, I am amazed at how the universe seems to bring exactly what we need, exactly when we need it — and that means each one of you.

Walking 1,000 miles is no small feat, and I could not have done it without this strong network of love, support, and friendship. This network of support is just incredible, and I hope that the continued growth and success of WWA can, in some way, represent the wave of gratitude that I feel.

Thank you to everyone who has been calling, emailing, and texting to check up on me, make sure that I am safe, and most importantly, to share with me their very own WALKING wins and triumphs! I hope to continue to hear from each one of you over the course of the next few weeks. I’ll be sharing my stories with you as well — you can bet that my feet won’t be rested for very long!

You are all making an incredible difference– and not just in your own lives, but in the lives of those you pass along the way, and certainly in mine.

Walking With America has done some amazing things already, and I can’t wait to share everything that we have in store for the next phase of our journey. STAY TUNED for Phase Two of WWA!

Saturday Mornings – Walk With Me!

Because Walking With America seeks to help people create happier, healthier lives, part of our initiative is making walking a part of our regular routine. In the true Walking With America spirit, I want to remind you that you are all invited to join me me in my weekly Saturday morning walk!

#walkwithme as a way to shake off the last remnants of sleep, after your first cup of coffee, when the dog starts whining, or whenever works best for your schedule! Our ultimate goal is to get everyone in the nation walking together and committed to their health and happiness.

No matter when you walk, don’t forget to wear yellow and to invite a friend or family member to join you! I can’t wait to hear your stories, share in your successes, and see your Saturday morning photos and videos using the social media links below!

Walking With America (WWA) is Sheryl Lynn’s six-month mission of walking from Key West, FL to San Francisco, CA, all while encouraging others to take their health and happiness into their own hands.

At its core, WWA is about creating healthier, happier individuals through personal accountability, empowerment, and community. Sheryl’s feel-good community of walkers offers a message of support and a call to action, unlocking health and happiness one step at a time–and even better, sharing it with those around you.

My name is Sheryl Lynn, and I invite you all to #walkwithme–become a part of the movement and contribute an integral piece of my ultimate vision: to walk together, share a moment of our lives, and come to a happier, healthier understanding of our world.

“Gaming Disorder” is Now a Mental Health Condition

The World Health Organization Announces “Gaming Disorder” as the Newest Mental Health Epidemic

How often do you or your friends play video games? Are your children spending more time in front of a screen than you would like? Have you tried cutting down on gaming, but can’t seem to stop? If turning on a game console is more important than taking care of your body, your health, and your relationships with others, gaming disorder might be the culprit.

This week, the relationship between video games and mental health has been pushed into the forefront of a national discussion. Researchers are discovering that disconnecting from devices is crucial to maintaining your health. In the 11th edition of their International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced gaming disorder as a growing mental health concern.

The connection between electronic devices and your mental, emotional, and physical health is, without a doubt, a hot topic. In fact, turning off electronic screens and getting outdoors has always been a key part of the Walking With America vision! Check out the sections below for a further discussion on gaming disorder, why disconnecting from devices can be an essential part of good mental health, and how WWA can help.

gaming addiction and disorder

What is Gaming Disorder?

Gaming disorder is listed as an addictive behavior similar to gambling or substance abuse disorders. According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), gaming disorder is defined by “a pattern of persistent or recurring behavior” for online or offline gaming. People affected by gaming disorder share the following characteristics:

  • Lack of control, even when gaming patterns produce negative outcomes
  • Gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities
  • Gaming leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas

Signs of Gaming Disorder

Although gaming disorder has only recently been recognized, thousands of people have been battling addiction to electronics for years. reSTART is one of the first inpatient treatment programs designed to treat Internet and gaming addiction in the US. According to reSTART, warning signs and symptoms of gaming disorder include:

  • Increasing amounts of time spent on computer and internet activities
  • Failed attempts to control behavior
  • Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and internet activities
  • Craving more time on the computer and internet
  • Neglecting friends and family
  • Feeling restless when not engaged in the activity
  • Being dishonest with others
  • Computer use interfering with job/school performance
  • Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of behavior
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

How Walking With America Can Help

One of the core components of Walking With America has always been the deep desire to help people get up, get moving, and engage with their surroundings. On average, we spend as much as 93 percent of our lives either indoors or inside a car. For those suffering from gaming disorder, that time is dominated with staring at either a television, computer, or console screen.

Recent studies have suggested that excessive time spent playing video games is connected to anxiety and depression. For some, gaming disorder can be a secondary effect of these mood disorders. In extreme cases, treating anxiety and depression comes in the form of therapy and medication — but it is also possible to use physical exercise (like walking) to boost your mental and emotional health.

Walking releases endorphins, builds strength, and promotes better circulation. It clears the mind and gives you an opportunity to organize your thoughts. More importantly, the goal of Walking With America is to create a national movement FOR movement — WWA promotes genuine, healthy, and unique ways to interact with the people and the environment around you.

By creating a daily routine of walking — by yourself, with your dog, or joined by a friend or family member — you can start to reshape your thinking, boost your physical strength, and nourish your mental and emotional health!

After You Walk–Share Your Story!

Has your interaction with video games and time spend staring at a screen gotten in the way of your daily life? How has walking helped improve your own emotional or mental health? Find us on Instagram or Facebook and let the Walking With America community know! We would love to hear your personal stories and share in all of your successes!

As always, don’t forget to #walkwithme every Saturday morning as we all share a moment of our lives together and come to a happier, healthier understanding of our world.

WWA Crew Newsletter – June 8th

Walking With America Crew Newsletter

When WWA & the CMAs Collide!

Friday, June 8th

Announcements / Initiatives

  • Sponsorships—Viva, Zenify, Vitalign, Nutraceuticals
  • Partnerships —Thermau, Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Exploring PartnershipsSensi Magazine, and RDKL
  • Website Down—If you’ve tried to visit the website over the past week, you may have noticed that the Walking With America site was experiencing some issues. We are happy to announce that this was temporary and that the website is officially back up and running!
  • Nashville, TN — Sheryl and Xavier are officially in Nashville! Today, they will be heading to the highway at Bridgestone Theater, where the local radio station is having a live event. Be on the lookout for fun videos and pictures on the WWA Facebook and Instagram feeds!
  • Country Music Awards— The CMAs are underway, the streets are crowded, live music is playing, and they’ve already seen Blake Shelton and Darius Rucker, so it’s a great weekend to be in Music City. Plus, Sheryl and Xavier picked up some rhinestone cowboy shirts at the local thrift store and have boots on the way, so WWA is about to get infused with some classic country!
  • Van Artwork—While traveling through Tennessee, WWA was lucky enough to cross paths with our next artist, Kathryn! See below for pictures in our “On the Road with WWA” section.
  • Walking with America event— On Saturday, WWA will be at The Turnip Truck, Nashville’s only full-service, locally owned natural foods grocery. See below for more details – and if you or someone you know is in the Nashville area, come on by and say hello! (And of course, if you can’t join us in Nashville, you can join us by WALKING on Saturday morning.)

Upcoming Cities

  • Nashville, TN – June 8-10
  • Clarksville, TN – TBD

On the Road with WWA

As Sheryl and Xavier were walking through Manchester, TN, they passed by Dianna, a local mother of four girls. (Oddly enough, at the same time, a motorcycle passed by with another new friend named Drew, who was riding his Harley across America. What a small world!)

In true “Southern hospitality” style, Dianna put mowing the lawn to the side and invited everyone onto the porch for some relaxation, laughs, and sweet tea. Sheryl, Xavier, and Drew got to meet Karie, Terry, Emillee, and Kathryn, and talk about the benefits of breaking away from social media and just being outside. It was so enlightening to see that even these young ladies were committed to spending time with each other, instead of in front of a screen.

Luckily, Kathryn is also a talented painter, and offered to paint her own mural onto the WWA van! Check out her work below – we are so grateful to have found another awesome local artist. What a wonderful way to remember Tennessee!

Kathryn painting the WWA van TN

Walking With America in Tennessee

Introducing Our Official Walking With America Van!

From Key West to California

With the constant humidity and beautiful Southern sunshine, you may have noticed that we’ve decided to revamp our “Team Uniforms.” Instead of our t-shirts, we’re wearing bright yellow tank tops. Amidst all this warmth and rain, the extra breathing has already made a HUGE difference in our morale and visibility out on the road — and of course, our laundry schedule.

We’ve also added “Key West to California” on the back to better explain what we are doing. So far, the new uniforms have gotten great responses! Every day, we have multiple people coming up to us and saying, “You’re doing WHAT?!” (Or, in Tennessee, they say “Bless your heart – I can’t even walk across the street in this heat!)

The conversation, the smiles, and the instant friendships that jump to life from this simple question are amazing. We can’t wait to keep spreading WWA across the country!

Walking With America new uniform

WWA Event in Nashville, TN – The Turnip Truck

On Saturday, June 9th, WWA will be at The Turnip Truck, Nashville’s only full-service, locally owned natural foods grocery. If you or someone you know is in the area, don’t be shy – come out and say hello!

The Walking with America team will be getting to know the locals, sparking positive conversation, having some laughs, and showing Nashville how to live happier, healthier lives! Our event is happening from 11 am-1 pm at:

The Turnip Truck
321 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN

WWA Turnip Truck TN

WWA and the Turnip Truck Nashville

 Brief Team Update

  • Roxann – Facilitating crew meetings and providing PA services for Sheryl
  • Mike – 25 sponsors at $2,500
  • Caitlin – Newsletters, blog content, phone interviews, email support
  • Steve & Todd – Brand messaging/posts on Instagram and Facebook, tracking SEO progress
  • Kelley – Updating XL spreadsheet (Tennessee dates and locations)
  • Nicole – Route updates/coordination, sending newsletter via MailChimp

Things to Focus On

  • MAILING ADDRESSES

    From time to time, we need to re-order supplies — but we don’t always have a place to send them to. If you have a friend, family member, or business partner along our route that would be willing to let us borrow their address and pick up supplies, please reach out!

  • LOCAL ARTISTS

    Do you know anyone who would love to design and paint their unique artwork on the Walking With America van? If so, please reach out — we would love to add as much local artwork as we can, eventually creating a beautiful mosaic of the diverse talent, heart, and soul of the communities that WWA encounters along the way.

  • MARKETING

    One of our primary focus points over the next few weeks will be creating an effective marketing strategy. This includes exploring how team uniforms can better communicate the WWA mission, solidifying processes for reaching out to local news media, planning events, exploring local community calendars, and more.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA

    Once again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has taken the time to like or share our social media posts! This is a huge piece of what will truly push Walking With America to the top, and we appreciate everyone’s continued efforts to keep the national conversation going about living a healthy, happy lifestyle. Keep sharing and liking WWA on Instagram and Facebook!

  • SPONSORS & PARTNERSHIPS

    We are making wonderful progress on finding and exploring creative partners for WWA. Let’s keep this going– just a reminder to keep your ears and eyes open for any brand or company that could potentially be a great match for Walking With America (keep these values in mind: happiness, physical and mental health, exercise, community, and natural products).

Message From Sheryl – Highlight of the Week

My Dearest Walker Friends,

This week, we did 74 miles in the blistering, 90-degrees-and-climbing heat. Combined with days of sickness and torrential rain, we’ve really been put to the test during this portion of the walk! It’s been emotional, it’s been frustrating, and at times, it’s even been hilarious — but most of all, it has been SO rewarding.

Over the past few days, I’ve had an opportunity to reflect and reevaluate on being present throughout this journey. To me, Walking with America means focusing on being present in every moment — to take notice of the world around you, take deep breaths, enjoy the sunshine, and to make the effort to create personal connections.

I had an epiphany – this journey is all about focusing on feeling good. It’s about engaging with your local community, with the natural beauty around you, and taking time to make yourself feel good through walking.

We have been so blessed by simply focusing on feeling good and connecting with people we meet. This week, I’d love to share this story with you:

In Chattanooga, even though we were sick as dogs and it was raining, we decided to get out and do a 9-mile hike on Raccoon Mountain. We got stuck at the top, and ran across a bus filled with 17 and 18-year-old kids from a youth ministry in Alabama. They became instant friends, and offered to give us a ride back down the mountain!

On our way down, we played TAG with them, a game that Haywood shared with us (we play it almost every day now).

It starts just like regular tag, where you touch someone and then say, “Hey, you’re it!” But this version of TAG stands for Thankful, Appreciative, and Grateful. One by one, these kids went around and shared why they are Thankful (something in the past), Appreciative (what is happening today), and Grateful (something in the future that you are looking forward to).

These kids were all so grounded, with so much love for their family, their school, and their faith. It was beautiful, reinvigorating, and inspiring. It was exactly what WWA is all about – creating connections where you least expect it, even on top of a mountain!

This week, if you’re feeling stuck, take some time to nurture your body and your soul. Focus on what makes you feel good – and I hope that walking becomes one of those things for you! Most of all, whenever and wherever you walk, I hope that you are greeted by beautiful sunshine, fresh air, happiness, and positive vibes – you deserve it!

Photo Reel – What a Week in the Life of WWA Looks Like

(Because sometimes words just aren’t enough!)

WWA in Manchester, TN

Thank You, WWA Crew!

sheryl lynn WWA

As always, this is our opportunity to extend the warmest of thank-you’s to everyone who has contributed their time, support, sponsorship, donations, and help. Every week, I am amazed at how the universe seems to bring exactly what we need, exactly when we need it — and that means each one of you.

This network of support is just incredible, and I hope that the continued growth and success of WWA can, in some way, represent the wave of gratitude that I feel.

Thank you to Dianna, for welcoming us into your home with open arms! Thank you to Karie, Terry, Emillee, and Kathryn for sharing your stories, your enthusiasm, and your laughter.

A special thank you to Kathryn, for donating your time and artistry to help make our WWA van into a beautiful, inspiring piece of art!

Finally, thank you to Haywood, who shared with us the game of TAG, opening the door for new friendships and fostering a deeper appreciation of what life has to offer, every day.

Thank you to the crew members, who continue to give their all into making sure WWA is visible, engaging, and present. Thank you to everyone who has been calling, emailing, and texting to check up on me, make sure that I am safe, and most importantly, to share with me their very own WALKING wins and triumphs!

THANK YOU for your ideas, your motivation, your support, and your love. You are all making an incredible difference– and not just in your own lives, but in those you pass along the way, and certainly in mine.

Saturday Mornings – Walk With Me!

Because Walking With America seeks to help people create happier, healthier lives, part of our initiative is making walking a part of our regular routine. In the true Walking With America spirit, I want to remind you that you are all invited to join me me in my weekly Saturday morning walk!

#walkwithme as a way to shake off the last remnants of sleep, after your first cup of coffee, when the dog starts whining, or whenever works best for your schedule! Our ultimate goal is to get everyone in the nation walking together and committed to their health and happiness.

No matter when you walk, don’t forget to wear yellow and to invite a friend or family member to join you! I can’t wait to hear your stories, share in your successes, and see your Saturday morning photos and videos using the social media links below!

Walking With America (WWA) is Sheryl Lynn’s six-month mission of walking from Key West, FL to San Francisco, CA, all while encouraging others to take their health and happiness into their own hands.

At its core, WWA is about creating healthier, happier individuals through personal accountability, empowerment, and community. Sheryl’s feel-good community of walkers offers a message of support and a call to action, unlocking health and happiness one step at a time–and even better, sharing it with those around you.

My name is Sheryl Lynn, and I invite you all to #walkwithme–become a part of the movement and contribute an integral piece of my ultimate vision: to walk together, share a moment of our lives, and come to a happier, healthier understanding of our world.