The Arete School Pilgrimage is an awareness and fundraising event that anyone can do at any time in support of The Arete School’s creation. Individuals (called Players) or groups engage in a physical activity of their choosing and secure donations from others who sponsor them.
For example, runners, joggers, and walkers can set out to cover a certain number of miles in a week and ask friends, family, and others to sponsor them per mile. Swimmers can do the same thing swimming meters or laps in pools or distances in the ocean. Cyclists can ride a specific number of miles. Those training with weights can lift a combined number of pounds. Paddleboarders can paddle a certain distance. You get the idea. Or you can come up with something totally original.
Intern Breah Smith worked out in a gym two hours a day, six days a week, for four weeks, including some heavy lifting. ASI member and Trustee Roger Hefty ran 50 miles in two weeks.
Long-time donor Matthew Menasco went off-road cycling for 10 hours. ASI friend Marina Merkouris took two walks a day for 20 consecutive days with her dog Laika.
And, check out these images of what ASI member Martha Giblas did for her pilgrimage to raise funds for The Arete School. We hope you’re not afraid of heights.
The original Arete School Pilgrimage was carried out by ASI president Joel Kirsch. In Spring 2010, for six hours a day, five days a week, over a six-week period, Kirsch did the following burpee-like activity for 30 miles, starting in the city of Novato in northern Marin County, California, and finishing at the southern Marin-San Francisco border on the Golden Gate Bridge:
1) stand straight; 2) step forward with one foot; 3) crouch down on the knee of the back leg; 4) lean down and slightly forward, placing both hands in a push-up position; 5) keeping the hands in place, extend the body in a push-up position as, one at a time, both legs go back fully, and so both feet are together; 6) do a push-up; 7) bring the feet forward one at a time to where the hands are; 8) stand straight once again; and 9) repeat the entire process continuously.
Kirsch’s pilgrimage generated quite a bit of media attention, including this blog he wrote for the George Lucas Educational Foundation and the following news story on KGO-TV/ABC 7 San Francisco:
The Arete School Pilgrimage begins at the north end of the city of Novato, California, on a frontage road next to Highway 101.
In downtown Novato, up and ‘over the hill,’ and down into Ignacio Valley.
After traveling along the Highway 101 frontage road, the Pilgrimage passes through the Northgate area in Terra Linda, up the southern end of Freitas Parkway, connects with the north end of the city of San Rafael at Lincoln Avenue, and turns west on Fourth Street in San Rafael.
After going ‘over the hill’ from San Rafael to Kentfield along Wolfe Grade (Road), and then through the cities of Kentfield and Corte Madera, the Pilgrimage continues along the Highway 101 frontage road toward the town of Mill Valley.
This is an exhausting, dirty, long stretch.
Along the Bike Path in Mill Valley, on the way toward the town of Sausalito.
Traveling through downtown Sausalito.
Continuing along the picturesque Sausalito waterfront.
More from the beautiful Sausalito waterfront, with San Francisco in the distance.
Into the Marin Headlands, pausing for reflection with the Pilgrimage end in sight, and continuing on.
Transitioning through the Marin Headlands toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
Into the Marin Headlands-Golden Gate Bridge parking lot, San Francisco hazed in the distance, the Golden Gate Bridge oh so close.
Needing to get to the Golden Gate Bridge’s bay side for pedestrians, the Pilgrimage continues below the Bridge’s surface in its undergirding.
Back on the Bridge’s upper surface and turning for home, onto the Bridge itself, and the final leg. You can almost taste it.
Stayin’ focused. Keepin’ on. Pausin’ to take it all in.
Family and friends join in, with everyone in sync, as others gather on the side to take in the moment. Gettin’ happy because we’re oh so close to the massive-tower finish line.
Everyone goes ahead to go around the tower. In the end, this is for the kids. Moving in to the last turn. And now, just one more push.
Touch. Celebrating with family. Celebrating with celebrators.
If you would like to raise funds for The Arete School by doing your own pilgrimage, contact the American Sports Institute at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For everyone who participates in a pilgrimage, always be sure to do so safely and get proper advice, training, and medical clearance.