In 2007 Bendl decided to take serious the issues of diabetes and began to walk with him dog Nice and roll of 6 foot ball of the world. His hope is to raise the awareness that diet and exercise can make a difference and inspire people to get moving.
A carpenter by trade, Bendl works and saves his money, pays his bills and then sets out to walk the United States. This is the third time he has walked wandering Indiana. He started out from Louisville, traveled to Columbus and then headed west to Bloomington before coming back to Indianapolis and heading north to Michigan. With no particular destination except to get into Michigan, Bendl said Michigan would be the 43 state he has gotten to.
As Erik walks he meets many inquisitive people who stop to find out what he is up to. Sometime the offer of a meal, cold drink or place to rest is given and sometimes a donation to the American Diabetes Association is collected.
Bendl starts out early in the day, before the sun comes up so he can get in 10 miles or so before the heat of the day. At that point he hopes to have met someone who will drive him back the 10 miles to his starting point so he can pick up his van with all his supplies.
Thursday morning after having a free breakfast at Cindyâ€™s CafĂ© south of Plymouth Erik walked old Michigan Road into Plymouth and will end his walk about noon or so.
Tomorrow morning the challenge begins again as he heads towards Michigan.
If you see Erik Bendl walkingâ€¦give him a wave, stop and talk with him and maybe give him a donation to the ADA.