Around the world with Polly Letofsky

Positively Powered with Amy Collette Featuring Polly Letofsky  

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Your jaw might drop as you listen to Polly Letofsky's story of her five-year walk around the world, including her time in Malaysia during 9-11. Through dealing with the extreme heat, earthquakes, dangerous and "dodgy" parts of the world, she kept the women she was walking for, women with breast cancer, in her mind as constant inspiration.

Her story starts when she was inspired by fellow Minnesotan, Dave Koontz, who completed his walk around the world in 1974. Polly says, "He was putting one seemingly insignificant step in front of the other, but when those steps are chained together, they become so powerful that they can serve as your transportation around the world." 

Even then, she realized she was thinking "pretty out of the box for a 12-year old from Minnesota." Her idea sat idle until many years later when several women in her life were diagnosed with breast cancer. Polly's dream was sparked again by dedicating the walk to raise global awareness of this devastating disease.

Polly was fascinated by the cultures she was walking through and was very aware of how they affected her. She's now starting to wonder how she affected the people she met. Maybe her walk kindled an idea in a young kid somewhere to do something out of the box, too..

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Takeaways

Quote: We are the CEOs of our own lives, but we never have to do it alone. Here's the big lesson I learned in five years in two words: Reach out."

Milestone moments: Ghandi's granddaughter greeted her as she completed her trek through India

Connections: But smaller, everyday moments like the one in Australia where she was invited into a family reunion party, and the guy she met on a park bench while she was waiting for someone else, and the man who told her about what happened in America on 9-11 while she was walking through Malaysia .  "I'm in touch with those people to this day."

Impact: The Lions Club got involved with her walk and connected her to clubs all over the world. She credits them with taking care of her and boosting her impact. "With their help, it went a thousand times bigger than I had ever envisioned." Especially in Malaysia, they got newspaper coverage and hosted big fundraising events.  "Crowds of people were out there walking with me every day. I was like Forrest Gump out there in Malaysia."

Staying motivated and positive: Listen in to Polly's commitment to her cause and the contract that she held with herself.

Tough times: "Things will not go smoothly 100% of the time, so accept and expect tough times."

Balance: "If you're too cluttered and can't think straight, I say you're doing too much. Go for a walk."

Links

Polly's website: http://www.pollyletofsky.com/