Foley High School Leadership

Life Skills 101, because life can be tough…

Guest Speaker George Throop: Walking Across America


Mr. George Throop is a man on a mission. Having walked 3600 miles by the time he got to Mrs. Major’s Leadership classroom in Foley, he still has another 1,000 miles to walk to Washington D.C.  

Mr. Throop is on a walk of inspiration. He lost his mother to cancer when she was almost 34. Just 9-years-old when she passed, he feels the loss of his mother every today.


  • 1.6 million Americans get cancer every year.
  • 1,000 people die each day of cancer.
  • Every day 4,000 Americans are diagnosed with new cases of cancer.
  • For every hour George spoke to Foley High School students, 100 people found out they had cancer around the country during that hour.

Those are sobering statistics.  

Mr. Throop’s mission is spreading the word that preventing cancer is related to living a healthy lifestyle, with some people saying one third of cancers are preventable with proper diet and exercise.

Here are three of George’s BIG THINGS.

1. Watch the type of food you eat. Avoid eating foods with ingredients we can’t pronounce.  The more fruits and vegetables we eat, the better.

2. Exercise is a biggie. Get more of it.

3. Stress management.

If you can control all these things, you reduce your risks of getting cancer. Mr. Throop says, “This is a seat belt approach to life.  If you wear a seatbelt, you can still be killed in an accident. But your chances of living improve by wearing it. Managing those three areas of your life can help you prevent many cancers.”

Mr Throop started walking 2.5 years ago, and he says the journey will take 3 years total. He would like to make it to Washington, D.C. by the next elections, and he has invited the Presidential family to walk his last mile with him. He took a little bit of time off for two family funerals, but the rest of that time has been spent exploring different cities and, you guessed it, walking.  George said, “I don’t have the three Ms – marriage, mortgage, or munchkins, so it was easier to plan for my trip than it would be for most people.”

He started planning 10 months in advance of his departure, starting his journey at the same time in his life that his mother’s journey ended at his childhood home. By the time he reaches Washington, D.C, he will have taken 8 to 9 million steps.

Here are some interesting facts about George Throop.

  • He is pushing a cart of his belongings with him, which weighs over 100 pounds.
  • He takes health food and health food supplements with him on the road.
  • He eats lots of seeds full of protein. 
  • He is a vegetarian.
  • He is using Facebook to aid him in his trip for networking and staying in touch with family and friends. 
  • The other tools he uses are Google street view and a smart phone.
  • He carries his lap top with him in his cart, camera equipment, and is curently reading a book on making documentaries.  

He has slept under highway overpasses, in the woods, off to the side of the road, on church playgrounds, and at police stations. In Pascagoula, he went on police ride-alongs and took a tour of the town in a squad car. He turned down the chance to sleep in the jail cell, because of “the negative energy.” He wanted to feel positive as he walked his way into Alabama.

90% of the time, Mr. Throop gets invited in for the night by a host family. When he gets to a town where he doesn’t know anyone, he arrives during daylight hours and looks for a church to stay on their property.

He has gone through 7 pairs of shoes, and while he wears sandals during most of his trip, he sometimes switches to running shoes.  


Not motivated by money, Mr. Throop said feels free to peruse his dreams.   

He said his walk acorss America has been 99% mental. He stressed you have to be determined to go forward and mentally strong. “200 miles into my walk, I thought about giving up as I walked through a rainy area, headed through a forest full of wild animals.” Having  told the entire world he was walking across America, he knew he couldn’t give up, and still he presses on.

George uses breath meditation, to focus and strengthening his mind, plus motivational music to aid him emotionally on his trip. He also communicates daily with friends and family through his phone, facebook, and his website.  

Mr. Throop couldn’t walk through the tunnel in Mobile, because it’s illegal to walk through the tunnel and also very narrow. He was impressed with Fairhope’s flowers growing out of the tops of the trash cans. 

35 miles is the most he walked in one day while in Texas. He listens to music for inspiration. There is a goo-sugar gel that can give him quick energy that he uses sparingly, when he needs that extra lift.

In 3600 miles, he’s never been attacked, robbed, or threatened.

Borrowed from George Throop’s Facebook page

Having spent time in Brazil and many poor countries, he made up his mind he would even eat dog food (often consumed in poor countries) to survive on this walk across America. 

SEED is Mr. Throop’s acronym for the way to improve your life and prevent cancer.  

S- State of Mind/Spirituality/Stress Management

E – Exercise

E – Eating

D- Direction.What are you doing with the time you have left to you?

We all have potential. Are you reaching yours?

What steps are you taking?

What dreams are you following?

Why is Mr. Throop walking? To provide sparks of inspiration for ways to people to improve themselves, to inspire themselves to reach their potential. George said, “When I reach my deathbed, I want to make sure that I don’t think, ‘Oh crap, I had so many things I could have done.’ I may go into teaching. I’m really thinking about becoming a teacher.”

How many miles would YOU walk to get where you want to go in life?

George was able to speak to 4 classes on May 3rd and 4 classes again on May 7th. He talked to over 700 students during these two days. Mrs. Major’s 4th block Leadership class made some encouragement posters to hang in the library. When George realized they were for him, he helped Mrs. Major take them off the wall, and he took every one with him. That shows he is a man of outstanding character.  

4th block made some posters of encouragement for George’s second day in the library, and he posted a photo of them on his Facebook page with a big word of thanks.

I’d like to thank Foley Police Chief David Wilson for keeping an eye out for Mr. Throop on his way through Foley. 

I’d like to thank Foley High School teacher Ann Crawford for offering George a place to stay and some vegetarian meals.

I’d like to thank Rose Morris with the Foley Boy Scouts for offering a back-up place for George to sleep.  

And I’d like to thank Principal Russ Moore for offering me the freedom to bring quality guest speakers into the Leadership classrooms at Foley High School.

Like to follow Mr. Throop?

All the Foley students that met George Throop would like to wish him a safe and productive journey. We’re so glad you got to speak at our school, and we can’t wait to find out how the journey ends.  

Amanda Major

Foley High School Leadership  


One comment on “Guest Speaker George Throop: Walking Across America

  1. Molly Peterson
    May 9, 2012

    Very cool blog, Foley Leadership! Thanks for sharing your guest speaker with the rest of us.

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