Have you ever thought about what you might be able to accomplish in six weeks?
“I don’t know if he’s human, he might be superman,” said film producer, Ryan DeLaney.
He’s not quite Superman, but Missouri State’s Louis Chaix sure is tough.
“A lot of people before this journey started, they’re like, ‘you think you’re ready? Do you think you got this?’ I’m like ‘I’ve done this journey in my mind like a million times,’” Chaix said.
But this journey is much tougher on the pavement than it is in Louis’ head.
“You know, I’m out there in the middle of nowhere skating, just with my thoughts, and then all of a sudden I pass a Springfield sign,” Chaix said.
The Missouri State ice hockey player is rollerblading from Venice Beach Skatepark in Los Angeles to Times Square in New York City.
His 3,000-mile, 6-week-long journey brought him right through the town where the idea was formed.
Louis held a gathering at Mother’s Brewing Company in Springfield on Friday with friends, family, and supporters from the Ozarks.
“Being an international student, it’s hard to feel at home sometimes because you’re moving around so much for hockey, and everything, and today I was really reflecting on that, well this feels like home,” he said.
Louis’ first home is France, where he suffered from a skin disease called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis when he was a boy.
“My organs, my lungs were burning. I had no more skin. I was supposed to be blind, I was told I was going to die,” Chaix said.
But Louis survived the rare, and often deadly, disease, also known as TEN.
(KY3’s previous story on Chaix explains the disease in more detail. You can find that story by clicking HERE.)
“I was feeling some sort of survivor’s guilt,” Chaix said. “I could not just keep living my life, chasing my dreams, and seeing the world. I needed to get involved.”
So Louis set out to raise money, and awareness by blading from coast-to-coast.
With him, is a team of people who not only help him each day but capture each and every moment along the way.
“His main focus, Louis’ is, is to wake up and skate and bring joy and hope and raise awareness for the people he encounters on his journey,” DeLaney said.
DeLaney is producing a documentary about Louis’ journey.
It’s clear, that the process is inspiring DeLaney and others on Louis’ team.
“What if I said no [to producing this film], I would be missing out on an opportunity for a lifetime,” DeLaney said.
While the finished product is still months, if not years down the line, Louis is more than halfway done with his skating journey.
It’s his past experience that pushes Louis forward one stride at a time.
“There’s so much beauty in finding those hard moments, where you’re out there on your own. It’s hard,” Chaix said. “You don’t know where you’re at, you have 60 more miles to go. You’re hurting but you’re like ‘no, I get to feel like this. I get to be here in this moment and do this and feel those things, and I can just put one foot forward, and then after that put another one forward, and then next thing you know you’re here in Springfield.”
Chaix says he has climbed more than 75,000 feet in elevation so far during his journey.
He also says he skates about 70 miles every day.
You can follow along with his trip through his social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
You can donate to his cause HERE.