DALLAS — Sam Williamson insists he is not an extreme or elite athlete. But this weekend, as he circles Dallas' White Rock Lake again and again, he will certainly look the part.
Williamson, a Dallas native, SMU graduate, and former actor in commercials, television shows and movies, will put his endurance to the test as he attempts to keep circling White Rock Lake until he has covered a full 100 miles.
The 11-lap circuit he hopes to finish in 36 nonstop hours is his effort to raise $100,000 and awareness for a variety of Dallas-area non-profits dedicated to supporting military veterans and first responders. The event is called Walk the Walk 100.
"When you think about those things that people are doing for us, I think that can be a huge driver in getting you to help finish," said his friend and fitness coach Brandon Head of Grapevine Crossfit who has been helping Williamson get ready for the attempt.
"I made it big enough to where it was almost too big for me because I'm not an elite athlete," Williamson joked.
But when he starts his trek at 5 a.m. Saturday from T&P Hill at the southwest corner of the lake, he will have added motivation thanks to this week's tornadoes.
His home was among those damaged in the Preston Hollow neighborhood. He rode out the storm in a small closet with his wife and 4-year old child as the entire house rattled and shook. They escaped without injuries but the house was left with shattered windows and trees resting on their roof.
"And it was very traumatizing," he admitted.
So he's decided he's walking for organizations that help first responders too, like the Dallas Assist the Officer Foundation, to help the same people who rushed to his neighborhood after the storm to help him.
"That experience first hand, regardless of the trauma we've been through this week, regardless of the impacts it has had on me personally, has actually lit my fire more to have an impact and give back to those who serve us," Williamson said. "And that really amped me up to do this walk tomorrow at 5am, in this beautiful weather," he laughed.
So if you're in need of a good walk and a good cause this weekend, Sam says come join him for a few miles. He'll be the guy circling and circling the lake, offering his help one step at a time.
"And really to show that, you know we do care."
Funds raised from the walk will also benefit the Joey D Foundation, Boot Campaign, Carry the Load, 22 Kill, Task Force Dagger Foundation, America’s Mighty Warriors, Defenders of Freedom, and Hooves for Heroes.
You can follow Sam's 36-hour journey at WalkTheWalk100.org.