A different kind of Walk Across America: Rob Cowden’s cause is saving his own life

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Facing a holiday weekend where police set up sobriety checkpoints across the state, Rob Cowden walks his own very straight line across Oklahoma.

"The coping skill I've developed is rigid optimism," he says.

A little more than a hundred days ago, a lot of people thought Rob had reached the end of his road.

"I drank to excess from beginning," he admits. "Whatever it is, I have it."

Life was a country music song; fired from his job, his girlfriend gone.

When he left town some friends thought he was going off to die, but he had another plan.

Cowden says, "The real reason I left was to go live again."

He ended up flying to Pittsburgh to join songwriter and record producer Micheal Posner on his own walk across America.

The only stipulation was that he had to put down the bottle.

"I showed up in Pittsburgh and put the drink down and the universe started loving me back together one mile at a time, one step at a time, one town at a time."

That was May 13th and Rob has been walking ever since, close to 1,200 miles so far.

The distance between AA meetings often determines how far he goes in a day.

He camps out or sleeps in fire stations.

He's not raising money, his cause is all his own.

Walk the line or die trying.

"I don't promise anything about tomorrow," he says. "All I know is that I'm going to another meeting and stay sober today."

Cowden tries not to think too far down the road or about those hard miles he put in to get to this point in his life.

But something about putting one foot in front of the other has given him time to think and to figure out a better path.

Cowden says, "This hasn't put any money in my bank account but the silver bullet is that my depression is gone. This is as happy as I've ever been and this is everything I own."

One road will end at the west coast.

He plans to walk from the East Coast to Pittsburgh to finish the last miles, nearly 3,000 in all, pushing everything he owns, and all his chips on the table, with every step.

"This is as strong as I've ever been."

You can follow Rob Cowden's Walk for Sobriety on Facebook or on Instagram.

'Is This a Great State or What?' is sponsored by WEOKIE.

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