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I Have a Goal for my 65th Birthday.
But I Need Your Help!

by on April 13, 2012

I was overweight. Out of shape. And, my 65th birthday was fast approaching. But I saw that as the perfect “kick in the butt” I needed to do something I’ve wanted to do for years. Bike across America (yes, bicycle—you know—pedaling).

Yes, I want to get in better physical shape. Yes, I want to live long enough to see my children marry and, if I’m lucky, enjoy grandchildren. But, I also want to draw awareness and support to my most passionate charitable causes…four distinct organizations that benefit disadvantaged children. It’s my dream.

Supporting it will help give these children the will and inspiration to dream for themselves and the chance for their dreams to come true.

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Of course, I am taking on a Herculean task but I know I can do it. I also know that real success means I need to change my life and habits… So no programs, no diets, no aids; just hard work and change over time.

The way I see it, riding across the country on my bicycle is my reward for putting in the time and effort to realize a lifetime of change.

Despite the excitement I feel in planning this ride and improving my own fitness and well-being I realize this “project” was shaping up to be a self-centered endeavor. I believe real “good” health is measured by what you give to others-how you help make this world a better place. So I want to turn this bike ride across America into something more than my own adventure and a celebration of my own 65th birthday. I’m hoping you’ll help by sponsoring my trip. You have my assurance that 100% of the proceeds raised will go directly to the wonderful not-for-profits I’m supporting. Details are on this site.

Glenn and Merrily Gumpel kicked off this effort with a pledge of $5.00 a mile completed. If I complete the ride, which I have every intention of doing, that’s a little more than $16,000, a good start.

I’ll do my part. Rest assured, it won’t be easy. Have you ever ridden a bicycle 100 miles in a day? If you have, you know how tough it is to do that. Imagine doing 35 centuries (100 mile bike rides) within 41 days. And imagine doing that when you are 65 years old!

Today is Sunday, March 11th. Yesterday, I did the Solvang Century. I started training in the summer of 2011. I’ve made tremendous progress so far but I have a lot more work to do. I’m not ready to do the ride across America YET. But I will be ready by September. I promise. Put more pressure on me, for the benefit of the deserving children and programs I help, by making a pledge today. The more people that sponsor my ride, the more difficult it will be for me to fail you.

Will you help? Please?

7 Comments
  1. Deb Hudson permalink

    Don–this is such a wonderful way to celebrate life!

  2. This is so thoughtful of you my friend, go go go for this and your reward will be many years to enjoy with your grandchildren. I love this!

  3. Don…. you never stop amazing me. I’m happy that I got to the gym and rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes! And here you go across America. YOU GO GUY!
    XO

  4. Vicki Goulah permalink

    So impressed…know you will complete it.

  5. Jenny sojka permalink

    Hey Don,
    We’ll be cheering you on all the way!! Good luck and congrats on all of your hard work getting you here! We are so proud of you and we love you! You’re awesome!! XO Jenny and John Sojka

  6. Lindsay McCrea permalink

    Hi Don,

    I love following your ride via your web-site/blog! Your experiences and observations are inspirational. Your open honesty is something I really look forward to reading and digesting. You GO!!!

    xox Lindsay

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