“Life is like a bicycle- in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Many ask how I was personally affected by the tornadoes. I didn’t lose a family member, friend, pet, business, a home, etc. The next usual question is why did you decide to make the focus of your bike ride for tornado relief versus another cause that may hit closer to home? But that could not be truer. Alabama is my home; where I was born, raised, completed undergrad, and have my first post-graduate job. All my roots are in the Heart of Dixie. I wanted this personal challenge to be able to positively make a difference and help those who belong to some of the same communities that have helped develop me as an individual. Tornado recovery being one of the most prevalent issues at the moment made contributing to this cause seem like the most obvious answer in how to give back. I am now potentially able to aid in the development and re-development of others. I learned in my undergrad years that my actions, performance, and production will directly affect my outcome and will produce positive or negative returns accordingly. My hope is that the cross-country trip will give me a chance to tie together my entrepreneurial spirit, a personal dream, and my ability to make a difference by allowing me to utilize the three to create an opportunity to spread hope to those affected by the April 2011 and most recent 2012 tornados. The trip will allow me to continue to bring awareness to those outside our state as well. Not only will I aim to gain the support of those living in Alabama, but of many others in the U.S. Those that are not locally affected by a devastation hear about tragedy and may initially want to find a way to help, but unless you live close to the affected areas, you don’t hear about the continuance of needs that still need to be met in order to re-build these communities. Recovery can be a long road; the bike ride in a sense will represent this. Whether it’s a natural disaster or other circumstance that alters our daily life or brings difficult situations, we have all experienced the feeling of losing something and sometimes life brings unexpected scenarios that will greatly affect our usual routine of life. The ride will allow me to uproot my usual routine in the hopes of helping others adjust back to theirs. This trip will be a journey with uphill, downhill, different terrains, changes of scenery and climates. Much like life, this journey will not be state of consistency. But as Albert Einstein said, you must keep moving, because life keeps moving too, no matter the current state of your surroundings. Mile by mile, my goal and focus will be to gain the support of those believing in my cross-country journey and in return spread that support to the people and communities in Alabama devastated by the tornados. I want the potential positive returns from the ride to help bring balance back to our communities.