Stupid Is As Stupid Does…Twice

Shouldn’t the title of this blog post explain it all? Probably not…

Within 24-hours I will begin riding my (donated) bicycle from Seattle, WA to Jacksonville, FL! Which means that my original “Long Walk Home” is going to be extended about 6-weeks longer. This might make sense to some of you who know me well, but for most of you, I’m guessing you will think I’m a bit off my rocker! I’m not nuts (a relative term), but I am bent on reaching goals that I originally set when this all began.

What were those goals?

The goals were:

  • Walk across the country in 4 1/2 months with an average of 25 miles per day. – ACCOMPLISHED
  • Build audience from 3 people to 5000 people. – ACCOMPLISHED
  • Raise $100,000 for Seattle Children’s Hospital. – NOT ACCOMPLISHED (still need $75,000)

After completing my walk, I have had a LOT of time to think about what I could have done better. It’s easy to be self-critical and I was able to come up with a fairly long list of things I would improve next time. Unfortunately, I have retired from cross-country walking and confident my hips will back me up on the decision! That doesn’t mean that another form of exercise wouldn’t qualify for helping to raise money. Does it?

Before finishing my walk, I was already forming my plan to reach my goal. I shared this idea with some people, which was usually dismissed as silly or too early to discuss. So I tucked this plan away to marinate awhile.

A couple of weeks after returning home, the fire was still burning within to make something happen! Still not firmly committed to a bicycle ride, I wrote a marketing plan to incentivize businesses to donate, instead of asking for individual donations. Walking door-to-door and knocking on as many as 100 small business doors a day, I started making a little progress. But the progress was slow and I had other stresses beginning to influence my focus. Those included family, finances and just the pressure to resume living normally again. I’ll write about this in future blog posts, but I will tell you, reality is NOT all its cut out to be! πŸ™‚ I’m joking a bit, but after you have been living like a wild animal for 4 1/2 months, jumping back into society isn’t easy.

I soon gave up on my mission. Not that I couldn’t make it happen (because it was slowly), but mainly because I still haven’t found my new career opportunity. This was a key piece of the returning to reality equation! Giving up isn’t something I am very good at doing. As my girlfriend (yes, you heard that correctly) pointed out, it appeared that I was going through a period of mourning. And now that I look back…I WAS! I wonder if there has ever been any studies conducted on this?

This all changed several days later.

I was quickly converting my focus to becoming gainfully employed again. Showered, my hair cut, and donning my suit, I was out to find my next career move! This didn’t take long, as once again, my walk exposed me to people and opportunities I may have never had. Within a few days, I had a hand-shake agreement to be part of a new company forming in December! A new company that supported me in my efforts to reach my goals. Specifically, supporting me in my quest to raise the money for Children’s Hospital!

With limited time to make something happen, I returned to my door knocking and received $50,000 in verbal commitments. The commitments were simple. Each business would sponsor my website as long as I had 50,000 fans to expose their services to.Β  The businesses were committed, now it was just up to the general public to do their part, and simply click the Facebook ‘LIKE button. A task (as we know today), that is much harder then expected…

Over the last 10 days, the Facebook ( fans have grown to over 5000 fans. Yeah! But it didn’t get the critical mass needed to reach 50,000 fans in time. Time meaning, when I needed to begin riding my bicycle and hopefully dodge the snow and ice that is soon follow. No matter, I still have faith we can make this happen! Most of the businesses will still donate, but we still need to reach the 50,000 fans by the time I finish. If we do, I’m confident that all the businesses will donate/sponsor. If we don’t, they will not be required to.

So now what?

Tomorrow morning I am getting on my bicycle and beginning my ride Back to Jacksonvile (Back to Jack/B2J) with hopes to inspire YOU to insist that ALL of your FRIENDS ‘LIKE my Facebook Fan page. For every person that clicks “LIKE” on the page, we will get $1.00 closer to reaching the fundraising goal!

Similar to my walk, I have a general direction in mind, but each day will depend on the elements and safe travel conditions. At a high-level, I plan to head south and reach the phoenix area A.S.A.P.. From there, I will head east hugging the southern U.S. border until I reach Jacksonville. Currently the weather conditions are supportive of my ride (albeit COLD). If that changes, I will have to be flexible and absolutely make safe decisions. For those of you who followed my entire walk; this could be similar to when I was walking through Tornados in Missouri!

What about my equipment?

A key sponsor for this event is the Kirkland Bicycle Shop in Kirkland, Washington. They have generously provided 100% of all my biking equipment for this ride! I can’t say enough on how much their support means to this whole operation. It’s simple though, without the bike…it wouldn’t happen! πŸ™‚ If you are in need of any bicycle equipment, please give them a call or shop them on the internet. You don’t need to live in Kirkland to purchase your bike equipment. Give them a call and have them ship it to you!

That’s about all I can write for now. I have a lot of things to accomplish today before I begin pedaling tomorrow. So get ready for the next 42 days of blog postings, as well as some closure from the completion of my walk!


One response to this post.

  1. JackMo…..Congrats…to you..!! You take care and be careful! What an inspiring thing to do! YoUCannDooItt..!! ;0) ~Tami~


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