Last Friday and Saturday I did something I’ve never done before… heck, no one has ever done before… that was to ride a skateboard across the state of Indiana. Over the last few months I had spent hours upon hours preparing for and promoting the solo ride for charity. The grueling workouts, weeks of planning, and dozens of conversations served as a prequel to what some would label as completely insane.
It was something that I both loved and hated. I loved that the ride was to benefit the fight against HIV/AIDS, I loved when people got excited about it, and I loved making a difference in the world by riding a skateboard. But, I hated the training, I hated waiting for the day of the ride to come, and I hated having to plan so much. I carried both extremes with me throughout those two days, which was appropriate because, quite frankly, the whole thing was pretty extreme.
I woke up at around 5:15 AM Friday, June 8th, got dressed, had a big breakfast and loaded all of my gear into my car to head on over to my friend Shane’s house. Shane was my support vehicle driver for Friday, but that wasn’t the only thing he did. He also diligently documented much of the day and provide me with much needed moral support. Anyway, that morning was cool and bright. By the time we got to the Illinois state line, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and within a few minutes I was off on an incredible journey.
What took place over the next 160 miles was the stuff you’d expect to see on a telecast of the annual Ironman race. It was exciting, dramatic, brutal, and trying. It wasn’t so much about making a good time or being fast, it was simply about finishing. Under the white hot sun, I went to work, chipping away at the mileage with a thirst for progress and accomplishment. There were times when I felt like I had all the strength in the world and there were other times when I felt like I couldn’t go more than a few hundred feet in front of me. I don’t remember how many times I swung back and forth between those two feelings, I just know that it was a lot.
As a matter of fact I don’t remember much from the ride, mostly because of miles and miles of country roads. Fortunately there are so many side stories I could tell. Like the part of the ride when I totally underestimated the length and steepness of a hill and ended up hitting the bottom at 25 miles per hour. Or the various parts that involved people nearly causing accidents to take pictures or shake my hand. It was truly a special experience despite the difficulty.
By the time I reached the last 5 miles of my ride, I couldn’t wait to be done. I flew through those last few miles with the strength I had when I first got going on Friday. Crossing the Ohio state line was surprisingly uneventful. Other than my mom, the support driver at that point, no one around really knew what had just happened. That was fine with me, because I felt great. I had done something that no one had done before and I did it for a good cause.
Skate Across Indiana raised over $3,400 for AIDS education and prevention programs in Zambia and Zimbabwe. That’s a huge success to me and I couldn’t be happier. People ask me if I’ll ever do it again and honestly I don’t know. But, I do know that I will be doing something for other people in need again and again in the future. I’m a man of faith and serving Christ through this event has really what’s been important. With that being said, thanks to everyone (donors, bloggers, prayer warriors, support car drivers, and friends) for all of your help in support. I couldn’t have done this without you guys. God did, and will continue to do, some incredible things through this event.