A Sense of Adventure
By Elaine Pelz on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
It is amazing what a little drive, ambition, and perhaps fear can do…
EWI engineer Marc Purslow completed his epic cross-country bicycle journey late last month. It started with a desire to do something big that mattered. Back in August 2013, he decided to ride his bicycle across the country – all the way from Maine to California. His goal was to raise money for the After School All-Stars program and use the experience to teach kids that with motivation, determination, and a plan you can conquer just about anything.
Marc left Bar Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean on July 5th, and reached San Diego on August 23rd. All in all he racked up some impressive stats, including:
Raising over $13,000 for kids
Pedaling 3,645 miles in 43 days
Burning 304,700 calories – give or take a few
Sweating through a high temperature of 105F
Riding over hundreds of miles of gravel and mud,
Surviving a hurricane, endless headwinds, and a haboob (look it up!)
And, he’s here to talk and laugh about his 12 flat tires, 5 broken spokes, 1 broken wheel, and yes, 1 complete bike smash-up 18 miles shy of the Pacific.
Yet he still pedaled on!
What helped make it actually happen, Marc said, was talking about it. Telling every single person he knew about the trip made him keep his commitment, and turn a challenge into an inspirational journey. And it kept him going on the toughest of days, when his depleted energy hit the wall of unfriendly terrain and endless obstacles.
Marc met some incredible people, traversed our country’s byways and small towns, learned a lot about himself, and inspired us to seek out our own goals and ambitions. One noteworthy life lesson; due to his continual exposure to an expansive horizon, Marc now finds himself looking up at the sky and the vistas around him more often, instead of always at the narrow path directly in front of his feet. If that’s not the definition of uplifting, I don’t know what is.