I am a 36 year old husband, father, and outdoor hobbyist. I am the controller for a unique venture capital firm in Grand Rapids, MI called Start Garden. 5 years ago I got off the couch and started riding a road bike (poor bike) because I saw what it did for my dad’s health and confidence (not that either of us lacked anything in our own confidence). His passion for cycling was the spark I needed to develop my cycling ability until I met a new friend through my MBA program who was into mountain biking. From there my passion accelerated. I bought a mountain bike (again, poor bike) and I’ve now been mountain biking for three full seasons. I began racing in late 2010 at the Iceman Cometh and was immediately hooked. I raced a handful of times in 2011, and in 2012 joined my local bike shop‘s mountain bike team, competing in the Sport Clydesdale division. I took 1st overall for the season there, and 2nd in Clydesdale at Iceman 2012.
Being outside, however, is nothing new to me. I view my biking as a re-entry point into my passion for the great outdoors. I spent my freshman year of college at Montana State University where downhill skiing, backpacking, camping, and bouldering were regular distractions from my school work. I’ve not been back there since, though I’ve been to several different western states to ski over the years and I plan to make it a stop with the family (hopefully during a snowy season). I experience a connection between being outside and personal fulfillment, the way I believe God intended it to be.
Over the past few years, devastating illnesses in people surrounding me have impacted my appreciation for life, health, and faith. I have been witness to the fact that God made human bodies both fragile and resilient and that the human spirit is the strongest muscle we have been gifted. Therefore, I believe wasting this gift and the opportunity to enjoy nature is a shame.
Be Active. Go Outside. Bring Someone With You.