Join me in this mile mark — 65 years, 6,500 miles, raising $300,000 for Parkinson’s in 90 days.
MORE ABOUT JOE’S STORY
For as far back as I can remember, I have relied on my able body. First to serve my family farm, then to build my sports field construction business and when time allowed, to fuel my passion for extreme physical challenges. As a farm boy, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, it was ingrained in me that hard work pays off and that you don’t quit until the job is done. Now, as my 65th birthday approaches and I reflect on what’s to come, I realize that this able body, which has served me well for all these years, might not always be pacing with my mind. So this brings up new and perhaps uncharted territory for me: what if I can’t always “gear up”? Maybe an even better question is – have I leveraged all the faculties I’ve been allotted to their fullest?
At this stage in my life, both professionally and personally, I have come to realize that I have an opportunity before me. One that will allow me to take on a grueling physical (and perhaps even larger mental) challenge with the greater mission of bringing cognizance to a serious brain disease – Parkinson’s. With over 10 million individuals worldwide, 7,000 in Cincinnati alone, this illness affects so many people’s ability to do their day-to-day routines in which they once took for granted. Beginning Friday, August 2, 2019, I will roll out of my barn in Anderson Township on a hybrid bicycle questing to loop the mid-western portion of the United States amidst the goal of pedaling 6,500 miles in 90 days. For the duration, I will be bike packing and wild camping – surviving on the requisite materials I’ve brought along with me and thriving on the gracious generosity of those I encounter on my journey.
Through this sabbatical, I hope to raise awareness around this neurodegenerative condition and in doing so, give myself a very small glimpse as to what those living with Parkinson’s experience daily. From what I understand, it appears there are many paradigms between what I will bear and what individuals that live with this disease feel. Some days I may wake up invigorated and ready to take on the day, while I know others will not fare as well. With Parkinson’s, I’ve been told that many a morning it feels like you are waking up in concrete. I know from experience, as I awake each day facing another 75 to 100 miles, that I will feel the same. While it is definitely a physical challenge, it will also most certainly become a mental one. These are the times where I will need the most encouragement. These are the times I ask that you – my wonderful friends, family, and supporters – to keep me going.
And with that, I invite each of you to virtually follow along with me via my podcasts and video updates, showing your support in any which way you choose as I begin officially Gearing up for Good. Any contribution is welcomed and genuinely appreciated. The overall financial goal of this effort is $650,000 and I am committed to underwriting the cost of this journey and its marketing awareness efforts such that 100% of the funds raised will be directly used to positively elevate the cause. Your kindness and commitment to support will drive towards meeting the goal of increased overall health and wellness for those in our communities living with Parkinson’s. Donations will aid in developing a platform for specialized, holistic exercise through “train the trainer” programs in selected satellite locations- ultimately helping those who live with this disease enjoy a more fulfilling, enriched life. By generously supporting this mission, you too will be along for the ride – you too will be Gearing up for Good.