It's been over 10 years since I first attempted to qualify for the Super Bowl of Ultracycling races, 6 since I achieved it and the day is finally here for the start of it. Since arriving here in Oceanside on Thursday, the days have been filled with pre-race setup, inspection and meetings. I'm thankful to be surrounded here by an amazing group of people who are willing to sacrifice so much to be here to help see me to the finish line of the Race Across America. When we get there, the accomplishment will be just as much their's as it is mine.
In a recent interview, I mentioned that Speaking Up was "truly life changing". Cliche or not, it is the truth. I've gotten the opportunity throughout the last couple of days to spend time reflecting on how life was. How life is. With the grace of God, I was given a second opportunity. One which has allowed me to enjoy the morning snuggles of the Lil Boo Bear. To see the smile on her face as I watched my amazing wife dip my daughter's feet into the ocean for the first time. And today, when Fred Boethling calls, "Mr. Welch" to the starting line as he has many times, we will line up as a voice for all of the Cameron's who are battling silently.
When we first started this journey, I told Michael, Parker, David and Grace we were going to help people. Later, I would tell the crew, if we pulled out of the race in the desert of Day 1 of the race, it would still be a win if we helped even one person find the courage to SpeakUp about their depression and/or anxiety. Although, I still whole-heartedly believe that, we don't plan on stopping at one. Not one day. Not one person. Powered by you, a relentlessly encouraging community, we will do our best to spread Cameron's message of love across the country before arriving in Annapolis less than 12 days from today. Your love and support will be what gets us there. If you haven't already, please consider making a donation to the Cameron K Gallagher Foundation here. We would love to reach our goal of $50,000 before the end of the race.
The race will be a roller coaster of emotions for both the crew and I. I can promise you, we will feel good and we will feel terrible. If you would like to follow along on the journey with us, there are links on our homepage of where to find current race standings, updates from the crew, live video feeds and links to our Facebook page. Please be sure to leave a message as they will all be read to me throughout the race. I truly find inspiration in each of you.