Shalom from Panama City Florida, Spring Break Capital of the world! Thanks to over 27 miles of white sandy beaches, and MTV hosted concerts since 2006, partygoers flock to this beautiful destination every March and April. I will do my best though, to keep my gaze on the riders in front of me. My wife Melinda does not put up with wandering eyes but even if, cycling requires the utmost of concentration and mental fortitude. The trek on Monday was simple for those who planned to journey 48 miles then take a charter bus the rest of the way. A few Group 1 riders who intended to do the full 117 miles changed their mind at lunch, but for me and 16 others, the bus did not exist.
When I started cycling with Project Hero in 2011, I struggled with anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. There were things that happened to me while deployed overseas, but the biggest events of trauma, for myself and many veterans, occur after coming back to the States and transitioning to civilian life. Being around other veterans who work to overcome this, by achieving great feats of athleticism, brings us from despair. So when the opportunity on Monday arose to cycle the same daily distance as athletes do in the Tour De France, at the same speeds (20+ mph), no, the thought of giving up did not cross my mind. I pray my 3min Day One Video shows why.