We promised to share some special news with you in this update. I am excited we are finally in a place to do so. But before I do that, I want to share how we got here.
Back in February Josh and I got into a long conversation about where he is now and where he is going as he moves forward. It was not your typical "what are you going to do with your life" conversation. It was really a time of processing all he had been through and what it has taught him. Then identifying where he feels the Lord is Calling him as a result. Here were his three takeaways from our conversation:
Josh values and is passionate about Relationships.
Josh is passionate about Adventure and experiencing the Awe and Wonder of the Lord's creation.
Josh wants to show people how to really live and Appreciate what it means to be Alive.
Simply put, Josh plans to spend the rest of his life living out his passions to help and encourage others on their own journey.
A few evenings later I shared with him that I would like to do a bike trip to raise money for his therapy. I wanted to ride from Springdale, Arkansas to Buena Vista, Colorado. He thought it was a good idea. So I contacted Lewis & Clark Outfitters and began to pull others into the planning. A week or so later Josh typed me a message on his device and said, "I want to ride too!" So I began to research all kinds of adaptive sports equipment and came across the YUMI shown in the video. The ergonomics match what Josh is currently using in therapy. It leverages Josh's strengths and compensates for his weaknesses. It also allows an able bodied rider to be side by side with him in case a need arises. It will also push him to the next level in his therapy. Plus it has an electric assist motor in case of an emergency. I called the owner of the company in Utah and made arrangements to test ride the YUMI.
In May Josh and I drove to Utah. We met Ben and Melinda Crandall at the National Ability Center and spent the first hour and a half talking. It was actually Josh and Melinda doing all the talking! Melinda is a three time survivor of spinal cord injury as well as a stroke. She has an amazing story. The following day we finally got to try out the YUMI. I thought it might take an hour or two to make adjustments and get things to a place where Josh could ride. It only took 10 minutes and then we were cruising around the parking lot!
So here is the announcement! You have just heard about the Vision Josh has for his life. Now here is his Vision for 2020:
Josh plans to ride the YUMI from Springdale, Arkansas to Buena Vista, Colorado the summer of 2020! AND you are invited to join him for any and all of the trip!
Lewis & Clark Outfitters is on board to assist with the logistics and promotion.
Achilles International-Arkansas is assisting us in raising funds to purchase the YUMI.
99 Balloons has already made a lead contribution towards the YUMI purchase.
Destination Walk will provide Josh's training/coaching for the next 12 months.
This August Josh will participate in a 5 day Veterans Summit Challenge Cycling Camp at the National Ability Center in Park City.
More information about trip dates and route will follow. If you are interested in riding any part of the ride or participate in Josh's training by riding along with him in the YUMI, please let us know so we can send you ride specific information and training schedule.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT JOSH'S GOAL:
Thank you for being a part of Josh's journey. We hope his story inspires you to press on towards your own Vision for 2020.
All in for Josh!