Monday, July 20, 2009



Monday, July 20th…….so many years ago man persevered and took a step on the Moon. The world held its collective breath.

4:00pm….I ‘m in Minnetonka, Minnesota. I have just came back from a spirited run on a beautiful trail that winds its way through the woods past marsh land and streams. I ran hard.

I come to this place from a weekend past in the great mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. There, I was once again reminded of what fruit great effort and perseverance can bring.
I had the pleasure of supporting 6 wonderful and athletic friends who had accepted the challenge of riding one of the most challenging 208 mile mountain bike races in the land.

The names John Radebaugh, Ed Agnoli, Josh Chavez, Jeff Hardin, Tom Heydan and Eric Gelly mean little to most of you. Some of you know them as members of Team Little Guy a collection of Credit Union folks who bike and run to raise donations for very worthy causes. They work hard to help other people. I know Eric as my son.

These six very regular hard working people have significant others, spouses and children and for the most part live the American dream of caring for family and friends on a daily basis.
Yet I know these six people as individuals who have taken on extraordinary physical challenges in order to elevate themselves to very special places that so few have ever attained. They have not accepted other people’s labels and expectations. They have not limited themselves to what others suggested they can and cannot do.

These six people arose at 3:00am on Saturday morning….packed their bags and loaded their bikes for the 1 and ½ hour drive from Chateau Gelly in Fancy Gap, VA to Grayson Highlands State Park in the Virginia mountains.

We arrived at before the 6:00am start and took in the early morning grandeur on one of the highest peaks at 5,300 feet. Soon these ordinary and regular souls would test their mettle riding as fast as they could from valley floor to mountain peak through these beautiful mountains.
John, Ed, Josh and Jeff made up a 4 person team. Tom and Eric divided up the 208 miles in two.

The day quickly progressed as these TLG riders whizzed down the treacherous curvy downhills at break neck speed and slowed to a crawl as the steep mountain peaks tested the fire in their bellies and their will to continue.

This was not to be confused with the Tour de France. No……this was better. Ordinary people doing extra ordinary things. Everyday working people who train after the kids are put to bed or in the am just one step ahead of the newspaper deliver person. These six committed to preserver and came through on the promise……to themselves. They rose above the ordinary for those very special mountain hours.

We must learn from these experiences. Our perseverance shines like a beacon of hope to those who find courage in our accomplishments to somehow light the fire of desire within themselves. We might never know what enormous good comes from our sweat…our tenacity…our perseverance.

Let us persevere together…..and never stop!


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