For those who do not know, I am a cyclist and support driver for The Challenge to Conquer Cancer (also known as C3). This non-profit holds yearly cross-country bike rides to raise money for cancer research. Each year we host a ride from Greenville, South Carolina to Lewiston, Maine. This year was our 14th year as a non-profit and have reached over $2 million in fundraising! What an absolutely amazing accomplishment! I not only enjoy this organization for what they do for cancer research, but they also give me the opportunity to learn from very successful people. Each trip I learn more and more about life, and I am grateful to be around such incredible people to assist me in the learning of life. Here are some of the lessons I learned on our last trip to Maine.

Lesson #1: To become wise, you need to be around those who are what you seek. This is one of my biggest lessons I have learned from many people on our last charity ride. Personally, I am seeking to be great. What I mean by that is I want to become the best version of myself mentally, physically, and socially to help make the world a better place. I want to be a man of knowledge, wisdom, and discipline in life to assist others. I want to have the cardiovascular system of an Olympic runner with the muscles of a bodybuilder to help build up those who want to become healthier. I want to be able to love people, build relationships, and create a network that I can trust and that challenges myself and others. I want to have enough money to do what I want when I want to give myself time to be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to be the lion, not the lamb. All these “wants” will always be “wants” if I do not have a clear mission of what I want to accomplish and people to help me get there. I magically got placed in the most ideal organization to help me do so and each of you out there can do the same.

Lesson #2: How to get what you want – control your attitude and actions in daily life. This is something Brian in our group taught me. In regards to controlling actions, the decisions you make each day will accumulate to get yourself where you want to be over time. Controlling even your words, the people you hang around, and even what music you listen to will impact your landing point in the future. Even if you are able to control your actions in an effective manner, one’s attitude going into each action will determine the trajectory it will take you. This is when a positive/adaptive mindset comes into play to help create a flexible yet optimistic attitude. Being an individual that expects great things in life, yet knows bad events will happen, will come out on top. Brian on the C3 team I alluded to above, knows he’s going to get to the top of any mountain at a lighting speed EVERYTIME and guess what – that happens EACH time. This mindset he has of perseverance, flexibility, optimism, and discipline creates a sense of security that no one can stop his legs nor mind. Something to consider before even trying to reshape your attitude and changing your actions is to figure out who you want to be and find someone who has accomplished it by completing lesson #1.

Lesson #3: How to drive an RV with a trailer. Before this ride, I had never driven an RV nor much experience towing a trailer in general… Crazy right? This was my challenge for the ride, to get that RV to Lewiston, Maine safe and sound. That is exactly what I did! NO it was not a smooth trip in the slightest… I had strong difficulty in backing the trailer up in small parking lots at hotels and gas stations, but I did my best. Yes, I would blow a gasket every once in a while but I would continue to move that tank forward. Throughout driving this vehicle I realized: how much I enjoy the skill of driving, my admiration for people who do this for a living everyday like my dad, how I still have an irritable response to high stress situations that I need to dial in, the importance of being mentally flexible, and how beautiful the world and the people in it truly are. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to support them and I will be doing it again in the future. Next time I will be on the bike! If anyone is interested in being a part of The Challenge to Conquer Cancer, please reach out directly (c3ride.org@gmail.com) or visit (www.c3ride.org).

These are some of the major lessons I have learned this past trip that I will take with me to my grave. I hope these lessons can be useful to you and your life.