These were the words shared by someone close as I began reinventing my life.
“Avoid becoming distracted by the final product and the outcome of your dreams. Refocus your mind on the process of your aspirations. Strive for greatness and living a life of excellence.”
What inspired you to start biking?
Instead of concentrating solely on my C-Ptsd, I set out to cycle the world. I needed a way to transport myself out of the darkness of depression. What makes my story unique is I departed with no cycling experience and the notion intention of towing my 75lbs golden retriever.
Cycling was a way to break free from life. From 2015 to 2018, I suffered from significant depression resulting in my diagnosis of Complex-Ptsd. Cycling was a last attempt to save me from the complexities of depression. Early in life, I didn’t know I was depressed. I just knew I was getting older I was entering into a world of procrastination that was draining me of my energy, will, and self-worth. As I owned a bicycle – I began to ride it regularly, and I fell in love with the freedom cycling offered. Besides my beautiful dog, Ginger-Bella, my bike was the only vehicle for connecting me to the independence of the outside world again.
In 2018 I realized I couldn’t recapture my passion for my career, I wanted to help/learn from others diagnosed with Ptsd, I knew I didn’t want to stop cycling, so I started the Vatic Foundation and set out to cycle the world.
What have you learned from the experience YTD?
The touring has taught me something – it taught me to embrace the man I had become. I might be different, but I’m still capable of great things. I am stronger, more resourceful, able to now connect with people in meaningful ways, and I am mentally healthy. I’ve learned life is never merely a destination but a journey of awakened discovery and that you can be yourself but, in doing so, strive to be your best self.
How was your tour across Canada?
From start to finish, I was on the road for 110 days in 2018 with an additional 40 days touring Vancouver Island. I wanted to get my cross Canada tour started and finished as quickly as possible. 8,000 km’s across the country seemed unfathomable at the time, and I just wanted to go.
I started in Prince Edward Island in June, and by September, I was in Victoria, BC. When I finished cycling, my goal was to rest, and prep for the 11,000 km’s throughout the USA.
How have you been perceived while touring on the road?
Everyone has been incredible, amazingly supportive, and beyond positive. Individuals have willingly invited me into their homes, churches, and communities. I’ve been fortunate to meet amazing people from all walks of life. Even the wildlife welcomed Ginger and me as we cycled, surveying places to sleep for the night.
What would you say to someone thinking of cycling the globe?
The world runs on relationships, knowledge, storytelling, and confidence. Some people will not understand or support your journey and decisions, and that is okay. Just go out, and be you!