As this year comes quickly to an end, I have rejoiced mightily that I am well over 100 miles. Back in the spring, when I was asked to be an Ambassador, I embraced the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge personally. First, I was very excited that I was asked to be an Ambassador. I have been a competitive athlete for over 25 years and was selected to the Team USA Wheelchair Rugby National team from 1998-2006. I was also selected to the US Paralympic Rugby team in 2004, where I won a bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. I have been Captain of the Lakeshore Wheelchair Rugby team since 2014. Therefore, I am always looking for a new challenge! I have recently turned 50 years of age and staying physically fit and active is not that easy anymore. Having this opportunity to be an Ambassador was the right incentive that I needed to set a new goal and start a new exercise trend.
Once we held the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge kick-off celebration, I immediately set a goal of completing 100 miles before the end of the summer. I finished my wheelchair rugby season in March and was looking to stay active during the spring and summer. Thus, I proceeded to sign up for a couple of 5K races near the Railroad Park area in Birmingham. I increased my workouts to 4 times a week by pushing in my sports wheelchair 1.5 to 2 miles. Another activity that I did frequently was wheelchair tennis, which is not a lot of distance pushing but more anaerobic pushing with many stops/starts and changes of direction. My wife and I would also play tennis on Wednesdays and some weekends with our best friends at the Hoover Municipal Park and the Vestavia Hills park areas. Using the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge’s Activity Converter on their website, I converted my time playing tennis to equivalent walking miles, and the system added those to my 2019 log. These efforts allowed me to hit my mark reaching 100 Alabama miles before June 21st.
The best part of my efforts completing the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge in 2019 was that I met some new friends along the way. Thanks, Yolanda, for signing up under Team Bob Lujano! I also visited many new local area parks where I pushed with my stepchildren and grandchildren. I also pushed in 5K races that benefitted our community including The Ronald McDonald House and Girls on the Run. On a personal note, I got to spend quality time with my wife and I lost 15 pounds!
I currently have about 137 Alabama miles, but I know that I can reach 200 before the end of summer.
Who is with me?
Ambassador 100 Alabama Miles Challenge