This past year, I had the pleasure of attending a benefit dinner where Mike Singletary (a famous Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears) was the main speaker. The main theme of his talk that night was “just start.” He talked about how when we are faced with a great task, we tend to immediately regard it as impossible without even trying. He related the topic to his highly acclaimed career. Sports fans often think “Big Mike” was just somehow born that good, but this generalization was, of course, false. Mike had to work his way up to the top, which would not have been possible if he didn’t “just start.”
Mike’s talk that night brought to mind an endeavor that I myself had taken part in a few months before. Biking for Babies was what this endeavor was all about. Biking over 1000 miles from Texas to Chicago was something that I myself would not have regarded as possible in my faintest dreams. This ride would challenge my team and me to ride an average of 140 miles a day for several consecutive days. I had never ridden more than 120 miles, let alone for consecutive days, prior to that. By the Grace of God and much hard work by every member of the team, we arrived safely and energized with a love of life and a love for life. It only became a reality when we had reached our final destination. This would not have been possible if we did not “just start.”
The same holds true for the founders of Biking for Babies, Jimmy Becker and Mike Schaefer, two friends who met in college. Jimmy and Mike decided to “just start” by biking across the state of Illinois to raise money for a Pregnancy Resource Center. Just six years later, three teams rode from three different locations (Florida, Louisiana, Texas) while raising over $78,000 in support of over 20 Pregnancy Resource Centers across the country.
It is because of people who “just start” that Biking for Babies is carrying out a mission of helping pregnant mothers, supporting fatherhood, and upholding the dignity of every person. Consequently, this ride has impacted an innumerable amount of people, most of whom we will probably never meet. I would like to challenge you (the reader) starting today to “just start.” What appears to be something so simple as two friends riding across Illinois for a Pregnancy Resource Center can turn into something many may perceive as impossible. Just Start!
Augustine Payne, 2014 Biker