People: Kara Borel

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A solo mission. Across the country. Forty-eight states on a bike. Riding almost 100 miles per day. 13,500 miles when the journey is over. All to Cause the Effect.

This Training Tuesday I want to highlight the courageous journey of a close friend of mine Kara Borel. She is currently biking across the country in an effort to inspire others to become selfless and cause the effect in someone else's life. Her spirit is remarkable, and a true testament to the fact that most large athletic endeavors are 90% mental.

Kara's journey really began before June 27th when she started in Augusta, Maine. In 2009 Kara, she lost her godmother and cousin to illness. She began to reflect inward and she realized she had to stop blaming others and begin to be the change she wanted to see. Her journey is not just about her, it is about doing something bigger to effect change. Kara hopes to raise 1 cent for every U.S citizen 3.2 million dollars that will benefit various charities.

She is not a professional cyclist. She is just a girl on a mission. Waking up everyday at 4 a.m to bike anywhere from 75 to 110 miles per day. She carries with her a backpack with her laptop, two ipods and a bible. Everyday I think about what Kara is doing and it brings a tear to my eye. She inspires me to further complete my goals. Words can not express how proud I am of her. She currently has made it to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Paparoxi caught up with Kara to ask her a few questions about her journey:

The loss of your family members was the catalyst for starting your bike ride, how do you anticipate you will be different after this experience is over?

Mentally I will be a much stronger person. Everyone keeps asking how my body is holding up, but honestly that's the easy part. This ride is very trying mentally when you think about where you are, how far you've gone, how far you still have to go all the while it's in the back of your mind that you have to wake up and do it again the next day. This is a prime example of something being 90% mental and 10% physical.

What are some of the things you think about while you are on the road?

When I ride through certain areas whether it be urban or country I often think about the people there and their stories. I often wonder if they had to tell their story, what it would entail. Outside of that I think about my family, my friends and the future.

What is your biggest obstacle/fear that you have being out there and how do you conquer it?

Honestly I can not say that I have been fearful instead I've just been faithful. My faith has kept my thoughts positive. But, my biggest obstacle thus far has been the heat. I planned this route trying to avoid the northern states in the winter but much to my chagrin, the heat has been the killer. To deal with that, some days I have to shorten the amount of miles I ride, I have had alter the time in which I ride, I took your advice and got a water bladder and I just try to stay as hydrated as much as possible.

How do you stay focused and encouraged everyday?

To stay focused I pray a lot and read my bible. I find that whether it was a good day of riding or a bad day, keeping my faith is what refuels me to do it all over again. I find that my encouragement comes constantly reminding myself of the purpose of the ride. I think about my lost loved ones and they are more than enough to remind me that no matter what is going on that I will be alright and get through the day. I also call on two of my best friends to vent as I have found that one can not always carry the load alone.

Ok here is a practical question, how do you get clean clothes? What happens in the rain?

Whatever clothes I have with me at the time, I’ll wash when I stay over with someone, I’ll go to a laundromat or I’ll hand wash some items at times. I'm not able to carry much with me so I'm forced to re-wear my clothes. When it rains, I put on my rain jacket and keep going. I've only got caught in the rain once thus far. But if lightening strikes I will plan to seek shelter as that is one force of mother nature I do not plan to challenge.

 Have you mapped out the whole route?

Yes, I have mapped out every stop from Maine to Washington state. I take it one day at a time, because completing each day is one step closer to the finish line.

Do you ride on the highway?

I can not ride on interstates but some US highways I can ride on. To direct me, I have bike GPS and I honestly just follow where it tells me to go.

Any advice to anyone out there who was like you, and wants to change their lives?

To anyone who wants to change any aspect of their life, my advice is simple...do for others. No good deed goes unnoticed and good karma goes full circle. No matter how big or small that deed may be, I encourage one to remember the sky is NOT the limit, because if it were, there wouldn't be footprints on the moon!