Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reflections and anticipations

Soliciting donations through my cross continent bike ride to benefit the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS, right) made me reflect on how I got here. Indeed, I wrote some people that I had not seen in decades but were nonetheless instrumental in shaping me when I was at a plastic age. I trust that the people that have devoted energy in guiding me feel a return on their investment. This is also a return on my three decade-long investment in myself: tens of thousands of solitary laps in the pool, endless push-ups in stairwells and airports, on boat decks and parking lots, and long runs on empty streets when most folks were sleeping or watching TV. This commitment to fitness has given me an opportunity to do something most people might only dream of. It has set the table for me at an age where I can harness my energy for the better good. I am sage enough to know that in life there are trips and journeys, and sometimes the two have a different meaning.

I have derived great satisfaction out of giving back to my community by volunteering at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS). OWLS treats thousands of patients every year. Many of their wildlife patients are injured as a consequence of the increasingly greater human footprint on the Crystal Coast; patients arrive to OWLS because of cars, boats, fishing line, and habitat destruction. What makes the Crystal Coast a special place to live and visit is the very same wildlife that OWLS treats as a result of us humans being here.

The president and the North Carolina governor, among others, have recently called for citizens to give back to their communities. There are a couple of ways that you can give back to the Outer Banks and the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter. One way is to volunteer your time to them. Volunteer opportunities include working on their grounds, animal care, and education/outreach. Another way to give back to the community is to donate to OWLS through my charity ride (www.pedal4wildlife.og). Funds that you donate will be used to rehabilitate and release wild animals back to the beautiful southern Outer Banks.


  1. Paul,
    I received your flyer in the mail today. I will definately sponsor some of your ride! What an adventure - kind of wish I could go - for a little way... Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted on your progress.

  2. You are an inspiration, man! Donated to your cause just now. Can't wait to follow your progress!