My Mission, My Goal

Well since this is my first blog for this adventure I guess it is best to introduce myself and explain what I plan to do and why I am doing it.My name is Frank and I am a 45 year old, husband of 27 years, proud father of 3 sons and 2 wonderful grandsons. I am an avid outdoorsman and love to ride my bicycle and paddle my kayak.I have been a kayak enthusiast since the late 1980s when I began kayaking in the Florida Keys. I am a self taught artist and somewhat of a writer.In my 45 years of life, I have lost a cousin to lung cancer. Her mother, my aunt, is a survivor of lung cancer as is my father-in-law. I have a very dear friend who has been dealing with cancer off and on for many years and know that in the years to come there will be others in my life who will be stricken with the horrible disease. I am sure at one point in time all of us will be directly affected by cancer, and many of us, like myself can't do much about it. This is where my little adventure comes into play.My wife and I have always been hard working individuals but have never made enough to do much more than keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. We are in no way financially capable of helping others, though we wish we could. But there is something I can do. I have always loved to ride a bicycle and been able to do so for long periods of time, and kayaking is now as much a part of me as eating and sleeping. For some reason the good lord blessed me with the ability to do both of these well and I don't believe it was just for my own personal fun. I can help out.I can fight for others.On Saturday, August 13, 2011 I will stand on the west coast of Michigan with my foot in Lake Michigan. I will then get on my bicycle and ride it just over 100 miles to the town of Grayling Michigan. Once I arrive in Grayling I will leave my bicycle and get into my kayak on the Ausable River. I will paddle my kayak from Grayling, 120 miles to the town of Oscoda, where I will step out of my kayak on the East coast of Michigan into Lake Huron. I will do this in the course of one weekend. Starting on Saturday, August 13, 2011 and finishing sometime on Sunday, August 14, 2011.I will soon have a website with all the information pertaining to sponsors,donations, and volunteering.My wife and son will be my major volunteers but there will be several more needed throughout the weekend to help with following me, getting me food and liqiud, bike or kayak maintainance, the possible emergency, or just encouragement. This is going to be a major task.I can do it but there is a lot of work ahead.Just to give you and idea of how much work I have cut out for me. Picture this. I had surgery just 8 weeks ago to repair a broken ankle. My cast has only been off for about 2 weeks. There is now permanently a metal plate and 7 screws in my ankle. I have not been on my bike since last fall and I put on a lot of extra weight being laid up.I am currently at 232 pounds, which is definitely to much for a guy of only 5feet 7inches, so the physical preperation is going to be quite rigorous. I did get back in the kayak last weekend and should be getting the all clear from the foot doctor next week to get back on the bike.Work outs officially begin tonight.I will regularly post here for those of you interested in keeping up with my progress.I hope everyone will at least take an interest in the fight against cancer and help in any way possible.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Great Workout, Great Fun

Well even though I had a great time this weekend, I did manage to get in a real good kayak workout. Friday evening I paddled about 6 miles, which isn't much, unless you add about 300 pounds of gear, a nice wind, and water hyacinth, cattails, flooded grass, lily pads and swamp muck. It really was not an endurance workout, more of a strength builder and calorie burner. Felt great and lead to a wonderful weekend.
After hauling camping gear for a couple hours I basically sat around with good friends and told tall tales. Oh, and the eating regimen was sort of thrown out for the weekend, although I still did good. Managed to stay away from all but just a handful of chips. Did have a brat and a bun, some macaroni salad,a couple of my famous camp breakfast burritos, and of course fresh duck stir fry. Actually I guess that was not all bad now that I look at it.
Saturdays workout was a bit different then Friday. I took off my myself in the kayak about 10:30 am and paddled up steam for about an hour into a 17 mph headwind. Then I took off into the cattail swamp. Winding and weaving my way through a maze of 7 foot cattails, using paths that were often no wider then my kayak. I was often forced to use my paddle as a push pole due to the narrowness of my chosen path or very shallow water. After winding my way through the swamp I worked my kayak back out to the main river chanel and paddled fast for 20 minutes non stop then hit a shallow bay off the river and wound my way through another cattail forest. About an hour of this and back to the river for my 2 mile fast paddle back to camp.
Sunday was a bit easier and more of a stretching workout. Just 2 trips across the lake hauling gear and that was enough.
It all felt great and I had a terrific time hanging out with some of the best friends a guy could ask for.

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