Disabled Veteran, CEO of a family company.
Longest Ride: 102 Miles
I am a 100% disabled Army Veteran. I spent 9 years in Special Operations Aviation before I was involved in a hit and run car accident. The injuries I sustained in the car accident compounded my military injuries and I was reassigned to a training position in the Army. My first surgery was on my hip, and was successful…for a time. After multiple medical interventions and years of physical therapy the Army decided that I was no longer fit for duty. My doctors told me that I should never run again, which was a huge disappointment for me because I was a soccer referee on the side and at my peek ran about 100 miles per week.
A coworker recommended that I begin cycling. He took me under his wing and in 6 months I was able to sustain an 18-mph solo, on a generally flat road. Eventually, I was medically retired and no longer had this coworker to motivate me. Being forced to retire 8 years early from what I had planned to be a 20-year career aggravated my PTSD and depression symptoms.
I moved to Oregon, where my wife was accepted into a doctoral program at Pacific University, and slowly stopped cycling. I work full time and am currently not cycling, but want to return to it.
Why a century? I have completed a century in 2017. It was a goal when I began cycling, and I want to make it a goal again this year. Without goals, cycling is just exercise. With a goal, cycling is training. I am very competitive, even if it is just with myself, and need the competition to push myself to exceed my current capabilities.
I am motivated by wanting to get back in shape and loose some weight. More importantly, I need to prove to myself that I can still be active despite my injuries – I believe that this will help to improve my self-image and personal worth.
***Editor's note: We know this is not Ken's "first century." In fact, we had a number of applicants who had very impressive cycling feats. However, Ken's story touched us and we made a singular exception. We believe strongly in second chances and the healing power of cycling.
My First Century