A follower of Breaking Barriers with Crystal has shared his story below of how exercise and sports changed his life. Learning and listening is how we grow!!
SPORTS, EXERCISE, and TRAVEL
I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1984 with a BSC in geography, general studies and a commission from Army ROTC. Went to Ft Rucker, AL to become a helicopter pilot. My first assignment was in Germany. Loved the European way of life from day 1. I discovered cycling was my passion in high school. So, cycling in Europe was the start of a nearly 12-year working vacation. At the end of my first tour I went back to Ft Rucker for advanced officer training as well as training in another helicopter so that I could go back to Germany. I was able to go back for a second tour and pick up where I left off with my riding. I became so immersed in the European way of life and made so many friends for life. My career in the Army came to a point where I had to decide to stay in or not. I decided to separate from the Army in Germany in 1992. From there I found odd jobs to keep me in Europe until I landed a job with Raytheon as an aircraft parts specialist at Ramstein Airbase. After working there for three and a half years the contract was not renegotiated and I had to move back to Minnesota in 1999. Cycling is what defines me for those who know me well. It began for me out of necessity as a means of transportation in high school. That soon developed into a way to stay in shape. Now it is a lifestyle and a passion for more than 39 years. Working as an assistant manager in the company that I am in now gives me incredible satisfaction as I feel I have come full circle. I love meeting people and working with them to meet their cycling needs. Whatever product I sell to a customer, I have the satisfaction of knowing I enhanced their quality of life be it large or small. Seeing the look on a little one’s face as I present to them their very first bike to take home lights up the store… for me, anyway. So very rewarding. This feeling manifests itself time and again with the more than 1,600 bicycles I have sold in nearly five years I have worked for Erik’s. This is what makes me feel complete and successful. In the off season my hours here at the shop are dialed back which allows me to volunteer with the organization called Free Bikes for Kids. This organization takes in thousands of donated bikes each year to be refurbished and given away during the holiday season to families that are not as fortunate as others. As a volunteer, I help to repair, rebuild and tune these bikes. As I place each bike I work into the final inspection queue, I whisper “Merry Christmas!”. I’m so looking forward to this holiday season once again…
Thank You, Crystal, for letting me share this with you!
Breaking Barriers with Crystal
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