Ride or Pi

ride or pi mountain

Check out this amazing but true story:

Samuel Nestor Walters (my son), born in Bangladesh to an American father and Greek mother, educated in Greek-language schools, at age 19 decided to embrace his American heritage and join the U.S. Navy. His ambition was to become a Navy SEAL. However, he first trained as a corpsman, or medic, was attached to a Marine Corps unit, and deployed to southern Afghanistan in what was at the time an intense battle zone. When he returned to the States, he received an opportunity for SEAL training, in which he persevered despite broken bones and other injuries.

After five years as a SEAL and ten years overall in the Navy, at the age of thirty he decided that it was time to move on to another chapter in his life. His first step was to gain the advantage of higher education. To this end, in his free time while still serving as a Navy SEAL, with the help of the free online educational organization Khan Academy he taught himself calculus and SAT preparation. The result? He applied and was accepted to Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. He opted for Stanford.

But that’s not all. To express his appreciation for the assistance of Khan Academy in realizing his educational dreams and to help finance world-class free education for all, he decided to turn his journey to Stanford in the early fall into a fundraising odyssey. Thus was born Ride or Pi.

The concept is simple, albeit epic. He proposes to ride a bicycle roughly 1,000 miles from Seattle to Stanford in 6.3 days, or approximately 2 x Pi. That’s about 160 miles a day, which means he’ll not be sleeping more than four hours or so a night for the duration of the journey. Totally worth it, says he, for the cause of worldwide education.

To prepare for the trip, during a brief respite in Greece, Sam trained on steep, winding roads in the hills east of Thessaloniki by cycling 50 to 100 miles a day. Additionally, he recently climbed Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in the country, carrying his bicycle. That’s an amazing feat; when I attempted Olympus, making it two-thirds of the way to the top without a bike on my back completely exhausted me. He made it all the way to the summit burdened with the weight of his hefty metal steed. The climb took him from 7 in the morning until 11:30 at night. That’s perseverance.

In summary, join Sam in spirit for his 1,000 mile trek, and support the tremendous educational institution of Khan Academy while you’re at it. Find out more at https://www.instagram.com/rideorpi/ and donate at www.facebook.com/donate/336706436872195/.

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