The TransCon: T-minus 1 Day

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Tomorrow morning at 7:30am I will set out from the Huntington Beach Pier to begin my run across the United States.

It’s amazing what can happen in one year. A year ago today, while on a morning run, I made the decision to take on this monumental feat. From that moment on essentially all of my energy and bandwidth has gone into making this dream a reality.

It’s amazing to sit here now and reflect on all of the triumphs AND defeats it took for me to get to this perfect time and place.

Initially, I never imagined that this project would require such determination and such thick skin. One of the biggest challenges I faced was finding others that wanted to join and support me in this endeavor. Yet despite all the setbacks and doors slammed in my face, the most amazing partnerships and team that I could have ever asked for has emerged.

I can’t thank those enough who have been there for me since Day One, as well as those who have risen to the occasion to help me along the way.

Thank you first and foremost to my fiancé, Shelley, for constantly having my back, helping me draft email after email, being my sounding board, dealing with my frustrations due to setbacks, and loving me all the way.

Thanks you to Daniel Nicholson, the CEO of NadaMoo!, for taking my call, hearing me out about my plan, believing in me, and giving the go ahead for NadaMoo! to provide the resources needed to make this run a reality.

Thank you to Max Haimowitz and the rest of the NadaMoo! marketing team for becoming my partners in crime and working diligently to help create a platform and narrative to help bring my mission into focus.

Thank you to my mom for raising me right. For teaching me to never back down and to follow my dreams.

Thank you to Jackie, Chris, and Clara for being the heart of my crew. They have taken months of their time, resources, and efforts to support me on the road. Without their support I would be completely lost and would in no way have the confidence or framework needed to take on 3,200 miles.

Thank you to Jamie and John for being there in real-time as I went through ups and downs. Our pho dates and dinners at home were some of my favorite distractions.

Thank you to our newest partner, Dotsie Bausch, and her Switch4Good team for coming onboard. Having such an A-list of anti-dairy athletes behind me gives me so much strength, confidence, and a like-minded community that I didn’t have before.

Thank you to Steven Dilley for always being my friend, helping me to develop as a man while together creating such an amazing community at Bufalina Pizza, and for lending me the company van that will act as my home (and tow our camper) as I make my way across the country.

And thank you to everyone else who has been there to lend a hand, be a sounding board, and dedicate time out for their lives to join in and help crew me on the road – there are so many of you that I can’t wait to see on the road!

If you truly believe in something chase it. Chase it with all the determination and vigor you have. Create a plan and ask for help when you need it. Never back down and never give up. Eventually the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

Now, all of the pieces are in place. There’s nothing left to do but do it. One foot in front of the other for the next 75 days.

Please join along as I show what is possible on a plant-based diet as I cross the country day after day, from Huntington Beach, CA to Battery Park, NYC.

Robbie Balenger