Facing her senior year of college and a trying year, Erin says the Global Home Challenge has come along at the perfect time — giving her a reason to stay active and make a difference!

Erin Smethers says she had been experiencing "tunnel vision" lately, but not like these tunnel visions from her 2018 Bicycle Adventure experience.

Challenge brings much-needed motivation and joy

As a college senior — internally screaming — my life has been drastically changed by the pandemic. In a matter of four weeks my entire life was turned upside down: All of my classes went remote, my fancy summer internship was canceled, I broke up with my boyfriend, the ranch I volunteer at was temporarily closed, and my college house seemed to be closing in on itself. In the days following it was easy to be overwhelmed coordinating schedules so I can now graduate in December and re-evaluating what I want to do when I graduate with a Bachelor of Science in engineering.

After riding in 2018, I always dreamed of returning three years later to ride the summer after I graduated for one last adventure. I know graduating a semester early will turn out for the best, but I mourned the summer of adventures I had been planning for May 2021. When I saw the Global Home Challenge, it seemed like the shining light in the midst of the tunnel vision I was experiencing.

The morning after I signed up, I woke up at 5:30am (throwback to the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure) and started to put my life in order. I reconnected to the one thing that never fails to put a smile on my face — biking. I rode with no Garmin and had no real plan. The Global Home Challenge has motivated me to put on my running shoes, invite friends to go ride a new mountain pass, and commute by bike instead of car when I can. The structure of working out every day to reach my Global Home Challenge goal and having something bigger than myself to work for has motivated me and given me a feeling of joy back in my life.

While my mileage is lower than I hoped (apparently summer classes are very time consuming) I have been able to bring up The Fuller Center in countless conversations with friends, in discussion groups for school, and with people reaching out to learn more after social media posts. The Fuller Center has given me so much in life and I feel honored to be able to share their mission with my friends and family with the hope of spreading their goals and aiding their mission of ending poverty housing.

With fellow Fuller Center Bicycle Adventurers in 2018

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