Just like an ElliptiGO bike ride, the road of life sometimes presents us with great obstacles: steep climbs, rough terrain, and objects in our path. It takes perseverance to keep on riding and surmount these challenges. If you’ve been facing setbacks, if you’ve been unsure you can overcome something, we recommend that you keep reading. This month, we are shining the spotlight on an incredibly inspiring member of our ElliptiGO community. He is the definition of perseverance and he’s our September 2021 Rider of the Month: Robin McGeough. He’s riding and raising money for an important cause, and his story starts not far from ElliptiGO HQ, just north of us in Laguna Beach, CA.
Robin was excelling and full of promise. He was an athlete, both a track runner and a dancer. His incredible talent for ballet earned him a scholarship to San Francisco State University. After graduation, he embarked on the next chapter of his life in the Bay Area. There, Robin found himself isolated, in a competitive environment, and under immense stress. Like so many young adults, he turned to alcohol to try to feel relief from these pressures. Drinking soon became all-consuming. Robin dropped out of school and was living on the streets.
A couple of years later, still struggling with his alcoholism and homelessness, Robin had a frightening experience that would prove to be a turning point in his life. He was mugged, beaten, and had to jump from the third story of a building to avoid being killed. He shattered bones in his feet upon impact. He returned to Laguna Beach in bad shape.
“As my mother picked me up at the airport, she burst into tears as she saw her youngest son in such a terrible state,” Robin told us.
Over the next couple of years, Robin focused on recovery. He was bound to a wheelchair. He had received a tough prognosis and continued to fight his addiction through a number of relapses. He said, “A doctor told me if I was ever to walk again, I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life.” Robin eventually entered a treatment center for his alcoholism and completed the program 10 months later.
Robin didn’t waste time after he completed his treatment. He was determined to help others in the same circumstance. He enrolled in college, completed internships, and became a professional licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor as well as an Administrator of Chemical Dependence Services.
This would not be the end of his efforts. Upon joining the team at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, he began to see a pattern. Alcoholics and addicts would fight hard to overcome their dependency, only to return to environments that did not support their new lifestyle and continued recovery.
“I had to ask myself what I was doing to help,” Robin commented.
This is what gave birth to an event that Robin is about to complete for the 14th year in a row called Run4Recovery.
“I started Run4Recovery 14 years ago. It was on a bet from a friend that I could run 20 miles a day for 10 days for a total of 200 miles.” If Robin could complete the miles, his friend would give a local charity $1000. Robin chose Puente House Foundation, which provides housing for newly sober recovering alcoholics and addicts. That first year, he raised $3,500.
“Eventually, the distance running became impossible due to joint pounding and muscle injuries. My doctor strongly advised me to give up running,” Robin told us. “It was like a death sentence to me as my athletic prowess had provided so much good. The only gym-based exercise I could do without pain was the elliptical machine. So, I searched and purchased my first ElliptiGO 11 years ago from Hermosa Cyclery.”
ElliptiGO bikes allowed Robin to continue his efforts and the Run4Recovery is going strong. Last year, the Run4Recovery covered over 1000 miles and raised $152,000 for the Puente House Foundation! This year’s ride begins Oct. 9 and is set to be completed on Oct. 23.
“This equals countless lives saved from a certain alcoholism or addiction-related death,” Robin said.
Robin continued, “In 2021, we will journey 1,143 miles from Portland, Oregon to Covina, California, riding ElliptiGO bikes for approximately half of this distance. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the fight for recovery from addiction is greater than ever.”
Robin, we are in awe of all that you have overcome and how you have dedicated your life to helping others. We are so glad that ElliptiGO bikes have allowed you to continue positively impacting your community. We’ll be cheering for you all the way!
Want to support Robin during the 14th Run4Recovery next month? Here’s how you can help:
Contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!