Like many tourists traveling through the South, Chris Nicholas stopped in Baton Rouge on Tuesday to see the University’s stately oaks and broad magnolias.
Nicholas isn’t just one of the many, though — his stop is only one on his journey to become the first person to traverse the country solo twice in one year, first on foot and now on his bike, and all to raise money for charity.
Nicholas began his journey from Maine to Oregon on October 14, 2012, and passed through campus Tuesday to see the sights before continuing his 6,000-mile journey Wednesday morning. While on campus, he met LSU Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins.
Nicholas first ran from the White House to Santa Monica, Calif., early in 2012, and four months later, he began his second cross-country journey to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, Make-A-Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
When he’s not busy biking 50 to 100 miles a day, Nicholas stops to speak to students at local schools, athletic groups and organizations about the power of setting personal goals and not giving up.
“When you set that goal in life, you’ll have ups and downs throughout the process, whether it’s crossing the country or getting a degree,” Nicholas said. “It’s always an uphill battle, but you realize you’re going to make it.”
Nicholas said he originally began his second journey on foot, but when he experienced knee trouble that threatened irreparable damage in North Carolina, he decided to finish the tour on his bike.
“Instead of quitting, I continued,” Nicholas said. “You fight for every mile and continue every day.”
Nicholas said when he struggles, he remembers the causes he’s raising money for and keeps going.
“I think about the military,” he said. “They’re deployed overseas, and they can’t just give up and say, ‘I’m tired. I want to go home.’ So I’m not going to say I’m tired and I want to go home. I’m going to fight for every mile.”
Nicholas covers his personal expenses, so 100 percent of donations go to charity. To learn more about his journey and causes, visit RunAndFinish.com.