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My name is Dan, and I'm a senior studying physics at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, PA. During the summer of 2008 I plan on undertaking a cross-country bike trip with an organization called Bike and Build, whose purpose is to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing issues in the United States. I've created this site to keep those interested informed of my progress, and to convince visitors that this is a cause worth contributing to.
Why I'm Doing This
I've always been a sort of outdoor fanatic - I love the beauty and challenges that it has to offer. Throughout high school and college I've run track and cross country, and of the two I can easily say that cross country has been my favorite. Racing and training for cross country has led me to some of the most incredible areas and experiences of my life. A starry night in West Virginia, a sunrise in the Sequoias, a sunset on the Pacific. I have discovered how beautiful life can be when you are carried by the power of your own two feet. Above all it has taught me the benefit of hard work, and it has made me realize just what is possible when I set my heart to something.
Running has kept my time very full, but I have managed to get in some volunteering. Last year I was able to get out to a Habitat for Humanity house for a couple hours (my first experience with Habitat, and with affordable housing), and I thought it was amazing. I was surprised by how much we were able to accomplish, and how much the house changed, in the short time that we were there.
I still remember what the coordinator of the project said to us all before we left; he thanked us for all our work, and then told us "Don't be ordinary, be extraordinary." He knew that, in the end, regardless of our circumstances, the choice is left to us. What we do with what we've got is what defines us, and because of that I've tried to make it a point to do two things: to use my time and talent to help those who need it, and to never let an opportunity go to waste...