Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences:
We moved out of the rat-race of SoCal in June and are now living lean in our fully-reno’d fifth-wheel RV, traveling to all of Sam’s Team Semper Fi Outdoor Program events around the country.
Sam: Working with injured, ill, and wounded service members and helping them pursue recovery through sport.
Feats of accomplishment:
Julie: I had the privilege of supporting our nation’s top athletes while working for the US Olympic Committee/US Paralympics. Creating opportunities for everyone to push their physical limits and redefine what is possible is a mission I care deeply about.
Several years ago I starred in a documentary series and commercial featured on ESPN called The Unstoppable Tour which was sponsored by EAS Nutrition. I competed in 30 different sports on 30 consecutive days in 30 different cities. This included swimming the Hudson Bay, climbing in Zion, playing football with Larry Fitzgerald, surfing, boxing, running a marathon and on day 26 I got to ride with Mark Weir, Ben Cruise and Jason Moeschler at the “Ranch” in Novato. The goal was to promote proper nutrition and importance of living a healthy lifestyle. This experience not only changed my life but it renewed my passion for riding bikes.
Sam: SNAKES! I won’t go near them.
Julie: Fear of missing out….Squirrel!
Sam: Despite not watching much TV, Sam is obsessed with College Football, specifically The University of South Carolina football (where he did his undergrad). Julie has reluctantly embraced this fanatical embarrassment, and even included a lifelong promise of support in their wedding vows.
Julie: On our first date (me learning to surf) I unintentionally strangled Sam with my leash while he was pushing me into a wave. So other than looking like a drowned rat myself, I nearly killed my future husband. Romantic.
Sam: The American flag inspired Semper Fi Volt saddle. It’s an incredible design on everyone’s favorite saddle, and hey, proceeds go to a great cause!
When we lived in SOCAL it was Big Laguna Trail/Noble Canyon. The ride is unusual for the area as it takes you through evergreen forests and meadows before heading back to the sandy dry desert and rock gardens.
Now that we are nomads we are constantly on the search for that next fast and loamy ride!
Sam: I was into BMX as a kid but I bought my first bike from my High School track coach to get around when I went to college. I rode that bike into the ground but after that, I went through long periods of not riding at all while I was deployed overseas. When I finally was stationed back on the west coast I took two weeks of leave, bought a new bike and drove across the country, trying to hit all the top riding spots along my route. I thought I knew what riding was until I had my first experience riding with Weir, Moeschler and Cruz. They completely changed the way I rode and how I looked at mountain biking. It has been my favorite thing to do ever since.
Julie: I moved to Colorado from western NY in 2007 which opened a whole new world of activities and introduced me to adventurous friends to try them with. My very first ride EVER was Slickrock. I endo’d hard within the first five minutes which miiiiight have scared half of my group enough to make them turn around. I continued, finished the ride, and have been hooked ever since. For me, mountain biking combines all things that excite me; physical and mental challenges, exploring the great outdoors, scars, dirt and post-ride beers!
Tubeless!!!! And if I could figure out a way to avoid throwing a tube in my pack, I’d do that too. Just say NO to tubes!
#2 Watching Mark Weir duct tape Team Semper Fi member and double amputee Dan Riley’s prosthetic legs to the pedals of his tandem mountain bike and shred the Ranch with Dan locked in, no matter what happened!
The Semper Fi Fund and Team Semper FI
The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities.
Rated one of the top veteran non-profits in the US. Focused on using donations properly, with only 6% overhead.
Instagram and Facebook: @openspace.smallplace
Our personal travel blog and social medial pages that keep our friends and families in the loop. Through our lifestyle we hope to inspire others to live life to the fullest in whatever way possible.
Julie’s design and photography website.