It's been one year since Brian and I were married and moved into the Willard Hay neighborhood in North Minneapolis. We loved our home and the location, with a small footprint a great yard and the ability to ski out our backdoor in the middle of a metropolitan area, we were convinced that it was going to be a great year.
Brian and I knew that both our projects in North Minneapolis would benefit from our close proximity to their locations and the potential to see the kids on a regular basis outside of the parks. What we didn't anticipate was the impact we would have on the kids who lived on our own block!
After only a few days it was evident that Brian and I were a new kind of neighbors. We left at strange hours on strange equipment. We spent long hours outside doing jumps and yard work and we always had healthy snacks at hand!
We were like magnets for a family (a huge family) of kids down the block. They were bored and we seemed REALLY interesting. So Brian and I did what has become a natural reaction for us...We encouraged them to join us and to seek out new opportunities and adventures in their surroundings!
Looking back at all the photos and thinking about all of the memories leaves me with a sudden realization. In-The-Arena enabled me to continue racing beyond college, fulfill my dreams of competing in the Olympic Games but more then that, it helped me achieved the greatest accomplishment of my life, changing the trajectory of a child's life and seeing the gratitude in their smiles. Thank you Amory and all of the supporters of In-The-Arena from myself and the kids of Thomas Ave. N.