Senior starts year off with bike mission

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    After completing the 26-mile Cowtown Marathon on Feb. 27, Brett Major said he could barely feel his legs.

    “It’s such a mental struggle to finish a marathon,” said Major, a senior psychology major.

    Major had a big crowd of supporters on the day of the marathon. Christin Lynch, a senior nursing major, said she ran alongside Major for a little bit and cheered him on.

    “I don’t know how he did it,” Lynch said. “I feel so inspired. I have never had the desire to run this far, but watching him I feel like I could do it.”

    Katie Johnston, a senior marketing major, also ran alongside Major that day. Johnston said it was motivating to see how hard Major trained for the marathon.

    However, completing one big goal this year was not enough for Major’s thirst for adventure. On June 11, Major plans to begin a biking trip from Providence, R.I. to Seattle with the Bike and Build program.

    “I’ll be meeting people and seeing places most people don’t get the chance to see,” Major said. “You travel around and stop in big cities but not often do you get to see small-town Mississippi or small-town Idaho.”

    The Bike and Build program is focused on raising money for affordable housing, Major said. He will travel 4,000 miles with the program and build eight homes across the country. The program lasts from June 11 to Aug. 18.

    “I always did Habitat for Humanity with my family or my church,” Major said. “But it was only until recently that I realized how big of an issue affordable housing really is in our country.”

    Major said some people can have a job and work 40 hours a week at minimum wage, but it is still not enough to pay for low-income housing.

    According to the 2004 National Low Income Housing Coalition report, 95 million people in the country suffer from housing problems including high-cost burden, overcrowding and homelessness.

    “It makes you realize what you have and be thankful and grateful,” Major said. “I am happy to have a chance to kind of have an impact and hopefully improve the situation and raise some awareness and money.”

    Training for the marathon and the biking trip this summer has changed his outlook on life, Major said. He said he feels more balanced and active overall.

    “It helps me clear my mind and put things into perspective and kind of makes you remember what your priorities are and everything,” Major said.

    Major plans to take a year off from college and apply for graduate school next fall. He said this bike ride has eased his anxiety about graduating and given him something to look forward to in the future.

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