Monday, July 16, 2012

A Little About Myself

My name is Stephen Schilling and I am a married, stay-at-home dad to a 1 year old, a diabetic, a college graduate, a fan of cycling and bicycle racing, a LEGO fan, and a graphic designer.

I graduated from college in 2001 with a degree in graphic design and worked as a designer in freelance, newspaper publications, the travel industry, and commercial real estate industries. After leaving my last position as a graphic designer, I transitioned into a role of a stay-at-home dad and developed this project to test myself and make a contribution to the study of type 1 diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1983 as a child. For all of my knowing life it has been a condition that I have had to treat and learn to live alongside. While realizing the challenges it presents, I have never really treated it as a handicap or a disability. To the contrary; as a cyclist, being diabetic has taught me the importance of proper nutrition and diet to the goal of bettering myself and living a healthy and active lifestyle.

My affinity for the sport of cycling may be able to be traced back to the late 1980's, when Greg LeMond was winning the Tour De France and World Championships. Growing up in Indianapolis, I knew of 'racing' through the Indy 500. Being a kid, the bicycle was my only mode of transportation. And so it became a natural fit to put LeMond's success, racing, and bicycles together. Throughout the 1990's, as a bicycle continued to be my only means of self sufficient transport, my love affair with it continued to grow. By the end of the decade, I began to see the bicycle for more than just independence and transportation, and by 2000, while in college, I competed in my first race. I believe I finished 7th out of 13, completely blown out the back in the field sprint. But a new version of my love for the bicycle took off. I raced in a couple dozen events over the next 5 years until burnout set in, and after a wreck caused by a low blood suger at the end of 2005 I walked away from the sport altogether. I tried other activities like running, soccer, and ice skating to entertain myself and keep a healthy lifestyle.

In 2010, the bug finally bit me again, and I was back on the bicycle. Which brings us to today. While I don't have the competitive spirit to be successful in racing, I did want to set a goal for myself that one, would motivate me to become better than I am today, and two, would be an experience that would stand above anything I could "buy" or that just anyone could do. And so was born the idea of experiencing an attempt at the hour record.

In the coming weeks, I'll share how the full plan has developed, and update you on the progress and steps achieved to realizing my gial so far...

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