COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A military wife in Columbus is back home after bicycling 3,018 miles across America, raising money for several causes. She biked from Portland, Oregon back to Columbus, Georgia, hitting a total of 12 states along the way.
Friends and family were at the finish line, where she got flowers from her husband, an Army Warrant Officer on Fort Benning. Yoga teacher Charlotte Gallagher says COVID-19 and social distancing provided an opportunity for this bicycling adventure.
“I saw this window to go and be free myself and hopefully to inspire others, to go live whatever dream they want to do, and know that you can do so much more than we think we can,” Gallagher told us, describing the epic bike ride. “I definitely was fearful doing this, but I still did it...so it’s ok to be scared and go after what you want because we only live once.”
That living and awareness of fear also drove Gallagher, a military spouse, to raise money for several causes during her bicycling adventure, including more than $1,000 for an organization called “Stop Soldier Suicide.”
“There’s veterans and soldiers committing suicide every single day, so it’s very important for me to raise awareness for that,” Gallagher said.
It’s a cause close to her heart because her husband is a soldier but also because Gallagher grew up with a lot of anxiety, battling depression in different parts of her life.
She said, “I understand how people can go down that rabbit hole but also how we can lift ourselves out of it by making sure we focus on our mental health, asking for support, go and get a therapist.”
She’s back to teaching at River Flow Yoga, saying the flexibility and breathing from that art helped her get through the 3-month bike journey, during which she raised more than $3,000 overall, the rest of it for other non-profits.
“I really wanted to raise awareness for mental health because it helps me so much...so I raised money for Boys and Girls Clubs because kids are the future generation...and for Micah’s Promise, they’re building a therapeutic facility for kids who have been sex trafficked,” Gallagher said.
And learning how giving people are, even during a pandemic.
“In order to get through these tough times, we have to have faith in ourselves and others, and despite everything going on, please remember there’s kindness everywhere,” Gallagher said.
To hear an in-depth conversation with Charlotte Gallagher about her bike ride across America, Army spouse life, yoga and more, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast and you can hear her on the latest episode of “Run The Race.”