Preparation for PUSH America
Over the course of the school year, Senior Psychology major, Spencer Munro, has been working hard to prepare himself mentally and physically for his Journey of Hope in the coming summer. Munro is a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and will embark on the philanthropic experience of a lifetime, travelling coast to coast by bicycle, to serve people with disabilities. On Friday, November 1, he made a prominent stand for PUSH America on campus, or rather a prominent sit.
Peddles for PUSH began early Friday morning at the Stage on the Back Quad as soon as the West Hall bell tolled 8:30 AM across a quiet campus. Three exercise bikes were set up side by side on the Stage along with water coolers and a jar for donations, and there sat Munro on the middle bike. He began to peddle and did not stop until 8:30 PM that evening.
A work out lasting a full day sounds practically impossible, but Munro managed to get through it with the help of many a passerby. He said, “There were a lot of highlights and rough spots during the 12 hours. About 8 hours in, I started feeling weak and dizzy.Â I had hit a wall, but then a random stranger brought me some bananas and that gesture helped motivate me to get over it.”
Much like the causes Munro is supporting through Pedals for PUSH, something as simple as an act of kindness kept him pushing forward. However, nothing quite prepared him for the generosity of his friends and brothers
Friends and additional Pi Kappa Phi brothers joined Munro on the other two bicycles for as long as their schedules allowed, and several others simply stopped by to keep the momentum going with conversation or words of encouragement. “Never were the bikers, or I, alone, as friends and brothers kept coming to check in, hang out, and cheer us on,” said Munro.
In fact, the night ended on a victorious note.Â Munro stated, “In the last 30 minutes, my brothers all gathered around me to cheer me on.” Several Pi Kapps crowded upon the Stage to serenade Munro with The Final Countdown, Bohemian Rhapsody, and more. They presented him with a banner, reading “THIS GUY,” and ran it over his stationary bike to give the appearance that he’d crossed the finish line when 8:30 PM finally arrived. A wheelchair awaited Munro, but the brothers’ appreciation didn’t stop there. Smiling, Munro recalled, “They even went as far as to carry me all the way back to Chesapeake.”
Despite the unseasonal heat wave, Munro took the challenge on whole heartedly, knowing the day was more than just rigorous exercise. Spencer says, “I think what is most important to note is that, while this event was to help raise proceeds, it served more as a symbolic gesture as to the summer ahead in terms of me having the support of my brothers, friends, peers and faculty of Roanoke College.” Not only will Spencer Munro’s representation for the campus community be beneficial as he moves forward, but Friday began an unforeseen reverence for what it means to be healthy.
While he rode for 12 hours, others are unfortunate and incapable of doing anything as grand as that, because they were born with disabilities. PUSH for America’s donations go towards helping those with debilitating illnesses by creating safe programs and environments like playgrounds. Currently, Munro claims, “I raised over $400 [on Friday] and the donations keep trickling in online.” To donate to the cause, visit http://support.pushamerica.org/site/TR?px=1118594&fr_id=1310&pg=personal.