Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
Starting September 29, 2021, I’ll be riding my bicycle from San Diego CA to Jacksonville FL. The ride is over 3,000 miles long and will take 40 days to complete (that’s about 75 miles per day, which, at 14 mph, is 5 hours and 20 minutes of riding per day). So, why do it?
I’m doing it so I can put my full attention on child abuse prevention and to do so in a way that is both news worthy and personally gratifying. From a personal gratification standpoint, I like being physically active; I like pushing my physical capabilities; I like bicycling, and I want to make a positive difference in the world.
What makes this news worthy is that I will be turning 60 during the ride; I am at best a recreational bicyclist (my longest ride to date is about 60 miles and that was during a recent training session); my story of traumatic childhood of abuse to a fulfilling life, and my unique approach to child abuse prevention. Please check out our next blog/podcast regarding my story of traumatic childhood of abuse to a fulfilling life.
To prevent child sexual abuse, abusers need to stop abusing. This seems obvious, but how?
To answer the “how”, let me start with some data points.
As a result childhood trauma, many survivors develop destructive behaviors. Most direct the destructive behavior towards themselves (e.g., alcoholism, drug use, self-deprecation, etc.), but some also direct the destructive behavior towards others (e.g., child sexual abuse). This is the basis for the saying that, “Hurt people, hurt people”.
So, for abusers to stop abusing (i.e., for hurt people to stop hurting other people), they need to heal their wounds from childhood abuse. If the pain that drives destructive behavior towards others is mitigated, then the compulsion to abuse others (especially children) will diminish and less children will be abused.
As such, my ride is to encourage abusers to heal their wounds from childhood. If just 1% of abusers can stop abusing in one year, over 200,000 children will be spared from being sexually abused. If we can continue to reduce the number of abusers by 1% per year for 10 years in a compounded manner, then there would be 2.4 million children spared from being sexually abused. That’s worth so much more than 40 days of my time and the physical discomfort of riding my bike across the country.
So, to the hurt people that are hurting others, please seek help for your wounds from childhood. You don’t need to address your abusive acts, you can focus completely on healing yourself. For a list of resources to help with healing from childhood abuse, go to our foundation’s website at CycleToEndAbuse.com.
At some point of your healing journey, you may decide to make amends to your victims and I hope that you do. Not only will it help with your healing process, but it will be of great help to the healing process of your victims. On this latter point I’m positive.
As an adult, when I confronted my perpetrators, they denied it all. “That’s preposterous”, was their response. I find it ironic how many times a guilty person denies what they’ve done using the word “preposterous”. My perpetrators denying that they abused was another abusive act towards me.
Had they acknowledged what they did to me, took responsibility for it, and apologized for it, it would have helped me immensely. It would have dramatically expedited my recovery. I spent years questioning the reality of what happened to me, I questioned my sanity, and I questioned whether anything happened at all.
Distrusting my own perceptions and realities really messed with me. It took years for me to accept the reality of the abuse I suffered; to trust my own perceptions. To help with my own healing and emotional well-being, I have not spoken to my family of origin in almost 30 years.
A healing journey from child sexual abuse and other types of abuse is not easy. It’s painful; it can seem like there is no end; and it requires change from what we’re use to, but it is so worth it. If I had to do it all over again, I would have preferred to not have been abused. But, since I was abused and even knowing how difficult the healing journey can be, I’d do it again. The reward of a fulfilling life is beyond description, it can only be experienced. I hope all victims of child abuse get to experience the rewards of a fulfilling life.
I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.
Athalonz is a technology company based on Mesa, AZ. It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance. Website: athalonz.com
Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques. Website: texaspatents.com
Athalonz Supports the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation
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Today was a good bit of climbing. A little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Not as much as day 1 or day 2, but not trivial. I am really enjoying traveling through the small towns. The people have been friendly, the service has been good, and the food has been excellent.