Sometimes I feel lazy. This is one of those times.
Aero Film documentarian, Austin “Chief” Smithard has literally spent the last 63 days on a bike. I can't get to the gym, but he and 20 disabled veterans participated in World T.E.A.M Sports' event, Sea to Shining Sea, and rode 4000 miles across the country.
4000 miles! This is a feat that is amazing for even the most able bodied man, but it’s that much more inspiring being that these vets have been through helicopter crashes, explosions, and other unthinkable experiences that we civilians rarely even think about. Several participants were told they’d never walk again. Human spirit and determination is truly a remarkable thing.
Actor Robin Williams (in white) joins for part of the journey
The amazing (and daunting) ride began on May 22nd starting at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and ended this past Saturday in Virginia Beach. Chief joined the event as the event's documentarian but soon became a participant. He was excited to tell the story of these courageous riders, so he grabbed his Canon 5D and was ready to jump into a support van when he realized that the only way to really capture this ride, was to DO the ride. For a guy that hadn’t ridden a bike more than 5 blocks since he was 10-years-old, it wasn’t a natural choice. But seeing the others rise to the occasion made the decision quite easy. He did the entire ride with the camera on his back and rigged camera controls so he could stay in pace with the vets and other riders on the journey.
Be inspired, check out more photos Chief has been posting along the way here.
We'll keep you posted on when the documentary is finished. For now, Chief will take a few handfuls of Motrin, don a body suit made of Icy Hot and start editing... sitting down.
For more of Chief’s commercial and documentary work, click here.
For more info on "Sea to Shining Sea" click here.
All photos in this blog were taken and copyrighted by Austin "Chief" Smithard.