by Austin

June 16, 2011


June 15th, 2011


Never have I felt more alive than when my knees dropped into the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I felt the wave of a thousand emotions pour over me in the same way that the ocean waters rushed over and almost through me.

This journey had been the most enormous undertaking of my life. It had required every ounce of energy and focus I had. In fact, it had required more, and so, I was forced to grow. No amount of forethought could have prepared me for the experience of completing the Freedom Skate. As my body swayed forward from the force of the drop, I could feel the momentum of the American flag I had carried the entire way as it lurched forward. It was as if the incomprehensible force of will and tenacity that had carried me across a continent was actually separate from me and suddenly needed to be brought to a halt at the shore. It seemed as if even the vast ocean that lay before me would not have been enough to stop that flag from moving forward. I had to choose to stop there. I knelt on what felt to me like holy ground and thought, “Nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible.”

As the waves crashed into my body, my mind raced through a thousand memories of the places experienced, friendships forged, challenges overcome, pains born, fears faced, doubts turned to dust, and triumphs lived. It was the culmination of a journey that was truly larger than life and larger than me. Gasping for breath with tears and sweat pouring down my face, I felt a groan bellow up from deep within me, almost like a roar.

As the wild cry of absolute elation went out from me, I physically felt lighter, for the burden I had carried across thousands of miles was suddenly being lifted. We had done it! With the tireless support of a tight-knit team, an unlikely sponsor, faithful families, and thousands of fans and friends met along the way, I had blazed a trail and carried a message of entrepreneurial inspiration 3410 miles across the country on in-line skates. My support team and I had faced more physical, logistical, financial, relational, and emotional challenges than I can even begin to count. This journey had turned three boys with big ideas into men who had actually done something big.

Out from the chaos of thoughts, I could still here the engine of the freight train churning within me. I was overwhelmed by one notion:

”There are no limits. We truly can do anything, when we are free.”

The 411:

Distance Since last Update: 46 miles
Final Distance for Tour: 3412 miles
SKATE LOCATION: The Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, CA!
STATUS: Elated!


About the author 


From a 3412 mile inline skate across America for Freedom to a pilgrimage halfway around the world, speaker and life coach, Austin Szelkowski has lived an intrepid spiritual journey. Over the last 11 years, he has skated across a continent, built 3 successful businesses, been enlightened by a mind-bending spiritual awakening, and endured a terrifying dark night of the soul journey in 2017. His story brings courage in the darkest places – providing a sense of spiritual adventure and hope.

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