In July of 2010 I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the BASE world’s well-known and inspiring members, Lonnie Bissonette. The interview process went as one can expect when attempting to interview a person who doesn’t consider himself worthy of the notoriety-in a word, contentious.
Lonnie pointed out in a later radio interview where he turned the tables on me that our conversations often ended with him stating, “let’s agree to disagree”-in a word, difficult. In this instance that would describe me, not Lonnie. Hard headed, cantankerous, obstinate, tenacious, unyielding, determined,strong-minded, or strong-willed-in a word, Lonnie.
If there is one thing I have learned over the past two years of friendship, Lonnie’s the definition of stubborn. The man doesn’t have no quit in him. As a high school drop out on the streets, to a BASE jumper who struggled underwater beneath the bridge fighting to reach the surface, to the paraplegic who swore he would skydive and BASE jump again, once in his chair off a platform on a bridge and now he is a part of the Rick Hansen Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Relay.
He is wheeling 1400 km (870 Miles) across three Canadian Provinces over the course of a month in the dead of winter. When I spoke to him the evening before he departed on this journey he commented that there would be lots of pictures for his boys ‘to show their kids what a crazy person their grandpa was’ in taking this on bypassing training. Makes perfect sense to me, this is the same guy who decided to do a marathon, again without training, he finished that marathon. Yep, fueled by the same drive he has shown his entire life, no challenge is too big to undertake.
Crazy?, to some. Inspiring? to many.
To support Lonnie in his fundraising efforts, click here.
Why? These funds will help the Rick Hansen Foundation raise awareness of the potential of people with disabilities, accelerate progress in building inclusive communities, and make breakthroughs in spinal cord injury research. Donate today and become part of the journey towards a healthier and more inclusive world.
To learn more about the Rick Hansen Foundation, click here.
To view the Relay Map, click here.
To read the Standard Newspapers interview with Lonnie, January 25, 2012, click here.
To read my interview with Lonnie, July 8, 2010, click here.