homes of hope
posted: October 16, 2013
Guy is a professional cyclist who has taken a different path than most athletes. When he’s not competing around the globe he lives in Tijuana, Mexico and serves the less fortunate. His vision is to implement life training programs in professional sports team around the world.
For 10 years I ate, slept and breathed cycling. It was my life, and for most of it I ignored the poor and the needy. But when I witnessed the sight and smell of the slums in Mexico City I was faced with a harsh reality. What was my purpose? There was something bigger I wanted to live for.
I stopped cycling, sold everything and vowed to never ride again, but I encountered an identity crisis. I was known as a professional cyclist on my way to the Olympics. Cycling defined me. Overnight I went from being a respected athlete to a nobody; I went from fans asking for my autograph to struggling to look at myself in the mirror.
A year and a half later I ended up in Tijuana, Mexico, volunteering with Homes of Hope and MORE Than Sport building homes for poor families in the community. To date we have built 4,500 homes in 16 countries.
It was worth giving up everything I knew to serve the poor, yet in Tijuana my hunger for competition returned. I started training again. At first, I was scared to ride the roads in Mexico, but I knew I could combine my passion for sport and desire to serve those in need there.
Through serving the poor I began to understand that my life was not all about self-fulfillment. Life is about more than sport. That’s a difficult message for professional athletes to hear, but it’s true.
Tijuana has the image of a town torn apart by sex trade and drug cartels, but after building a few homes I realized that home building in Tijuana was a viable option for professional athletes. Home builds can be used to develop the individual and transform communities in need. As professional athletes we act like it’s all about “me,” but through service we begin to ask, “What can I do to help you? What do you need?” The implications of making that switch are world changing.
I want to see a change in professional sports. I want to instill strong principles and to value the individual athlete more than the results they produce. My sport is riddled with doping violations and cheaters. More stringent testing and regulations will not solve the problem. Introducing strong principles and values will. Athletes think that the ultimate realization in life is to win gold. It’s a great and worthy goal, but glory fades quickly. Winning satisfies for a short time but it’s never enough.
With MORE than Sport we step in where teams are not. We build a foundation in the lives of pro athletes that lasts. We want to see athletes build 50 homes a year and more professional sports teams adopt leadership development courses that incorporate values of family life, financial stability and service opportunities.
Join the movement.