Bismarck – Nearly a dozen muscles are used to pedal a bicycle, but what if those muscles were slowly deteriorating.
Meet Jon Olson, now retired, Jon spent a good part of his life as a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, just a few hundred miles down Interstate 94.
When he wasn’t reporting, He enjoyed the outdoor life.
But six years ago, things began to change when he noticed trouble with his hands while biking.
“I thought it was arthritis in my hands, I felt stiff, not as able as I once was, so I went to a doctor, and he said, well, I think you have muscular dystrophy” Said Olson.
Muscular Dystrophy is an incurable disease that results in a progressive loss in muscle mass and strength.
Jon says, like many people who find out they have an incurable disease, they slip into a deep depression
“I was depressed for a couple years, I didn’t do any physical training, or a lot of biking like I had.”
But before things got too severe, Jon picked himself up, had a conversation with his neurologist and learned he could still ride a bike.
“I said, I wanna ride my bike across the country, and he said well, you better go now because you’ll never be stronger than you are today,” Said Olson.
Always wanting to bike cross country, Jon decided it was now or never, so he set out on his journey, from Seattle to New York City, all to raise awareness and money for Muscular Dystrophy.
Recently he paused his journey while passing through Bismarck to chat with KX News, he tells me he now has more good days than bad.
“I had terrible days at first when I just wasn’t quite in shape, we did 30 miles for a few days, now I’m not afraid of hills, I’m just, better at it,” said Olson
He says he’s already well surpassed his goal of $5,000, but for Jon, it’s not about the money, it’s about finishing his goal, to prove a disease like Muscular Dystrophy doesn’t have to end the fun in life.
Jon says he hopes to make it to his hometown of Milwaukee by the end of the month and reach New York City by the end of August.