I came into the weekend pretty opened minded, and honestly I didn’t really know what to expect. Since Mark’s accident I haven’t seen him very often except the occasional dinner at Skokie Country Club or in the stands of a New Trier Hockey game. The time I’ve spent with Mark and the crew this past week has really reminded me how great of a man Mark really is. For someone to overcome such a feat and get out there and keep doing what he loves is truly amazing. The image of Mark fighting inch by inch to make it up a hill on his recumbent bike is one I will never forget. He is one of the toughest men I know. I thought this weekend was going to be all about helping Mark by joining his cross country journey, but it really ended up helping me. The things Mark has been able to accomplish over the years is unbelievable. There is no way I would be able to put up with all of this. Mark has shown us all that you should not let an unlucky break get in the way of living your life to the fullest. The strength, bravery and toughness I have seen through the years is truly amazing. Although I was only a part of the Stephan Challenge for a small portion of the journey, I feel the experience has left a huge impact on me as a person.
– Jesse Arnold