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Follow all the Matt Hoffmann RAAM training, logistics, and general prepartion for RAAM 2015.

By the time most of you read this, I’ll be rolling mile by mile towards Annapolis ...

Matt Hoffmann

By the time most of you read this, I’ll be rolling mile by mile towards Annapolis, Maryland in the Race Across America (RAAM). Even I say it with a deep breath and a sigh.

This adventure began nearly a year ago, after completing the Race Across the West (RAW) as a fundraiser for San Diego VeloYouth. RAW happened unexpectedly, as a bet with Dave Preston, and after finishing I was looking for the “what next?” I was talking with Andrew Duggan, president of Equal Earth and together, we decided to take on RAAM. Equal Earth is committed to contributing to a cleaner planet through solar energy. I would ride, proudly sharing the EE vision, with Andrew and EE supporting me every mile. I have been blessed to align with a company that sees the potential in people, as well as how we can change the world. 

The goal of completing RAAM is neither simple nor easy, and even racing “solo” requires a knowledgeable and dedicated crew for support and race logistics. For me, this could only mean Rob Panzera and CCSD. With the combination of Equal Earth and CCSD, two powerhouse partners, I felt confident to undertake the challenge, and RAAM moved from an idea into reality. 

I had all the backing and support needed, but this is where the real story begins.

A good friend once told me the story of a coach that asked athletes to think of his or her goals, write them down, and say them out loud. That, he said, was the easy part. He was right.  

People had many questions once they heard I was on the road to RAAM - good questions, smart questions, and oddly, not ones that I had asked myself. Knowing that I am a unique kind of special, I thought of this as “just pedaling”… right? Month by month, as time got closer, I went through many emotions - ups and downs and from confident to “what was I thinking???” I purposely stayed a bit ignorant, so that I could keep the mindset of this simply being a long ride – nothing more. As time moved on, I knew I needed to become more involved – ignorance was not a smart choice. (Keep in mind that for me, that’s a big step, as most of my 44 years have been run that way.)  

Wonderful things have happened in this process. I put in long miles and enjoyed all of them. I have had short rides that were incredibly hard and long rides where I felt as if I could go forever. I learned many things about myself while on those training rides. Many of the best conversations I have had started from thoughts on these rides - so much so that I started taking notes while riding. 

With these rides going well, I put a great deal of pressure on myself. I have been a bike racer and competitor for the greater part of my life. I am strong and have both the physical fortitude and mental stamina needed, however I learned a valuable lesson I will never forget. This is not a race of just strength, where I can simply “tough it out.” It is a race of knowledge, balance, trust and longevity.

I have a team of people I trust to share knowledge and balance. It is this combination that gives me confidence to achieve the longevity that will carry me to Annapolis.  

I also realized how much the last few years of my life and the positive changes have affected more than just me. I have a wonderful circle of friends who have helped me grow and inspiration from the joyful resilience of the kids in San Diego VeloYouth. Combined with the unconditional support of Equal Earth and CCSD, I can take on anything.  

And that is what I will be doing while you read this.

Moving Beyond Limits

Matt Hoffmann

Matt relaxing at the Matt Hoffmann RAAM Launch Party this past November.

These days many of my conversations revolve around Race Across America (RAAM). People are interested – “How much are you training?”  “Are you ready?” “How much will you sleep?” And on and on …

Most of my smarter friends wonder what the hell I'm thinking. Most of my cycling friends shrug their shoulders and say, ”Sure, why not?” As my life continues to change, as I learn more and more about myself, things that seemed concrete have now become flexible. Ideas that were important to me are not any longer. This game of life is ever changing; so are the goals and limits I live by.

With the help, love and support of friends and the “big talk” that comes with opening up, I realize that in the past, I placed many limits on myself and accepted the limits that others placed on me, as well. I allowed fear to hold me down and limit my belief in myself. I preferred not to set goals, that way I didn’t fail. This type of thinking allowed me to float  taking small successes as they came, but not making them happen. I pursued the easy wins, knowing there was little risk.

As I have learned more and more about myself, I realize that the only true failure is quitting. Goals and limits are guidelines, not finish lines. I have to reach high, without fear of failure and only with that freedom will I find my true strength. I can remove self-imposed limits and reject the limiting beliefs of others. I am stronger than I believed. I am smarter and can do more then I ever believed possible. I may not do anything in a way that most would call “traditional,” but that's ok since there is only one me and only one right way for me to live. I can go forward setting goals that align with how I want to live, while at the same time, making the world we live in a bit better.

Matt and Andrew (CEO of Equal Earth) are good friends on and off the bike.

With RAAM coming up and Equal Earth helping me move my limits, I look forward to the journey many start and few complete. I believe in myself and am surrounding myself with others who believe in me. When I reach Annapolis, Maryland, I will prove to myself that there are no goals that cannot be achieved, and that we are not bound by limits, unless we are filled with fear of failure.

I am driven by passion and goals. I will tap into my confidence, strength and friendships to move beyond the difficult times. I will be an example to the young adults with San Diego VeloYouth that anything they dream can be achieved with determination and confidence. While roads may go uphill, turn or fork, they never end if we don't quit.

Guest Post: Why the Matt Hoffmann RAAM and Equal Earth Partnership is a Natural Fit

Liz Fratus

It’s been a great year so far — and we are excited about all that’s in store for 2015. While Matt Hoffmann RAAM headquarters gets ready for a transcontinental journey that will kick off this June, the Equal Earth team has been busy closing new projects and deals that will transform the future of our company.
Recently, I was fortunate to spend time with Matt Hoffmann out on his bike while he prepares for what is bound to be an unforgettable journey. Matt’s goal is to ride for 10 days for the 3,000+ mile race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis MD. It’s going to be epic!

Andrew Duggan, CEO of Equal Earth, racing Ironman in 2014.

As CEO of Equal Earth and as an athlete myself, I couldn’t be more proud to have our company sponsor Matt Hoffmann RAAM. In recent months, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why Equal Earth decided to partner with Matt Hoffmann RAAM on this journey — and the answer is simple.
Matt Hoffmann is 100% committed to making a difference in this world. He is a remarkable example of how a single person can make a significant impact in his or her community when committed to a cause.    
Matt’s will to succeed, perseverance and dedication to making this world a better place embodies the type of values that we embrace at Equal Earth. At Equal Earth, while we focus on improving the lives of our customers through renewable energy solutions, we also believe that giving back to the community can and should take many different forms.

Matt’s will to succeed, perseverance and dedication to making this world a better place embodies the type of values that we embrace at Equal Earth.

As an athlete, CEO and proud friend, sponsoring Matt Hoffmann RAAM is one way that I’d like to pay it forward.

Andrew Duggan is the founder and CEO of Equal Earth, a leading solar systems and solar financing company. He is also an accomplished Ironman.