Profile

  • Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2022
  • Hometown: Houston, TX

About: Hello! My name’s Grant. I'm the Equipment & Gear Chair for Ozarks this year! 🔧⚙️

At UT, I’m a Turing Scholar studying Computer Science with a minor in Philosophy. During my time at the Forty Acres, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to play trumpet with the Longhorn Pep Band, mentor freshman as part of the CS Pods program, and compete in a number of hackathons and programming competitions. In my free time, I love weightlifting and calisthenics training, listening to music and podcasts, and reading just about anything and everything.

Fun fact: I’m a third generation Longhorn and a proud Texan! Hook 'Em! 🤘

Why I Ride

When I was in the seventh grade, my mom passed away from breast cancer. Because of her previous health conditions, the cancer went unnoticed for so long it was able to spread to her bones, blood, and brain before being detected. In only a few short weeks after her diagnosis, she was gone.

At first, it didn’t feel real. Nothing felt real. One moment, my mom was holding me, telling me with optimism about her plans to recover and see my sister’s high school graduation. The next, I was at her memorial service.

Only in retrospect do I realize that my coping mechanism during this time was a deeply unhealthy suppression of emotion. I wanted to feel strong, and I wanted my life to feel normal again. More than anything, I wanted my life to actually be normal again. So, at school and home, with friends and family, I ignored the subject of my mom's passing, almost never talking about it. It was easier that way, not as painful.

This, of course, was a mistake, and healing only really began for me years later, as I opened up to friends and family about my experience. I needed to find the courage to be vulnerable. This was the only real way to understand and find strength in the person who I was and continue to be.

Now, as a member of Texas 4000, I ride for my mom. I ride to remember her and honor the pain she went through. Just as importantly, though, I ride for those kids who resemble the confused and grieving seventh grader I used to be. I want them to know that people care about what they’re going through. I want them to know that there are people who want to hear their stories and voices. And I want to show them through telling my story, the strength and healing which only comes from allowing oneself to be vulnerable.