Lots of us know how to rollerblade. But not many of us are very smooth on skates. And very few of us would blade across the country. But Michael Lempko will do just that.
In less than two weeks, the Amherst native will embark on this journey of a lifetime. Lempko will start in San Francisco and ending in Brooklyn.
“It’s kind of a dream that planted it’s talons in my brain after I started dabbling in rollerblading,” Lempko said.
The 26 year old started rollerblading around five years old. But this dream came to him later on in life.
“The fact that I get to rollerblade across the country is just a culmination of all these fortunes and blessings I’ve had growing up, so I wanted to find a way to do something that would benefit kids who were born is less fortunate situations and give them more of an opportunity.”
90 percent of the money Lempko raises along the way will go to ‘No Kid Hungry.’ The non-profit works to solve hunger and poverty across the U.S. and around the world.
Lempko guesses the entire trip will take him three and a half to four months.
“Unfortunately, I’ll be traveling totally solo, so I have a backpack on my back with a tent, sleeping bag, some protective gear, electricity… a few different things like that,” he said.
To train, he goes on a couple 40 to 50 mile rollerblading trips a week. He also cross-trains, but he won’t do one thing.
“I refuse to run,” he said. “The main thought in my head while I’m running is, ‘why am I not roller blading?'”
Along the way, he will camp and couch-surf, and he’ll find food mainly at gas stations. He also expects to go through about 10 to 12 sets of wheels on the trip.
“What I’ll do is create little care packages of wheels and bearings, and maybe some snacks, that I’ll mail to checkpoint post offices about every 400 to 500 miles along the way.”
Many of us know how to skate. But not many of us would do all this for kids in need.
Mike Lempko will.
He rolls out of San Francisco May 28th.
To donate to his cause and follow along with him as he blades, click here. He does plan on stopping in Buffalo on his way to Brooklyn. He told News 4, he will let us know when that happens.