SOURCE: Extra Mile America

Extra Mile America

October 31, 2013 03:23 ET

Shawn Anderson Shares Inspiration Behind Extra Mile Day

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 31, 2013) - On November 1, 440 cities across the United States are declaring "Extra Mile Day." Supported by 23 cities and mayors in its 2009 inaugural year, the Extra Mile Day declaration has spread dramatically each year since.

"In 2009, bad news dominated our attention. People were losing their jobs and homes, businesses were closing... it was a tough time," recalls Shawn Anderson, Extra Mile Day Founder. "Because of this, people developed a 'what are you doing to help me?' dependency. So I decided to use my voice and remind others that the power to create positive change in our lives did not rest with a government program, boss or spouse, but rather with our own personal vision and effort."

Acting on his passion, Anderson created the Extra Mile America Tour and pedaled a bike solo 4,000 miles, ocean-to-ocean, and held motivational events in 21 cities over 90 days. At the events, he interviewed over 200 people who had been pre-identified as having gone the extra mile in either overcoming tragedy or in accomplishing something inspirational. Extra Mile Day emerged as a part of that cross-country tour.

"The idea for Extra Mile Day was evolving in the back of my mind before the tour began," remembers Anderson, a 47-year-old non-bicyclist at the time. "But while pedaling east on Highway 80 across Nevada on a particularly long stretch of miles without a rest-stop, my commitment to the idea became resolute. No shade, no rest, and 110 degree temperature set fire to the vision," chuckles Anderson. "Grinding it out along that stretch of highway reinforced that if you're going to commit to a goal, commit all the way."

This year, 440 mayors and city leaders from Anchorage to Boston will join Anderson to declare Extra Mile Day and recognize those "going the extra mile" in volunteerism and service in their communities.

For more information about Extra Mile Day and its history, visit http://www.ExtraMileAmerica.org. To speak to Shawn Anderson directly, call 310-402-4826 or email Shawn@ExtraMileAmerica.org.

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