June 14, 2021

The Gift of Exploring

We are joined today by Katie Spotz. Katie is an endurance athlete, charitable ambassador, author, and world-record holder.


Katie got involved in athletics as a child. But as she got to middle school, the competitive nature of team sports began to bother her. To fulfill a school requirement, she took a walking/running class and ran her first full mile. That first mile led to her first marathon and started her journey of endurance athletics.

After running her first marathon, Katie set her sights high and decided to compete in the Iron Man Triathlon. While researching cycle training, Katie came across The Ride Across America, which is a 3,300-mile ride from Washington state to Washington DC. The ride raises money for the American Lung Association. Katie’s grandmother passed away from lung cancer, so she registered for the race to honor her memory.

Just one week before the Ride Across America, while on a routine bike ride, Katie fell and broke her pelvis. But she didn’t let that stop her; she completed the race on a hand bike! At 19 years old, with a broken pelvis, she rode 85 miles a day for 40 days straight. She was one of 40 cyclists who participated in the ride, and together they raised $225,000 for the American Lung Association.

Katie’s love of adventure has brought her all over the globe. In 2010, Katie set the world record as the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, rowing 3,038 miles from West Africa to South America. The trip took 70 days, and she was utterly alone with no support crew. It was constant motion, and she rowed about 10-12 hours a day. The trip raised more than $150,000 for clean water projects.

Katie’s mission is to raise money for safe drinking water projects worldwide, leading her to co-author a book about rowing called Just Keep Rowing. The book shares experiences she had at sea and highlights the lack of clean drinking water in our world. Amazingly, only about $30-$50 can help a person get clean water for life, and proceeds from the book fund clean water projects worldwide. To date, Katie’s fundraising efforts have enabled over 18,000 people to get lifetime clean water.

Katie believes strongly in mind over matter, good mental health, and the best way to intimately connect to your surroundings. She wants to inspire others to tackle their challenges by sharing her journey from benchwarmer to world record holder. Her sense of adventure is never-ending, and her future plans include cycling across South and Central America.

Katie never dreamt that this would be her path in life, but she keeps going, taking it one mile at a time.

Follow Katie’s adventures on her website KatieSpotz.com, on Instagram at KatieSpotz, or Facebook. You can learn more and support her campaign for clean water at H2O for Life.

Join our community at www.warmshowers.org, or you can reach Tahverlee at tahverlee@warmshowers.org.

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