Our life stories are stories of connection, and it’s through connection that we celebrate joy, embrace love, and find hope through struggle. We connect with the beauty of the world, those things that make our hearts sing, and the compassion and empathy of our fellow humans. Through the power of connection we experience awe and wonder and remember what it’s like to truly feel alive.

Hi! I’m Chris, a writer and teacher, and someone who has always found strength and love through connection. I’ve also dealt with depression and anxiety throughout much of my life. A Connection Story is a personal project for me, an experiment of sorts, a project for which the focus remains largely uncertain, the specific goals unclear. I’m here to tell my story, to hopefully connect with yours, and to raise money for and promote mental health advocacy, treatment and recovery. Beyond that, I’m not actually sure. What I do know is I’ve had the longing and desire to do something like this for decades, and I just recently decided the time to make it happen is now.

There are two quotes I love, two quotes that helped drive me toward the decision to begin A Connection Story. One is from bestselling author Susan Cain who writes, “Whatever pain you can’t get rid of, make it your creative offering.” The other is from American long-distance track legend Steve Prefontaine, whose quote is, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” We all have gifts. And none of those gifts should be sacrificed. I’m hoping I can use mine to help others, and to help us all find beauty through struggle, hope and connection.

This summer I’ll be launching A Connection Story by cycling 2,000 kilometers across Germany during the 2024 Euros football tournament, an effort I’m calling Biking the Euros. I’m partnering with To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization whose mission is, in part, “finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.”

One of TWLOHA’s core beliefs is, “People need other people.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Join me, follow my travels, and contribute your own stories of struggle, hope or connection. And if you’re so moved, please consider contributing financially to the cause.

Cheers, and let’s connect!