On February 16, Gulfport resident and endurance athlete, Morgan Wujkowski, embarked on a journey that would challenge both her mind and her body. She would travel for five days, traverse 438 miles and endure long – very long – stretches of solitude. And she did it all using nothing more than her own two legs and a bicycle. For Morgan, cycling specifically long distance cycling is something she says she was born to do.
“It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time,” said Morgan during her welcome back party at Salty’s on Shore Boulevard this past Sunday. “It totally kicks my ass, but it’s awesome. I love it. I feel like I’m in complete control. It’s just me on two wheels and I’m flyin’.”
A dancer of twenty years, Morgan is no stranger to grueling physical achievements. But when a serious back injury abruptly brought her dance career to a halt, she filled the void with cycling.
“I’ve only been riding for a year and a half, maybe two years,” said Morgan. “I wanted something else to keep me going.”
As for those long periods of isolation that inevitably accompany endurance athletes, Morgan turns to music to quell the monotony.
“I put my Pandora on spin radio,” she says, “and just jam out.”
While music may provide Morgan with inspiration, it’s her achievement that inspirs others. Though, when asked if she knew of any people in particular who were moved by her athletic odyssey, Morgan’s modesty shone the brightest.
“People have told me that, but maybe they’re just being nice,” she said and laughed.
For more pictures of Morgan’s Gulfport to Key West trip, visit her Facebook page, Morgan Rides.