BY Faiza Elmasry – Athlete and activist Jonathon Prince is used to setting high goals for himself, however, his resolution for 2012 is perhaps his most ambitious. Prince dreams of not just walking, but running, a mile on the moon.
Prince, who has run more than 16,000 kilometers to raise awareness and money for a variety of social causes, hopes his moon run will ignite the imagination of a new generation.
When astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface in 1969, he called it “one small step for a man.” Eleven other people have followed in his footsteps. Prince, who calls himself an athlivist, hopes to do so in 2016.
“One Mile on The Moon was actually a project I dreamed of two years ago, while I was running across the country and staring up at the sky at night,” says Prince, 31, who believes in the power of dreaming.
“I honestly believe that when people start dreaming again they will be awaken to the magic that exists within the world. But in order to witness it, you have to believe in the unseen, and you truly have to trust the vision you have been given. It’s not easy because sometimes you have to step away from the workforce or the comforts of stability, but if you hold on, it will come full circle.”
That’s how he’s been able to achieve his dreams in the past. It started with his “Run4Relief” project after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. He ran 3,800 kilometers from Los Angeles to New Orleans and then on to Atlanta to raise money for Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes.
In 2009, he ran across the country and up the East Coast to deliver hope to Americans struggling during the recession. Earlier this year, he completed a 60-day run down the Pacific Coast.
“When you dream and put action behind your dreams, the world will start to open up and respond to it,” he says.
Prince set 2016 as the year to achieve his next dream. He is not wasting any time preparing for his lunar adventure.
“There is going to be a lot of training that has to do with weightlessness, under gravity pressures, buoyancy, underwater simulation.”
All that will happen at a private facility called the National Aerospace Training and Research Center in Pennsylvania.
“I have a team put together in regards to all of the technology, of the apparel that I have to adapt to,” he explains. “The moon’s surface can reach anywhere between 200 to 350 degrees. So the temperature isn’t necessarily applicable to your skin. So we have a team of engineers that are working on specific boots that astronauts use as well as the suit and apparel.”
Since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet, Prince will have to reach the moon on a private rocket. That, he says, makes some people excited, others skeptical.
“Skepticism comes with any dream, so you have to be willing to endure and take the blows from each position as you go forth,” he says.
Redefining what’s possible
Prince adds there is another reason he has set his sights so high.
“I think that One Mile on the Moon is going to be an excellent example of human potential and what’s possible.”
To attract more attention to his endeavor and inspire people everywhere to dream, Prince decided to start the new year by running a mile on every continent.
“We have a goal to reach South America by the end January and then head off to Asia, which will be February or March,” he says. “And hit all corners, all continents before September, October of 2012. Every mile is encouraged to have the locals in that area to come out and run and be a support. It will be a beautiful testimony on how people can come out, doing their part to run just one mile for all mankind.”
Prince says he’s excited about this adventure and determined to run a mile on the moon in 2016. Until then, he will continue to train and dream.