By Lori Brown
WOODBOURNE On Monday, Cate Dill visited Tri-Valley Central School to talk to students about her bike journey across the U.S.
The following day she visited Fallsburg Central School. Dill grew up in Woodbourne and attended Fallsburg Central School from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Dill currently lives in Sudbury, Mass. and is a physical education teacher at Ephraim Curtis Middle School.
She took a leave of absence from her job and started her bicycling adventure back on Feb. 1 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Up to this point, she has traveled about 4,800 miles and averages about 50 miles a day. Along the way she has stopped at area schools to talk to children about staying physically fit.
She speaks on five topics: think movement all day long, eating simple whole foods, food labels, her journey, and living a passionate life.
Dill tries to have the children limit their use of screens be it television, computers or video games.
“These devices inhibit them from getting outside,” she said.
She talks about eating healthy, like having fruits and vegetables and eating food with fewer ingredients. She also told the students to look at food labels and read them. She talked about all the acts of kindness that the children and people possessed during her trip.
“Nothing bad has happened to me on the trip,” she said.
People have helped her out with directions, food, flat tires and lodging.
One of Dill’s role models is Amelia Earhart.
Dill likes Earhart’s quote, “As soon as I left the ground, I knew I had to fly.”
“You do things that put a smile on your face,” Dill said.
Dill an avid traveler. Before her current bicycling trip, she had visited all 50 states.
“Travel is my passion, too,” she commented.
She has also traveled to Europe and Japan.
Cate’s father, Robert Dill, has cycled across the country too.
Cate’s daughter, Courtney Dill, has supported her mother throughout her journey.
“She has been very supportive,” Cate said. “We talk every day.”
The rest of her family, school community, and her friends back home have also supported Cate.
Cate has always been active and said she has been on a bike since she can remember. She grew up being active and still loves exercising and physical fitness.
She noted that each state has a national organization for Health and Physical Education Teachers. She is on the board of MAHPERD (Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance). She is in contact with the board members from other states. Through some of these connections, she sets up visits with their local schools.
During her journey, Cate has mostly camped out, but at times she has stayed with physical educational teachers connected with the association. She has a small trailer with her that is packed with daily needs, including clothes, a sleeping bag, tools, water, food, a tent and rain gear.
“I make connections with people in less than 24 hours, and leaving them is the hardest part,” Cate said.
“I met so many amazing people,” she continued. “My life purpose is to teach and guide people to healthy living. My goal is to become a national speaker. I was asked to speak in different states. I would like to be an international speaker, too.
Cate is in the process of writing two books, one about healthy living and the second about her experiences throughout this bicycle journey.
She loves talking to the children. Her message is be fit now and all through their lives.
And she loves helping people.
“So many people gave to me and now I am paying it forward,” Cate said. “Giving back is all you can do.
“I did a zigzag just so I could come back to this area that I grew up in,” she explained. “It was important for me to come back here. I want to give back to the community. I had great memories and people helped me out.”
Cate is working on a non-profit organization called, Let’s Get Playing. The organization is dedicated to providing underprivileged schools with sports equipment and promoting healthy living.
“We raised money and gave equipment to a Denver school,” she said. “I am excited about working on that.”
Cate Dill is still on the move and continues back home to Massachusetts. Her expected date to finish this wonderful adventure is Saturday, June 18. That day she will lead an early morning bicycle ride through Sudbury before ending her journey at Boston Harbor.
Cate can’t wait to start teaching again in September so she can tell her students about her experiences.
For more information about her trip, please visit Cate’s website: letsgetmovingamerica.com. You can follow her trip when you click on blogs.