Cross country bike ride


Navy SEAL Adds Inspiration to Financial Executive’s Plans for 2022 Cross-Country Bike Ride

When financial executive, John Goldman, had the opportunity to attend Financial Partners of Upstate NY’s annual kickoff meeting, he jumped at the opportunity to draw new inspiration and learn from the event’s speakers. He was particularly interested in hearing the stories of former Navy SEAL Phillip Koontz and how he uses his military experience to overcome adversity.

“I have a lot of respect for those who put their lives on the line so the rest of us can live in freedom,” said Goldman.

But one part of the presentation truly resonated with Goldman: The ringing of the bell during SEAL training. “Choosing to ring the bell is a decision with consequences. For a SEAL in training, ringing the bell signals that you’re giving up,” explained Goldman. 

For his wife, however, ringing the bell at Sloan Kettering celebrated an end to her breast cancer treatment and her drive to keep going. And that bell of hope and positivity is the one that Goldman himself chooses to symbolically ring when he goes on his long-awaited solo 4000+-mile cross-country bike ride.

Biking for Mental, Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

For Goldman, his journey is more than just about a bike ride. It’s about the reaching his mental, physical and spiritual goals along the way:

Mental. As a planner who is also considered persistent, Goldman gets great satisfaction out of setting goals and achieving them.

Physical. Goldman, who began riding initially in the hopes of dodging a medication bullet, is now back at  his college weight and is ready to put his front tire in the water on each coast.

Spiritual. Goldman is looking forward to the freedom that this trip represents. He wants to stare into the face of the unknown and prove to himself that he has the physical and mental stamina to “keep the pedals moving.”

But confronting the unknown largely comes down to Koontz’s five P’s: Preparedness, positivity, pack, perseverance and progress.

Of those five, “pack” stuck out the most for Goldman.

The Power of the Pack

“Had it not been for this presentation, having the security of a pack on a solo bike ride never would have occurred to me. As I thought about how I would get the security of the pack, it dawned on me that as a Rotary Club member, perhaps I could visit Clubs along the way and offer presentations about my experiences in exchange for moral and, if needed, physical support,” described Goldman.

“The greatest satisfaction that I get from speaking is inspiring, motivating, and challenging people to become better in every area of their lives. It’s always my goal to encourage my audience to combine action with motivation, and John has done just that. A job well done, my friend!” said Koontz.

As Goldman prepares for his 2022 cross-country journey, Goldman is not just mapping out his route but is connecting with Clubs to start those conversations.

And, as he continues his planning, Goldman will look to Koontz’s book, The Truth Behind My Trident: Overcoming Life and Business Obstacles the Navy SEAL Way, and military insight to help him pack his physical and mental go-bag to set himself up for success.

For more information on Koontz and his in-person and virtual motivational presentations, visit

To connect with John Goldman about his upcoming cross-country trip, read his blog or send email to: