A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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Guest blog: My 2020 Vision Quest experience – Jose Acevedo
16 Feb
By 2020Visionquest
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Randy and Jose pose in front of a wooden railing against a blue sky. Randy is wearing a red sleeveless shirt and sunglasses, and Jose is wearing a light green shirt and squinting against the sun. Both are smiling and look happy.

Randy and Jose on one of their many summit hikes.

My friendship with Randy Pierce dates to the 90s, and a shared love for cheering on our New England Patriots through thick and thin back in the day. I was therefore able to watch the genesis of Randy’s winter hikes and the creation of 2020 Vision Quest from up close, and was an avid supporter from afar since I no longer lived in the region. I tried to encourage Randy and the mission as best I could, making donations and acting as a sounding board throughout the years.

That all changed in 2014 when I was presented the opportunity to join the 2020 Board of Directors. I thought I was doing Randy a favor, but in truth, this was one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received.

I began attending team meetings and getting more exposure to the phenomenal team Randy had assembled. I also found myself further drawn into the adventure and achievement aspects of the team, and my life would never be the same. Managing just a bit of trepidation, I picked up long distance running and after many grueling months of training, went on to partner with Randy for his first National Blind Marathon Championship in Sacramento.

The 2020 Vision Quest team hikes up to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, with the snow-topped mountain in the distance against a blue sky with wispy clouds.

The 2020 Vision Quest team hikes up Mt. Kilimanjaro, a formidable obstacle indeed.

With an incredible team, I journeyed to Africa for the first time and summited the tallest mountain on the continent, Kilimanjaro. With another group of amazing people, we conquered Tough Mudder in LA and partnered with Oberto to create a video for the ages. I was there when our hiking contingent trekked across the Peruvian Andes and drank in the breathtaking sights of Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain. Randy and I battled together through 2 imperfect Boston Marathons, learning so much about ourselves and our friendship along the way. What a great series of team wins to be thankful for, and this is just the highlight reel.

A close-up of Randy's sunglasses on a hike, with Jose and Greg reflected in the lenses.I guess that’s finally getting to the point of this post – sharing my deep and abiding gratitude for the enrichment of my life through it all. My time with Randy and 2020 Vision Quest has filled these years with obstacles to conquer, experiences to savor, and most impactfully, relationships with the very best of people.

I thought I had done plenty in my life before the age of 40. The last 8 years have broadened my horizons in such significant ways, that I almost regret not having done more sooner. But I can hear Randy’s insightful voice in my mind, encouraging me to look forward to a future I can impact, vs a past that cannot be changed.

Thank you, Randy, for teaching me to focus on what I can achieve, not be limited by what is outside my control. Your personal example, and the many people and experiences you have given me access to over these years with 2020 Vision Quest will forever be among my most cherished.

Best wishes on the next phase of reaching your peak potential, my friend. I’ll see you at the summit.

Jose Acevedo

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