Mission on wheels: Woman skates through DC for charity, trust and a world record

WASHINGTON — A 23-year-old woman with in-line skates and a lot of heart is rolling through the D.C. area this week as she tries to break a world record.

Making a Guinness World Record for the longest journey on in-line skates is just one of her goals.

“If I can do it, anyone can do anything,” Yanise Ho said while taking a break from her journey in Dumfries, Virginia.

Ho calls herself “The Bladress,” and hopes to be skating in D.C. by Wednesday.

Ho is attempting to break the world record for longest journey on in-line skates, which is currently 5,300 miles. She is going for 6,000 miles.

In 2016, she skated 600 miles from Savannah, Georgia, to Miami alone with no money.

She relied on kind people she met along the way to give her food and a place to sleep. The success of that trip inspired her to think bigger.

Ho left Miami in March, and after D.C., she plans to skate to New York and Los Angeles.

She expects the total trip to take six or seven months.

Ho made her way over the North Carolina border into Virginia on May 15, 2018. She is heading through the D.C. area. (Courtesy of Yanise Ho via The Bladress Facebook page)

“There is no time limit for (the record), so I just take my time and enjoy the interaction with people. I make about 20 to 30 miles a day, and that’s a goal — my average. But some days, when I really push it, I can go up to about 47 miles,” she said.

Once again, Ho is traveling solo and without money, depending on strangers.

One of her missions is to bring back what she called the “lost art” of trust that she believes is fading away.

“I want to show the world that there are a lot of kind of people,” she said. “All we have to do is just have a little more faith, and care, and trust for one another more.”

For the most part, things have been working out so far.

“There’s not a day I had to sleep on the street,” she said. “There’s not a day I went hungry. Every day, somehow, people would come up and offer me water, offer me food and accommodation.”

“One time, my GPS was stolen, but that was the only bad experience I had, and I always tell people one bad apple shouldn’t ruin the whole barrel.”

Another one of her missions is to raise money online for One Girl Can, a nonprofit that helps improve the education of girls in Kenya and Uganda.

“The goal of the scholarship is to sponsor girls to finish secondary schools and help them to find meaningful employment. It’s always been my passion to end child marriage, and I believe education is the single most important key to end this vicious cycle.”

Ho was born in Hong Kong, went to school in Italy and has lived in Washington state, California and New York.

These days, she finds a new host family and a new home every night.

“They are my family of the day. So I will tell them, ‘You are my family of Day 2, you are my family of Day 57.’ So, wherever I end up, that is my home.”

You can track Ho’s progress here.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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