Tim Markison of Interwoven Circles Foundation: “The amount of food and water I’d have to consume”

1. That one of the biggest challenges of sitting on a bike for a long time is sitting on a bike.2. The amount of food and water I’d have to consume.3. The logistics of riding across America.4. The challenges of finding a support crew with the time to participate.5. All the things I’d have to […]

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1. That one of the biggest challenges of sitting on a bike for a long time is sitting on a bike.
2. The amount of food and water I’d have to consume.
3. The logistics of riding across America.
4. The challenges of finding a support crew with the time to participate.
5. All the things I’d have to do in advance to prepare for 40 days of not being able to work full-time.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim Markison.

Tim Markison is the founder and CEO of Athalonz, LLC., a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm, Garlick & Markison, and inventor of more than 300 patents.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was raped from age 5 through age 13 by both a family member and a school administrator. I was abused consistently in the worst ways possible. I eventually disassociated and blocked out the incident and most of my childhood. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I started having flashbacks. I quickly learned I needed to re-experience parts of my childhood so I could put my issues into perspective and create a new self-image. After 20 years without a flashback, I started having them again. I knew I had to break the silence this time — I had to share my story and become a vocal advocate for child abuse prevention and for victims to heal their wounds and create a positive self-image. It’s important to me to show what is possible for victims of child sexual abuse and to encourage other victims to heal and live a great and fulfilling life.

Through my company, Athalonz, we created a non-profit organization called Interwoven Circles Foundation that focuses on “Stopping Abuse of Kids.” Interwoven Circles is sponsoring my cross-country bicycle ride entitled “Cycle to End the Cycle of Child Abuse.” The purpose of the ride is to increase awareness of child abuse prevention, to promote healing for those who were victims of abuse, and to raise 1 million dollars to be donated to non-profit organizations that focus on child abuse prevention and/or healing the wounds of child abuse.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

I think it’s the people I’ve met and the incredible amount of support they’ve offered. I’ve met some great people on my ride and made some new friends. Some are also riding across the country, others are just riding through.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

At the start of my training, I was using old-fashioned, standard bike pedals and regular athletic shoes. I was worried that if I used the newer pedals, the ones that use special bike shoes that clip into the pedals, I might not be able to get out fast enough when I needed to stop. My coach kept insisting that the new pedals, combined with cycling shoes, were much more energy-efficient. He recommended a pedal that was the easiest to get in and out of and gave me a quick lesson on how to use them. I’ve been using them since and now realize how much better they are.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

The Interwoven Circles Foundation focuses on “Stopping Abuse of Kids.” There are 2 primary missions: (1) increase dialogue about child abuse and the damage it causes and (2) raise money for organizations that have a good track record of helping abuse victims, helping prevent abuse, and/or providing education to mitigate abuse.

In regards to increasing dialogue, our goal is to address the cycle of child abuse. All too often, victims of child abuse become child abusers as adults, especially if their issues are not dealt with properly. This perpetuates the cycle of abuse. To curtail, and eventually end, the cycle, victims need to heal their wounds from the abuse they suffered. This usually involves talking about the abuse, the effects, feelings one’s feelings, and creating a new positive self-image. We also encourage perpetrators to seek help to heal their wounds and to stop abusing children.

100% of all proceeds collected through Interwoven Circles will be donated to multiple organizations I and the team supports. All of the financial and human resources needed to operate the foundation is done on a voluntary basis by persons affiliated with friends and family of Athalonz.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

One of the most powerful things I’ve experienced is the number of people I’ve shared my story with who said that they, too, had experienced some form of child abuse and hadn’t spoken about it.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Know the signs and report any suspicious activity
  2. Support prevention programs
  3. Encourage dialogue and promote healing

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

My 4 rules.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1. That one of the biggest challenges of sitting on a bike for a long time is sitting on a bike.

2. The amount of food and water I’d have to consume.

3. The logistics of riding across America.

4. The challenges of finding a support crew with the time to participate.

5. All the things I’d have to do in advance to prepare for 40 days of not being able to work full-time.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think just building off the movement I’m working on now. I think we could really be influential in ending the cycle of abuse if we can increase awareness of child abuse prevention and promote healing for those who were victims of abuse. I’d really like to see people riding alongside me during my 3,000-mile cross-country bicycle ride, or joining in virtually through social media. I’d encourage people to donate to the Interwoven Circles Foundation so we can help multiple foundations across the country who are working hard on child abuse prevention. There are so many ways we can bring this to an end, and this is just the beginning.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The Einstein story.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Martin Baron: editor of The Washington Post from December 31, 2012, until his retirement on February 28, 2021. He was previously the editor of The Boston Globe from 2001 to 2012.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow along on my cross-country journey through the hashtag #CycleToEndAbuse. My social handles are all @cycletoendabuse, and you can view a live map of my route on my website, www.interwovencircles.com.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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