Monday, February 9, 2009

i MISS....

I miss riding my bike! We've had weather in the high 60's the last few days. A year and half ago that would have meant several hours of endorphins, at least two gel packs, and my customary halfway reward of a package of Jelly Belly Sport Beans.

I thought about selling my bike after my CBGD diagnosis, but it feels like I'd be selling an old friend. It carried me from 209 lbs to 173.

Most of my rides were solo rides, though I often hooked up with some younger guys that would truly drive me to new levels (of speed and pain). One of them was a weightlifter named Doug that was a hoss. He was a large guy that loved to take the front and I was more than willing to let him pull me along.

In 2007 I was asked to be the Captain of the Memphis Hightailers MS 150 Team.
I had been involved with the ride for years as a photographer and fundraiser. This gave me the opportunity to motivate others to raise funds too. I trained hard and put together some group training rides. The end result was the team raising over $26,000 for the local Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The ride was also memorable because I crashed with five other riders at 20 mph on a remote asphalt road. I rode the final 57 miles with a separated shoulder and much road rash. The jersey I wore that day was torn and bloodstained.

A few months later the bike club asked me to come to a meeting at a local restaurant under the guise that I was going to make a presentation. They even asked me to invite my wife which was a bit unusual but it was a free meal. After I made my little presentation the club president asked me to stay up for a moment. The club presented me with a Golden Spoke award for my efforts as captain of the MS 150 team. The award turned out to be the torn jersey mounted and framed.
My sneaky wife had been a part of the conspiracy all along!

I was humbled and embarrassed. Even though I had not yet been given a name to my disease, I knew my riding days were over. I continued to get calls from Doug and the guys to join them for early morning rides. I was ashamed to say my body was failing and made up lame excuses until they quit calling.

Someday I'll have to come clean!

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