Category: cycling


 

   My first ever double century, only 12 short days after I complete the assault on Mt. Mitchell…

 

The alarm goes off and I roll out of bed really doubting myself and why I agreed to this ride. I mean I had already proven all I had to prove this month… and I slept like crud as I normally do before a big ride. But a commitment is a commitment so my feet hit the floor and I start moving before I have a chance to waiver and change my mind.

 

 I get dropped off, pack my stuff in Carole’s car and we were off, just a touch later than we had planned but that was ok… this was not an “official” ride of any kind so a few min here or there was not going to hurt us or keep us from riding.

 

The humidity was around 97%, the fog was thick in some places but after we said our hellos and got everything together the 4 of us headed on our way.

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It was Carole and Scott with me to do the full double, and Marcus joined us to only ride the first 100 miles. It would be his first century for they year! Later that day he had a date with some chickens that he had to cook for friends and family. It was not until after we got started I realized just how foggy it was. It was kind of cool in some places, made some of the trees almost look like creatures… and don’t laugh at me! You have to occupy yourself when you need to take your mind off exactly how long you’re going to be on your bike.

 

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For the most part in the early morning we had the roads to ourselves that made this small town look a bit like a ghost town… I almost wanted to stop and scavenge for food and resources, but then I came back down to earth… I’m on my bike not in one of my books.

 

 

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As the day went on it showed us just how beautiful the day was going to be, we passed a good deal of farm land and some gently rolling hills. I got to see a lot of cows and some realy beautiful horses as well as a ton of goats. We even fervently road past some dogs that were not so happy to see us.

 

 

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Carole was loving the low wind and the spotty sunshine we had early on… while Marcus… well I am not sure exactly if he was pretending to be an airplane or a big condor… maybe singing that song in his head from that cartoon movie Space Jam…

“ I believe I can Fly… I believe I can touch the sky…”

hahaha and yes I know your cursing me cause now that song is stuck in your head.

 

 

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As for me it was a rough start, my lower back starting hurting early and my left knee was acting up… so I stayed pretty quiet and kept my head in the clouds and my thoughts somewhere else the best I could.

 

 

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Then we came across our first of 2 “closed “ roads… did you know that “detour” and “road closed ahead” signs really mean something much different in the world of cycling? Oh yes… they mean “Cyclocross”, (insert evil laugh here) at least for us.

 

 

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My lower back was really getting the best of me so I got a lesson from Carole about cycling and muscles… evidently your hamstrings are attached to your lower back… well I am sure not directly but in a round about way… anyway… after crossing the “bridge” we stretched the hamstrings and poof my back felt much better… It was like magic… ok ok I am sure like 90% of anyone who is actually reading this is rolling their eyes because they knew this… but I really had no clue. I have never really had back issues… well except for sitting on a really thick wallet and having my doc say, “take that out of your pocket and you will be fine…” and I was, in less than a day. Oh it is the simple things sometimes…  

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Well slowly my knee started to feel a little better even though I was still getting a bit winded going up some of the small rollers. I started to feel like such a wimp with these guys doing most of the work pulling, but I worked in 2-3-4 mile pulls in here and there. I just felt super drained. Maybe my body was still recovering from the shock that Mt. Mitchell put on it.

 

Now we are back at Scott’s for a short break as we say our good buys to Marcus and we fill up water and drinks and get some food in us… 100 down… 100 to go… *sigh*

 

Carole is all changed and looks as fresh as she started, Scott is chipper and in good spirits, and I tell Carole that I am lucky she drove because if I had a vehicle there I would probably be done….

Do you know what she did?? She just smiled… and said… “You don’t think for a min I am going to let you quit do you…?”

hahahaha oh hell not even if I wanted to I guess… so I said with my best brave face. “Hey I never said I was quitting… just that I am lucky you drove so I do not have that option…” *another sigh*

 

Scott said to get lined up for another picture… thumbs up…. and off we go…

 

 

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Well honestly I feel a little better after the food and rest… it is just the three of us now so I am trying not to wimp and pull a little here and there. Well that is when Carole decides to get off the front… I think she likes it up there sometimes.

 

Now after some time passes and we get on in our journey we come across our second “detour” Carole was not so sure about this one but Scott was not even hesitating he went right up to it… Just as Carole says, “I don’t think we can get across this one guys.” I notice this little walkway that I assume the workers use… I point it out and it was quite the trip lol climbing down small dirt and gravel hills with a bike in your hand and cycling shoes on, with bad knees at that, is not fun but it was an adventure hahah… besides we could not let it stop us… and heck it’s my first double century! I might as well make it as interesting as I can right?

 

 

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So I go down first and then turn and get Scott’s bike so no one else has to try and carry their bike while walking down dirt paths… respect for my elders and all.

 

 

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After helping Scott get his bike past me on this narrow walkway I turn to then help Carole who is still not so sure this is a good Idea… so instead of waiting and letting her talk herself out of it, I decided to just take both our bikes across… I mean my family did teach me some manners after all…

 

 

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   With Carole across the walkway we find a few more challenges ahead… but there was no point in putting the bikes down now so I just kept going lol…

 

 

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Finally to the other side I reunite Carole with her bike and I get my bike and finish helping Scott across… he lagged back on the second part because he was having too much fun watching Carole tip toe through the obstacles and me playing the gentleman while he took pictures… With one last picture and the bridge about to be far behind us… we leave our last “detour” literally in the dust.

 

 

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Somewhere on that 65 mile loops I just ran out of mojo… the music did not help and putting my head somewhere else did not help. I just had no energy. I only wanted to lie down on the side of the road and close my eyes and go to sleep. This is a strange toss up… I am feeling like this was tougher than Mitchell at this point.

 

So because I was getting so far behind, Carole had Scott pull over in the shade so I could catch up and she gave me an extra goo that she had… for those that do not know it’s a flavored gel, with caffeine and electrolytes and other good stuff to help you get moving or keep moving.

 

 

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Well we make it back and fill up on drink again and we have someone join us for our last 35 miles… 35 more miles… what??? Oh how I just want to stop and sleep… and eat… and eat… and eat…. The smell of all the people cooking out on that trip was nothing short of torture.

 

Brian was all smiles and telling stories from the race he was just in earlier that day… that was a great distraction for me for a little while. He is a strong rider though and they had to keep reining him in because I was really struggling at this point to keep up.

 

 

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We make one final pit stop and one last group photo of the 3 double century folks…

 

 

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Man we are getting close now… Carole had some Garmin issues after she charged it and was lagging about 2 miles behind everyone else… so here we are behind Scott’s “hood” making some loops as the sun starts to fall. Just trying to make sure everyone gets their miles.

 

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And we are done!!! Cheers!!!

 

 

 

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As we leave Scott and his lovely wife behind I am reassured by one thought I have had in the past… that no one can ever tell me that a bike is not the fountain of youth or even a time machine… I mean look… here we find big Scott… and little Scott… lol (Scott’s grandson… same head shape and everything lol like a mini me of Scott) it’s almost like he has found his youth again… great thing to find in retirement if you ask me.

 

 

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Oh and one last thought… this is mainly for my pack… ya know Goldsboro might just be our Vegas… I mean… I felt beat up… and it’s like we woke up and poof… there was this baby… almost like our own Hangover movie… and I swear we passed some houses that had crystal meth tweekers in them somewhere… I would bet money it… I’m just glad my friends are much better than the ones in the movie… No one lost Me!  

 

 

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    Here is my Garmin Data for the adventure!!! and a Special song that my friend Marcy like to share with us from time to time.

     http://connect.garmin.com/activity/511108552

 

 

 Special thank you to Scott for letting me use some of the pictures he took… to Carole and Scott for being so patient when I was struggling…. To Marcus and David for hanging with us for what time you could… and To Scott’s awesome wife for all the encouragement and hospitality!! All of you guys are awesome!!!

   yours truely…. Dougie Doug Doug

I have been training for this for the whole year, and now what seems to be in a blink of an eye it’s here. While I was getting ready I was having mixed emotions, I mean am I ready to tackle this challenge? No matter the outcome, part of me wishes I had more time to ride and to lose a bit more weight. If I am honest with myself I do not feel ready for this, I’m antsy and nervous and I really am sure this time I bit off more than I could chew, but there is no backing out now. Patrick and I are packed and the bikes are on the car and we are headed to South Carolina…. ROAD TRIP!!!

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We had a great ride up for the most part… funny thing when you put two men on a trip who are used to driving and finding their own way, I bet it would have been comical to watch us debate routs and why this and why that hahaha! 

 

We got to see some cool stuff on the way, the first night we stayed in Greenville, SC not in Spartanburg because the hotel was over booked. For the most part that was fine I mean they comped the room and were super nice. Our issue was finding good food and beer in the area of our hotel. The staff at the hotel although nice seemed a little clueless, seemed none of them were from the area or just really had no opinion… so we go to the first place we found using our phones and well it was a touch disappointing… waited forever in a place that was not really busy, and then found out that probably 55% of the beer on the menu had been changed or they just no longer carried it… so after trial and error we finally came up with 4 beers (4 oz.) each to try for our sampler… and ummm we really think they got those all mixed up. Yeah we finished what we had and just left.

 

Went to try another place and the line out the door made us not even stop… so once again back to the phone and see what it said… well we found a place pretty close to our hotel, and man was I surprised. It was not at all what I pictured by its name and honestly that place alone might be worth a trip back there someday. If anyone who happens to read this goes to Greenville, SC you have to try Bacon Brothers. The people there are so nice… they grow their own herbs and smoke all their meats on site. It’s an awesome place.

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So we sleep… get up and time to head to Spartanburg… uneventful trip check into the hotel with no issues at all… and then it happens… we get our stuff, head up the elevator step out and start walking to our room and I notice the door is slightly open. I push the door open and pow… “Why… is there a man in my room?” it came out of me before I even had a chance to stop it. He kinda scared the crap out of me… as I walked in he was about to walk out, someone from the hotel fixing something. That became an ongoing joke for the rest of the trip. “Why is there a man in my room… “ lol I told Patrick I would make that the title to my blog when I finally wrote about the trip.

 

The view from the hotel was perfect. We could see where we would be starting the ride in the morning.

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We put our stuff up and got ready to go check in for the ride. We had some time to kill so we went to the lobby of the hotel and got a drink… it was the coolest thing. They had a WII set up on a big screen and also had a pool table down there. So we goofed off for a bit while we waited to go check in.

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I will say that the gathering of vendors was not as big as I expected to be honest, but the people that were there were extremely nice and a pleasure to talk to. We got checked in and I walked around a bit and then it was time for me to leave… I was going to have to spend a good deal of time on the road because I had to drive the car to the camp ground at Marion so we would have a ride back the next day. Then catch a ride on a bus back to the hotel and eat and get settled in.

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The drive to Marion was uneventful I stopped at a little country store for a coke and a snack. I found the campground without too much trouble and got on the bus where we waited for over 30 min past the time it was supposed to leave. But honestly I was just sitting there listening to people talk strategy, what they were eating or going to eat, how hard they would climb, how hard it was last year and how nice the weather was. It went rather quickly, so between Facebook and texts and people talking the wait was not too bad. I slept part of the ride back, it’s a habit I have when I am not driving on long trips, I just pass right out. As a kid I spent a lot of time on buses, you could say that Greyhound was a family business for a long time, and the bus reminded me of those trips.

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Between texts and naps I was back… one more trip inside the convention center because I forgot my water bottles in the car and then I was off to meet Patrick in the hotel for food. They were doing a pasta buffet, yummm.

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The food was good and Patrick was close to being ready for bed… I don’t sleep a lot on a normal day and the night before an event I really have trouble sleeping so I headed down to the bar in the hotel for some last min carbs…

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It’s morning… and the time has come… I felt a little sick… it was just the anticipation of the ride. I really did not think I was ready and already had it in my head that I would stop at Marion if I did not think I could make it. Even as I had that thought I laughed at myself… I knew better… As we left our room to head downstairs with one last, “Why is there a man in my room…” with a nervous laugh we were off…

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Patrick had some last minute mechanicals to work out and I went and found a spot in the line and snapped a few pictures.

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There were a lot of people all bunched together with no real rhyme or reason behind it. Everyone laughing and talking like this was just another Monday afternoon ride.

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5…. 4… 3… 2… 1… and we are off…

 

   Patrick and I got separated early he got in behind some folks who were going just a bit faster than I wanted to start off with. I learned in a previous ride this year, I was not killing myself to keep up early. I needed to save every ounce of energy I could… so after a few miles I could not see him or his group anymore.

 

The roads were like most big rides I have been on good spots and bad spots, so nothing big to note there. But between the sunrise, fields, hills, and the mountains in the distance I was blown away. This if nothing else was going to be a beautiful ride.

 

 

The first bit was a normally hilly ride, lots of rollers, a few nice downhill spots, I felt pretty good. Then out of nowhere there is this climb… Bill’s Hill… holy sweet mother of sprockets… I am not sure if I am glad I forgot it was coming up so I really had no time to think about it… just shift and climb. And honestly about the time I started doubting myself it was over… I was out of breath and I passed a few people cramping up and one even seeming to get sick. But other than being tired I felt ok. Humm… Maybe I can do this…

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I stopped at the next rest stop and talked to a few people who were laughing because if I thought that was tough I was going to get a rude awakening… I had not seen tough yet. *sigh* What did I sign up for? Why? I will never, ever, do this again… my mood was slipping.

 

Ear buds in and music on… I have some go to music and some motivational tracks that I brought with me… I knew ahead of time I would need every trick I could think of. So back on my bike time to go…

Before too much longer as I was getting worn out I notice my mileage and knew that Marion was close… this would be where Patrick and I would meet up and here we would either talk each other into going forward… or just getting in the car lol…

 

Well Patrick was well ahead of me, and smartly he decided to go ahead and not wait too long, he did not want to get stiff and chance getting cramps because he waited too long. I did not blame him at all. So I walked around a little, talked to a few people and read through my texts… My friend Marcy sent some pictures from the people in her office where she works. They were holding up signs for us, telling us we could do it and she was saying we had a village behind us. My friend Shannon was taking time out of her day all the way from Texas to help keep me motivated, as were other friends and family. Carole one of our “Pack” members kept close tabs on us all day as well encouraging us to keep it up… with all of these people behind me… I could not stop now… I have to at least try. But man I was tired. This was the most climbing I have ever done on a bike, and I was about to more than double it.

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Well off to the parkway… The climb to get to the parkway was tough on its own… there were cool tunnels and the view… man the view was beautiful. I had plenty of time to look at it too because I was creeping along between 2.5 and 5 mph in some places, just struggling to keep moving forward. The climb was a bit demoralizing because you’re working so hard and not really getting anywhere. I am not ashamed to admit that I was 240ish lbs when I climbed that mountain on my bike and gravity was not my friend. Down from 274 in January, I was wishing I would have dropped even more at that moment.

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When you’re pushing that hard you really think about anything that will make it better. So back to my music, and back to looking at the view… stopping her and there to take pictures I really was trying to move it the best I could. For the longest time I pictured Patrick already at the top waiting on me, to get a good photo of me coming in or to tell me we were stupid and everything hurts… then around a corner and I see a rest stop… good I really needed more water.

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And to my surprise there was Patrick in a Sag… he had mechanical issues and was done about 5 miles from the top. You could see in his face he was worn out and tired. I wanted to stay and talk and just hash over our day… but I shook that thought off, I did not want to be rude but I really had to get moving I could not sit long, and one of us was going to finish if it killed them… please oh please let’s not let it kill me lol.

 

The switchbacks were brutal… 13% grade in one spot but if you did not hit the road just right then the angle of the road increased that in the turns significantly. Man I just really wanted to stop… this was stupid I kept telling myself… this was not for cancer… or not for MS… I had not involved any charity in this ride like I did so many others in the past… why in the hell was I doing this… oh… this one was mine… for me… to dig deep and do it for myself to prove that I was good enough and that I could do it without any other reason than to challenge me…

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Stopping a few more times here and there to get some awesome pictures and talk to others who were taking breaks. I happened to see some eagles and got pictures of them in a tree… the tunnels of course… but back on my bike…

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Finally to a point where I just did not want to go any further and it had to be close I flagged down a car headed down the mountain… I did not even give the pour guy a chance to ask me what I needed… in a breathless, exasperated voice all I said was… “You got to tell me I am close… please tell me it’s just around the corner… I have to be close…” he said I was, and the lady in the passenger seat in a cheerful voice told me not to give up… and there was a little kid in the back clapping his hands… that was all I needed. Off I went.

 

Around the last few curves and then the end was in sight… my legs were shaking and my back hurt, I could not feel my hands and my shoulders were on fire. But I did it… I did it.

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If you were to ask me at the moment would I ever do it again… I may have taken a swing at you and told you to hush your mouth … but now… Patrick says he has unfinished business with that mountain and well, even though I finished I feel like I do to. I’m not sure what I left up there… but I feel like I need to go back. It was tough to celebrate because my friend did not make it… I felt bad for him because of how bad he wanted it to… maybe that is it… I’m not sure… but I know I will go back… and I will beat that mountain again.

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It was one of the best and worst rides I have ever been on… but looking back it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself in my life.

 

It took me 11 hours and 30 min to complete the ride… with lots and lots of stops, putting my saddle

time at 8 hours and 48 min. My total amount of climbing was over 11 thousand feet… My HR monitor

was acting up so I do not have a true avg for the ride.  Here are a few link to my GPS data for you

stats junkies…

http://www.strava.com/activities/143316080   Strava

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/503221299    Garmin

Mt. Mitchell 2014

I will do a blog about this later… I just wanted to post this for now… thank you for your support.

The explanation…

 

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So first off let me tell you Bruno is doing much better, he ate his food last night as well as drank all of his water and he kept it down!! That is great news! I talked to a Tech this morning and well she seemed really optimistic but in the end it is the docs call to figure out if he can come home or not. So once the doc gets in and has time to look everything over she will make the final call. But we are excited to have him healthy and to have him home!!

So… something that has been on my mind quite a bit and I feel the need to explain. Not that I have to mind you… but I sort of want to. There are several different types of people in this world; it takes all different types to make the world the interesting and diverse place that it is… also we need each type to balance out the others, because if we were to all be the same then the world would be a dull place.

I am and I have tried my best to raise my children to be the kind of person that believes anything is possible. I am and I have tried to raise my children to know that kindness is not so much something you show to family and friends but something really you should show to all living creatures. As a child I was told I was too tenderhearted when it came to animals… I brought home sick creatures of every shape and size. I wish I have a picture of my mom’s face when I walked through the door when I was about 11-12 and I have a black snake curled all the way up my arm and partially around my neck, with its head in my hand. It had been run over by a car and I wanted to help it… lol she about flipped her lid. But being half country girl half city girl she quickly saw it was just a black snake and knew it was not going to hurt me. We did what we could and let it go… Is it silly? Probably… but I have a question… who did it hurt? Who did it hurt to show kindness to a snake… who does it hurt to show kindness to any animal.

I know I know… many people out there in the world think animals are just animals… and I get that and to them they are correct. But only to them… ask a blind man what his dog is worth to him… ask the kids in the hospital who get visited by pets and animals to help comfort them when they are sick what that animal means to them. Ask the grandparent who lost his/her spouse, and whose family no longer visit as much… ask them what that little dog/cat means to them.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not preaching… I am not soap boxing I am just explaining. I am not asking anyone to have passion for animals or anything the way that I do or my family does. And honestly I do not put an animal’s well being over that of my children or my family.

I have been asked from many places why on earth I would ever consider using this much money to make a puppy better… I have heard that I could buy 2-3 puppies for the cost it takes to heal this one, who might not even make it. I have been flat out told it is stupid what I am doing. Or that I could save the money and get another car (because at the moment we have only one). A lot of people just do not understand… and when I decided to take this on, I had decided I would sell whatever I could, or had to, to help make Bruno better.

My daughter seeing the strain it was going to put on us wanted to do something to help. And boy did she ever… and then for every person I knew that told me I was crazy. There were others who not only understood but wanted to help, with kind words, and support of many different kinds.

How much is it worth to, if for only a moment, be your child’s hero… the person that did not say no and did what they could regardless how stupid other people thought it was?

My obligation… Bruno never asked to come home with me… he never asked to get sick… he does not have the ability to make himself better. When my daughter begged me for a puppy and told me it would not cost me anything because she had the cost covered, and she was going to get a job for the other stuff and I would never even know it was there. Well I’m not stupid… I have been around the block once or twice and I knew what would end up happening. But I never could have guessed it was this. While he was not sick in his short time in our home, he quickly won over our hearts, such a little fragile puppy with teeth like razor blades… and who snored… ha-ha yup and even snorted. The stupid little dog was just too cute. My daughter was in love… I was told that we have not had time to even really be attached to it… I am not sure you can put a time frame on something like that, but we were more than attached.

My daughter has been to almost every charity event I have done over the past 8-9 years. She did not work out in the sun all day and help for a t-shirt… or to get free food… she really believes in the things I do. Be it for MS, or Cancer, Or the Human Society… she always wants to help support me. Taking pictures… giving out medals… doing whatever it takes. With her help I have raised a lot of money over the years for a bunch of awesome and well deserving organizations. I have tried to teach her how important it is to not just give money but time. And to help where you can… she has that caring spirit in her.

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So why would I agree to pay a ton of money to heal a sick dog… love… responsibility… because it is the right thing to do. Because of the gifts of family, friends, and strangers… this will not be a burden to our family at all… because of the love everyone has shown us this is one of the best learning experiences I could have ever give my children and anyone around me. Where there is a pure heart, and a will, there is a way.

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Because there are other people like us in this world, later today with tears in my daughters eyes she will see Bruno again, and the vet will tear up and the techs will tear up… but I won’t cause I am a guy and we don’t do that stuff 😉 and her mom will be blubbering like a child lol… and then I guess I will see all of this and my best explanation would be to the question of why would you pay so much to make a puppy better is… how could you not… the vet is going to walk away today and the techs… thinking to themselves as they wipe the tears from their face seeing my daughter and the puppy so happy… “This is why we do this… this makes the bad days better”
Ask anyone in that room what is that feeling worth… it’s priceless.

Would I let my family starve to do this? No… would I get my electric shut off? No… but I knew somehow it would work… and it all has. Thanks to everyone who loves animals the way we do… That bond is priceless.

HOPE FOR BRUNO

Fundraiser link

 

kaylaanddad

Crystal Meth Tweekers…

Crystal meth tweekers…

 

 

 Sometimes the smallest things can get you through the dreaded Monday… oh that Monday, the bane of our week’s existence. That day of the week that starts it all over again and has you dreaming about Friday all over again…

 

  Sunday evening I was playing with my newest toy, I had crossed over to the dark side and I bought my first Apple product *insert gasp here*, after going through 3 Zunes that broke and stopped working and then stopped even supporting you except through email, I just had to give up.

 

  So I started my search and purchased an Ipod 5th gen which so far I like… I just need to figure it all out… so I was doing just that and adding music to it when I put my phone on silent because I kept getting facebook updates and I was tired of hearing it make that noise lol… well low and behold I forgot to turn the sound back on before I went to bed. So as it happens early Monday morning my local cycling buddies started an early conversation which I was included in but did not know it because my phone was shushed.

 

  Now let me say, I am a very connected person, like I mean it… mess me and you will be sleeping with the…. Ok ok no not that kind of connected. I mean Facebook, text, email, every sort of messenger you can think of. And unless I am in a meeting or doing something that would otherwise occupy me, I will get back to you fairly quickly. My friends all know this… so after 30 min or so of chatter back and forth and no one had heard from me… well then I became sort of an early morning joke which included this video being posted to my facebook…

 

  We had a really hard ride on Saturday, and most of us vegged out on Sunday and did not move too much. At first I thought I was just being a big baby, cause I had some mechanical issues for a good 2/3rds of the ride, but it seems even our more hard core riders were indeed sore and stiff to so that made me feel a little better… well not that they were hurting but that it was just not me.

  After I got to work and noticed just how quiet my phone had been which was odd, I looked at it and seen that I have a million different missed notifications lol and then I saw the video that was posted hahaha  oh man did that ever make my day.  A few of us laughed and joked about it most of the day, and more than one of us watched it several times just to laugh. And we could not get it out of our head.

  So yeah next time you’re about to fight off the dreaded Monday… just think… it could be worse! You could have been murdered by Crystal Meth Tweekers… hahaha

   Happy Tuesday folks and remember to smile… nothing fights off a bad day like a smile… and for fun just add a twitch, people will steer clear of you all day 🙂

     I want to share a thought I had with you good folks… maybe it is worth your time… maybe it is garbage, but I was having a conversation about depression with someone. I won’t get into the details of that… but in that conversation it led me to an analogy. One of those things that just popped into my head out of nowhere, after which I thought was so brilliant I even surprised myself… so then I thought how can I apply that to my life. And poof another thought… all those thoughts and it did not hurt or anything 😉

 

     So maybe at another time I can touch on the depression issue in the same way I was able to with this other person… but for now and for my journey I will only write about how I will use it to in turn help myself.  I have heard many times that by helping others we in turn really help ourselves… and this here proves just that! And if by writing this out and someone reads it and they too can use it, well so much the better 🙂 the more “light” we have in the world the less dark it will be, and that will make more sense later lol

 

      So for my fellow weight loss enthusiasts… say you have a bad breakfast… or a bad lunch… then something bad happened at work and you get home later than you want… or for those that stay at home already, your kids come home or spouse comes home in a bad mood and everything in the air is just foul that day. Those are the days I dread… the days I just want to say forget it… no tracking points, no worries about nutritional info… I just want to throw some food together and eat and not think about anything else. Today is crap and I just want tomorrow to come so I can start over. I mean that sounds like a good plan right?  It will make you feel better right? Well until tomorrow… when you remember what you ate as you start tracking again… what if you have a whole week like that? And then before you know it is a month, then a season… and now we are looking at just waiting until after the holidays. I know all of this from experience. I have done it time and time again… and each time if I could track it back, I would track it back to one day… where it started off bad and I just said forget it.

 

     So here is my analogy… what would you do if you walked into a dimly lit room that only had a few candles burning… that room represents your day… you’re walking around and you can see the stuff around you, you know what is there, but it is so dim it’s getting hard to make things out. That is how I feel when I mess up… like I wonder why I am even doing this. What is the point, will anyone else even care. In the dim room that is my day goals seem blurred and hard to make out, it matters less and less the more I think about it.

 

     So you’re in this dimly lit room… what do you do? Common sense says turn on a light… light another candle, throw back the curtains if it is daylight… so then why do we walk into that room and blow out more candles… we have a bad lunch… we then go home and have a bad dinner because the day is ruined is like walking into the room  to see it is dim kinda in a funk and we make it darker. And the worse it gets the darker we make it… then in turn the worse we feel yet again.

 

     Light a candle… don’t blow it out… every time you have a bad day with food you can’t spiral into that black hole and let it swallow you… you can’t walk into that dim room and think it will get better by making it pitch black… oh and guess what… no matter how dark it is… no matter how black a room gets, the smallest candle will shine.

 

      So no more walking into dimly lit rooms and making them worse… make it better!!! Light only makes you feel better, and the more you do it the easier it gets.

 

      Last week I hit 25 lbs in my weight loss journey… I have not done it alone. I have an awesome support group in Weight Watchers, I have amazing friends that not only keep me up with my activity but also give me tons of support with everything else. And I have a family cheering me on from the sideline… I am blessed and I know it. Not everyone has that and I understand it is not easy… but find whatever you can to keep your room from getting dark. Keep those candles burning and do not get frustrated and blow them out! Once they are all out, it is tough to find your matches to light them again!

 

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   Smile… it can be the light that brightens someone’s otherwise dark day!

Drive…

Drive: an innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need.

          So I have been told several times in my life that people wish they had half the “Drive” that I do… I have also been complimented using these words: passion, willpower, self-control, self-discipline…. well anyway I think you get the idea.

          See my thoughts on all of that is I just don’t buy into that, at least for myself. I mean people with drive love what they do… people with drive push everything away to get what they need for that goal. Normally when someone is talking about these things to me it is either in regards to my weight loss or my cycling. But I struggle, boy do I struggle every day with what I eat and trying to control how much. Where is the drive in that? it’s not a matter of just wanting to and doing it… I have to fight to tell myself over and over and over not to eat this or eat that. Not to go to places where I do not already know the menu and have a good meal planned. But even then at times I have to pick up lunch for friends or family at places I should not be eating and it is a struggle to not get that French fry to snack on in the truck, or to eat that burger because they taste so good. Where is the drive then? To help curb those thoughts and feelings… I always pictured people with drive as people with tunnel vision or blinders on… the only thing they see is the goal and nothing else bothers them. My blinders are broken… they sometimes magnify the things I should not have and then push the goal farther away or at least make it look farther away or harder than it is… sometimes I fall for it… but mainly I just try to close my eyes and focus. I guess that is where willpower and self-control come in so I can kind of get those two. But it is such a hard fight… a constant struggle every day when it comes to just eating whatever I want because everything sounds soo good. I was cursed with the ability to cook and cook well… and there are few foods I do not like so my taste is as broad as my imagination.

         That brings me to cycling… where to start… I do not love it… for many that will sound odd, but it is what I have chosen as the vehicle to do charity work and get fit. I am limited by my health (knees) so there are few things I can do. I am by nature a pack animal, I love people. All shapes, ages, sizes… cycling feeds into that as well. Actually riding the bike? some days I truly love it… other days I would like to chuck that stupid bike off a bridge. It’s an activity that makes me feel great about myself and then inferior all in the same ride… pushing pushing pushing… It does help work out some aggression in my life with work and home, a place to leave it out on the road… as well as a place to get in great activity that is great for my heart and the rest of my body. So I have been told that someone wished they had the passion for something like I seem to have for cycling… but I think the passion is for the people I have met through cycling… the people I ride for both living and those that have passed. The passion is for the final outcome that I hope and pray becomes a reality.

         I guess I will end this here… my lingering thought is this… I wonder if the people who seem to have drive and passion for those things we see them doing… truly feel that way. Or if maybe they just picked what they could do and stuck with it trying to be the best they could. I wonder if there is even a difference or if that truly is what drive and passion really are. Much like love, not all flowers and rainbows but multifaceted and deeper than it appears. Including the muck and the grime and even the hate for something… just another natural progression…

Smile… even if your passion is not as deep as it seems… maybe it will encourage someone else nonetheless, just be thankful people look close enough to even notice.

Snow Day…

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 Well yesterday would have been weigh in day except for the fact that the roads here were still super thick with ice and snow. Now many people from up north (I am a person from the North FYI), watch the news about our schools closing and everything shutting down and laugh. Unlike the Northern states snow is not normally an issue for these parts and with that comes inexperience and lack of equipment. So to be safe most things just close down. You tell me who will get blamed if a school decided to push it and a bus load of kids goes into a ditch… the bus drive will be drug tested and his/her life strung up for the world to see… someone on the internet somewhere will wish them a slow and cruel death… an administrator will either have to resign or will be fired… there will be a “FULL SCALE INVESTIGATION” that no one ever hears of again… all of which would have been avoided by a snow day.

 

 Sooo… I said all of that to say I did not weigh in this week… I took a snow day… now as to where I think I am? I think I broke even this week… with all the days I spent in the house with limited activity and unlimited access to my pantry well let’s just say the 3 days inside evened out the 4 days of being good 🙂 so I am back on track today.

 

  I did get in a little physical activity as you can see in the link here…  my daughter was laughing as I attempted to ride my bike for all of 60 second on a ice covered and snow packed street… I almost slipped a few times so I decided to get off. The funny thing is it will be back up to 70 degrees next week.

 

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  Here are a few pictures of my bike and the snow… and I will include some awesome shots my daughter did of the dogs… she does really well with the camera.

 

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 Today I will also put in layaway a camera for my bike I have wanted for a long time!! The Garmin Virb  link to the specs here… I like it better than the Go-Pro so once I get it paid for you can expect a few videos from time to time.

 

  Well there is a lot more on my mind but I think I will end this here… because I can ramble all day about nothing and who really wants to hear all that noise.

 

 

  Smile… a snow day can be Mother Nature’s way of just saying… “Chill out man!”

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   The Hound and I went out for a quick ride yesterday… and just so you know the Hound is what I call my bike. I believe it is part greyhound and part bloodhound… not the fastest dog in the hunt, but once it gets the scent it never gives up. ok ok yeah I know you just rolled your eyes but I thought it was witty. I got the idea on one of the first rides I did on my bike, I was going along in a pace line and we passed a Greyhound bus stop sign, and I thought to myself. I’ll never be that fast on a bike because I am just not built that way, I always tell people I am just too stupid to quit. That was when I thought of the name for the bike… The Hound… I use a activity tracking web site slash app called Strava  (www.Strava.com) it is great for runners and cyclists helps you keep track of how you’re doing and also how anyone else in your area is doing. It gives you weekly, monthly and even yearly challenges. Well it even goes as far as ask you which bike your using by name… that was why I was trying to think of a name.  But anyway not that any of that matters lol… So I took the hound out yesterday and we hit the over passes, the wind was pretty rough and I just felt beat up. It is what happens when you are off the bike for so long and then you put on more weight than you are used to having. But after I was done it really felt great to feel that burn again, it’s like a love hate relationship, I love feeling like I have done something even if it is just a short ride… but on the other hand I hate how out of shape it makes me feel. But there is only one way to solve that… and that is to get back on more and more and get back in shape J.

 

 Tonight I will head to a spin class, 55 min of self inflicted torture, I know people who roll their eyes when you tell them you are going to a spin class. “You mean one of those classes you just sit on that bike for an hour? No thanks I’ll get a real work out and go lift weights…” haha I always laugh at that, spin class is no joke if you do it right.

 

 

 

  So I also thought I would share with you guys some pictures I took a little while back. I was looking for inspiration for a story I was working on during NaNoWriMo, I decided to walk down by a local park for a bit and then I noticed this fog rolling in and granted these are taken with my cell phone so not even close to being great pictures. I thought they were cool enough to share.

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Smile… though the fog may roll in… know that sooner or later the sun will come out again.

 

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We are all searching for answers… I do not care who you are or where you are from, how much money you have or how content with your life you think you are, we are all searching for answers. Sometimes I feel like it is in us pre-programmed by God, or by pond slime, maybe even our monkey DNA still looking for that perfect banana. But whatever your belief or disbelief is we are all still looking…

 

  In our search we listen to music and watch TV or movies, we drink, smoke, eat, practice, push, fight, love, hate, kill, destroy, build, fix, and create new problems in our search for the answers to the questions. Searching for the answer… but if we stop and ask ourselves what exactly are the questions half of the time we won’t even know. Sometimes there are specific things we think we want until we get them then we find they are not as cool as they were when we romanticized them in our head. We think if we could change that one thing… that all the other pieces will fall into place and we will be content… I’m sorry to say there is nothing in this world outside of ourselves that will make us content. We want to change the things around us and say if I could just stop this, or have this job, make this much more money, get that new car, find that one girl, get that cute guy, make that good grade… we are too short sighted for our own good… what we fail to see is that the new job has new and different, maybe even more responsibilities… more money always brings more tax, and we always spend it and wonder where it went so shortly we are again wishing to make more… the new car as shiny as it is now comes with debt, and higher insurance, and is not so new after a time and becomes neglected just like the rest until soon when it is not so new anymore you are left trying to figure out how to make the payment, wishing you had more money, and again wanting a new car… so there is a “girl” you want, that perfect girl, who has her own life and does not revolve around you and expects things from you and needs your time and oh wait, you mean it was not like in your head when she only came out of the “closet” to do your bidding and the disappeared until you needed her again? You mean she thinks and acts for herself and has needs that might not be just like yours… and then there is that cute guy, brilliant white toothed smile makes you weak in the knees. You do not notice the mark left by his wedding band that was removed when he left the house, you do not notice he marks on his knuckles from his temper, and you do not see the pain that follows behind him, you were blinded by a smile, now it is to late… you pray at night looking at your school books wishing for that good grade, why do you even need to know how many atoms are in a cheeseburger, why do I need to know why slavery is wrong, why do I care about what happened and 1782, who the hell knows why a + b = y, what you miss is the lesson of learning and growing, thinking outside of the realm of normal thought and learning new things, what your missing is the lesson of dedication and persistence, and how learning all this stuff will in some time maybe help you get the job, make more money, get that new car and snag that cute guy or girl… or maybe it will just let you find yourself. Maybe it will show you a variety of things you would have never learned on your own, a variety of subjects and disciplines and you find that one thing you’re really good at that you never would have touched because who cares what happened in the past…

 

  We are all looking in all the wrong places for all the wrong things… says the man who still looks outside of himself to make himself happy… I have no answers, or maybe I do, maybe we all have every answer it is that we are searching for… maybe we are just to chicken shit to look inside ourselves and find it… or maybe we know it and we are too scared to say it out loud because to do so would bring about a change we are scared of.

 

  Here is a girl who has looked inside herself and found a bunch of answers… I am sure this will lean more toward the female crowd but guys if your honest with yourselves there is a lot for you to learn here to… not only is what she says powerful but the way she gets it across is also amazing. I have become a fan… I hope you enjoyed my muddled thoughts above and the video of an amazing woman below…

 

  Smile… Life is giving you the answers to your questions everyday… you just have to accept them.

  Here is a link to her own youtube channel…  http://www.youtube.com/user/holliemcnish?feature=watch