Category: Weight loss


     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!

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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…

me

 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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louiii

budd

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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!”

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

 Well Football starts in about 40 min and my heart is not into it… my team was a train wreck this year and not only that but it seems the front office all the way up to the owner really are imploding. But fear not this is not a sports blog, I would never do that to you… ok I might at some point but right not is not that “some point”.  I have just finished watching a movie and had some time to kill and thought I would write a blog. It has been a while… so first let me do a quick update:

  1. I am still breathing
  2. I am still employed
  3. weight loss is going fairly well, down 10 lbs in 2.5 weeks and it is slowing now as it should… please before I get all the “2 lbs a week” comments about being un healthy, know that I just started back on watching my food again and being much, much more strict on what I eat. So as you know the weight seems to fall off the first week or so and then levels off to a normal amount of loss per the amount you need to lose.
  4. training? well ya see here is the thing… ok really I have gotten on my bike once, it was hard, and eye opening… and yes I will be doing a lot more.  Also I have an elliptical that I will be using 3 times or so a week, when I do not ride my bike. I try to get on it first thing in the morning… kinda to jump start my metabolism… and I will be checking with the gym (YMCA) i belong to and check their classes to see what they have available. I hear yoga is really good…  Just a thought… all the exercise in the world will not have you lose weight… it is only to make you fit to make you want to move more, I am not saying it will not help but if you do not control what you put in your mouth then it will not help. Sleep is important too… but anyway…

 

  so yes this blog is about nothing and everything… maybe I will purge a little… a bit about my thoughts and feelings from things I have seen and done over the past week… well like my weigh in at Weight Watchers, it went well. Not as good as I wished but I still lost about 2.8 lbs and I am ok with that. I am still kicking myself for letting go when I was so close last time. I like the meeting because they feel like a family, I mean people are happy to see you when you come they all ask about your week and really wish for your success. They share their ideas and triumphs and are there to help you and the other with their failures.  We give each other great ideas to help with our success and not just that but we are able to support each other in a way unlike any other family unit because we all understand. When we talk about points we get it… trying to explain to other what has take us so long to learn ourselves is not easy task… and then the “other” people always seem to have a story about a cousin or uncle or even themselves… “well (insert name here) lost 45 lbs. on the fatback and Cheetos diet in 2 months….” or  ” ya know I just read on the internet there is a new elixir made from the saliva of rare cave crawling wombat… man they say doctors unlocked that you can stuff your face all you want with just a few drops of this a day. You just cannot eat (insert food here) because you might poop yourself…” hahaha yeah no thanks… I will stick with what is healthy and what works.  I mean Weight Watchers is a diet only in name… because the definition of diet is:

 a :  food and drink regularly provided or consumed

b :  habitual nourishment

c :  the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason

d :  a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight

 (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diet)

so yes Weight Watchers teaches you in a unique way how to eat properly by assigning each food or combination of food a numeric value… which can change depending on what it is paired with and how it is cooked. But yeah enough about all of that… it is working again and now that I have my food on a good path it is time for me to get back on my bike and or back into the gym.

 I made into the Freewheelers group so I am able to get signed up for the Mt. Mitchell event before the end of the month. I have talked to a lot of people about this and about my equipment and how hard it is, but really what this is going to boil down to is me… just me. And well to be honest, I will finish this no matter what. I will hate it, I will wonder why I am there, I will doubt myself and get angry… but… once I am angry then I will finish.

 

 Other things I want to work on is finishing the story I started for the NaNo Wrimo project, that book really has some good potential and I really like it. I met some pretty interesting people while doing my research for new characters and it seems even made a few new friends. I am a firm believer you can never have enough friends and supporters. That is one aspect of my life I feel truly blessed. The friend base I have, between the writers, and cyclists, and other people who just like how contagious my excitement is, I am just blessed with as much support as anyone could ask for. It also seems like the good people that read my blog also are growing in number which is a surprise to me with the limited amount I actually blog. But you guys are all amazing for taking your time to read my random thoughts… Thank you all for your time and remember to love each other.

 

 

  Smile… if today was the worst day of your life… just think… tomorrow will be better. 

Coming Down and getting back up…

Today I finally took all my Christmas stuff down, I have been a bit under the weather but the cold Meds had kicked in and I wanted to take advantage of it and get some stuff done. So with a little work I got it all done. My son came by to help me get it all put up in the attic in my garage and with that another Christmas season gone. This is a pretty down time of the year for me… going from all the beautiful lights and garlands all over the house to none… my house is just as full as it was before Christmas I know that, but it just feels empty. On a side note to top it off my work has no holidays at all from here until April… ugh…

Now for the good part of my day, I went out to meet up with some cycling friends and other cyclists in my area. We had a challenge last year where we would ride to a brewery in Alaska… well ok only virtually… we would log our miles and email them in each week so that they could be added to a spread sheet that was sent out to the group. The total miles in the end needed to add up to the distance to the brewery. Having fun hitting virtual mile stones along the way. We really do have a good group of people to cycle with in this area… and not only are they super supportive of most things cycling related, but they are also a great support group for almost anything else as well. Well there were only 3 people that actually hit that mile stone of over 4 thousand miles this year. I myself only logged just over 3,600 it was a bit more than that but I was well off the mark. This year they picked a different route as well as a few different options, the first challenge is the mileage from a local bike shop here in town to a dock in California… that is over 2900 miles which is very doable. To add to that challenge you can then go up the coast to the space needle in Seattle Washington… and if you really want to take the challenge to its limits you can then come back home to NC from there… I have a feeling at least one person in our group will push to do that this year. For me I think I will try the Seattle mile stone. If I can do that I will be more than happy.

I did happen to Join a cycling group that is closer to the mountains though… with the hope that I can get some info on training for a big ride I plan on signing up for in February. The assault on MT. Mitchell, this will single handedly be the toughest one day ride I have ever attempted in my life. I am both excited and scared… but man with the people I have around me here all I need to do is but ask and I will have all the support I need. Now time to just get back on the bike…

I also did weigh in on Friday… it was disgusting and heart breaking. I have never had so much weight on my body. This will be a huge challenge and before myself I have put a soft goal of dropping 40-45 lbs before the Mt. Mitchell ride on May 19th. So well there it is… in the year of no promises I have set quite a few challenges for myself, but I know one thing… weather I complete the ride or drop every single pound, I know I have a good deal of support around me. And that alone makes it all worth it… for a change I am doing this for me, because honestly I am worth it… I am a pretty good person I think and for a change I need to get better for me…. oh and I also have to get off my butt and earn that expensive bike I bought last year as an upgrade lol 🙂

Well folks have a great week and keep warm it’s going to be cold outside.

Smile… it’s one of the most healing things you can do… and you can just hope it catches on

Apprehension…

Apprehension…

I signed back up for Weight Watchers today and I get to go and weigh in tonight. This will be the first time I see most of these people sense I did my beard challenge and video last summer. Where I lost over 45lbs and was doing awesome. ( Beard weight loss video )

Now I get to face them… with no doubt in my mind I am heavier now than I was when I started out way back when. A few things in mind though… I have done it once… so I know I can do it again. Secondly… these are truly amazing people in these meetings who have all had their ups and downs; many are life time members and have seen it all. So my apprehension may be for not… but it is still there.

For any of you who are doing the same thing as I am… who are trying to lose weight and make a change in your life regardless of what the change is. Lend me your ear for a moment. I want to plead with you… even beg if I have to; do not make any changes for someone else. Do not change anything in your life to make someone else happy, or to hopefully see a change in them. If you do this, and that person does not change, and what you hopped for does not happen the chances are great that it will all crash back down on you, except you won’t care because you will not see a point. Do this, whatever “this” might be… maybe it is smoking… or eating… or working out… no matter what it is… make the change for you. Be the change you want to see in the world… love yourself first the way you want others to love you. But always remember there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.

As always I cram a ton of thoughts into a short little blog… so let me leave you with something else I decided to do today with a savings account I have… it’s called the 52 week Money challenge… what you decide to do with it will be up to you… me? I will use it to pay a big chunk out of a bill. Be it a few extra car payments… an extra mortgage payment… whatever it might be… if you’re wondering what this plan is here is a simple PDF you can print off…

https://www.affinityplus.org/Portals/0/Documents/Blog/52Week.pdf

well that is all for now… wish me luck tonight… I get to go back to the meeting and face the music… but once the music plays instead of putting my head down in shame I have decided to do something different. I am going to dance!!

Smile… even in failure a smile is reassurance you have learned something… and if you learn something it is not a failure after all. You only fail when you refuse to learn from your mistakes. I am sure some smart man somewhere has said something close to that…

(side note… I know I over use “…” but I am ok with that)

2014 The year of no promises…

I will not promise to be a better person…

I will not promise to lose weight…

I will not promise to change how I interact with my family…

I will not promise to save money…

I will not promise to manage vacation time…

I will not promise…

This year I refuse to make any promises in regards to changing myself… this is not a resolution… this is just a statement. By definition as promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

So let me explain… I am not a wizard, nor am I omnipotent, psychic, a fortune-teller, or a god in any form. I know there are a lot of things in this life that I would “like” to happen and honestly as much as I believe we are the masters of our own fate. I know that little in this life we truly have complete control of other than how we re-act to situations around us. Our feelings and emotions though influenced by others and out surroundings… are still ours and ours alone to control.

I would love to promise to get published, ride seven thousand miles, finish all my cycling goals, lose all the weight and have a 6 pack, get father of the year award, have my personal life work out all of its kinks, give more to those who need, and learn to cook something new. But what if in this blog I promise you all of those things… and tomorrow I get hit by a truck. I know a bit drastic… but a promise is really not good for much.

What I am going to do is quietly work to do all of those things I listed above. I will not make big big goals and put a ton of pressure on myself, I will not twist people’s arms and guilt them into helping me do this or that because it is what “I” want them to do or because “I” need their help. I will share my success with my friends, family and loved ones… and I will not have any defeats… because I will constantly be trying to improve. Minor setbacks maybe… but I have made no promises so I have nothing to apologize for… if I attempt a ride that I am unable to finish, well I have learned from it, a limitation that I can use as a tool to know what I need to work on… it is not a failure in any way. But a chance to learn and grow… if I have a week or two that I gain weight instead of lose I have not promised anyone that I will, because honestly my weight has nothing to do with anyone in this world but me. It’s my weight… my food… my activity… and if I have a bad week or two… then I will know again my limitations. I will not get mad or angry, I will simply move on.

2014 is going to be my year to better myself with less stress… a promise adds stress, it forces you to perform when you just might not want to. In the past I have used it as a tool to “force” myself to do things. And honestly it has worked many many times for me. But in the end when I meet the goal I promised, I slack off and whatever I worked hard to do is quickly undone because after my promised goal I just drift… this time it will be different.

So here is to 2014 and my year of less stress and less promises… I will be healthier and happier… I will accomplish amazing things… and I will uncomplicated the things in my life that make it more complicated. There is nothing and no one in this world you must have to live… no one person or thing you cannot live without… so the people and things you have in your life need to be there for your benefit and theirs. If they are crippling you and not making you better, lose it… if something is costing you more money than you see a benefit… lose it… If a club or organization is no longer fun and you no longer enjoy it quit. You have but one life to live, and I believe we have no set paths… you chose where you go, and there is an unlimited amount of choices. So do what you love and love what you do 😉 (I read that on a coffee cup but it fits).

This is my first blog of 2014… my blog of nothing… and of no promises 🙂

Smile… it relieves stress and makes you feel better… do you really need any other reasons?

The wheels go round and round…

When you wake up and have a bad day (like the one I had yesterday), the end of the day cannot come quick enough because you know you get to go to sleep and wake up and hopefully start over. Have any of you done that? Yesterday I had a rough day at work… my daughter who was home sick lets me know that there is no power in the house, crews are clearing power lines may have damaged something I am not positive that is what happened but that is my guess. The power did not come back on until almost 3pm. My truck picked up a screw somewhere and it ended up with a flat tire in the parking lot of my work. There were other more personal things that went on yesterday but if I keep listing complaints it would just get petty and old… I only said all this to make a point not just to complain and force anyone reading it feel sorry for me.

As I sat on the couch waiting for the first pro football game of the year to start… ummm which was delayed due to weather and I knew was going to put me to bed wwwwaaaayyyyy later than I needed I started to think ok… what else… I mean really did someone forget to call the NFL, Mother Nature, who ever dropped the screw, whatever guy cut the power off, whoever it was that took their time to fix it, my bank, my boss, my co-workers, my family, people in my city, state… did someone forget to tell them that the world… no scratch that… the universe in all its infinite glory was created to revolve and only work around me? How selfish… I mean really it’s not like there are people living every day of their lives with MS. Who cannot wake up tomorrow and start over again. It is not like there are people who just wish with all their hearts they could just hold a cup of coffee without the shakes spilling it all over them and burning their hands. It’s not like that the person sitting on the couch with MS much the way I am at this very moment wishes they get up and run to the bathroom during the commercial and grab a drink without a walker, or power chair, or assistance at all. I mean really…

So with that in mind I started to feel a little guilty and started to reflect on my life and the people who have moved me. People I have met that have given me a lump in my throat and curage to face things most people don’t dare on their best days. I have been truly blessed in my life with the supporting cast that has become the people in my life. The people I have tried to keep there and the people that have gravitated toward me for one reason or another.

When I did my very first MS ride it was nothing more than a challenge to see if I could actually do. The following year I had major knee surgery and the bike sat unused and taunted me so I sold it. Not thinking much more about it than that. As fate would have it one day I decided I needed an outlet and I looked into writing a blog, my life was really mixed up and I just needed to get things out. I found an awesome little community and started following blogs from other people. One person I was drawn to at the time was a girl from the UK who I thought at the time just dropped everything only out of a desire to help, and went to South America and worked with the Red Cross. I was only after some time that we became more close through email, IM, and out blogs that we begun to share more and more about our lives. I was inspired by what she was doing, a girl who seemed to have it all together just to give up what many would consider a life of privilege and work with the Red Cross. Well that was when I learned she had MS, she had chosen not to share this with the people following her blogs she said she did not want to be “The girl with MS”. She did not like how her friend and family treated her sometimes, and was very independent, so the blog was just a way to be herself. The girl she was on the inside not the one who would have physical issues from time to time. Well she disappeared for a while rather quickly without a word. Then when she returned it was at that moment she come forward with her story. How when she found out she had MS and the doctors said it was aggressive, that she quit university and wanted to do something meaningful before she was not able to do anything at all. Shortly after hearing her story she told us the doctors also found a brain tumor… then shortly after that she passed away. For those of us in the smallish blog community that had gotten to know her it was a tough thing to deal with. One min she was there and the next min she was gone. There were even, as there always is, people who considered if maybe she was not a “real” person if it was all just made up. For me… I believe… her story and who she was touched my life and inspired me. And honestly changed my life in many ways. Shortly after her death I decided to attempt to ride again. It had been a few years and now a couple knee surgeries sense my last MS ride. I no longer had a bike, but I told the blogging community that if they would help support me I would ride. And boy support me did they ever. I think I got donations from 5 or 6 different countries, emails and words of support poured in. I was not doing well financially at the time so I was training on an old mountain bike, trying to get enough money together to purchase a road bike. Finally about 2 weeks before the event my cousin loaned me the money to buy the bike. I pushed hard, I was heavy from all the knee work I had done and lack of motivation to do much else, but I was determined to do more. Well I ended up doing 200 miles… 100 miles each day of the event. It was a miracle and I know that without the motivation and encouragement of my friends and family from all over the world I would not have been able to do it. Several times I just wanted to stop… I just could not figure out why I was doing what I was doing. With me though I carried a printed email that was from her sister… some of the lines have always stayed with me…

“You hold within you so many of the qualities that people admired in Sydney, an endless amount of compassion for your fellow man, selflessness, a determination to DO something rather than to sit back on your laurels, putting others’ interest before your own. If Sydney was the feminine embodiment of an angel walking the earth, surely you are the masculine equal. I see why you and Sydney thought so highly of each other.

When you ride in the MS150 I know you will have Sydney along for the entire journey, she’ll be watching over you, encouraging you and reinforcing the sentiment of “The distance you ride is of no consequence, it is your participation, thus bringing attention to the plight of those that suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, and aspiring to do the best that you can possible do that is the ultimate achievement of the goal.”

If you become tired or downhearted about anything on your journey, listen for Sydney’s soft whisper in your heart letting you know that she believes in you and trusts that you have the fortitude to make the right decisions, and determinations.”

Those words have always meant a lot to me…

So to make this super long story shorter, I did it… and that was just the first of many rides I do in Sydney’s name… I will continue to do what I can in hopes to bring awareness to this disease. This disease even though I have no one in my family with it, it has changed my life for the good. Because of my bike I will live longer, be stronger, and be able to do more. Do more for those that cannot do for themselves.

So tomorrow I ride, and then the next day… not only for Sydney, but for all the people I have met over the years that have touched my life and supported me along the way. All of my friends and family that hold me up when I am not so sure I can keep going and that have donated to show their support for a cause I hold so dear. And for all of those with MS that cannot ride themselves, I am humbled at their resolve to keep up their spirits and keep the fight alive.

This year… the following year… and every year that I am physically able… I will ride.

If you would like to donate here is the link…

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=1870526&fr_id=20780&pg=personal

Thank you for taking the time to read this… each year I get butterflies before the event, getting all this out and reminding myself why I am doing it always helps.

Smile… it’s not always about what gets you started… but what keeps you going.

The Wagon

 

The Wagon

 

I am not sure who owns this thing or who built it, I’m not even sure who is on it. But I can tell you that when you fall off of it the guy holding the reins speeds up and goes just fast enough that it almost seems impossible to catch up. Sometimes you can hear people yelling your name to help motivate you. Telling you not to stop, to keep chasing the wagon.

 

But other times it feels like there are people throwing things off the wagon to trip you up. Sometimes people that have fallen off of other wagons are there too, trying to get you to stop, telling you it’s OK just to be, it’s OK to be like them, it’s OK to sit in the mud and do nothing.

 

Early this year I think I had a firm seat in my wagon, I was comfortably watching as things went by without much of a desire to get off. I was dropping weight and meeting goals with ease. Then poof hit a big goal I got off the wagon to celebrate and guess what… the guy driving the wagon took off like the devil was chasing him. Now here I am on my bike desperately trying to find a way to get back on before the holidays slow me down and I give up for the year.

 

So regardless of what wagon your trying to get on in your life at the moment, remember the guy driving does not care if your life needs to be put on hold for a moment. He has but on job and that is to keep moving so that he can pick up different people at different points in their lives. He knows that the world does not stop for just you so he is ushered on at the speed of sound, each time he hears someones resolve is ready and to the point they are able to get back on, he finds them.

 

So look my friends if your ever chasing that wagon and you just want to give up, look for me. I will either be on the back of it with my hand out desperately trying to help you reach it, or I will be right beside you running with all I have to catch it once again to get things in order. I will cheer you on each and every stride, so that maybe just maybe we can reach it together. If not I would be happy to see any of you make it back on your wagon.

 

We all have wagons in our lives, weight loss, staying fit, food, smoking, drinking, gambling…. I mean the wagon is anything… it a state of mind a place to feel comfortable where you are. So get back on the wagon and take the ride to a place where the you that you will meet is more fit, healthier, and over all in better spirits. 

Smile… No one wants to pull someone who looks grumpy into their wagon to share this journey we call life.