Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.


So it's been a week since my last post. No, I am not slowly winding down this website. I simply want to make sure I have things to say. Quality over quantity. Besides, once cycling season picks up there will be those kinds of updates a lot. Until then I want to keep my posting to when I really have something to talk about or in a lot of the cases lately, the time to do so.

I have taken Billy Jo's wish for me to try and live a happy rest of my life to heart, and quickly, at that.

In the past week I have:

  • Painted the bedroom on Tuesday when I took a personal day for the snowstorm we got hit with. It took 12 hours. I still have some touching up to do, but I love how it turned out. Six and a half years of the contractor white was long enough. A year or two ago I had pitched this color scheme to Billy Jo and she liked the idea but we never got around to doing it.

    Here's panorama shots before:
    BEFORE 1     BEFORE 2

    and here is after:
    AFTER 1        AFTER 2

  • Thursday night I went to the first of two Slightly Stoopid concerts in three nights. This one was in Milwaukee. It was AWESOME. We managed to get all the way up front and center. It was a great time. Yes, I ended up being awake 39 out of a 43 hour period but who cares. It was so worth it.

  • Last night was the show in Chicago. Again, a great time with a great group of friends :).

Today has been rest, laundry, grocery shopping, and catching up on some TV.

Now, onto the title of the post. I've been doing things I normally would not have done previously. I am deciding to live life to it's fullest. Hell, I left the state on a weeknight to see my favorite band, which didn't even start until I am normally asleep.

I have enough "possessions" and "physical items" - so many that I have been giving away and donating a bunch of stuff and will continue to do so.  I want to do things. I want to go places, experience new things, experience different things.  None of us have any guarantee that we will lead a healthy or long life. There's enough people out there we know who have died way too soon or have become unable to enjoy life to it's fullest as the result of an illness or accident.

It is the start of this "new" me. I have filled out a passport application and will submit it tomorrow after getting my photo at Walgreens. I have no plans to travel outside the country as of right now, but Billy and I kept putting off getting them for so long, I want to do it and have it. Hell, I can't even go to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto without one.

Slightly Stoopid is playing April 20th at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver. I have never been to Colorado except when our plane landed to drop off some passengers and pick up some others. I have always wanted to see a concert at Red Rocks - it looks AWESOME. So, I decided to check out airfare prices. Surprisingly, I can fly out non-stop Friday morning and back non-stop Sunday night for $146 R/T all fees included. I booked it. A quick weekend getaway, an unforgettable experience. One vacation day at work.

I signed up for the Chase Southwest Airlines credit card. It is giving me 50,000 points, good for anywhere from two to four R/T flights. Quick weekend getaways just got even easier.

The next thing I wanted to inform you of is an experience, travel, and facing a fear all in one three day trip...

Billy Jo went to a lot of training classes while a dispatcher, and quickly became friends with one of the trainers. She loved Kelly and loved her classes. Kelly came and visited Billy Jo in the hospital and during the first hospice home stay in October, when she was in town for training. Kelly was a former dispatcher who now travels the country training dispatchers how to deal with stress, the public, each other, and everything in between.

Last year, Kelly had asked Billy Jo to be a speaker at a conference in Las Vegas in October 2013 called 9114911. A few weeks ago, Kelly reached out to me and asked if I would take Billy Jo's place. I really didn't have to think too hard about it - I am going to do it. Billy Jo would be absolutely thrilled. I will tell her story, our story, how she loved her career as a dispatcher, and how her life and death should be looked on by those in her field.

This is where the fear part comes in. I am NOT a good public speaker. I barely passed Public Speaking in high school. I have no idea how many people I will be speaking to, and I prefer not to know :). But, I am going to face my fear. I am not going to let my fear of public speaking ruin an experience... an honor. Also, who knows... I may be good at it now. I have so many people in the last six months tell me what a good writer I am and I never considered myself to be one in the past. I am writing from the heart, not the head. I plan on speaking from the heart as well.

So, I will be in Las Vegas for the first time in four years on Wednesday 10/16 and will take a red-eye back late Friday night or a very early Saturday morning flight, as I have plans on that Saturday afternoon/evening.

By the way, I have completed week one of Couch to 5K. I will be running the 5K at the NOCC event May 4th. Another goal, another experience out of my comfort zone, will be met.

These things have me excited. I feel alive, and I know she is happy about that. There are plenty of worse ways to be after losing her, and she didn't want me choosing that route. didn't want to end up that way.