Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Panic, Running, and yet another reality check.

So it's been a while since I posted. Again, I'm not abandoning the blog, just would rather have quality over quantity :). Warning: I have been typing this over several sessions and now over a week plus of time. Lots of Dave pottymouth follows, at least in act one :)

Here's what's been going on since the last post:

The day after my last post I let Wrigley out at 4:45 like usual and began to get ready for work. At 5:10 or so I went out to get her (remember- I have had to drag her back in now... she knows in the morning I am leaving and refuses to listen). Well, there was no sign of her. I looked in the few hiding spots...nothing. Then I saw a giant hole under the fence and knew she was out. Zen Dave left the building. What the fuck was I going to do?!?!? I immediately got in the car, put out a desperate facebook post, and started driving around. A few friends drove over and started canvassing the neighborhood. My neighbor started posting pics to the lost dogs sites on facebook. At 6am. I am so thankful for the help I got that morning.

Anyway, after two hours of driving, walking, calling the PD non-emergency number, and posting full info to Lost Dogs Illinois, I began to shift to "fuck. she's gone and driving around ain't gonna find her and I need to start making posters and the animal control offices open at 10 and I have two counties to call and OH WHAT THE FUCK AM I GONNA DO WITHOUT HER?!?!?" mode. On the outside I think I appeared much better than I was on the inside. This fucking dog has gotten me through so many tough times, and thoughts began to creep into my mind... "how good you have been doing is REALLY going to be tested" ... "Is this the trigger that fucks me up?" I was not in a good place those few hours.

Just as I was going to call in the troops to thank them and to stop driving around aimlessly, my neighbor across the street backed out of his garage on his way to work. I haven't seen him in months. Certainly not since I left for Florida. He asked how I was doing and I told him that until that morning I was doing really good, and told him that Wrigley got out. He said he was going out the south exit of the subdivision and would keep an eye out. I thanked him but didn't hold out hope - I mean I walked miles, I drove miles, I had friends driving sign of her. So I decided to stop looking and start printing posters. Before I even had a chance to go inside, my neighbor was back, asking me if she was short, black, and with a white underbelly. I said yes. He said "get in. She's right down the block."

He drove me quite literally half a block and said she was walking down the sidewalk. There was no sign of her so I told him I'd get out and walk into people's yards. First yard I walked into, I saw her about 40 feet away. I called her, she looked at me, and ran right towards me. She was soaked and muddy but otherwise just fine.

Holy shit was that something I never want to experience again. I'm taking steps to make it much harder for her to dig her way out, and I decided to pay for peace of mind. Yes, Wrigley is sporting a GPS tracker on her collar now. Crisis averted. I am so thankful to my neighbors and friends who helped me at 6am on a Thursday, as well as everyone on Facebook sharing her pic.

Saturday May 4th was the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition's annual walk (now with a a 5k run!) If you recall, I hate running but said I'd do it in an attempt to raise $250 for the NOCC. Well, I raised $255 (big thanks to everyone who donated!!!) so run I did.

I didn't pass out, I didn't puke, and I actually didn't do too bad time-wise. 27:37, and that included two pretty long stretches of walking as I tried to figure out why the oxygen I was inhaling wasn't doing anything ;). Anyway, I finished 72nd overall and 7th in the male 40-49 age group. Not too bad for someone who despises running :)

The event was a very good one. The weather, which wasn't looking too good early, really turned out well. It was great to spend the morning with family and friends. I look forward to next year's event. Not the run, which I am going to do again (but this time with ZERO training), but the overall day :)

Now, for another shitty reality check. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that while he was out of town his wife passed away in her sleep at the age of 43. There was no warning this was going to happen - she had a complete physical in January and nothing was out of the ordinary. He is understandably devastated. I reached out to him and told him while I don't know what it's like to lose a spouse suddenly, I am here for him to help him any way I can. I know the importance of having someone who can relate to you in times like this. I believe that "my someone" is one of the top three reasons I am doing so well. I want to pay forward whatever I can. Brad - I am here for you whenever you need me. Sara - may you rest in peace... the one time we met was just an awesome evening and one I am glad happened. 

Everyone reading this... hug those you love. Don't let petty bullshit matter. Do not put off things you want to do or experience because you'll "get around to it." We have no guarantees in life or how long ours will be. Buddha gets credited with this quote all the time but apparently it is from author Jack Kornfield. It doesn't matter who said it, it's true:

Lastly, my birthday was a few days ago. I am 42 now! I had a great day complete with awesome weather and a Blackhawks playoff win over the Red Wings.

Overall, I really feel great. I am happy, I am sleeping well, I rarely watch TV anymore (unless it's playoff hockey), I'm actually getting really good at cooking, I am maintaining my weight (something not easy for me to do - I usually either constantly lose or constantly gain). I may be 42 but I feel mid-20s, physically and mentally. Sure, I sometimes forget what I ate for dinner the night before but hey what can I do about that, right?

My bike riding is still going well, and I am over 900 miles for 2013. RAGBRAI is in 64 days. I'll be ready. That reminds me - I have to order a shitton of labels soon and get to work on printing them up for my bike. Please fill out the form if you want a friend or family member to ride with me.

So that's it for now. Next post will be, well... whenever :) Expect the RAGBRAI stuff to ramp up pretty soon. I will also soon be annoying and ask that you donate to SU2C. Even $5. All of the donations from the public go directly to research. My team has raised $12,902 since I started it 2 1/2 years ago. I'd like to hit $15,000 by the end of RAGBRAI on July 27th. Thanks to all who have made donations already - I never dreamed it would get to an amount this high. Team Pedal Another Mile is at #20 on the top fundraising teams for SU2C - that's quite an honor.

Okay, until next time - go live your life!!