Thursday, April 5, 2007

My life change

This is more of an intro of Who I am and what got me into livig heatlhy This will also hopefully motivate people and show them that there is good in everyting that happens in life!
I know I change topcs a little but I think you can understand why it happens.

In some cases I'm still fairly new to cycling. I have been into it seriously since 2003 but there has been alot of history to it. As a kid I loved my bike. Hell at 16 instead of a car my parents set me up waith a competition ready freestyle bmx. As the years went by Mom kept me into it with a mountain bike. So this is the late 80's early 90's. It was a full rigide Genesis with full Shimano Lx component. It was a pretty cool bike. In time I did some mods to it like Scott AT4 bar and a disc wheel cover from a tri bike. Stop Laughing. At that tme John Tomac was racing with a fiberglass rear disc wheel. This was my toy when I was 18. Now to clear a few thing up. I was a SMOKER!!!

Thats right since I was 13 I smoked. Hey it was cool, or so I thought. As I got into my late teens and early 20's the world of 4 wheels kicked in. For the next 8 years my world revolved around horsepower and music. I was an import street racer with a nice collection of speeding tickets and fines for illegal things done to my cars. At the same time I still smoked and didnt have much interest in cycling.

Late 2002 is when things changed for me. My sister and I were far from close but had learned to put up with one another. She invited me down to Hardwood Hills to hang out with her friends that were competing in the 24 hour of Adrenaline. Of course I had to check it out. After watching the 5 man team do their thing through out the night I started getting hooked. I helped a few of them with minor bike repairs and it reminded me a bit of my past as a kid. Now the hard part of this was I still smoked. I actually felt embarrased about it and was going into the porta potties to smoke. Something about having 4000 cyclist around to 1 smoker, I felt out of place. At the end of the weekend I said thanks to everyone for letting me hang out and told them that next year I would be racing.

The first thing on the agenda was smoking. The race was at the end of August and I knew that if I wanted to ride I would have to quit. First week of August I basicilly said "thats it, I quit" over 15 years of my life at close to a pack a day. I'm not going to say that it was easy but its not as hard as everyone thinks. Over ths course of the winter i talked to my sister boyfriend at the time about trying to by his bike. He was replacign it and I hoped I could get it at a good price. It didnt help that I was broke since I was starting at teh bottom learning my fathers business. Well the rbonus for me came. My sister bought me her boyfriends bike for my birthday. I was wired. This is where the fun begins.

So the first summer was intereting. Of course I was cocky and thought I was fast. Ya well I had some good reality trips kick in. Afte teh first summer of riding and not really knowing what I was doing but thought I did came the 24 hour of adrenaline race. Jenn set me up to race with her team and of course I thought I was king crap. Then soe reality kicked in, well more a week after the race. At the race Jenn and I almost had it out and I know now that it was my fault. That was the end of the bike season. Then came the toughest year of my life.

That fall things started changing in the company. Dad was having problems but off course nobody noticed because it was gradual. Christmas came and passed and on the first few days back to work Dad wasnt feeling to hot. Mom and I continued to run the company whe we finally said to Dad you need to go to the hospital. After some disagrements he finally agreed and tried to move. This is when the first part of a long year started. He couldnt get upstairs. We called and ambulance and mom and I followed in the car. We were only at the hospital 20 minutes before they admitted him into ICU. Niether one of us knew what to do.

The next morning we continued with work. At the end of the day we went up to the hospital but yet still no results. The following days were very very difficult with what progressed and I still have a hard tiem thinking about it. I've found that I'm strong with my emotions but with what happened over these days I cryed many times. My sister was finally told what was happening and I;m still sorry that we hadnt told her sooner. That weekend she made the first of many trips from Ottawa to home to spend time with Dad.

At the same time that all this was going on my grandmother, Dad's mom , was in the final stages of her life. we basiclly floated from one hospital to the other. Mom became the bouncer. With all that was going on some of the additional things that put more strain on things included me not having a drivers licence. If you get a speeding ticket PAY IT. A $40 ticket cost me the ability to drive for 6 months. We found out who are true family friends were though. Some of Mom's friend used their holidays and days off to drive our work truck so that I could attempt to keep the busniess going. I still owe them so much. This gave Mom time to spend with both Dad and Grandma.

Grandma died January 21st and I'm glad taht we were able to spend her last hours with us there. It was tough and I still miss her to this day. Things slowly got better with Dad and he was finally able to come home. There is alot more to the 2 months of hell but I've revised it to keep it easy to read and easier for me to tell. With all of what happened over the last 2 months some great things did happen. I changed and my sister, Jenn and I started to get along. It was great to just hang out with her. I was also back driving which took some strain off of the busniess.

As the spring changed into to summer she introduced me to her friends in Ottawa. Dad was home from the hospital and of course we have a bit more hope. Jenn found herself a new boyfriend. This big scary looking guy who eventually became my tag team partner for 24 hour races. Rick was a big, strong shaved head guy with a very intense personality. Of course we clashed at first. Rick is a guy that I have alot of respect for but in the begining, man were we opposites. Jenn and Rick seemed to be a great couple though. They still are to this day. The summer progressed I kept riding. At this point I bought a road bike. With everything happening in my life the road bike became my escape. Some people mediitate, some do drugs, some run to find that mental state of focus. For me it was the road bike. Dad was still sick but continued to push along. My father was a very powerful man. More so mentally. Less than a grade 9 education he was in a highly skilled man with anything that caught his interest. From woodworking to computers to electronics to the appliance world where everyone asked for his advice. I'm still behind in what he knew on the appliance side but I hope to be better than he was. I think that the teacher always wants the student to do better. Even more so when its the father teaching the son.

Of course through all this I still had a craving to smoke from time to time. This got easier as time passed. The fall came around and the cycling season slowed down. I had the opportunity to ride for a couple teams. More so as a floater at a race but had a great tiem and learned to shut up and listen to what ever advise I could. That fall things slowly changed and as things got closer to christmas was say the decline in Dad's health. The days of Christmas were very difficult that year. We new that things were closing fast and Jenn had made some arrangements to come back a couple days after christmas. She never got the chance to leave. Boxing day evening still sticks in my mind. Everyone that was inportant to dad was upstairs that evening and mom was beside him the whole time. The family played cards and joked around but I think we all knew deep down.

I got the call at 5 am the next morning. Fran, a tenant knocked on the door and told me mom was on teh phone and that my dad had passed away. I was up at the house as soon as I could. I still to this day think that Dad knew how hard a year it had been on the family and after having the whole family there the night before decided not to push things along any longer. As much as its hard to say I think that things couldn't have been any better for the end. His family there in the house that he created.. Christmas is still hard even 3 years later.

With all of this that happend to me. It reminds me that life is short. I lost 2 family members to lung cancer. Its not an easy thing to deal with. I've also learned that you need to live your life. Enjoy everything you can. Work is great but its not who you are its what you do. I watched a man who had it all not get the opportuity to enjoy it!! For those of you that are reading this and still smoke. Quit, its all in your mind. Think of someone close to you, Do you want to make them go through what I did?

No comments: