Yesterday was about as perfect a day as I’ve seen in some time.
I’m trying to wipe out the last of that cold so I’m still just a bit off but it was one of those days where, when you look back on it, you can’t help but see God’s fingerprints all over it. I love it when that happens.
So at 5:30 I decided that I wanted to see my sponsor. I read some posts until six then got ready and headed out the door. When I got to the church, I met a kid who was just a touch older than I was when I quit – only he had a pained look on his face…one that was immediately recognizable. Not only had I seen it before – only a true drunk who has sunken to the very end if his or her rope wears it like this – I’d worn that same look more than twenty years ago. I knew that pain.
Now, the temptation here is for us old-timers to get diarrhea of the mouth, to try to cram a bunch of platitudes into the kid’s head, hoping that something we say will inspire him and “change his life”. This is mostly ego-driven horse shit. My sponsor and I instead took him out to breakfast and talked with him about why he hurt. We let him talk it out, then offered him a few simple solutions.
The tendency, in regards to the odiferous platitudes mentioned above, is quite well intentioned – for the longest time I wanted to take all of the lessons I’d learned in sobriety, all of the day at a time accomplishments and all of the peace that I finally had grown to enjoy – I’d try to ball that up and transfer it from my head to the newbie’s so they wouldn’t have to feel the raw pain anymore. Where the ego gets mixed up in there is that I thought I could place years of experience and God’s grace into another’s head with a few well-placed clichés. Looked at that way, you can hopefully begin to see the folly.
Anywho, that’s enough about my new pigeon. You know it’s going to be a good day when you’re tapped to pass on what was passed on so freely to you though…
After breakfast, I headed home where I was to meet my buddy Dale who was coming over to help me replace my bathroom floor (finally). It took us about three hours and my wife is (almost) happy again. I cleaned up the mess, put away my tools and took a much needed nap.
I woke up somewhere around 2:30 or 3:00 to a hot sunny day (around 90). My wife wanted to take the kids down to our friend’s house to swim at the lake. My awesome wife suggested I could ride my bike down and back to get my miles in for the day…and if it was too hot, we could put the bike in the minivan and I could hitch a ride home… Perfect!!! (though if you know me, there was no way I was hitching a ride home).
We’ve had a relatively cool spring, so riding in the heat yesterday, especially with what was left of a cold, was a bit of a shock to the system. Even so, I managed an 18.6 mph 12 miles into a steady but mild breeze. My strength is coming back nicely. As hot as it was, I decided against swimming. I didn’t want to shock my system as the lake was still quite cold. A bunch of friends had stuck around from the run so we had a nice time just mulling over life’s intricacies. The ride home, with that breeze at my back, was grin inducing – 23-24 mph. As is usual, I got stopped at every possible intersection so my average was just a touch under 20 mph, but for those stretches where I could manage a mile or two without stopping, the ride was glorious. I couldn’t help but wonder how I was producing so much speed, the breeze was just strong enough to move the leaves on the trees – it wasn’t that much of a help… Then on mile ten of the twelve mile return trip, I was struck by a coughing attack. One of those phlegm gurgling in the lungs, coughing attacks. I’d pushed too hard. At that point I was close enough that I just dialed it back and cruised home.
I took the most wonderful cool shower of the year, we ate dinner, and at about 8:02 with the kids watching Harry Potter, I was out like a light. Stick a fork in me. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Today will be another busy day for yard work and maybe some trim for the bathroom floor. I’m planning on another 16 miles today so overall for the week, missing three days, including the club ride and cutting 20 miles from yesterday’s ride, I should still end up with about 72 miles for the week. Not bad considering.