2018 proved to be an interesting year for me. I celebrated my 26th sober anniversary – a good start for a fella who hasn’t yet reached 50. Recovery in 2018 has been better than I could have hoped for. Life threw a lot at me last year but I was able to keep it in perspective…
2018 ended up a fantastic year for my marriage – one of the best, actually. My wife and I had a really good time this year. My wife and I seemed to hit that sweet spot in our relationship where we’re not just happy to be together, we know we belong together and we’re enjoying every bit of each other. My kids are excelling at everything they do, and for all of the right reasons – I thank God on a daily basis that my kids got their mother’s brains and their dad’s drive.
Speaking of God, I’ve been blessed this year. I like to think, at least as I see things today, that I’m doing what I should be, trying to live the life my Higher Power would want me to. When I’m doing the next right thing, life has a harmonious flow to it. When I’m trying to manipulate the system, it gets ugly. 2018 had very little ugly to it.
At work, I had many challenges that allowed me the opportunity to practice the principles key to recovery. This goes one of two ways; either one works on things as intended, or one sits back and lets things unfold, doing little to work through the issues. The former obviously works, the latter… well, it’s best to say bad things usually happen. A lack of action in recovery usually isn’t pretty. I did what was necessary, though. I took action.
As things turned out, I think I ended up with the right amount of action and the right amount of letting the Higher Power do His thing because things ended up better than I could have scripted them. I am truly content and at peace – through a LOT of turmoil.
As my hobbies go, I hit record numbers for the blog and it was a rewarding year in terms of feedback from recovery-related posts. All I ever wanted from the blog was an outlet, and I got much more than that. The popularity of the blog is cool, I never imagined I’d top 40,000 hits in a year, but I was just 500 hits shy of 140,000 this year, a new record for the site. What really matters, though (and this may sound a little cheesy, but it’s true), is that my recovery posts are helpful and I’m making a difference – and becoming a productive member of society is what recovery is all about.
As cycling goes, my year was spectacular, with only one wrinkle… I had more fun than a person is supposed to have (with their clothes on) – and that’s what cycling is really all about anyway. I love the numbers (and I’ll get into those in a minute), but what I really enjoy are the memories, laughs, and the time spent with my wife and friends. As numbers go, a little more than 10,100 miles took me about 539 hours to ride – I ended up with an average pace for the year of about 18.8-mph. That includes everything from mountain biking, to recovery rides, to 23-mph average Tuesday night club rides. I’m very happy with that, though I could have done a better job of pushing myself away from the table. My weight was a little higher than I like throughout the entire year. I’ll be working a lot harder on that in 2019.
The wrinkle was my buddy, Mike. His genetics finally caught up with his heart and even though he’s been an exceptional athlete for decades, his heart got blocked up something fierce. So much, and it went without diagnosis for so long that it damaged his ticker beyond repair, so he’s just gotta deal with it and hope for the best. Originally, the doctors wanted him off the bike for good, but he had something to say about that…
He’s just gotta be careful to take it easy. Simplest way to say it, if we work him too hard, he could drop out right there. He’s restricted to something like 160 bpm max… and he’s getting a defibrillator installed just in case. Even with Mike, as bad as the news is, he’s going to be able to deal with it and keep riding – the only thing he’ll miss are those 20+ mph averages. As those go, he’s done.
For the new year, if I can drop 15 pounds and have 2019 just like ’18, I’d take it – and that’s as good as one could hope for. I’m glad to be me.
Happy New Year, my friends. Here’s to another year of health, happiness, and a bunch of miles.