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We’ve been stuck indoors for the last month and a half – just ridiculously cold. I’m good down to 18 or 19° (-7C) but I don’t like it. On the plus side, the second the temps rebound to something like the normal average (barely below freezing) it feels like a heatwave…
I set up our first outdoor ride in more than a month on Friday. We were due for a whopping 38° and sunshine. The ride was set for 2.
21 glorious, sunshiny miles, a little more than an hour, on the gravel bikes and we actually rode fairly hard. I felt awesome and Mrs. Bgddy showed signs of her hours spent on the trainer paying off. She’s getting strong. It was just a perfect, awesome ride with some good friends.
On pulling into my driveway we were all high-fives and smiles. Anyone who cycles or runs knows the feeling, after we’d been cooped up for a while. Once you’re done with that first ride and you’ve got some endorphins running around the system, it’s hard to describe how good you feel. It’s simply special.
And we’re going back out again today… on the tandem this time. I spent an hour getting it tuned up and ready to go yesterday. It’s as good as it gets.
I don’t care how one chooses to sober up, if one doesn’t clean up the wreckage that caused them to drink in the first place, you’re pretty much screwed – you’ll drink again. It’s not rocket science; Quit drinking, clean up the disaster that I created, make amends for that disaster, do the next right thing in any given situation, don’t rest on one’s laurels, enjoy life. That’s pretty close to the template, though I like to work a dozen steps in there, because it makes the process a lot easier.
My wife, kids, work, cycling, road trips, vacations, weekends, my bikes… happiness itself. Without recovery, none of the good life I have is possible.
Folks, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I couldn’t deliver pizza well as a drunk (I never did show up to work loaded though, not once).
Every day I wake up, I’m thankful I’ve done so sober. I owe everything I love to recovery, and I have a lot to love.
Why do I choose cycling? When you love what you do to stay fit…
You don’t have to rely on silly quotes to get off the couch, you can’t wait to get out the door…. And only then do you understand why those quotes never really stuck in the first place.
I am in the middle of a very high-profile project in a very high-profile town.
I was walking down the third-floor corridor after a meeting and stopped cold. I smelled smoke. Faint, but unmistakable. You don’t want to smell smoke in a half-built wood building that takes up a full city block.
I narrowed the strongest smell down to one or two units. It didn’t make sense that the smell wasn’t more intense… except if it was on a lower floor (smoke doesn’t go down). I went down to two… stronger, but no visible smoke. It hit me that I should be afraid – what if the floor below was burning? No, I reasoned there would be smoke if there was fire.
I went down another floor and that’s when I knew it wasn’t just my imagination. A thin layer of smoke could be seen in the corridor. I turned into the archway of unit 105 and there was smoke to the ceiling. The lead electrician, who had been searching with me, found the source and I bolted out the doorway and down the corridor. I called the superintendent and told him “first-floor”, dropped my phone and grabbed a fire extinguisher and hauled ass back to 105.
I put out the fire.
It wasn’t big, of course but you never know. Given a little more time, that fire could have been disastrous.
Better, when I was a kid, I did as my mother taught me; when it came to danger I always ran the other way, without first assessing whether or not I could make a positive impact on the situation.
Yesterday, while everyone else took off outside, I assessed the situation and did the next right thing. I didn’t run. I put out the fire. Yesterday, I did what men do, not what we’re taught.
It was a good day for me.
As I wrote this, it’s -4°, and that’s not “feels like”. It feels like -10° (that’s an F too, not a C).
I called my sponsor on the way home from work to see if he was planning on showing up for the meeting tonight, hoping he’d say it was too cold (thus giving me some cover, ahem, to stay home myself). No such luck, so I hurried home, changed into my cycling gear, belted out 45 hard minutes on the trainer, took a shower and I rolled out. My hair froze instantly on walking out the front door.
Maybe halfway there I heard a plea on the radio for homeless people in Detroit to get to a warming center. I thanked God that being a drunk just wasn’t good enough for me and that I heeded the warning to sober up. When I arrived at the church (our meeting is held in the basement), the parking lot was empty. I parked and walked up to the door. I could see it was locked. I was pretty sure I was heading back home… I gave the handle a pull just for good measure… and the door opened. By a fluke, whenever the last person left they must not have pulled the door all the way closed. I walked in, set up and there I sat, coffee brewing, waiting to see of anyone was crazy enough to show up for their daily dose of recovery. What strolls through the door but a new kid who walked two miles in that $#!+ to get to a meeting.
And I was there for him, coffee brewed, because my sponsor said, “I’ll be there”. The meeting went as meetings go. My sponsor showed up a few minutes before the start and just one other guy strolled in a little after we started. Everyone else stayed home.
After the meeting I took the new kid out to dinner, a block from his home and we talked program, because that’s how we do.
For me, there are a couple of morals to the story. First was “show up, you never know when you’ll be needed”. All too often I get to see just how self-absorbed I still am and it strikes my funny bone. On the other hand, I still managed to pay attention and do the right thing and be in the right place anyway. Finally, “make sure you’ve got your key to the church before you walk out the front door”… Last night was the first time I was the first and only one at the church to get our meeting ready (there are two other meetings, FA and Alanon held there at the same time as well). Life in recovery is a daily reprieve, contingent upon the maintenance of my program… Last night I used that reprieve properly. Even if I did have to be pulled across the line.
One thing is for certain, though: I slept like a baby last night.