I always saw myself as a typical dad, husband, and successful professional. In 2009, I celebrated 29 years of marriage, was the father of three adult children, and a successful business consultant. Life was going according to plan as was building a successful speaking and coaching business, including a few international presentation and was enjoying the transition from my hometown Detroit, Michigan to the sun and warmth of Scottsdale, Arizona. Life was pretty good.
In the September 2009, I received phone call that changed my life – my youngest son was in jail. My son, twenty at the time, was addicted to heroin, homeless and in legal trouble relating to this situation.
In my typical take charge manner, I immediately shifted all my priorities and set out on a quest to rescue my son from his addiction, including maneuvering through the court system and to have him relocated to Arizona where a change of venue and a parents love would certainly solve the problem.
What I didn’t know about the power of addiction provided quite an education and interrupted my perfect little strategy. Over the next fifteen months, my wife and I went through a litany of addiction driven experiences many other families dealing with the addiction of a loved one goes through – more legal troubles, deception, heartache, and scary overdose incidents.
After fifteen months, I finally realized this addiction wasn’t only affecting my son; but, it had slowly begun to destroy me. My business suffered, I distanced myself from friends, and my health had deteriorated.
That is when I made a commitment that completely changed my life.
One night, when I finally discovered how broken I was, I challenged myself to do something to regain control and clarity in my life. The challenge was “how can I be strong for my son when he is present and receptive and even stronger for me when he is not?” It was then that I came up with an incredible, life changing challenge.
I made a commitment to ride my bike for at least one hour a day for 100 consecutive days.
On January 1, 2011, I went on my first one hour bike ride. On April 10, 2011, I completed my 100th consecutive ride. Over the course of these one hundred days, I rode 2,360 miles and 141 hours.
It was not the exercise in this activity which changed my life, it was the meditative experiences in every ride. With every bike ride, my mind became clearer. In this clarity I discovered the peace and guidance that provided direction through the chaotic journey of a child’s addiction.
Today, I celebrate the lessons learned in that experience and share insights from them with other parents struggling to navigate their life around the chaos of a child’s addiction. The most powerful lesson learned was to learn to understand what I have control over and what is beyond my control and being at peace in my awareness of this reality, while committing to focusing my attention and my energies on what I control.
There is so much more to share from this remarkable experience. If you have a son or daughter struggling with an addiction, I know what you are going through. If you are struggling with pain and confusion in this experience, I look forward to connecting with you. There is tremendous opportunity to learn from this journey and find peace in your life. I would welcome the opportunity to share with you the path. Please feel free to contact me to begin this new journey with you. Email me: dave@100Pedals.com