I always saw myself as a typical dad, husband, and professional. In 2009, I celebrated 29 years of marriage, was the father of three adult children, and a successful entrepreneur. I had a successful speaking and coaching business, had begun speaking internationally and was enjoying my transition from the colder climate of my hometown, Detroit, Michigan to the sun and warmth of Scottsdale, Arizona. Life was pretty good.
In the Fall of 2009, I received a life changing phone call – my youngest son was in jail. The bigger story behind going to jail was he had become seriously addicted to heroin, was homeless and now under arrest for addiction related legal troubles.
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. The first step in this rescue mission was to maneuver through the court system and have him relocated to Arizona.
What I didn’t know was there was huge difference between my plan and addiction’s power. Over the next fifteen months, my wife and I went through a litany of addiction driven experiences that every family in this situation goes through – repeated theft, deception, heartache, overdose, arrest, and jail incidents.
It took fifteen months, but finally realized that this addiction wasn’t only affecting my son; but, I had allowed it to slowly destroy me. My business suffered, I distanced myself from friends, and my health deteriorated.
That is when I made a commitment that completely changed my life.
One night, when 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 him when he is present and receptive and even stronger for me when he is not?” It was then that I came up with this 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 the consistency and peace in these meditative bike rides that completely changed my life.
Today, I celebrate the lessons learned in that experience with others who are struggling with addiction and other adversities in their life. I encourage those who are fighting this battle with their children to:
- Trust in God’s plan for theirs and their children’s life
- Practice self-care and do something for themselves to detach from the struggle
- Take control of what is in their control and let go of what is not
I have been truly blessed by my one hundred day cycling adventure and where it has lead me, including the powerful experience of a rediscovery of faith. It is my mission to share the 100Pedals story, message, and experience with others in the hope that they may find the God of peace, love, and understanding in their struggles.
If you are in the middle of a personal struggle with the addiction of a loved one; or, would like to have Dave Cooke speak to your organization, church, or school, please email Dave Cooke