January 26, 2011

Taking Risks

Day 26: 19.2 miles/1:12

“You don’t know what you are capable of until you put yourself in a position to do something you have never done before.”

 Today’s ride was certainly an adventure.  I have started to get in the habit of riding earlier in the morning on my weekday rides.  Leaving the house around 5:15AM gives me an opportunity to fulfill my commitment, get inspired for the day and the get on with my day.  Two of the known and previously discussed challenges of the early morning rides are the dark and the cold.  Usually traffic is an advantage, not a risk—until today.  I had four separate incidents where my defensive riding skills saved me from becoming a very large hood ornament.  I was determined to find an alternative course for the early morning rides out of my eastern based route.  Needless to say, with the vehicle adventures I had this morning, I am likely going to stick to the morning routes that are proven as safer.

Today’s inspiration comes from a discussion I had with Brandon and from a lunch conversation I had yesterday, as well.  During my lunch conversation, the person I was meeting with was talking about her life’s experiences and how she ended up where she is today.   Currently unemployed, she was talking about her conscious decision to sell her businesses, most of her belongings, and transition to Phoenix to get a fresh start.  She came here with no guarantees, no job and brought with her only her experience and commitment to what she is capable of.   As she discussed her journey and the enjoyment she is getting from it, I realized that her life experiences are based on doing what hasn’t been done, trying what hasn’t been tried, and simply getting moving.  While not everyone is as capable of taking the risks she has and is taking, it is quite clear that she knows that whatever she does, she is capable of finding joy in it, even if she doesn’t know what the outcome is.  What she has done is found out what she can do by doing something she has never tried before.

When I picked Brandon up from his meeting last night, he was talking about a person who had just returned from a special rehab program in jail.  As he described it, the program sounded a bit like the army meets rehab in jail.  There was a great deal of discipline, accountability, and responsibility associated with this program.  And, successful completion of the sixty-day program meant a reduction in sentence.  This program was not the typical attend-and-learn program; it was an engage and be accountable for your engagement.   I was pleased to hear that the correction system offered something that would council and guide people through a rehab program instead of simply killing time.

What got my attention was when Brandon said, “I am not sure I would like that type of program.”  I know he didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be interested in it, he was thinking out loud about his ability to succeed in it.  I counseled him not to be so hard on himself.  He has never been put in a position where he could choose an option like that; and, if he did opt to enter into something like that he has no idea what he is capable of once he gets there.  Until he is in a situation that really tests and challenges him, who knows what he could do.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.