February 6, 2011

The 100 Pedals Story

Here is where the story begins. It was a little over fifteen months ago when I discovered the severity of my youngest son’s heroin addiction–homeless, in legal trouble, and in jail.  Over the last fifteen months, I have driven cross country twice to facilitate a change in his environment, dealt with him getting arrested again, endured his spending sixty days in jail, awakened him out of a near overdose high, kicked him out of the house several times and acquired personal items back from pawn brokers that were sold to buy drugs.  It has been quite an experience.  It is one that I would never have wished for in my life and have no way to avoid now.

During the 2010 holiday season, after removing my son from the house again, I realized the impact that his addiction was having on my life.  My business, my relationships, and my overall physical and mental health had taken a toll during this fifteen month odyssey.  I have invested every ounce of time and energy I could muster to help my son overcome this addiction.  It seemed that his progress, if any, was minimal.  And, the slower the progress the more I invested in helping him. That is when I realized that I cannot do this for him anymore, I cannot want it bad enough for him to recover, and that he needed my love and my support, but not my enablement.

The challenge I put in front of myself was how can I be strong for him when he is present and receptive and even stronger for me when he is not?  Then, I came up with this crazy idea.

I made a commitment to ride my bike for at least one hour for the next 100 days.  This commitment serves several purposes.  First, it helps me understand the enormous burden of having to do something every single day for an extended period of time—in a small way it is like overcoming an addiction.  Second, it provides an example to my son what making and fulfilling a challenging commitment looks like.  Finally, this commitment gives me perspective, strength, and better mental and physical health.

When I started riding I discovered the hidden power of the journey that I had been living the past fifteen months.  I was taking my son’s addiction, our conversations, our challenges, plus my values and other experiences on these rides with me.  I discovered the inspirational and educational opportunities I was receiving from these rides.  I realized that these rides were providing me clarity for my life, for my son’s life, but also for others, as well.  Everyone is going through something.  The lessons I have obtained in my life and through my son’s experiences were speaking to me and I realized I had something to share with others as it relates to their challenges and frustrations.

100 Pedals provides a lesson for all of us.  It provides perspectives on commitment, communication, teamwork, fulfillment, and finding happiness. 100 Pedals offers individuals, teams, and organizations perspectives for defining and realizing great outcomes.  I am excited about the insights I have obtained on my rides and am pleased to be able to share them with you.  While 100 Pedals is about my personal journey, I look forward to you joining me in your own personal way.  Let’s ride together!

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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.