April 10, 2011

The Journey Never Ends

Day 100: 24.0 miles/1:26

No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?” ~ Lee Iacocca

Brandon and I decided that for the 100th post he and I would offer our reflections on this interesting point in our respective journeys.  Brandon’s thoughts are first, followed by mine.

It has been a joy to watch my dad accomplish a seemingly impossible task over these past 100 days.  It gives me strength and hope that I too can achieve anything as long as I put my mind into it, and stay focused on the goal. The greatest thing about 100 pedals to me was the simple fact that you do one thing every day to help you reach your goal. Focus on what needs to be accomplished TODAY to help you get your end result and you cannot fail. You will get there. Don’t worry about tomorrow until it comes.

One thing I’m envious of in my dad’s journey is that he gets to take a day off tomorrow. When it comes to my struggles with addiction, I get no days off. My journey will not end after 100 days, or 1 year, or 5 years. It seems overwhelming at times, and it feels impossible that I can stay sober for the rest of my life. It’s a daunting task. That being said, as long as I stay in the moment, and focus on today, I can get it done.  My celebrations come every day I go to sleep knowing I had another sober day. Small accomplishments can sometimes be huge. For me personally, every day sober is a successful one.

I truly appreciate my father for going on this journey because it felt as though he could at least walk in my shoes for 100 days. I’m sure that there were times when he asked himself “what the hell am I doing?” and “how can I possibly accomplish this?” and the answer was simple, and I’ll say it again. He faced it one day at a time. He put one foot in front of the other and eventually he reached his goal. The important thing was he never stopped, he never took a step back, and he never gave up. I’m proud of his accomplishments, and I take it to heart knowing I too can do what seems impossible.  I love you dad.

Thanks, Brandon.  I love you, too!

When I set out on this journey one hundred days ago, I did not know what to expect.  I was able to envision the joy of accomplishment when I made the commitment; but, I had no sense of what the non-cycling part of the journey would mean to me, or others.  As I sit at the computer — 2,360 miles, 141 hours, and 100 days later – I feel a tremendous sense of joy and relief.  My joy is that I did do it, that Brandon was here to ride with me, and that I found inspiration and power in sustaining a commitment like this.

I have trained and run marathons, I have trained and swam 3.1 miles in open water swims, I have designed and implemented business plans to save struggling companies – none of these previous accomplishments were as educational, inspirational, and unique experience as this.  Don’t get me wrong, the other accomplishments were pretty cool.  What made this one unique and different is that in the process of engaging in the journey, I was joined by a community of supporters, followers, fans, and friends who inspired me with their energy, their stories, and their encouragement.  More importantly, I was able to engage Brandon’s interest and support, as well. This was not the lonely, solitary journey of a man committed to giving himself and his son a gift that would change their lives; rather, it became the story of a community of people who found energy in engaging in my journey and used it as an inspiration for themselves and others.

Thanks for your support and your enthusiasm and your praise – it turned a lonely journey into an incredible educational experience!!

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.