Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am in the process of combining two blogs and my personal website. I'll leave this blog up for a while, but will no longer be creating new posts. New blog/website is:

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Today was a milestone that was 4 years in the making. Actually, it started back in 1996 when I first became interested in cycling. Several friends from church had started riding and encouraged me to join them. I struggled to keep up with them on my off brand mountain bike with a "fat-boy" seat. After a couple of brutal rides, I headed to the local bike shop and purchased a Schwinn hybrid.

Over the next four years, I continued to ride, logging 50 to 70 miles on most Saturdays, shorter distances during the week, and trading up to a Cannondale road bike along the way. During the same period, I rode Oklahoma Freewheel (week long ride from Texas to Kansas across the Oklahoma) twice, did the MS150 once and participated in a number of other organized rides in the area.

In 2000, my oldest son and I were training for Oklahoma Freewheel--would have been his first--when I "wrenched" my knee about half way through a 60 mile ride. The pain was horrible and worse yet, my bike riding days were over for that summer. We didn't do Freewheel, either. I hung up my bike, started physical therapy with the idea of getting back on the road as soon as possible.

Weeks turned into months and months into years and before I knew it, the bike had been hanging in the garage for a little over 10 years.

Backing up a bit to 2007, I decided I needed to get myself in shape. The bike was still in the garage, but I was in no shape to jump back on it, so I joined Owasso Fitness Zone, a local gym. I told Paul, the gym owner, "I want to get back on my bike." I changed my eating habits--a little--worked on building some much needed muscle...and I started riding the stationary bike.

This Spring, I took my bike down, took it to 360 Sports in Owasso for a tune up and I hit the road. At first, just a few miles at a time, then 10 miles, then 15 miles. It was was frustrating not being able to go the distance I once had, but I kept at it. I set a goal for myself: I wanted to ride 30 miles in less than three hours. Days and weeks passed and I noticed my time/pace was getting better and I was riding more miles. I also sold my old road bike and bought a new Cannondale CAAD 8 105. I have been averaging 12-14 MPH on most rides.

This morning, I decided was THE day. I checked the air in my tires, turned on the GPS and set out...and 2 hours and 15 minutes later, I had ridden 31.5 MILES!!! That's an average of approximately 14.0 MPH! Not a world record, but for a 53-year-old that hasn't ridden in 10 years, I thought that was pretty good. I've also lost a little over 10 pounds and I definitely feel much better. Next month, my youngest son and I are register for a 55-mile ride. I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, August 08, 2011

A Little More Time

We moved our youngest son into his apartment at college this weekend. All of his worldly possessions were neatly packed into boxes. His books, iMac, TV, CDs/DVDs, electric guitar, clothes, a few pots and pans, toiletries, and a hand-me-down bookcase case were all loaded into two vehicles for the short drive. He's attending a college within half an hour's distance, but the program he's in requires he live on campus the first year.

Our oldest son moved out a couple of months ago, but due to the economy and severe cuts in his hours at work, he moved BACK home this weekend. He has one year of college left and hopes to get married next summer, so he decided it would be better to be somewhere a little cheaper (free rent) so he can save some money. I'm good with it.

At the end of the emotional day--on several levels--I was thinking how fast the last 20+ years had flown by and how things were going to be quite a bit different. The youngest will come home most weekends; how much we'll see of him during that time is still up for debate. The oldest already had a pattern of coming and going as he pleased before he left, and I'm sure that's how it will be now. They don't depend on us near as much as they used to. They have grown up; they have very distinct personalities, talents, beliefs, etc. They are--and have been for a while--pretty independent fellas. They are both quite talented musically. Both of them have a warped/unique sense of humor (don't know where they got THAT!), and they inherited the "height" gene that apparently missed their mother and I.

We're proud of them both. The youngest told us once: "You guys got off easy," and you know what? He's right. Both of them have participated in their share of mischievous acts, but for the most part, they have been really "good kids" young men.

Yep. It'll be different not having them both around all the time. Not hearing them laughing in their rooms at some stupid video or post they've read on the internet. It will be quieter; it could become a little unnerving when they both broke out the guitars and keyboards and began two separate rooms and two completely different tunes!!! I'll miss having them come into the living room, paying no attention to what's going on and immediately just start talking, reading something THEY think is funny, or playing a new tune they've figured out without any regard for the fact their mother and I are in the middle of a conversation or trying to watch something on TV.

I'll miss waiting on them to show up for dinner on time. I'll miss telling them for the 1 millionth time to "pick that crap up and put it in your room." I'll miss hearing them say: "Mom, I'm gonna be in college and you won't know what I'm doing all the time there. Why do I have to text you, now?" There are lots of other things I'll miss, but you get the point.

I'm also going to miss the things I wanted to do with them, but never got around to. I got busy, they got busy. We didn't have the money. We didn't have the time. The oldest and I planned on riding Oklahoma FreeWheel together, but it never happened. I planned on taking them both white-water rafting. I planned on taking them both deep-sea fishing. I planned on us renting an RV and just getting away for a week. I wanted to take them to a Shepherds' Conference. I meant to spend more time with them, doing things they enjoyed, talking about all kinds of things, picking their brains, giving them some "fatherly advice." I meant to do all that stuff and more...but it didn't happen.

I wish I'd had a little more time...

I did what I could within the time I had, and all-in-all, they didn't turn out bad. They don't seem to be too upset about the things we didn't do, so just maybe, things will be alright. And you know what, God willing, we still may get the opportunity to do some of those long as it doesn't interfere with school!