Why would this busted up retired firefighter and former SEAL commit himself to a physical endeavor that most sane people would never consider at any point in their lives?
Simple answer – One of my fellow BUD/S Class 98 graduates ask me to.
Situation: I was sitting there having dinner with my wife and BUD/S classmates on the last night of our reunion thinking that after four decades that these men are still among the best people I have ever encountered. That’s when Charbo walked by and said, “Hey Doc, what are you doing next year about this time?” Knowing just a few months earlier that Charbo had completed a ride from San Francisco to San Diego for VIP Neurorehab, I responded with a rhetorical question, “Riding with you?” All he said was, “YES,” with a fist pump …………… Uh oh, what was I thinking? Oh man, it’s on!
Dilemma: I am the proud owner of an artificial hip (that took three surgeries and a struggle to beat an infection that had me hobbled for years) and a new artificial shoulder. I had also collected three additional orthopedic surgeries. I did not even own a bike.
- Train smart! The old bones and surrounding tissues do not recover fast.
- Do not get sick! Too easy to over-train and get set back. Work at Denver International Airport exposes me to people from all over the world and all their ills.
- Remember there are more important things than self. Help those in need!
So here I am about half way to the goal. I had to start out slow, two hours per week on a lousy stationary bike at the community gym. I added 15 minutes per week, acquired a nice spin bike needed for training during the cold days of Colorado, and purchased a fine mountain bike to train heavy and hard until I can work a road bike into the financial picture (thanks Manny for selling me your bike then becoming a generous donor).
My regimen is three days per week up at 0345, on the spin bike by 0355, one-hour ride, shower for work, half mile power walk to the bus, and then a ten-hour shift mostly on my feet and moving fast. Part way through the split shift I hit the gym to cross train the other parts of my body. My wife complements my workouts with short yoga sessions in the evening. Working four ten-hour shifts allows me three days per week for the two to four-hour bike sessions on the roads and trails. I am going to be adding in swimming 2-3 days/wk soon. Like Conrad, I am busting through 11 hours per week on the pedals. My intention is to complete three days in a row of century rides a month before go time.
Make no mistake, this is not about any of us. We are giving up our relative anonymity for a larger cause – to help those in need. We cherish privacy and relish only in serving silently but if it takes hard work from a handful of former SEALS to draw attention to a greater cause, then so be it.
Please do not hesitate in joining us by supporting Beyond The Teams’ efforts with whatever you can to help those less fortunate.