Sunday, May 15, 2016

BACK IN THE SADDLE -- May 15, 2016

This past week, I ventured out on my first bike rides since my back surgery in mid-March.  As road rides go...they weren't long rides...but they were fun!  I'll admit that I was just as nervous as I was excited.   I've tried hard to be a good patient so that I would heal as quickly as possible and I definitely didn't want to undo any progress...but, a few rides in now, I feel good.  The rides I've done so far have been about 10-ish miles (I don't want to over do it) and I've stayed relatively close to home...but yesterday I rode 13 miles.   I've got to tell just feels good to be out in the fresh air doing what I love to do.  No mountain bike rides yet.  I'm going to give myself another week or two before I try some off road riding.

My bike rides, both yesterday and today, took me down near the Conewago Inn.  It was great to be out on my bike -- May 15, 2016
I seriously have to thank my family for helping me (and putting up with me) during the past two months.  First and foremost, thanks to my wife, Robin.  She loves me and takes care of me in a way no one ever has.  Thank you for being next to through all of this and making sure that I was comfortable, taken care of, and  most importantly, loved.  I love you so much, honey!  Thanks to my dad and Mary Jane for making the trip to our house to help with things the first week I was home.   Thank you to my sister-in-law, Mary, for helping me take care of stuff around the house...and a special thank you to my son, Alex, who took care of all the house work and chores that I normally take care of...all the while earning a top 25 class ranking, playing varsity baseball, and holding down a part time job at Subway.  I love you, son.  

My wife, Robin, busted me out of the house a few times to go out for dinner.  This pic was taken at Sydney in  East Berlin on Valentine's Day a few weeks prior to my surgery -- February 14, 2016
My son, Alex, playing third base for Northeastern High School's varsity baseball team -- March 2016 

Mary Jane & Dave Raymond in Alexandria, Virginia -- April 2016
So many of my friends have stopped in to check on me and hang out.  Thanks to all of you.  I'm afraid that if I start listing you all I'll miss someone...but I'll try (and apologize ahead of time to those that  I miss).  Thanks to Mike & Julie Ritts, Mike Alessandroni, Mike Graham, John Senko, Chris Lowe, Brent Shirk, Mike Alicea, Tim Sindlinger, my brothers-in-law Donny, Jimmy, Dave, and my neighbor, Becky, who made me some pretty incredible soup!  I appreciate all of you!  

Mike & Julie Ritts came for a visit to present the NMS Pep Rally trophy.  Nicely done, Green Team!  -- April 2016

Chris Lowe, Dave Raymond, Donny Arnold, & Alex Raymond at Vaccaro's in Little Italy, Baltimore, Maryland.  You won't get a bigger portion of ice cream (or in this case, gelato) anywhere! -- May 14, 2016

Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, & Chris Lowe -- May 15, 2016
Something amazing and unexpected happened during my time off.  I had to change what I write about in this blog and instead of focusing on the rides I am currently taking I was forced to write about friends, events, and rides taken over the years.  Some of those particular THE LEGEND OF THE WHITE SQUIRREL series...focused on some of my friends who were no longer out riding with me for one reason or another.  Those stories were very therapeutic for me because I still blamed myself for why some of those relationships ended. I had no idea that those friends from the past would be touched by those stories.  A dialog was opened and a fire was rekindled in each of us.  Both Mikey and Glenn went out and purchased new bikes.  Billy Graves pulled his out of storage.  The plan is for us all, along with Mark, Tim, and everyone else who rides with us, to be out riding together once school lets out in June.  

Both Glenn & Mikey have purchased new bikes and have begun turning the pedals again -- April 16, 2016

Billy's SETTE is getting some long overdue TLC -- May 9, 2016
Who'd of thought that my time off because of  back surgery would have helped put the band back together?  I cannot wait to be back on the trails with the whole group and see what adventures we come across together.  Looks like I'm not the only one back in the saddle again.

Life is a journey, not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- May 15, 2016

My students were happy to have me back.  This gave me a warm fuzzy -- May 11, 2016