I took a walk in the woods the other day. I know that doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary for me…but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that. Without going into it too much, about six months ago it became very evident that I would need to have another surgery on my back. All the signs were there and by August it was unavoidable. It’s all good. I mean, I’ve been through this before and as much as it sucks, I knew what to expect and ultimately there are a lot worse things that can happen to somebody. But yeah, that walk in the woods, with the last vestiges of the Fall foliage hanging onto the trees, felt really good.
|I took a walk in the woods the other day at Oregon Ridge Nature Preserve -- November 6, 2022|
My support system is amazing…and they deserve so many thanks. So, here we go…First and foremost, is my wife Robin, who promised that she’d be with every step of the way (again) just as she always has been. She was there when I took my first steps with my newer and more improved bionic spine and was by my side every moment. Thank you, baby, I love you! Thank you to my family (Alex, Dad, Mary Jane, Mia, Blythe, Scarlett, Freya, Milo, Kevin, Julien, Emma Sadowski, Mary, Jimmy, Donny, Jake, Jackie, Sophie, and Isaac) for all of your support. Thank you to my Aunt Deb, Aunt Rosanne, and Aunt Jane…I really enjoyed talking over the phone with you during my recovery. Thank you to my brother-in-law, Donny Arnold, for coming to stay with me for a week and helping me out. Thank you to my college roommate, Chris Lowe, who also gave up a weekend to come hang out and make sure I was okay. Thank you to my colleagues at school and at the bike shop for all of the messages, memes, work updates, and check-ins. Thank you to my mountain biking buds, Tim and Matt, for the constant text thread of dad jokes. Thank you to the Dorwards and the Grahams for the ready to eat dinners that you brought over. Thank you to my neighbor, Jon, for helping each week with the trash cans for for the daily warped humor. Thank you to my brothers at Riverside Lodge 503 for the cards and visits. And finally, a big thank you to Dr. Solatto for, once again, putting me back together (you are a great guy and an amazing doctor…but I hope this is the last time). No doubt, I missed someone. Please don’t feel slighted…Thank you!
|Visit from my father and Mary Jane -- October 1, 2022|
|Donny Arnold and David Raymond -- September 18, 2022|
|Out for lunch with both of my brothers-in-law, Jimmy and Donny Arnold -- October 14, 2022|
|Enjoying breakfast with Blyth, Freya, and Milo -- October 20, 2022|
|Family brunch! -- October 30, 2022|
The one thing I was able to do a lot over the past three months is walk. Once I was allowed to, I just began walking everywhere I could. Hell, just in September and October I walked a combined 369.87 miles! My morning routine always took me past the local McDonald’s to grab a hashbrown and refill my coffee (A fun little habit that miss now that I am back at school). Along the way, I got to watch, on a daily basis, the changing colors of the leaves and meet a lot of people that I normally wouldn’t have crossed paths with. I walked a lot of these miles on my own…but plenty of them were with family and friends who came to keep me company. In particular, a huge thank you to Mike Graham and Eric Gimbi (co-workers / best friends) who came by at least once a week to join me on an excursion. You guys are amazing and I don’t know what I’d do without you.
|My first pain free steps in over a year -- September 1, 2022|
|One of my many post-surgery walks with my wife, Robin -- October 15, 2022|
|Mike Graham and Dave Raymond -- September 13, 2022|
|Eric Gimbi and Dave Raymond -- September 15, 2022|
|Walking with my son, Alex and my college roommate, Chris Lowe -- September 17, 2022|
|Taking a walk with my father. So cool. -- September 19, 2022|
|Enjoying the amazing foliage in Michaux State Forest with Matt Linnane -- October 26, 2022|
I rode my bike up until the day before my surgery…getting in as many miles and as much time in the saddle as I could. Amazingly, considering how much it hurt to walk and stand for even a short amount of time, riding my bike felt fine. Actually, it was the only thing I could do that was pain-free and made me feel as if nothing was wrong. That was August 31. Since then my bikes have been hanging in the garage. They’ll be there waiting for me when I’m ready to ride again. For the time being I’m just excited to be able to walk again with my wife, with my friends, or just with myself. Many thanks to all who have walked with me the past few months…figuratively and literally. For you, I am so full of appreciation and gratitude.
|Headed off to the first day of my 28th day in 8th grade -- November 1, 2022|