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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Sobering thought (non-alcohol) slight OT

    This week I attended a work related seminar. The speaker made the following comment in relationship to the "strength" of human beings: "Everyone has met with adversity and challenges in life. Anyone who lives to be 50 years old is doing something right, because there are a whole lot of people who don't make it to fifty. Anyone who lives to be 70 is doing something right, because there are a whole lot of people who don't make it to 70...." And on he went up to 100 years of age. For whatever reason, that comment hit home, and I remembered so many of my friends and family who've not made it as far as I have. It also helped me realize that cycling is one of the tools I use to help overcome adversity. When stressed, I ride. When I'm depressed I ride. When sad, I ride. When I need to clear my head, I ride. To keep my heart and lungs relatively healthy, I ride. When I lost the first person I really loved, I rode until the tears were gone and the grief bearable (I rode a lot of miles that year.) I wonder what will happen when I won't be able to ride any longer? Eventually, that time is sure to come. Have any of you given this serious thought? What will you do when you can't ride any longer?

    Or, perhaps I'm placing way too much importance on riding in my life.... but I don't think so.
    Last edited by NOS88; 09-20-06 at 10:02 AM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  2. #2
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I wanna go as I just clear the summit of a big hill......
    Carpe who?

  3. #3
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    The cyclist, Scott Rush, who died from a heart attack while doing Bridge to Bridge this weekend was 41 years old.......He was doing one of the things he most enjoyed.

    I'm with Grampy. As hard as it might be to do that hill, it would probably be even harder knowing I'm unable to do the darn hill.......
    Ride your Ride!!

  4. #4
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I just try to take one day at a time. You never know just WHAT is in the future or even in the next hour. Why worry?

    There are lots and lots of different kinds of outlets. When my son - a rugby player and outdoors enthusiast - was permanently and totally paralyzed from the neck down 20 years ago on his 21st birthday, we all thought the world had ended. Yet, today, he was just referred to in an article

    "Understanding the magnitude of this case, The Legal Center teamed up with nationally
    recognized disability rights attorney Timothy Fox, with the firm Fox and Robertson.
    Timothy Fox and his partner Amy Robertson have been successfully trying disability
    cases for many years. Tim Fox agreed to join the effort out of his personal commitment
    to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded their constitutional protections."

    It is amazing how we humans can "roll with the punches."
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-20-06 at 08:23 AM.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    We are all, probably, much closer to the end than to the beginning. I mean, 55 is only middle age if you live to be 110.

    During the last three months I have dealt with more pain that I ever thought and, in a small measure, probably looked into what the future might hold for me some day.

    I'm not riding now, and not sure when I'll be able to again. It might be in the next two months, but may not be until next spring. I don't know.I have only taken three small rides since June, and none at all in the last month and I'm not sure when I'll get to ride again.

    But since last summer I've cleaned up most of that loose paperwork that seems to always be stacked on a corner of my desk in the study. I started on an outline of a novel I always wanted to write. I watched six seasons of "The West Wing" on DVD (even though I'm a hardcore Republican). I've become a little closer to #4 son, a senior, as he has taken it on himself to do all the mowing and outside stuff around the house. I have continued to teach Sunday School and share with 17 year olds who think they are bulletproof and invisible.

    My point is this....it's not what you are doing when you go out and over the hill that matters. It may be quick, or it may be a long painful process.

    What matters is what we do with this life of opportunity that is here with us now.

    P.S. Everybody wants to go to Heaven..........not many people want to go today.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 09-20-06 at 10:07 AM.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    By the time that Shakespeare was my age, he was dead. Oh, that I had done as well as he had so far.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Had a couple of what now seem minor, but at the time were serious medical conditions. They made me think about things, life in general and me.

    First one was a heart problem that led to a bypass. I was probably the fittest I had been in years. I had a regular riding partner- same age, same fitness and I was leaving him on speed- hills and stamina. While I was in hospital- his wife came and saw me. What Have Mike and I been doing- He woke up that morning with indigestion and was now in Cardiac ward of another hospital. He went through all the tests and nothing was found. Then 2 years later- I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. That hit me mentally and 10 days before I went in for surgery- he went out on an evening ride with a couple of friends. I was worried about the op and did not go. He had a heart attack and died.

    So two of us- Mike was stronger- fitter- healthier than me but he died and I recovered. I was diagnosed correctly- he wasn't. Makes you realise how easy it could have been the other way round. Since Mike died- I have taken everything in my stride. Forced myself back into riding when I could easily have stopped doing the serious stuff that I am still trying to do. Got my fitness back so that I did the hardest ride again that I had ever done. AND it was still hard. Changed my attitude to a lot of things- Work gets in the way of what I want to do? No it doesn't- I come first. Don't know if you have them over where you are, but we have "Grumpy Old Men" that talk a lot of sense. Going by them- I must have been their teacher.

    Age has affected me- and the problems it brings- but I have tried to take the right view and turn it to my advantage. I have no sense of guilt when I sit on someones wheel for mile after mile- I have no qualms about calling for a coffee break when I feel like one and I have no qualms about talking the others into "just one more hill" when I know it will kill them and I have been taking it easy for the last 50 miles. You only remember the last bit of the ride so Stapfam still rules on our rides.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  8. #8
    Coyote!
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    NOS88 mused and asked. . .

    >>> wonder what will happen when I won't be able to ride any longer? . . .Have any of you given this serious thought? What will you do when you can't ride any longer?

    Hell yes, I've pondered it. Today, I'm nursing a bad back from a spill last week. . .hints at mortality and all that b@lls. The plan is to bike [and hike and run and flirt and eat and cuss and grumble] 'til I can't anymore.

    Here's what I've found in life. . .these things take care of themselves. Turns out the stuff I've left behind was stuff I needed to leave behind whether or not I knew it at the time. I'll trust in the gods to make it go that way when I gotta' hang up the bike. . .grim as that seems today.

    Confession: Bikes are great, but I'll miss flirting most of all. There's good news here, though. When my Daddy Coyote was two hours from death, he was still flirting up the nurses. . .'cause the hemi-paresis kept him from reaching out for one. Gotta' say it, Yip-Yip-Yip-YiiiiEEEE!!!

  9. #9
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    D@mn, while reading this post I seem to have managed to get something in my eyes. A lot of thoughts and memories here.

    Lost every material posession I had once (UGLY divorce). Found a cheap used Nashiki road bike, rode till I couldn't pedal another revolution. Never knew you could cry until you had cotton mouth. Learned how little material things mean when you lose the only thing you ever really loved.

  10. #10
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    Reading your post makes me think of winter coming up. You can forget biking around here for at least 4 months and perhaps much more for my beloved limestone trails.
    So, what to do? Go for long walks. Visit Florida.
    If I get too old to bike, which I find hard to imagine, we will find something to do. (and there is Alzheimers )

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas
    By the time that Shakespeare was my age, he was dead.
    How many times have I heard that over the years?

  12. #12
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    cycling is one of the tools I use to help overcome adversity. When stressed, I ride. When I'm depressed I ride. When sad, I ride. When I need to clear my head, I ride . . . . When I lost the first person I really loved, I rode until the tears were gone and the grief bearable (I rode a lot of miles that year.)
    Wow - beautiful post.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    When I lost the first person I really loved, I rode until the tears were gone and the grief bearable (I rode a lot of miles that year.)
    There are not enough miles on this earth to make the loss of my wife bearable. My only love. If only we could have gone together. We so looked forward to the day I could retire and do so many things together. She deserved so much better. Nothing is worse than an empty house in the evening. Oh for the days when you could sit together and never have to say a word. I miss her so much. Now I try to do things that take me away from the house in the morning and I stay away as long as I can before I return to the emptyness in the evening. So my advice to you is don't plan and save for retirement, live for today because tomorrow may never come. If one of you goes, the other goes also but in a different way. Tell her you love her, show her you love her and cherish every minute together.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OH306
    So my advice to you is don't plan and save for retirement, live for today because tomorrow may never come.
    Probably the wisest words ever to appear in BF. My heart breaks for your loss...

  15. #15
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    So my advice to you is don't plan and save for retirement, live for today because tomorrow may never come. If one of you goes, the other goes also but in a different way. Tell her you love her, show her you love her and cherish every minute together.
    This is the conundrum we face.

    I am almost 67, wife 69.

    My dad died at 61 yo.

    My mom is alive and kicking at 93yo.

    My wife's mom died at 55, and her dad at 73 yo.

    One sister has her 2nd bout of cancer as I write. The other is doing fine.

    Save or go for it?

    My condolences to OH306. You will get through this, although it seems like you won't. We have known several folks with 2nd lives and new spouses who are doing quite well.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  16. #16
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    I wonder what will happen when I won't be able to ride any longer? Eventually, that time is sure to come. Have any of you given this serious thought? What will you do when you can't ride any longer?
    Wow, pretty serious stuff here, and the kind of wisdom I've come to expect from this forum in a number of the posts. I, too, have pondered this on occasion: Will I be riding right up until my time comes, or be unable to for an extended time. We don't know what awaits us, but one man in the older club group I rode with often, right after I started riding, summed it up well. He said we don't know if riding will add even one day to our life, but we do know it will keep us active for more of our time here. Raising my glass, here's to activity.
    Bud
    * 2009 RANS XStream
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    They told me it's ok to post mileage over in the commuting forum, so you'll probably find me there these days.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    I can't begin to imagine the pain of a loss such as OH306's above...I'm sure all of us paused reading his post. As for myself, I very much understand BudBent. 4 years ago a long relationship ended leaving me pretty devastated, depressed, I lived almost reclusively except for work for a year. One day I took one of my bikes down from the garage hooks, pumped tires, and rode around the block. Kept riding obviously...anger and frustration spun the pedals for a while, then I began spinning them for pleasure and challenge. One day I met a couple of riders and started riding with them, having lunch after, met wives, etc. I'm human again. There were other helpful things, including time and reflection, but cycling was one foundation. The future will work itself out, ending as it does for all of us. I sometimes wonder how we "regulars" will react when we seriously lose, some years from now, some of our more elder members. Assuming, that is, that Joe's server doesn't finally blow up and he doesn't run out of patience with us boys in grupetto.

    But, again, it's today's ride that really counts and has to count. Certainly riding today may insure us more riding tomorrows.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  18. #18
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    I like to offer food for thought.
    "World view #1" assumes that we and every individual if of greatest importance. This view rewards individual achievement and our culture provides great rewards for individual achievements. We know that some of these achievements are just being at the right place at the right time. Conversely, be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Never mind that, we emphasize achievement regardless why.
    Loss and gain are the price we pay because that is how we see ourselves.
    "World view #2" assumes that we are children of the universe. The world will go on with or without us. Accepting that means that we may as well enjoy the present and not worry so much about the future and most certainly accept the past. In other words: While we are part of the universe, the world does not center around us.

  19. #19
    Coyote!
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    Will' spake. . .

    >>> While we are part of the universe, the world does not center around us.

    Yeah, but how does that help me score with the granny set? [Just kidding. . .no, wait.]

    Good points, will'. . .hope you gotta' sense of humor for an ol' grouch like me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote!
    Will' spake. . .

    >>> While we are part of the universe, the world does not center around us.

    Yeah, but how does that help me score with the granny set? [Just kidding. . .no, wait.]

    Good points, will'. . .hope you gotta' sense of humor for an ol' grouch like me.
    Thanks. The OP hit a sore point in my family (Inadvertenly of course). We just lost a very dear person and had to deal with it. My wife was severely affected and I had to come up with some encouraging words.
    Basically saying: Onwards and forwards. Life is what it is.

  21. #21
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Eight years ago my marriage ended. Seven and a half years ago my dog died. Seven years ago my business collapsed. Six and a half years ago, my business partner of ten years decided to move on. Five years ago my material "wealth" came to an end, trying to meet expenses. No more retirement fund, no investments, no savings, no nothing. Five years ago, a relationship that began after my divorce and proved to be deeper, more loving, and more everything than my marriage ever was also ended. For the next three or four years I treaded water.

    Finally I discovered photography, and a year later, cycling.

    I get the same thing from both avocations: a glimpse at what joy feels like. It's fleeting, but it's addictive. I'm not Ansel Adams, nor am I ever going to be mistaken for an athlete, but I can take a pretty good picture and I can ride to my heart's content.

    Along the way, I've been forced to really examine my values around abundance, prosperity, success, and all of that. And while I still yearn for this and that, I have learned to appreciate and treasure what I DO have -- pretty good health, a great environment in which to live, a laugh now and then, a number of achievements of which I'm quite proud, and two incredible daughters.

    I plan to take pictures until the very end. I plan to ride my bike just about as long, God willing. The rest will sort itself out, one way or another.

    This thread was quite powerful for me to read. I want to acknowledge and appreciate all who have responded.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    you still da' Man, Gary...well-said

    ever read Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose ?
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Eight years ago my marriage ended. Seven and a half years ago my dog died. Seven years ago my business collapsed. Six and a half years ago, my business partner of ten years decided to move on. Five years ago my material "wealth" came to an end, trying to meet expenses. No more retirement fund, no investments, no savings, no nothing. Five years ago, a relationship that began after my divorce and proved to be deeper, more loving, and more everything than my marriage ever was also ended. For the next three or four years I treaded water.

    Finally I discovered photography, and a year later, cycling.

    I get the same thing from both avocations: a glimpse at what joy feels like. It's fleeting, but it's addictive. I'm not Ansel Adams, nor am I ever going to be mistaken for an athlete, but I can take a pretty good picture and I can ride to my heart's content.

    Along the way, I've been forced to really examine my values around abundance, prosperity, success, and all of that. And while I still yearn for this and that, I have learned to appreciate and treasure what I DO have -- pretty good health, a great environment in which to live, a laugh now and then, a number of achievements of which I'm quite proud, and two incredible daughters.

    I plan to take pictures until the very end. I plan to ride my bike just about as long, God willing. The rest will sort itself out, one way or another.

    This thread was quite powerful for me to read. I want to acknowledge and appreciate all who have responded.
    You know what Gary? From my viewpoint, I see you have found success in life. Success is not measured in dollars or possessions or accumulation of things, but what a person has become and how they relate to others. Maybe a true measure is how they make other's lives better.
    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    Best regards,

    Duhhuh

  24. #24
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    DG,
    All these things considered, you are doing fine. This is based on knowing you by BF.

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