Wednesday, January 16, 2013


My mornings certainly don't go any way they have ever gone before in my life. I can't just jump out of bed anymore. In fact, I have a regimen of exercises I do in bed, before I even sit up. It hasn't been easy to discipline myself to do these, but I've discovered that if I take that 10-15 minutes and do them, it becomes much easier to arise and greet the day. This morning, I also discovered another thing, that if I wake up early and just want to get up, don't do it. Most of my life, I've been one that's been able to get through the day very easily on 6 hours of sleep. Even if I had a long bike ride ahead of me on that day - 100 to 200 miles - I could do it on as little as 3 hours of sleep. Few people are aware of this, but when I did the Wisconsin record ride in August of last year, I had only 1 hour of sleep the night before. The crew had a "luxurious" 3 or 4 hours! LOL

But this morning, when I woke up at my usual time around 6 or 7 am, I decided to just go back and sleep a bit more. I woke up again at 9:15 am, and immediately proceeded to do my in-bed rehab exercises. About 20 minutes later, when I finally did sit up, I was actually feeling refreshed, something I haven't felt in a long time. I even arose from the bed differently, almost as if I had never broken my hip. I stood there and cherished that moment, and thanked God for giving it to me. Yesterday was not an easy one for me, so that little moment of reassurance was something I could truly appreciate.

The days are still slow and deliberate, as I'm sure they will be for quite some time yet. After a trip to the bathroom, I begin making my breakfast. I usually alternate between something "elaborate" like eggs and toast, or something simple like cereal and milk. This morning was a simple bowl of granola and milk, a glass of carrot juice, and a cup of hot tea. That helped to wash down my morning pain pill and daily dose of vitamins and nutritional supplements.

I'll usually bring my breakfast into the front living room, where I have a recliner chair set up, with a small table on each side. It is in this chair where I spend a good part of each day, between doing exercises, light-duty housework, and making my daily meals. In this chair is where I am also writing this blog entry, and where I communicate to the outside world each day on my computer, via Facebook and email. My chair also allows me an open view of our front yard with the large picture windows. I love to just sit here at times and watch the tree branches blow in the wind. It's the wind that makes them strong, you know.

Later this afternoon, Linda will take me to my physical therapy session. Afterwards, I hope to make a short visit to Wheel & Sprocket, the shop where I work. I'll meet with John Rodriguez who has organized a fundraiser for me to help us cover some of the medical costs from this accident. The event is happening this Friday at our Northshore store. I haven't really mentioned this event until now, but it's been on my mind quite a bit since it was first considered about 3 weeks ago. I won't say much other than it's about the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.

When I first returned to cycling, I didn't really know how many of my old friends would welcome me back. And I knew even less if any of the new guard would care about an old man who was trying to give it another go. But I was blessed by both groups. I've been able to rekindle treasured, old friendships. And I've made many new friends, quite a few much younger than me, who have allowed me to share my old stories and even hang onto their wheel once in awhile on group rides. I have truly felt like the character my blog was named after, "The Prodigal Cyclist". But now with this fundraiser that is about to happen, the blogs title seems to be taking on a deeper and even more personal meaning. The love, compassion, and excitement that I have been seeing in people that will be part of the event, is causing me to be amazed at how God's word continues to literally come alive in my life. But it also reminds me that it is not me who does this. It is by God's grace.

Luke 15:11-32 "The Parable of the Lost Son"

In the end, there is nothing I can do, but to cherish and love the people who are helping me, brothers and sisters of the bike.

My Friends


  1. I'm appreciating these updates, Mark, and glad for the good news of your healing. Will continue to pray for motivation, energy, vision and increasing strength!


  2. Thanks for your comment, JAZ. I rarely get comments on this blog, so I often feel that no one is reading it. And then every once in a while, I run into someone who says, "Hey, I read your blog and I want to tell you how much I appreciate it".

    I'm glad to hear that someone does read it once in a while.
    By the way, do we know each other? The only "JAZ" I can remember at the moment is a guy I use to work with years ago at a bike shop, Jerry A. Zimmerman.

  3. It's Judi Z., as in crew member, Chicago resident, etc. etc. :>

  4. Oh, duh! LOL
    Thank you, precious friend and blessed record-breaking crew member!