I started out happy enough. It’s Wednesday, it’s sunny, it’s approaching hot, and I am on my bike.
Can I possibly be any happier?
I’m riding along knowing I’m going to end my ride soon enough when I pass someone. Someone who made me very happy just at the sight of him. I kept riding thinking it was enough to just see him and feel good about seeing him. But it wasn’t . I had to talk to him.
I turned my bike around knowing full well my intention to get a certain amount of miles was no longer important. What’s a couple of miles when you see inspiration, and want to thank inspiration. A couple of miles is absolutely nothing.
I came up behind him taking some pictures.
He realized I was behind him as we crossed this bridge. He was riding close to the shoulder so I could pass him. But I didn’t want to pass him I wanted to ride with him. I pulled up to his shoulder and said “you make me very happy”. He seemed a bit startled but smiled and asked me why. I nodded to his leg and said “because you’re out here”.
I asked if I could ask him what happened to his leg. Yes, a stupidly put question, but he was kind and answered me willingly. He has PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease). He lost his leg. And, he just had back surgery.
I told him this inspires me. Greatly. I always fear something will happen that will stop me from doing what I want. He shows me that you can do what you want even if it is hard work to get back to doing something you love. This will be his longest bike ride since his back surgery. We rode the last couple miles of my ride together. I asked him if I could write about him. He said yes. And not that I would normally do this, but I even had him stop at my house so I could write down the name of this blog so he could go home and read about himself.
He waited by my garage while I ran in to write it down for him. And now I can’t remember if he said he calls himself “Handsome Handyman Dave” or his wife calls him that. Or maybe he wants his wife to call him that.
But today, I will just call him my Happy Inspiration.
He still isn’t having an easy time with his health. But he’s taking advantage of the health and abilities he has to live life on his terms. I can’t think of a better message to get from someone. He didn’t let the loss of his leg, or his continued health issues determine what he can and can’t do. He decided what he was going to do, and got to doing it.
I admire that.
Lance Armstrong, step aside, there goes my favorite biker today. (Lance, I still love you. No hard feelings? 🙂
Pedal on Handsome Handyman Dave!