Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Every story has a back story

        It sure seems like life has many layers, and as we try to tell our story we find ourselves peeling it back, layer by layer; to paint the entire picture.

     When I wrote my post last week about wanting to back out of a ride because it was cold and windy, and then felt guilty because my friend was riding barefoot, I had someone question if it was due to the complications of MS causing him to not feel the pedals.  I may have mentioned a little bit of his story a long time ago, but I felt like it was a great time to recap about the strong will some people posses in order to make it through life's many challenges.

      My friend Robert Hannon, was a very avid cyclist for many years, and often rode between cities, traveling hundreds of miles at a time.  After riding in the Bike To The Bay for 7 years, simply as a hobby, and because it was a good cause, he found himself faced with MS himself.  In spite of his diagnosis, he continued to ride all over the city as well as in the Bike To The Bay.  

     As more challenges arose and he found himself with balance issues, Robert changed to a recumbent bike and powered on.  His balance almost causing a near miss accident resulted in him backing out of the BTTB last year; but when he saw I actually started riding myself, that short lived sabbatical came to an end.  Sometimes we need a little nudge to step out side of our comfort zone. 
     I know all it took for me to ride was someone believing in me; and I soon discovered anything was possible.

my friends Robert and Stacy

     However, as Robert managed to overcome the many obstacles; MS just kept testing him.  Before long, he wasn't able to feel his feet on the pedals with his shoes on; but that didn't stop him.  Robert knew it just meant he had to ride in his bare feet.

     But it wasn't that simple, because his bare feet would slip off the pedals.  Once again, Robert took the challenge and created handmade wooden pedals.

     Robert's make shift pedal, as you can see, was "photo bombing" my picture.  If you look closely, you'll notice the wooden pads carved with the impression of the sole of his feet attached to standard bike clips; which are actually used to attach cycling shoes to.

     Some people won't except defeat, and Robert is no exception.  His latest challenge has been keeping his foot from flopping off of the hand carved pedals. But as we speak he's in the process of building an AFO type device that attaches to his pedal acting as a brace; keeping his foot from falling off.

     We all have to do what we have to in order to survive life's challenges, but as hard as it is sometimes, there are some of us that don't just stop at "survive".

Have a great day!!


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