Sunday, May 5, 2013

A sobering reminder

Today I got sad news.  A friend of mine I grew up with passed away.  His name was Mike.  He was only 51.  He was in New York City participating on the 5 Boro Bike Tour when he had a heart attack and couldn't be revived.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

I've known Mike since grade school.  We were in the boy scouts together and spent a lot of time doing various activities.  I remember camping and canoeing and hiking and riding our bikes everywhere we went back then.  There were football and volleyball games, hanging out in our friends basement and listening to some great music.

We went to different high schools but stayed in touch.  We had developed a group of friends that stayed together pretty much into our early twenties.  There were marriages and kids, jobs and careers and everything else life throws at you and we started drifting apart.

Believe it or not about 20 years ago, Mike and some other friends were going on a backpacking trip in Michigan's upper peninsula.  I went along as well.  Now I wasn't in very good shape, even then, but with their encouragement, especially Mike's, I made it through the long hikes to get to the campsites.  I remember the positive attitude and the support which got me through.

Just over 3 years ago, Mike had a heart attack and we very nearly lost him then.  He fought through and survived.  I believe this weekend's ride was to celebrate how far he'd come.

The fact that he is gone bolstering my resolve and making me more determined to progress along my journey toward a healthier and lighter version of myself.  It has brought home the fact that we do need to make better choices and be better to our bodies or we could be taken from this world way too soon.

Mike you will be missed.