Sunday, August 22, 2010

Keep Peddling, Keep Peddling!

I was riding my mountain bike on Foothill road, doing a shady 17 miler when a guy on a road bike passed me saying, "Sounds like you have a loose cable". I agreed and thanked him for noticing my creeky cranky bike sound. 
Then he stopped and waited for me.
"Would you like some help with that?"
"OK" I said, "but it just kind of comes and goes. I need to take it in."
He played with the cable and then wanted to see if he had "fixed" my problem--he lifted the back tire off the ground and moved through the gears while I turned the peddle. 
"Keep peddling," he said.

 "Hey!" I said, "That's what my mom told me when she was teaching me how to ride a bike." I could see it all--all over again...she ran along side of me, with her hand on the seat and then with enough momentum built up, she pushed me forward and I wabbled away from her on my first ever road trip..."Keep peddling, keep peddling!" she shouted after me.

I remember I wore a nervous, excited smile and a pounding heart. Bet she did too. 

I remember I fell more than once. But when you want to ride a bike like the other kids, you gotta get back on. 

I got an email this week reminding me that "getting up and out and back on" is exactly what our wounded veterans are working so hard to do. The email came from Doug Miller.
I met Doug Miller at the July 4th Celebration in Pleasanton

Doug is Pleasanton's VFW Post 6298 Commander and works for the US Army Wounded Warrior Program. Click here--it's the link to the news stories Doug sent me which are posted on the Wounded Warrior Project website. The stories give us a picture of the progress that is being made in the way we medically treat  catastrophic brain injuries and in the development of new prosthetic devices to increase ambulation and mobility.

Most of all, these stories paint a picture of the combat trained warriors, who now wounded, have hurdles to over come that they could not foresee and who, along with their loved ones, fight a new get their lives back.

Physical therapist Barbara Darkangelo works with Army Staff Sgt. Cory Remsburg at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa. Remsburg sufffered a brain injury in an IED blast in Afghanistan in fall. photo from USA Today

Doug also sent  this link to the Army's Wounded Warrior Program which is different from The Wounded Warrior Project, but both are striving to meet the needs of severely injured service men and women. Doug has been assigned a case load of 58 soldiers in northern California and the Reno area. His program is under the direction of the Army and is very much like programs for the other branches of the service--they proactively look after the most severely wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Army veterans.

An incredible amount of hard hard, work is going on "behind the scenes" in the lives of the soldiers and their families in order to get them back to a semblance of normal life. It's clear from these articles that they are working so hard because they WANT to get their lives back. We are fortunate--because as Road Warriors--we can we can help make that goal lending time, energy, and encouragement to keep going, just like my Mom helped me go from wobbly to sure and steady.
Road Warrior 2010 "Recruiting" table

We are grateful to each and every runner, walker, hiker and cyclist out there who has answered the call to become a money-raising member of Road Warriors 2010...and thereby encourage our wounded veterans to "keep peddling" that hard path to regaining health, independence and freedom.

So, a Big shout out to the new Road Warriors who stopped by our recruiting table to join our mission this week at the Farmers Market and Livermore Cyclery...Roz, Frank, Mario, Leslie and an unnamed Mom who wanted to join in because she felt it would be a good thing for her kids to "do something" for our veterans wounded in action. 

God Bless You! Our vets need our support and prayers.


  1. Thanks for these inspiring words and for sharing Doug Miller's efforts with us as well! Keep peddling!

  2. And thanks to you for the great article you wrote for us in Valley Life. Some
    divine intervention--I believe--has happened because of that article. See you on the road Jim!