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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ride of My Life

I rode on and on and on. No iPod. No company. Just me, my thoughts and my bicycle.

There is something magical about riding a bike all by myself for 4 hours on a Sunday morning. Magical. I felt good and I enjoyed the day. I think my reflections from my hours in the saddle may help to inspire and motivate others. That’s why I do what I do. I hope you enjoy my thoughts and perspectives.

The overwhelming thoughts in my mind were the blessings that I truly have every day.

My blessings and the world that I have made for myself didn’t come easy. Oh no. There were many bumps along the road. Sometimes I think and perhaps dwell on mistakes of the past. Sometimes I’ll even conjure up some “what if” scenarios. Those visualizations are quickly snuffed out by the me of today that has chosen to live with “no regrets”.

I believe whole heartedly that we are who we are and where we are today based on the decisions that we have made in the past. All the decisions. The good ones go right along with the bad ones.

I think back to some of the bad times in my life. All the dark days can be traced back to decisions that I made. They were conscious, in the now, decisions that I flubbed up. The details now are not important but results are. The results of these decisions drove me down roads that I didn’t want to be on and never want to return to.

None of that matters now. What matters now is that I don’t make those choices again. I need to learn. Many times I have and there are also times when I’ve made the same bad choice and gotten into the soup once again.

If it’s a good lesson the first time then what is it the second and third time around?

One of the things that I have learned as an adult is that I need to continuously try to improve myself and look for ways to make better decisions. I do this every day. I’m constantly looking for ways to be better. Constantly.

My wife will be the first to tell you that I need to keep the eye on the ball for this one. Some old habits are hard to break!

What do you keep doing over and over again that is wrong and you know it? What mistake that you made yesterday and the day before are you going to not make tomorrow?

For whatever reason I thought a lot about my mistakes and the lessons that I learned while on my bike that day.

I also thought a lot about my blessings. Believe me there are many, many, many more of those.

I am blessed with a family that stands beside me through thick and thin. I have a wife that has committed her love to me and that makes me proud and honored. I have son who is the joy of my life. I thought about all the people who don’t have this. I thought about what it would be like if I lost mine. The thought frightened the hell out of me. I am lucky to have them.

I thought a lot about my little family. The good, the bad, and everything in between. I thought about what’s good and how we can improve. I don’t know what I would do without them.

I have been blessed with many talents. Perhaps my best talent is that I acknowledge what I’m good at and use that for good in this world. I spend each and every day trying to inspire and motivate others to do better and be better. Wow. It’s an honor to have that gift and to use it!

When I get up in the morning I do a job that I absolutely love. That’s just amazing. I am blessed to get up and do what I enjoy doing everyday AND I get to help people. Does it get any better than that?

I don’t think it can.

I am blessed with physical talents as well. I learned a long time ago that I can bike and run better than most. This talent has taken me around the world to compete in multi-sport races. I inspire others when I do this. I am so honored with this talent.

Of course, life has its daily challenges. Some challenges are bigger than others.
My thoughts that day always came back to my Dad.
My Dad is going through the challenge of his great life as we speak. My whole family is going through it with him.

Sometimes music can go so much deeper than simply the song. Sometimes a song comes on the radio that taps so into your soul that it moves you to tears of emotion. When I think about my Dad there is a song that flows through my heart like a river runs to the ocean. It fills my soul with warmth and love. It moves me.

My parents divorced when I was 3. My mom took me and moved about three hours away. This broke my Dad’s young heart. He had three daughters but I was his pride and joy. This was a man that always wanted a boy to share his life with but was “blessed” with 3 girls. His world was shattered when I was taken from him.

For years my Dad drove 3 hours down Hyw 44 out of Plymouth, Massachusetts to come visit his boy in East Lyme, Connecticut. Early on it was just an hour long visit and later he would pick me up and bring me to his home for the weekend.

I can imagine how hard that was for him. I look into my boys little eyes and I can’t imagine him not being right there with me every day. It must have been so hard for him.

Now, as he fights his battle with cancer, I hope he understands that I appreciate all that he did those years to be part of his little boy’s life.

What mistakes in your life are you going to learn from and not repeat? What are your blessings? Please take my message today and make yourself better.

Please enjoy the song that rolls through my head now almost all the time. It is dedicated, of course, to my father Richard Copley.

Hyw 20 Ride – Zac Brown Band

I ride east every other Friday but if I had it my way
The day would not be wasted on this drive
And I want so bad to hold you
So much things I haven't told you
Your mom and me couldn't get along

So I’ll drive
And I think about my life
And wonder why, That I slowly die inside
Every time I turn that truck around, right at the Georgia line and i count the days and the miles back home to you on that Highway 20 ride

A day might come and you'll realize that if you could see through my eyes
There was no other way to work it out
And a part of you might hate me
But son please don't mistake me For a man that didn’t care at all

And I’ll drive
And I'll think about my life
And wonder why, That I slowly die inside
Every time I turn that truck around, right at the Georgia line and i count the days and the miles back home to you on that Highway 20 ride

So when you drive
And the years go flying by
I hope you smile
If I ever cross your mind
It was a pleasure of my life
And I cherished every time
And my whole world
It begins and ends with you
On that Highway 20 ride....

1 comment:

  1. Just Precious Rick! Thanks for a little peak into what drives you. You are an inspiration and I'm looking forward to my journey to a more fit me. My life is filled with precious people, and I want to be here and be at my best for them for a long time. I'm glad to know you. Your new friend and student, Karen