My old friend Jody Jividen was an avid runner who in his heyday kept meticulous records about his daily near-sprints through the streets of Dunbar. Once I began to ride a bike somewhat seriously Jody would tell me, “Don’t plan a day off. They’ll come on their own.” Which meant, for him, he could have streaks of consecutive weeks in which he RAN. I never made the mistake of saying “Did you jog today?” more than once. That was offensive to the former Marshall University Cross Country athlete. And, if I persuaded him to take a day off to play some one-on-one, you’d better know that you were in store for some rugged hoops. The courts at Shawnee Park are named in his honor. We all lost Jody to colorectal cancer in August of 2002. Charleston’s Run For Your Life (in connection with the Smoke On The Water Chili Cook Off) began as a tribute to Jody’s memory as well.
I took a day off yesterday, which of course made me think of Yod. I’d ridden just shy of 90 miles in three days, 318 in fourteen rides through June, which is not impressive except that, I didn’t get to ride in April and May, so I’ve really been building a base in the first half of the month. We concluded our 3-week middle school basketball period with a morning practice and late-afternoon game, and while I could have squeezed a ride in between those events and the raindrops, I chose to rest (clean the kitchen).
“Don’t plan a day off. They’ll come on their own.”
I’ve currently raised $1,568 for Children’s Cancer Research, good for second place in West Virginia, 615th in the U.S., but I sure hope for more. I put new cleats on my shoes. I have 10 days remaining to see what I can do in the Great Cycle Challenge. Through the rain that has become our state, through weariness of limbs, in memory of Jody, our friend and colleague Mike Cherry, my sister Kelly Spradling Simmons, I will not take another day off.
Postscript: Internet was working slowly this morning. Got in 32.4 to surpass 350.