Young Again

My husband began cycling a little over 25 years ago. He became both an avid cyclist and competitive, riding in a number of races and regularly biking 30+ miles multiple days per week. Three years ago he had a serious cycling accident. Riding on a familiar route his tire hit a rut in the road and he went down hard, crushing his helmet and breaking his hip!He was in such good shape that the doctors and physical therapists were amazed at his recovery and he anticipated he would ride again, good as new. However, not long after that it was discovered he needed a new heart valve.

His heart valve replacement surgery came about six months after my stroke. During those six months my doctors had discovered that a small part of my heart never developed correctly. It was very odd for both John and I to have serious heart issues discovered at nearly the same time after both living full, active, healthy lives for over 70 years!

We were both pretty rattled at the end of recovering from my stroke, the installing of my pacemaker, and John’s open heart surgery. Exercising together consisted mostly of what we could safely and easily navigate at the rehab facility or occasionally walking through the local mall.

Honestly, this predictable and contained form of exercise has felt boring and we have both been disappointed and discouraged. We never imagined ourselves to feel so “home bound”. Until five years ago we lived in a remote part of Colorado where we hiked, and repelled and rode our atv’s nearly every day. We maintained an active and young life. The physicality of aging seemed to reach out and grab us with almost no warning and suddenly we were old!

But recently, we were inspired by a neighbor when we saw her out on her high tech tricycle. John was intrigued and thrilled at the prospect of riding again, with a greatly reduced risk of falling. The years that John was cycling 30+ miles a day we never rode together.  I knew I could not keep up with him andI was not as competitive as he was either! But this tricycle idea felt compelling. So off we went to the specialty bike store. After learning that we could order a trike for me that came with a motor enhancement we were sold. John and I are now the proud owners of 2 adult tricycles, complete with bells, flags, slots for our cell phones and water bottles!

We are “ready to roll” with caution, joy, anticipation, and gratefulness.

What a Hoot!!!! So be on the look out for us – but you have to get up early in the morning!  The goal is to be back home by 6AM to avoid heat stroke 😀😀🙏🏻.

Pat Sloan was born and raised in Arizona where she still lives today with her husband of 56 years, John. Together they were on staff with The Navigators for 30 years. She is a bible teacher, mentor, disciple maker, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. In 2016 she survived a stroke and now holds even more deeply that every minute is a gift. She loves caramel lattes, finding the perfect gift for those she loves, and spending time with her husband, family and dear friends.