November 29, 2016
As most people in my life probably know, I have been diagnosed with Degenerative Motor Neuron Disease. The experts are pretty confident that it is ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
In 2015, I / we were at the top of our game. We won all six National Qualifiers in our sport of Adventure Racing. We were in line to win the US National points championship until the very last race. I won a number of expert class and marathon length mountain bike races.
In mid 2016, I started to have tripping and performance trouble. We still had a pretty good showing and even managed to get second place in the US points championship. This was accomplished by being the member of a strong and talented team that was able to help me along. I went from being the strong member of the team to being the weak member of the team, but the “Alpine Shop Team” as a whole was still damn good. Thank you guys and girls.
The Attitude of a Lucky Man:
They say that during the carpet bombing of London during World War Two, an interesting psychology developed amongst the citizens. People who had experienced near misses became terrified of the bombing, scurrying to basements in fear for their lives. In contrast, people who experienced distant misses on numerous occasions, over time, started to develop a feeling of invincibility. A bomb could never land on them, that happened to others. Those people even started to come outside to watch during bombing raids.
I spent my entire life doing what most people would consider dangerous things. Starting from childhood I did some pretty gnarly rock climbing with three brave and adventurous much older brothers, ropes came much later. In spots that a little kid could not make, they once made a chain along the cliff, each one stacked above the other, allowing me to climb past that section by climbing up their backs. I’m so glad they took the little kid along. I spent most of my working career working on stained glass windows high up on the side of churches. Our homemade access to one of the Cathedrals we worked on, we lovingly nicknamed “The Screaming Eagle”. Add to that decades of Adventure Racing, mountain biking, motorcycle racing and dirt track auto racing. On a climb of Mt. Rainier in howling wind with my brother Chris, he was the “other” person who finished with a trip to the E.R. Nothing ever happens to David. David only had distant misses.
I never broke a bone in my body or spent a day in a hospital. A few stitches here and there and a handful of missing teeth was the extent of it. Hey, I can deal with that. Only distant misses.
I feel invincible, or I did. Despite the facts pointing to the contrary, I still kind of do feel that way much of the time. I wonder how that will play out.