A memorable year is not measured in accomplishments so much as milestones.  As 2015 comes to a close, I’m stoked to have made quite a few and are grateful to those who made them possible.

Well I’ve made it 11 years plus post spinal cord injury and when June 9th came around this year I celebrated by not really recognizing the day and enjoy some time by myself cycling.  I guess after so many years of thinking about it and “recognizing” it I just needed to let it go.  Yes that day will always be the day my life changed…but considering where I was and where I’m at now I think it turned out pretty good.  Sure complaining about what I don’t have, as far as function goes, would be justified, however, I have friends that can’t raise their arms or legs or walk or even take care of themselves.  As a close friend, who may never walk again, said to me after I started complaining about having a bad day on my bike said, “So you’re having a bad day about when you got yourself up, etc. and then went for a bike ride?”  It wasn’t so much the words but the tone and the look that instantly shut me up.  Still to this day if I’m having a bad day training I think about that conversation and all is good, as it could be worse.

2 National titles…doesn’t really need much else to be said after that…AWESOME!

Took some time, about 3 months, to fix up the house in Colorado to get it ready to sell.  A horrifically awesome time to do 3 years of work in 3 months, but it did pay off huge.  Many people may remember that I came to Las Vegas in February and absolutely loved it and didn’t want to drive home again through a massive snowstorm.  Long story short I pulled off the road in Utah and thought long and hard about what needed to happen too avoid another winter of massive nerve pain every time it snowed or got below freezing.  Fast-forward a few months and come October/November of this year I became a resident of Las Vegas.  And I whole-heartedly love it.  I can count on 1 hand the bad nights of sleep I’ve had since being here in comparison to being able to count the nights of good sleep on one hand if I was still living in Colorado.  I’ll say this the only thing that has been more expensive has been vehicle insurance; the rest was less than Colorado.  Yes I left friends behind but this is my life and I need and deserve to be happy and relatively pain free after all the shit I’ve been through.

And now here we are at the end of a pretty epic year.  Told you it was going to be short as I’m tired as hell from my training ride today.  This was the 3rd attempt at climbing this hill over by Lake Las Vegas.  First attempt was pathetic, second attempt was half way, and finally the 3rd time was a full pull.  Why were these so hard?  Well back-to-back 12-13% climbs is hell on the crippled kids legs.  This is done on a compact road crank set and not a mountain bike crank set.  The lack of any other cyclist around tells you that you’re hardcore or stupid but hey no cyclist ever said, “Man all that flat road training really helped my climbing!”  240 feet of climbing in .6 of a mile is Billy goat steep and as it sucks the energy from you it makes you stronger mentally and physically.  I swear even more and laugh a ton on these climbs, and if anything they tell you where your fitness is.  Plus the view from the top is Stratosphere height and it’s AWESOME!

So here we are at the end of another epic year in the post spinal cord injury life of Jay.  (Referring to yourself in the 3rd person is weird.) 

Before I go I really want to thank a few key people:

Of course my family-

Todd and Shauna from BRAAAP and TPD bars-

Emily-

Linda-

Robert S. -

Coach and “DJ Babs”

Etienne and Sophie from Belgium Cycles

Troy, Jill, and the gang at Go Fast Sports

And each and every one of my friends—

Let’s be honest without any of you I would not be where I’m at today.  Thank you all so much!!  Good bye 2015 and hello 2016!!!

 

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