If not now, then when?

I recently became a Bike Law Foundation Ambassador and although I thought I knew a lot; my mind has been shocked over and over with statistics. I know I’ve had close calls… not just on my bike but while walking and running too.

Did you know that the number one cause of death amongst American teens and the greatest threat posed to Vulnerable Road Users; to people on bikes, is distracted driving? 

I’ve literally placed my hand on the hood of a car because I thought I could stop it! I had to tell my coach that morning that when he saw the heart rate sky rocket it was because someone was on their phone, making a right, while I had the right away. I was over half way in front of that vehicle and I’m pretty sure when my hand hit her hood, I had her attention.

I’ve had close calls on my bike too. Some of them due to ignorant drivers who think it’s cool to scare someone on a bike. Some due to a distraction I’m sure… and I wasn’t the distraction, I promise that.

I had a friend, at one time, who I later found out I was their last call or text before hitting someone head on. There was a father in the other vehicle, he did not make it. I remember that like it was yesterday. A week after the crash, I was the one people were asking if I knew anything. Let that sink in. It took me a long time to realize I didn’t make that choice. It took me a long time to realize the impacts distracted driving has, not only on the person making the choice, but those impacted; the families, friends, those working the scenes. 

While I know I talk a lot about my triathlon adventures, not all close calls are with vulnerable humans. Fact is, I’m sure all of you have had some close call due to a distracted driver. Or maybe, you know of someone who died at the hands of a distracted driver.

Would you admit to driving distracted?  Probably not. I know as I get older, I realize that I need to pay more attention to the road… that’s what my Dad always said to me when I was 16. And when I was 16, I only had the radio as a distraction. No phone. No DVR player. But you probably don’t think about the radio being a distraction… or the hands free mobile device your using… guess what, it is.

Living in a touristy town, we get visitors all the time. And guess what, there’s a ton of people on bikes down here and we need to do our best to protect those coming to enjoy our city. To rent our bikes. To run on our seawall. And yes, I know, people get frustrated when people are going the wrong way on the road with their bikes and yes, we need to educate those people. And yes, I know people get frustrated because they have to go a little slower however, we can start by putting our phones away. Enjoy the moments of solitude while paying attention to the road. Let them enjoy what we get to enjoy everyday here in Galveston, Texas.

I want to ask you to do one small thing not just for me, but for your community. For that neighborhood kid (or maybe it’s your kid) who loves to ride their bike around. For your family member who likes to visit areas and take it in by renting a bike or a nice long run. Or even your friend who enjoys cycling to get outside. Pledge to #ArriveAlive by stating you will not drive distracted. We need to do this. We need to take accountability. Only we can create change and the time to create that change is NOW!

Sign the pledge here: https://goo.gl/forms/Xk1vjKa8TcIx8kJ72

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Cancer Sucks

So it’s been pretty crazy in the Adams/Bernatovich house as we learned our oldest female boxer has Mast Cell Tumors (Cancer)… at first we thought it was just one spot as she’s been plagued with fatty spots for years now. She had surgery a couple weeks ago to remove the one tumor on her side and then one tested positive in her ear! She went to an Oncologist last week so we could discuss options about the one in her ear that is in a complicated spot.

The decision of what to do for a pet you have rescued some years ago (over 9) is so difficult. It’s amazing to see how she shows her vulnerability to me meanwhile when Dustin comes home from work, she shows him her strength and seemingly puts on a show for him no matter how exhausted she may be.

We had decided to move forward with freezing the tumor in her ear… and then Tuesday night, her gums went white, labored breathing, and overall lethargy led us to the Emergency Vet. She made a come back while we were there… and we made the decision to take her home and into our vet that next morning. Our Veterinarian has been amazing with Mylee and helping us through this. He met with me when I dropped her off so she could be worked into the schedule… he told me he wanted to do a work up and x-rays, I said go ahead… the x-rays came back showing her chest looked great however, her abdomen not so much… he broke the news to me on the phone that she had a Splenic Tumor in her stomach. He believed it ruptured the night before and that’s why she was showing signs of anemia. We were told she’ll be tired but she was okay to come home. We’ve been told it could be anywhere from days to months that there is no way to really tell. It’s heartbreaking.

There are mornings she will not eat so I have to bribe her with chicken broth (low sodium, of course). There are times she doesn’t want to get out of bed. There are times she downright just wants to sleep and lately, she’s been sleeping a lot in her kennel. The kennel she went to when she decided it was time to have 6 puppies. The kennel she likes to go to if there are storms that are scaring her. It’s her safe space kennel.

We knew that she was starting to age rapidly after we lost our male at the end of last summer, Apollo. (He was also the father to her puppies). The grays have been coming in. She has spurts of energy but we know she misses him dearly. I know you’re  probably thinking she’s just a dog but she’s been so much more to us that “just a dog” – she’s part of our family. And so now we will do everything we can to make her comfortable in these last days or months of her life. She had ice cream last night… she’ll have more later this week.

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We do need to give special thanks to the Live Like Roo Foundation. One of our friends who also rescues dogs sent Mylee’s name into this organization. They sent her a care package with toys, treats, and a blanket she takes everywhere… she’s not playing much (or at all) but at least she takes comfort with her blanket. Cancer sucks. Even though she’s always been spoiled, we’re going to make sure our sweet, sweet girl #liveslikeroo for the special time we have left. And then, we will make sure to pay it forward back to the organization for helping us and our girl…

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