Today I had planned a route to ride that was about 38 miles long and was part of the LeLoup de Loop right I did back in December of 2015. I had begun preparing everything for the longer ride on the bike. I woke up this morning and my wife told me that our first house we owned was going to be torn down and the current owner was willing to meet us at the house to let us walk through it one more time today. I decided I couldn't do a ride that was likely to take 3 hours and go see the old house one more time. My ever supportive wife said I should still take the bike with me and after seeing the house I could still get some riding in as she was going to be playing Great Aunt Dee Dee for the afternoon.
We got to see the old house and it was both sad and a reminder that you just can't go back. We revisited memories at the house and got to take some pictures. It was a closure of sorts. We really did love that old house and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into making it ours. While the house will soon be gone, we will still have all our old pictures and memories.
Once we finished seeing the house we went our separate ways and I decided it was just too hot to do the original ride as most of that ride would be in full sun. I knew I was close by the Gary Haller Trail and had not ridden that in a long time so I headed to the trail head.
From where I jumped on the trail it was a 20 mile "there and back" ride to go to the Kansas River and back. I set off planning to do that. I was just pedaling along enjoying the scenery and about 7 miles in I rounded a bend and got smacked in the face figuratively! As I rounded the bend I came across the area of the trail I wrote about almost 2 years ago - the very day I had been told I was being laid off from Sprint for the second and last time. You can read about that on the original post here.
What I saw amazed me - the trail had been washed out from a storm about 2 years ago and now there was no evidence that the trail had ever looked like it did after the storm. Everything had been cleared away and a new trail had been made that bypassed the original trail. In fact I'd say that the new trail is way better than the older trail. It's smoother, safer and really nice. It is probably only really something I can fully understand and appreciate and I'm finding it really hard to explain properly here but it reminded me that things change and happen for a reason. And that those changes, given enough time, are often for the better.
I really mourned when I lost my job at Sprint - honestly I still deal with it. I grew up there. I worked there 25 years and that really takes a hold on a person. And I truly loved what I did. I loved the people I worked with and the awesome opportunities it provided (like traveling to China many times). But when I tried to go back things just weren't the same anymore. Leaving did offer new opportunities that I would have never explored had I not been laid off. I got to be a bike mechanic for 7 months and learned so much that benefits me greatly with my love of riding. Then I was able to get on with Progressive.
I stand here now - a few days from completing my first full year at Progressive. As I look back I realize that the detour led me there and I'm really happy it did. I won't lie - my job I am currently doing is the hardest thing I've ever done yet. I'm helping people through tough times and hard decisions. Sometimes that means people are not super happy. Some people get really emotional about their cars or the accident that caused them to lose their cars or caused them physical pain. The pace is super fast and my days blow right by. I'm not the best at my job, but I know I am doing better every day. I have an amazing supervisor that is over the top supportive and very motivating. Progressive, in my experience really does care about it's employees.
In looking back the detour really has been great for me and I know it will lead me to bigger and better things. I'm glad the detour was forced on me - sometimes we really need a prod in the right direction.
I'm glad the stars aligned and I'm happy for the insights gained on my ride today. Just another time that I gained more than just exercise by pedaling a bike.
If you want to watch the video from my ride today, click here!