Make it Happen Monday: B Strong

Can cycling save your life?  I don’t have to go any further than my friend Bethel Strong to answer that one.  Through his love for the bike, he’s been able to astound even his doctor who couldn’t believe the results he’s achieved through cycling.

The absolute best part about having a blog and being active on social media is meeting incredible people from around the world.  What’s even better is getting the chance to spend time with them in person and creating a lifelong bond.  Bethel is one of these connections that I’ve been fortunate enough to spend some great time with on and off the bike.  But more than the fact that he’s an incredible individual with a true passion for the bike, is his story on how cycling helped save his life.

Bethel has had a very severe case of asthma throughout his life, and in the past has had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health conditions.  In an effort to change things, he picked up the bike a few years ago and slowly became a guy who loved playing tennis to a guy who couldn’t get enough of his bike.  Bethel recently went in for a routine blood test and doctor visit….and received 100% good marks on all his conditions.  His doctor was amazed at the incredible turn around and asked him what changes he’s made in his life.  His response: “I simply ride my bike all the time”.

This isn’t the first time Bethel has turned things around and made the doctor’s head spin.  When he was 9 years old he was so sick that doctors told his parents that he would be lucky to live past 10.  He kept playing sports and fighting through it.  His response to the doctor’s comments was that he’d “rather die very young than live in a bubble and not be able to play sports and do the things he loved”.

So fighting through medical conditions is nothing new to Bethel, and now at 56 years of age he feels really good proving the doctors wrong once again.  In fact, all of this has sort of created a cycling monster. Bethel went from loving the bike, to being totally consumed with it.

He told me recently that:

Cycling is the absolute very best thing that’s happened to me.  I just wish I would have found it much sooner in life.  But at least I found it, or rather it found me. Either way, I love it and all the nice cyclists I meet.  My new Twitter hashtags are: #IamaCyclistSmiling and #PoweredBy2StrongLegs….and, of course #BStrong.

I love Bethel’s attitude and all the inspiration that flows right out of him.  I also love the fact that our cycling community has a great guy like him as a role model and promoter of our sport.  I can’t think of anyone better to show just how much fun and healthy cycling can be.

Thank you, Bethel for being a good friend and inspirational fellow cyclist.  Keep on Making it Happen.

#BStrong

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/m.beaky73 Mark Beaconsfield

    A great piece and a true inspiration. Bethel, I do hope you can make it down under one day, so we can meet in person and take that bike tour of Melbourne including a stop at Rod Laver arena that I have mentioned before. A bike, two strong legs and one big smile. Thats the key to health and happiness.

    • Bethel Strong

      Mark, that is one place I want to visit before I pass on. It’s on my bucket list. If and when I get there, I will for sure look up and so we can ride and tour the Tennis Center. Meeting Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall would really be cool. Until then, keep the rubber side down.

  • http://www.reasons2ride.com/ Joel Phillips

    I am personally attached to this story as Bethel is my riding partner in this years RIde The Rockies. I knew he had asthma, but didn’t realize the extent of the struggles he endured. I want everyone to realize what this ride means. Betel is coming from just over 500ft altitude to a starting point of over 7,500ft above sea level. He will be riding over 5 mountain passes taking him to over 12,000ft above sea level. When it’s all said and done, he will have climbed over 25,000ft!!! Bethel has re-defined the word Strong for me and I am indeed honored to be riding with such a champion.

    • Bethel Strong

      Joel, My doctor’s have always said that I should live in Colorado due to me having asthma. That the cool dry temps would make me feel better. I guess we/I will see first hand. It was very kind for Darryl to mention me on Memorial Day. Anyone who ever gets a chance to meet Darryl and his family, should do so.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Take good care of my buddy, Bethel while you ride the rockies. Man, you guys are going to have a great time and do some amazing riding, but I know the best part of it all will be the true bond you’ll form together on the road.

  • bdewberry

    Great job Bethel. An awesome story of the healing properties of cycling.

    • Bethel Strong

      Thank You, Yes, true. My doctor was very surprised with the big changes in all my stats.

  • http://twitter.com/twittyboyd Martha A. Boyd

    You are Making it happen Bethel!!! You are truly an inspiration and a very special friend! Keep on loving the Bike!

    • Bethel Strong

      Martha, I appreciate it. I found that I really have been able to inspire others to ride. Maybe it’s because I love it so much.

  • Eric

    What a great attitude. Was it the cycling that created this positive attitude or did he have it before starting?

    • Bethel G. Strong

      Thanks Eric, I try to stay upbeat most of the time, but my love for cycling, well, if some tells me I can’t do something. I will give it my best.

  • AmandaGaleKotyk

    Way to go Bethel. Keep making it happen! :)

    • Bethel Strong

      Amanda, I can tell you just how much I appreciate Darryl taking the time and interest in my life story. We all have struggles, just very few people take the time to actually listen. A TRUE FRIEND LISTENS (Darryl). You know you have a Amazing Husband and a father to your 3 kids. Darryl and I just seem to click. When we first met he came up and gave me a BIG hug. Right there I knew he was a good man. I feel bad that my asthma acted up during our ride. But, such is life. It was kinda embarassing at the time. I always feel like I can keep up, reguardless of my age. He is a cycling machine, but he laid back and made me fit in. He rode to my level. I can’t wait until we ride again and we will.

      • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

        Bethel, you continue to amaze me. Thanks for the beautiful comments and for being a true friend. Yes, we do have one of those incredible connections and I’m also looking forward to the next time we meet up.