The Fifth Sip Revisited


One year ago today, I released a post entitled “The Fifth Sip”.  It was an intimate and vulnerable description of my thoughts leading up to the birth of our child, River.  Back then, this website was still slowly growing and that post never got exposed to as many people as it would if it went up now.  I still have people telling me today how much they liked this one, and how they were able to connect to it….even if they didn’t have children themselves.  That means a whole lot to me.  I wanted to revisit this post today, one year later, so here it is again to either re-read or be exposed to for the first time.  Another year goes by, and I keep rolling down the road and through life…….taking five sips at a time.


I remember the day very well.  It was just over a year ago, June 23rd 2009.  I was in our bedroom and my wife was lying down on the bed….out of nowhere she says, “Darryl, I’m pregnant”.  My heart immediately sunk…..a child on the way.  We hadn’t planned this, so I was totally shocked when I heard the news.  My perfect world of great wife and two amazing kids was about to get seriously rocked.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I immediately went into a depression and denial phase….and it probably lasted a lot longer than it should have.  I can still remember back to a good chunk of last summer with feelings of “Is this really happening?  No, it can’t really be happening”.  You see, I came from a family of two kids and everyone around me had a family with two kids.  To me, it was the way it should be.  Three just seemed like something I wasn’t sure I was prepared for.

Okay, so let’s fast forward to how this story can make its way into a cycling blog post.  Let me start off by letting you know that I can sometimes be a little Obsessive – Compulsive.  One example of this is when I’m out riding….when I reach down for my water bottle to take a sip, I have always sucked back 4 small sips each time.  Inside I’m thinking that each sip represents one of the four members of my family.  A strange personal fact, but the Obsessive – Compulsive in me makes sure it happens each time.

So as time passed last summer and the news of our third child still resonated in my mind, I continued on with my four sips of water at a time.  Again, ashamed to admit that I wasn’t able to accept this yet as my reality.  The days went on, the rides kept happening, and four sips continued being taken.

But on a beautiful long ride exactly one year ago today, my mind, heart, and soul aligned……and when I reached down for my water bottle, I took that fifth sip. I came home and told my wife all about my feelings, the sips, and that I was now ready for this.  I know I put a lot of emotional stress on my wife and was anything but the husband and father that I should have been.  I can’t take those 37 days back, and I forever regret my behavior during that time.

My wife and I believe that we often come across blessings in disguise…..and I can tell you this:  My baby boy, River, has turned out to be one of the biggest. I’ve nicknamed him “Lucky” because to this day, I’m still not sure exactly how he managed to beat the one in a million odds.  But when I look at him and see that great big smile looking back at me, I can’t think of things being any other way.

The days keep rolling along, my rides are even better, and that fifth sip tastes so perfect.


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8 Responses to “ The Fifth Sip Revisited ”

  1. Slswope on July 30, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I am amazed that you can share such intimate details, both those that reflect positive and those that are, well, not so positive.  River is a lucky child to have his family.  Lucky and adorable.  Enjoy and cherish each on of your sips Darryl.  Thanks for putting your feelings to words and sharing them.  You are reaching out and touching people’s hearts.  We certainly need more of that human interaction in the world, today and everyday.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on July 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you Slswope.  I’m a pretty open kind of guy and in this post I just wanted to share what was really going on inside of me.  I really loved your comments and hope to hear more from you in the future.  I agree that more human interaction is needed and here’s to there being more of it each day.

  2. Joel Phillips on July 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Wow Darryl, what an emotional post.

    You are speaking of change and how it affects our lives.  I think French Poet Anatoe France said it best, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.  You had an image of your life and, for the most part, that image was accurate.  The unexpected change shook you, probably because you felt like you’ve lost some control.  I think that is common for most people and why some shy away while the strong willed learn to embrace.  No doubt your commitment to cycling has given you the discipline to deal with whatever life throws at you.  The fact you chose River, to me the perfect symbol for change, as a name is testament to your resolve and willingness to embrace change.   I resisted change most of my life not understanding that’s how we grow, not recognizing that life was more than just walking a straight line.  Like a river, the journey through life is a constant changing ebb and flow, you can either learn to live with it and enjoy all the fertility it brings or drown trying to resist.

    Thank you for sharing this Darryl, I will never be able to really show you how much I appreciate what your doing and how it helps me to cast aside my demons and continue to strive to be the best I can.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on July 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      Whoa….how the heck can I respond to that beautiful piece of goodness that you just left.  You amaze me, Joel…and the comments you leave are so appreciated because of all the attention and detail you put into them.  Thank you for that.

      I never thought of River’s name like that, but after reading what you wrote it makes me realize that it was the perfect name for him and will always remind me of the moments surrounding his birth.

      You’re a good man, Joel.  Great to have you a part of all this.

  3. Averi on July 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    What a great story.  It is true that life can change in an instant…. he is a beautiful little boy.  And it shows us how to be truly grateful and feel blessed for all we have in life. 

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on July 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      Thank you, Averi….it’s a special post to me and I’m glad I got the chance to share it one more time.  I really appreciate your comments.

  4. Amanda Gale Kotyk on July 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Seems even more beautiful than the first time I read it.  Thanks for sharing again!! 

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