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Storms and Leaps Forward plus KNWA Television

KNWA Television Story – www.nwahomepage.com



This past week, Josh showed up for the first Springdale Bike Club Taco Tuesday Ride of the season. The call was made to cut his ride short after we noticed visible weakness in him while cycling. He had come to our weekly social ride at the tail-end of a “storming episode” (described in an earlier installment). Josh continues to be on the mend with his fibula fracture. And, even though it was a gorgeous evening for the riders, it was a little on the cool side. Josh became chilled and has difficulty generating his own body heat, thus, we cut the ride short.


Over the past month, we fell woefully behind on Josh’s training. We weren’t hitting the number of miles we needed to log each week. Serious concerns began to creep in as to whether Josh and the Fohners could be ready for the 900-mile ride in June. Their goal to bicycle three hundred miles in a week as well as a 70-mile, two-day overnight excursion ride by the end of April was becoming extremely unlikely at their current pace. It appeared the “storms” might be more than Josh could handle.


I challenged Mike and Josh by addressing the potential need to reschedule their tour, wondering if perhaps we were on an unrealistic timeline for someone with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Mike’s response was something along these lines: “we’ve gone this far, let’s keep going”. With that, we decided we needed a big ride on Saturday. Josh’s previous personal record of 28 miles had to be beat. And, we couldn’t stop every two and a half miles for Josh’s usual seat adjustments. He would need to go longer between stops, go faster, and ride 40 miles.


Our team had already decided it was time to put Kevin Bradley, an Army veteran, in the pilot’s seat next to Josh. Josh showed up for our Saturday ride, at The Meteor, in Bentonville. There was also a local television crew there for an interview. Josh was getting back to his normal self. He was smiling, goofing, and loving the cameras. That day, Saturday March 20, 2021, Josh went 40 miles! A full twelve miles further than his previous attempts. He was sunburnt and he was tired.


With rain in next week's forecast, our group decided it was time to take Josh and his team out on their first road ride. Up until then, all other rides had been on the Razorback Greenway. The group of cyclists met at Owl Creek Elementary in Fayetteville to take a Sunday afternoon ride out to what is known as the “P. Barn.” It is exactly what it is called. On this trip, Josh went a full 8 miles before stopping for a break, another new personal record. But he wasn’t done showing us his increased strength. At the end of the ride, Josh insisted on standing, something he likes to do against the clock. The repetitive motion of the pedaling “wakes up” communication from his brain to his legs and he simply stands longer. This time Josh stood for a full 10 minutes. And, on his own, he shifted weight from one foot to the other to “re-stack” himself during the stand.


Josh emerged from the “storms” and made significant gains. Until two months ago, Josh had never stood more than 2 minutes at one time. In just two short months of continuous cycling, he is now standing 10 minutes, and shifting his weight on his own.


All In For Josh,

Bret McCormick

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