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Life Moments

From Alyse:

“Hey Dave, it’s Alyse. Not sure if you remember me but a year ago yesterday was the day that we went bungee jumping at Navajo Bridge. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for getting me excited, easing my fears, and capturing my adventure. Because of that, I’ve learned more about myself, my passions, and life itself.”

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Alyse airborne at the Navajo Bridge (Grand Canyon - Arizona). Photo composition by Eric Peffer Photography


From Dave:

I recently received this grateful and inspiring email from Alyse, who was visiting the Navajo Bridge (Grand Canyon, Arizona) with her family when she was ‘invited’ to jump off of the bridge.

Adventure and taking on new challenges will unveil new learning opportunities about yourself and possibly others who are hovering within your adventure space.

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Photo by Barry Glazier


Alyse would write a memoir for her English class sharing her reflection on this unique experience and the impact it would have on her life.

From Alyse:

From her paper (which she received an A!), she shared some of her thoughts and steps toward doing the unusual.
”Hey, Wanna jump?” Of course, I didn’t hesitate to respond. Being as outgoing as I am, I replied with, “Heck yeah.” My response, even though said in a normal tone, was just me kidding around. I obviously did not plan on jumping off of a bridge just because a stranger invited me to.

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Dave Nevins - photo composition by Eric Peffer Photography

From Dave:

After some family dialogue on whether they were going to watch their daughter jump to her death or not, Alyse got the thumbs up and she received instructions on how to perform the perfect swan dive.

Let me ask you a simple question. Are you taking on the challenges that call your name?

From Alyse:

It was just me. Standing alone on the edge of a 467-foot bridge. I felt ready, adrenaline pumped through my veins. I heard everyone on the bridge start to count, “5….4….3….2….”
I jumped. I let out a scream as I went from diving horizontally to plunging vertically. I wasn’t even thinking about the danger I just faced or the height I was conquering. All of my worries and thoughts just slipped out of my mind.

I looked off the bridge once more and smiled. That’s when I knew I was hooked. That life to me isn’t worth anything if I’m not risking it. I realized what it is like to actually be alive and what it’s like to really be scared of dying. I had experience something that no other event could compare to. I had felt a way that for the rest of my life, could never exactly be matched or repeated.

From Dave:

Let me ask you a simple question. Are you taking on the challenges that call your name?

Video of my jump.

Similar to Alyse, I have heard the voice calling my name, sometimes I take on an adventure or challenge, sometimes I do not. I confess that I am truly thankful for every yes that I take on when a new challenge has presented itself, and those memories are lasting and those experiences have shaped and molded me into who I am today.

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Dave Nevins during the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo with Team No Limits (all type 1 diabetes riders)

I have shared before that a neighbor in Boise, Idaho came by the house and asked if I wanted to go bungee jump. I realized I could have come up with some excuse to avoid a “scary” challenge, but I thought about it and decided that if I do not have a solid reason for not doing something then let’s do it!

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Snorkeling during a No Limits (for people with type 1 diabetes) kayak expedition near Sitka, Alaska. Photo taken by Scott Harris.

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Taking on challenges can also happen in the work world. This is me during my time as a bicycle messenger in Boise, Idaho.

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Canadian Death Race with a team of runners with type 1 diabetes. Dave Nevins on the left and Will Schock on the right.

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Cautionary Tails

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Cautionary Tails

On my evening run through the Arizona desert last night I had a number of wildlife encounters. Expected during the summer season and remarkably common during my runs on my local trail route. I would encounter two Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes this evening which gives me almost as many sightings as all of last year (a record year for me). It is still June with about four months of watching where I step and hearing the occasional rattle, jingling while I sort out how close I am to the snake.

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Of the many assorted and interesting critters I experience while I take in the desert environment, the most often seen, in this order are deer, rabbits and you guessed it, rattlesnakes. Twenty one at last count for the Spring and Early Summer season. Getting rather close to the number that welcomed me on my runs last year.

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I love wildlife encounters and, well, snake encounters are a not quite a love affair but I do take on a trail runner crazy enough to run through the desert in the summer time, will trek through snake territory and will have a few meet and greet sessions with other inhabitants toting a rattle. It is their home and I do respect that simple fact.

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Do rattlesnake's give my heart a jolt? No, but there is a bump in the heart rate when I take a quick dodge to the left or right to avoid a snake.  They can blend in very well to the desert floor but I have had to become great with those scaly senses.

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Very, very thankful that of all the creatures on the planet, the rattlesnake rates high on the list of animals that let you know of its presence. A beautiful fact and one of the reasons I have an admiration for the scaly and sometimes noisy, scary creatures of horror films and jolting newspaper articles. Oh, those stories of people who get bitten after decapitating a rattlesnake are primal fear unleashed. 

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I have adjusted my trail runs, slightly, due to encounters at the start of my trail. There are one of two 'friendly' slithery reptiles along the start of my trail time. Roughly eight or nine meet & greets within the first minute of the trail. I had to wonder about the fact that there was a r snake 20 feet up the trail. The photo below is another run-in that is at the exact start of the trail. Sheeesh! I now walk this lively section.

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Clock is ticking toward my next run. Almost all of the wildlife I see on my runs is during the suppertime excursion. I will have my eyes dialed in for any and all wildlife, capture what I can with my camera and enjoy getting out in nature and continue to improve my health and diabetes care. And watch my step.

If you find yourself trekking through rattlesnake territory, do be ultra careful. I have read about some horrendous encounters with some devastating results after interactions with Mr. Rattlesnake.

 

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Plan to share another angle on my wild wildlife experiences. Could include Gila Monsters, Tarantulas (yes, I pick them up!), Desert Tortoises, Bobcats, Javelina's (no, don't pick those up), Giant Desert Centipedes, and who knows what else might appear in my blog.

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Black Rattlesnake

Black Rattlesnake

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Fat Biking is a Thing

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Fat Biking is a Thing

I have shared that I am a runner at heart but adventure is plugged into my dna. For the most part I thrive with new challenges and experiences. Yes, fat biking is a thing and I am slightly addicted after riding through the desert with Billy Joe. Billy Joe was on our No Limits team of riders with type 1 diabetes who competed in 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo (mountain bike race). In his bike arena sits mountain and road bikes and two fat bikes. Just enough for the two of us to take on the desert. 

Vlog from the Fat Biking Adventure

We zig-zagged through some neighborhoods that soon found us in front of a wash and unlimited sand and rocks. Time to ride, but very, very slowwwwwwwlllyyyy. Oh, and those fat bikes, having tires that are better suited for go carts, are also extremely heavy. They do allow you to ride in terrain that is not suitable for other types of bikes.

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It was grand to be back on a bike after a long hiatus off of the saddle. I hope to get back on my mountain bike but will be challenged by the coming three digit temperatures that will swell the desert with a zapping heat that frightens me with the horrifying thought of having a helmet on my head. 

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Video below gives the viewer a glimpse of a rather fun sport. #8 in my vlog series.

The bike path above us was bustling with weekend riders and runners enjoying their time on pavement. It was a beautiful day and the scenery, while stark in areas, afforded the quiet moments to power the fat bike through sand and over a landscape of rocks, rocks and more dang rocks. 

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While those monster tires churned through the varied sand and rock obstacles, the bike was unsuccessful at finding victory in deep sand. Or, my skill set was not quit as deep as the unforgiving layer of sand.

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I did fall a few times but only one fall will be highly featured in this blog. Almost done with our route through the Pantano Wash, I found a notable rock that had my name on it and I crashed to the desert floor. Also crashing was my insulin pump which had a short but sweet meeting with the mentioned rock. The noise that my pump squealed out was loud, irritating and the sign of death as our ride was now over (except for the pedal back to Billy Joe's home). Pump was now dead and I needed to make my way to a syringe and insulin and eventually a previously used insulin pump in my archives. Not a stunning way to end the day but an excellent way to spend the day. Thanks go to Medtronic for promptly zipping a new insulin pump my way. 

Snapshot from the video after the crash.

Snapshot from the video after the crash.

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