Monday, September 28, 2009

Cake Walk

Best intentions with even "good" planning sometimes isn't enough to make a long celebratory bike ride happen as planned. The 100 year flood in Atlanta last week put the final "lets take a deep breath" regarding our trip. We had, as many of you know, other reasons for "deep breaths" over the last several weeks. But as friends and family continue to say, we have almost 12 months- during this 10 year anniversary year- to figure out the "live life look forward" expression of positive optimism and health and wellness...

Over the coming months, we will figure this out with our charity partners. My sincerest gratitude to everyone for their love and support. Two days ago on September 26th...10 years to the day, Josana, Samantha and me did what we have for the previous 9 years...thanked the hospitals, the ER miracle makers who do the impossible day in and day out. The other years we brought bagels, this year we brought something else...true GRATITUDE! Sam showed everyone what a now 17 year old daughter looks like next to her father, as well as, what 10 years of thanks looks and feels like! We also brought some cake!
Thank you all and all my love,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Road Trip!

Abby, unlike the above Clifford (the BRD)is all about getting in a car and hanging with her "mom and me". So while i am biking South, she and Josana will be riding a few miles up or hanging a few about a keeper wife and watch dog who's got my butt covered and who i love with all my heart...!!!

BTW: check out this site and go to my story below...
Athlete with Type 1 Takes the "Ride of a Lifetime" to Benefit JDRF.
Your financial support is helping a great cause-the cure for diabetes!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nice Tee...but Cliff really thinks he's a doll?

Debatable for sure! But what isn't is unexpected stuff is bound to happen when it involves planning a two week, 1,600 mile bike ride! Like, Matt having life get in the way of a great "father/son" adventure. It's true, Matt can't do the trip- given he has accepted a great job working in the fitness business and responsibilties are what they are! Plus, a bit of a "health hic-cup" jumped in my way...

So over the past few weeks- we weighed everything and gone it (yeah, Big Red Dog gone it!), to go for it! Not put it off til the Spring, not delay until everything lined up perfectly, but to give it a real shot! So, while Matt is making a start in his chosen profession, Josana and another big dog, Abby the Airdale will be my partners across about 10 states. We will leave Sept. 26, 2009- 10 years to the day of surviving my heart attack!

One other thing to report. We are supporting and closely involved with JDRF- the wonderful diabetes charity dedicated to finding the CURE for insulin dependent Type 1diabetes! More to come in the following days on how you can help me support this so needed effort!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You can quote me on it...

The easy way out, is always a way out!

Sometimes things come together. Somethings come together in time. Sometimes, somethings have a way of coming together!

Many don't know why or don't know how. But they are often the one's that don't!

If i'm positive about one thing, it's about being an optimist!

F. Yendem
Biking Philosopher...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eminem Knew What he Was Saying!

Matt and i saw 8 Mile together when it originally came out. Matt was a young teen and really into his "street cred", i was into his words. My favorite rap was and is Lose Yourself. Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, totally understood the "moment he had" as he portrayed it in the movie that was supposedly from his real life. He knew he had to make it work. But clearly beyond the moment he was personally rapping about, were the "make it happen moments" we are all given. He made the "don't screw this opportunity moment" very personal and it's why the song became such a anthem.

The ride for both Matt and me is one of these moments. To see it not as a special opportunity, is to be blind, let alone miss out on the potential to have it make a real difference in our lives and hopefully others.

Lose yourself in the is so LLLF to the fullest- because, as i know personally, most every moment has the potential to be very special, as well as, unexpectedly meaningful-both positively and not so much!

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Mad dogs" A father-son connected by more then DNA

So there's about 7 weeks left and I've been training like a mad dog. These are the "dog" days of summer, and through the medney DNA we have come to love this weather to work out in. By the Medney "DNA" I refer to the name mad dog. In college cliff was called the mad dog, he was a much better football player then he gives himself credit for, but nevertheless; he was the mad dog. Then in High School with out any mention of it I was doubed the mad dog, funny... Father like son. So these "dog days" really are dog days for us. We love the heat and the extra grind from the work out. Medneys also love oatmeal but that's for another day. So going back to my point I was playing basketball yesterday and got a really bad charlie horse in my right thigh, and it kills but other then that the training is awsome I've down everything from running in the heat to running in the pool (much harder then T.O. makes it look on his show) and I'm also a coach now for the 2009 JCC Maccabi games which I participaed in 6 years ago for soccer. But let the dog days continue and GO B U L L D A W G S!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Real Reason is...

In the most "FAQ" department as to "why i am doing the ride", it must be well over a 100 people who have thought my intent ranged from wanting quality time with my son to some kind of affirmation of life. Both are not wrong. But not totally right either.

The simple reason relates to what may have originated with the Kennedy's or they, like me, totally bought into the premise of and wanted to find ways to express the idea "with much given, much is expected". I know deep down just what i was given-to be here, living the life i actually have to live with my loved ones and just to be part of it all for however long. That's what the ride and life is all about-at least, to me. To be an activist in life for as long and as deeply as we can is the opportunity we all have. Unlike a lot of disposable stuff today, you don't get to do it over and get a new one. You just don't. One last thing on the "given" part- my wife Josana is supporting me 100% in everyway imaginable with helping me pay off this "expectation" i get to live up to!

That's why i am doing the ride. To fulfill an expectation that might positively influence others. Now aren't you glad you asked???

Time to ride...:)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two a Days... 90 Degrees of Seperation!

So here's the truth...once upon a time, i was an agile (aka slow) and determined kid who overnight went from playing 2 hand-touch football in the playgrounds of Stuy Town in NYC to 8th grade football in Atlanta, GA. When my father says we were moving, he wasn't kidding.

Figuring out how to put on shoulder pads, let alone getting comfortable with the helmut thing took awhile, but running and cutting and catching a football was, at the end of the day, the same on a concrete hardtop as it was on a great smelling freshly cut football field. The two big differences-it was tackle football, not two hand touch-ouch! And, they had this thing called "two a days"-really ouch. You can't help but remember two a day-morning and afternoon- practices on hot days like today!

But like everything else, especially as a kid, you get used to it. While i am not about to get into being tackled again-for any amount of money-i have resumed "two a days" or at least the spirit of them!! Today, i ran 31/2 miles in the morning,road my bike downtown to a lunch meeting then walked 20 blocks to another meeting. Then in the late afternoon, I got on my hybrid and road almost 15 miles in Central Park. The 1400 mile plus ride to Florida will be about endurance and about going for it...smartly. Matt, Dmitriy (our incredible young event manager) and me are trying to figure all the smart things we need to do to train and be prepared to do in route to get to West Palm in one piece on Sept. 26th.

Over the weekend, we reached out to a great company in the area of "big rides and big dreams"- hopefully they will agree to work together- they would be an ideal partner! They are experts in what we are doing and work with great bike related vendors/partners. Will know in a couple of days and will report back on the blog and ofcourse, if they say YES, will name them by name. They also have incredible spirit and attitude...keep fingers in the crossed position, please!

Let me end by saying, i finally got a hang of the shoulder pad thing and even how to wear a football helmet- you actually do look through the mask! So as a Freshman at the University of Georgia, i walked on the football team and actually became the starting "split-end". My "two a days" now remind of how much fun it was back then, as well as, how i was able to "fake people out" on how incredibly slow i was.

Matt and me are gonna ride slow, but hard and it will be fun!!!
Go Dawgs!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Month From Today...

You may be at work. You may be running to a meeting or driving over a bridge, in a tunnel, on a highway to get somewhere. Chances are Tuesday, September 8th 2009 will really be no different than the day before or the week before...

For me, my son Matt, my family, friends and supporters it will be the start of a most unlikely journey. A 1400 mile, two week bike ride to show what is possible- when you never buy into what is supposedly imposible.

It all happens one month from today! The countdown is officially on. So yes, the training is now more intense- a 100 miles a day for anyone is a real ride and the fact i'm no spring(or Fall)chicken is what makes this great. The logistical routing, where we will sleep must get more defined. The techical bike, travel gear, food needs must come together. The outreach to media in sharing our story, needs to be more focused. The asking for support, clearly needs to be more specific.

This ride is not about me. It is not about that i will be a ten year heart attack survivor come Sept. 26th or that I am a 52 year old insulin dependent diabetic. It is about life and with it comes the incredible opportunity, maybe even responsibility, to not be captive by circumstance- health, financial or any related issues.

A month from today, Matt and me will leave NYC. We will video blog, text (him, not me), share our journey along the way... all the time, everyday until we reach my father's house in Palm Beach, Florida on September 26th- the magical day i lived 10 years ago!

I truly welcome your involvement in any way you can. Again,the ride is about all of us...but pedaling, like giving, starts at home- so off i go!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pedalelphia, Pedalonia, Pedal ...

Here i went around Central Park 4 times today-4 times (fine, 2 around 7:30AM and a duce 20 minutes ago)...pedaling my 162lb butt off! I know trying to raise money for the ride, raise awareness for heart health and diabetes related health issues are my main challenges...but so is trying to get ready to ride the ride. And, while timing is tight on getting the viral word out on what we are doing- if my father lived on the top of Everest, i'd give that a shot too!- but it's not about me or him, it's about the importance of getting people to see the positive reality of being "heart active"-at any age, with virtually any health condition(s)- and partners/supporters to get behind me(maybe pushing my bike a bit up some of the hills in CP or in route to Pedalelphia) to help us change the idea of "health care" as a problem to fix to "caring about health" as a doable idea that anyone can buy "Live Life Look Forward",that's what we say, what our tee shirts will say, what people will say!

NYC to Palm Beach, Florida that's a lot of pedaling...33 days from now, about 100 miles a day. If you want to send me a post, send some support (we have some real needs), whatever you want to do to be part of this journey, please know i need every bit of help i can find and i am the most grateful 52 year old still alive guy you may ever meet.

Thanks, gotta grab dinner

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So, how was your weekend?!

Dear Abby
My lovely dog, not the gossip/life writer...what a weekend. Between my wife Josana having to move us from our Apt. on the lower eastside to the 70's (Abby is so Uptown) as i was recouping from a crazy blood sugar drop that landed me in the hospital...and getting "flipped off" (a technical term) by Time Warner Cable til this Friday!!!"an error must have occurred on your end" it is enough to make a guy ride a bike out of here!

And, that is exactly what we are doing, hell or high water, high or low blood sugar, Matt, me and team are figuring it all out and the combined 73 years of Medneydom will be riding up to Palm Beach Fl. for a meet and fest with an 85 year young Medney come Sept.26!!!

I kicked butt this morning riding two laps aggressive around Central Park...look out Penn., here we come South Carolina...i know where you live GEORGIA!!! Between now and leave date 9/8/09...we'll be talking alot!

BTW, friday was my birthday...celebrating in a hospital room is not so bad:):)!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Todays a birthday...

Just so everyone knows, today happens to be Cliff's Birthday.. so I apologize for posting so late, but I would like to say Happy Birthday to a marketing Genius (in my eyes and many others). Cliff you are an amazing person, father, husband (from what Josana says :) ) and friend. I wish you all the best in life and I could not be more excited for this trip, and appreciative for everything you have done.


2 am revelation..

You know, sometimes your best thoughts come late at night. This seems to be a trend among a lot of the people I know. Today was a good/bad day for many reasons. Let me start off saying it was good because it was finally the day that a close friend of mine realized that he no longer can live the fantasy life he's in. At some point in your life you need to be accountable for your actions, take responsibility, and the way I see it, learn from it. I hope that the time has finally come for this friend of mine, because the support network that he has behind him is larger then he can imagine. In my eyes, the problem lies in his belief in himself. I feel he does not know how strong he is, and how he effects others around him. All I can say is that I hope he knows that no matter what, there are people to support him, help him, and will be with him no matter what.

The reason why I felt this is appropriate for Live Life, Look Forward is because this fits in with our ideals, beliefs, thoughts, and everything we stand for. At some point in your life you find yourself lost, and with the help of others, you can get back on track, on the path of success, righteousness and the path that you were born to follow.

I say Life Live, Look Forward because, you only get so many second chances and as we all know, there comes a time when you just need to realize that you have to change eithor your lifestyle, your habits, your actions or even some parts about yourself. All I can say to this person is that, we are behind you 100%, no matter what, please understand that and most importantly, learn from everything and move forward. We may be hard with you, but the reason we do this is because we truly care about you.

The bad news, you know, I can't say anything is bad. The way I look at it, no matter what you can learn from anything that happens, you can look back and smile or look back and cry, but in the end, you take away something from it. Hence, there is no bad in my eyes.

So.... Live Life... Look Forward.. its a message, thought, belief, words of advice, slogan, title of this blog, 4 words, or anything you want it to be... it is something that we all can relate too...


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The meaning behind... Live Life, Look Forward...

I wrote these words and find special meaning in them, but they belong to us all. To put it simply, I never looked at life quite the same after my heart attack in September 1999. Mainly because I realized I had a “day I lived” day… as it was clearly not the “day I died”. I had birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, but never one of these. It was and is empowering and humbling.

And, it lead me to create my website- that I launched on September 26, 2008 to celebrate this special year, with 365 very human insights, one per day, into life, love and even my love of dogs. So, the idea of having a “day I lived” led to “life on the cliff” that morphed into part of where we are today…to “Live Life”!

While the idea of “live life” was new to me, look forward was not. As a natural born passionate optimist, I look forward to most everything. But, it is its dual meaning to “look forward”, to look beyond “today” to inspire people to start living life more actively and healthfully- that’s the hope and promise of a simple idea we’ve named “Live Life Look Forward”!


Monday, July 27, 2009

have you ever noticed..

I have decided that no matter how busy you may be in your regular everyday life, when it comes to helping someone, else you magically have time to accomplish any task you yourself to.

I recently decided to help Cliff and Matt with there bike trip, not because I had too, or I was getting paid for it but I liked the cause and reason behind it. I was sitting explaining to my mom about their trip and she stopped and said "wow, you really have done your research on this". The truth is, I have. I cant say I was too interested in biking, or reading blogs about other people and there trips, however this has caught my interest.

I realized that when it comes to helping others, you seem to forget about all your troubles, and you make time for the cause. If you stop and look around, you will notice that many people will not just come up with an idea and hit the floor running with it, instead, they need that motivation. Something to spark their interest, and they go with it...

Just a something I had realized while working on this trip...

I am Living my Life and Looking Forward...


Sunday, July 26, 2009

The day that I will never forget... 10 years later- a day to celebrate

What's up everyone, I just wanted to get my first post up here and tell you guys how excited I am for this trip. I realized that today is our 2 month mark till the trip down to Florida and thinking about this made me look back to that day almost 10 years ago now that I heard the news of my dad being in the hospital. I find it almost weird that certain days stick in your mind so clearly that you remember where you were, what you were doing, and who was with you. These may be days that make history, or are just events in your personal life that stick with you. Do you have any days that you can look back to like that?

For me, I was in elementary school, it was fourth grade, and a Wednesday. I remember Wednesdays as the days I was able to go to my dad’s so it ment that it was our day during the week to go to the park, bike around, or just chill, you know, father/son bonding time. While sitting in class I was called to the principles office and in my mind I started trying to figure out what it was I did wrong, this time that is. Upon seeing the principle, she told me that it was not me that was in trouble this time, but my father had an “accident”. Now that I look back on it, I guess that’s all a kid my age would be able to understand. She told me I was going to get picked up and was going to head over to the hospital. She kept me as calm as possible and frankly for me, that’s not an easy thing to do even without news like that. My dad was not just my dad, he was the person I looked up too, and hearing this just put me in a state of shock. This day is one that I will never forget, and frankly I feel as though being bike down to Florida 10 years later, with my dad, is another day that I wont forget.

I will end it there for my first post, but look back for more about our trip, and I want everyone to know that this is not just for my dad and I, but for everyone. For any event in your life that you stopped and realized that what you have to do is stop, think, and LIVE LIFE and LOOK FORWARD.

- Matt -

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Trip- Introduction

A lot of people have diabetes, survive a heart attack and even live to commemorate it 10 years later. A lot of people also ride bikes for exercise. Not too many people get to live out a dream with their 21 year old son to ride their bikes from NYC to Palm Beach, FL to celebrate the date of the 10 year “survival” anniversary with their father and grandfather, respectfully. So on September 8th we will begin our ride of about 1,300 miles, some days covering 100 miles, other days getting less in but meeting people and sharing our story, to arrive at my father’s on September 26th 2009- literally 10 years to the day that I lived! My daughter Samantha will also be there as will my wife Josana…some things are just too important to miss! That’s something I learned many years ago