Briefly describe your journey since diagnosis:
I have enjoyed cycling my whole life, and I am still riding my unicycle. The last 18 months I’ve seen a sharp increase in progression of my symptoms, which is troubling but nonetheless I just returned from a short solo self-contained tour in Arizona.
That trip left me with a mixed bag of good and bad feelings. What I do find to be consistent is the good feeling I get while pedaling down a lone road with just my thoughts and the people that I meet along the way. Because long after the pain is gone, those are the things I remember.
Richard Mills’ Philosophy
How do you live well each day?
My wife is an excellent cook and very understanding, which sure helps. I am building my own timber framed straw bale house and volunteering for our local state’s chapter of APDA and the local Bicycle Collective. I am trying to stay busy and relevant.
What do you wish you would have known when you were diagnosed that you know now about living with Parkinson’s?
I felt alone out here in rural Iowa until I rode RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) where I met Nan with the Pedaling for Parkinson’s team that Dr. Jay Alberts put together. Nan rode with me for two days, and we talked about everything. She was the one who set me on this path, and I thank her for that every day because I don’t feel like I am alone anymore. I feel the same way about the Davis Phinney Foundation!
What do you wish everyone living with Parkinson’s knew about living well?
I would not be so presumptuous as to say I have the answers because everyone’s experience with Parkinson’s is different. But if I did, it would be to encourage you to seek solutions lovingly and with humor.
Share Your Victory
Each month, we spotlight someone from our Parkinson’s community who embodies living well today – what we call Moments of Victory®.
Your story, like Richard’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.
I’m glad I could provide inspiration, but in my experience, success with PD or any challenge comes from the courage and the grit of the individual. It’s great to hear you’re doing so well. We just returned from 2 weeks white water rafting down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. It can be done!
Thanks for commenting, Nan! Living Well with Parkinson’s looks differently to everyone. For some, it’s participating in a challenging boxing class 3 times a week and for others, it’s singing in the local choir; it’s essential to choose activities we enjoy doing. When you participate in fun activities, it’ll be easier to challenge yourself and feel less like a chore!
We are going to put a team of Parkies for the 2018 RAGBRAI. Hope to see everyone again.
RAGBRAI is such a wonderful event and encourage all those who love to ride to join us in 2018!
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