Recovery Week & IRONMAN
This week represents two important milestones for The Lefty Cycles Project, Inc. and its fearless leader...
On Monday Dylan visited his hometown of New London, CT to assist Sound Community Services with their Recovery Week celebration. Sound Community Services offers behavioral health and wellness care to a wide range of individuals in Southeastern Connecticut. Through a comprehensive approach, they support people who have experienced mental illness and substance abuse. The Lefty Cycles Project, Inc. teamed up with Sound last year and donated bicycles to their residential locations for client use. This year, they asked Lefty Cycles founder, Dylan Howley to be the opening speaker at their week-long event promoting and celebrating recovery. Dylan has been in recovery for eighteen years and spoke for thirty minutes about his journey and approach to long term sobriety. It was a rainy morning but the staff from Sound Community Services were prepped with tents and committed to making the BBQ lunch happen for their clients.
According to MentalHealth.gov, Mental health problems and substance use disorders sometimes occur together. More than one in four adults living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem. Agencies such as Sound Community Services are extremely influential in the communities they serve and The Lefty Cycles Project, Inc. continues to be inspired by their efforts. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, there are ways to get help. click here
The second update in this blog post is about the Ironman Lake Placid event happening TOMORROW, July 24. For the third year in a row, Dylan and his family traveled to the Adirondack Mountains of NY so he can compete in one of the hardest races in North America. In 2020, the race was postponed due to the pandemic but Dylan still went to NY and completed the race course…SOLO. He finally had his chance last summer to experience the race with thousands of additional athletes. He came out of the swim faster than expected and was cruising up and down the mountains on his two wheels. As he approached mile 77 on his bike, something went wrong. The bike malfunctioned and he had to finish the final 35 miles with limited gears. Once he made it to the starting point of the run, he found out it was ten minutes too late. Unable to finish a race due to equipment failure is something that triathletes must be aware of but it doesn't make it any easier to cope with. There are also strict time regulations that prevented him from attempting the run.
Dylan bounced back from that misfortune and immediately set his sights on 2022 in Lake Placid. Here we are again, one year later, a different bike, previous knowledge of the course and his power of positive thinking. On Thursday, Dylan mentioned that this race is 90% mental and only 10% physical. Imagine that? He has to swim for 2.4 miles, bike for 112 miles and THEN he has to run a marathon. No music allowed, only you and your brain for 17 hours. The final thing worth acknowledging is that he will do all of this with a paralyzed right arm due to a severe brachial-plexus injury that occurred 17 years ago. All the challenges in the world would not stop him from attempting to finish this race tomorrow.
The motivation and drive is what makes Dylan and his endeavors so unique. His speech at Recovery Week was perfectly poised and he had the attention of everyone. Watching different people hear his story of addiction and recovery is always mesmerizing. He is that spark of hope that some people truly lose sight of. We all do sometimes. Yesterday he received his race number for one of the most difficult triathlons on earth. He will compete knowing he has been in recovery for over eighteen years and that the bicycle is one of the things that saved his life. Sunday morning, around 4am, Dylan will be putting on his gear and repping the Lefty Cycles name! Stay tuned for the end result…