Next level

Today on the bike, I did some climbing. For as long as I can remember (with my first heart), I’ve hated and avoided climbing. Come to think of it, it was probably because I wasn’t strong enough and without a doubt, not healthy enough to attack it.

With this heart, I’ve gotten to the point of riding whatever is in front of me. Gravel, rocks, hills, sand, whatever. I am seriously, so impressed with what I’m able to do. Physically, I am breaking down barriers, every single time I get on the bike. My neck is starting to hurt from how often I just shake my head.

I am officially on a next level.

Check out some of these photos from today’s ride:

2:20 to go.

2:20 to go.

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Mike Cohen
Snot Rockets

I wrote this title on Saturday (4/18) after a day of training on the bike in North County. I had just passed Leucadia and was in a zone. I looked at my Karoo and it showed I was at about an hour. I made a U-Turn at the next intersection and headed home. EN route, I had some nasal discomfort and went to empty each nostril. One of them ended up hanging out on my shoulder for the remaining of the ride. Yuck.

Training is going really well. I am now riding 5 days a week and feeling the strongest I have ever felt in my life. I am in need of more cycling jerseys and bibs, as well as cycling socks and base layers than I am of shorts and tee shirts that no longer fit. I’ve shrunk. This cycling and training thing is transforming me into the professional cyclist that I’ve always seen myself become. I’m beyond grateful and I feel really good.

I’m not getting as many photos on these rides as I’d prefer, but I know they’re coming. For now, I’ve been cycling in a pretty big track formation. It’s an hour ride loop. I think next time I’ll do 3.
Why not?

Mike Cohen
Wow I've slacked off

I will be posting more about my training and this transition from being a professional patient, fighting for my life to becoming a professional cyclist about to ride across the United States of America, with the heart of a Navy flight surgeon. #Livelikemazz

 

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Mike Cohen
A Trip

yesterday was such a whirlwind of a day. At 5:00am, I woke up to feed Lincoln and get him ready to be puppy sat by my mom (who finished radiation treatments recently). My dad drove me to my final heart biopsy which was at 7:00am. While I was on the table with a catheter in the right part of my neck, my cardiologist said to me:

” isn’t today your 15 year anniversary from being diagnosed by cancer? ”

I was surprised he knew that. he knew that my cancer put me on this table. 

Here’s some math:

Jan 18, 2004 (15 years ago - cancer diagnosis)

Jan 18, 2007 (13 years ago - final chemo treatment)

Jan 18 2019 (final heart biopsy / received bike from Trek

 

wow.

 

Mike Cohen
Incredible Superhuman

Looking back with a bit of insomnia creeping, I look through old photos (check below the ones that stuck out most). I look to see what life was for me back then. I remember the time and place, SOMETIMES. I forget a lot of things. I blame it on the two and half years of chemo, as an eighteen year old. Also the medication used to keep the incredibly healthy heart, I received from an incredible superhuman. His name was James (I know I’ve mentioned it a few times previously... sorry!) . He was a LT in the Navy. He loved people. He was selfless. I get to continue my life with a legend’s heart? I get to continue pursuing my ultimate life goal, in inspiring others and helping people overcome anything, with a heart from a man who dedicated his life to protecting this country? A person like this I will never get to meet. But you all will get to meet me. You’ll see traits of him and traits of me. Together we will change the world. 

James - I can never be able to meet you. And that really bums me out. Thank you for my life

 

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Flying to from Newark, NJ to Portland, OR (2014) 

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Shooting photos on rainy day in La Jolla, CA (2018)

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Lincoln (2018) 

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showing off my LVAD to the doctor who saved my life. (2017)

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When I reserved all of Anza Borrego Campground for our photo shoot ;) (2018)  

Mike Cohen
Abnormal Recap

You’ve already have had your fair share of “Final 2018” posts. This will not be like the others. I will not be using any of the “best of 2018” apps or posts. Mainly because most of those posts are photos of me post LVAD or in the hospital waiting for my heart transplant. The highlights through my eyes or through my lens has been the incredible path of photography. I picked up my first “serious camera”, spent a good amount of taking shitty photos, editing and finally in a place of confidence. Here’s the photos I feel are my best of 2018:

Talking Pillows

It’s definitely not a comfortable table. Even for the 15 minutes I’m laying on it, while my cardiologist sticks a catheter into my neck. I’m awake. I feel the lidocaine, when I’m not supposed to. I feel it in my heart. Sometimes I have a heart ache. Not being sensitive but actually an aching heart due to being pricked. Only one left. So excited. 

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Mike Cohen
Sore as f*ck

I have experienced so many levels of pain and soreness, that I’ve come to the point where it’s really difficult for me to recognize the difference. Over the past couple months, I have noticed my body constantly changing and being sore and tender in all areas of the lower part of my body. I’m constantly putting work in. My legs are going to be tree trunks again for this upcoming ride next year.

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Mike Cohen
Less Turkey

it’s not about the turkey. It’s about the sides. I mean maybe a few of us might enjoy the leftover options with turkey. Most of us are stoked for most if not all of the side options. I’m more about the time spent with awesome people. My family, my girlfriend, my girlfriend’s family. I’m fine with less turkey.

 

That’s a portabello mushroom! 📸 (gf)

That’s a portabello mushroom! 📸 (gf)

Mike Cohen
Welcome

Coming home from training (cardiac rehab - which is pretty much all of my outdoor activities), I was greeted by my hairy little son, Lincoln. He immediately makes me smile, and speak in a voice that is only reserved for puppies and small children. I am going to start making sure I greet people that are coming into my home, the same way... check it out:

Mike Cohenlaughmore, alive, Puppy, doglover