TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – A perfect day is all Jerry Pope needs to pull his trusty steed out of the garage for a nice ride.
“Normally I’m out there by myself so it’s a time of introspective solitude, which I enjoy.”
Pope has a lot he could think about. He could think about the 37 mile Tour de Cure race he’s preparing for in May, or different chores around his house; but he *won’t* think about what his Diabetes has taken from him. Pope lost his legs three years ago.
“Diabetes from what I have learned since I’ve been diagnosed and dealing with it, is one of the most devastating diseases because it affects every part of the body.”
One thing diabetes can’t touch, is drive.
“I’ve never believed that anything could beat me.”
So, Pope rides. And rides. Not just to stay in shape…to send a message.
“Not only am I saying Diabetes you won’t take me over, but I’m hoping that if I can just be incentive to one person just to get off the couch, change your diet, do some exercise.”
Pope uses a hand cycle to maneuver the road.
“The arms are such smaller muscles than the legs and that’s why a hand cyclist can’t keep up with an able bodied cyclist.”
But keeping up isn’t always the name of the cycling game.
“There’s no reason why if a person wants to compete in something at some level that they can’t do it.”
Pope’s view on life is simple. When you come to a bridge…It’s up to you whether or not you cross it.
Learn more about the Tour de Cure by clicking here.