David Sunde cycles through life’s detours
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Tour de Wyoming is one of David Sunde’s favorite events of the year. This past ride had him and good friend Kasey Abbott ride 370 miles, climbing over 22,000 feet of elevation.
“In that area, I really wasn’t expecting much. There’s a lot of mountains in Wyoming, but a lot of the mountains we were in were in Utah.” Sunde said.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Sunde. After the 2019 ride in Wyoming, Sunde’s journey came to a halt.
“Come home, tired just like now. It’s nothing out of the usual for that. Three days later, I had a stroke,” Sunde said. “I guess I told Kasey we’re all one event away from something life changing. I guess I was right.”
For Abbott, it was more than shocking to hear the news.
“The last thing I ever thought was getting a call from Julie, David’s wife, that late afternoon on Monday saying that David had a stroke. I’m thinking that can’t be. This guy is the healthiest person I know.” Abbot said.
It wasn’t long before Sunde was on the road to recovery, after spending months in the hospital. He was back on his bike not too long after.
“Looking back, I really don’t know how I did it. You’ve just got to keep pushing. It does get easier, but it’s still difficult. Everything I do, when I talk I have to think. When I move my arm or my leg. It’s still a process of thinking, it doesn’t cooperate.” Sunde said.
But he says his recovery doesn’t have any secret. For him, improving in anything has always been about hard work and determination.
“There’s always a way to do what you love. It might be different, and the main is to just keep going after it.” Sunde said.
“He was the most determined guy, most determined byciclist I’ve known. But he’s turned out to be the most determined individual. I’m just so proud of him.” Abbott said.
The stroke forced Sunde to retire from his career. He now spends his time working to improve his mental and physcial health every day, with the help of his family.
“I never thought I’d ever retire, but my job is keeping active and trying to better. Everything I do is basically therapy.” Sunde said.
But he says there’s plenty more rides in his future, even with the bumps in the road.
“Life gives you challenges and curveballs. But you learn to adapt and hit them.” Sunde said.
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