From Heartache to Hope: A Father’s Crusade Against Addiction

Dave Cooke, a Valley business coach and founder of 100Pedals, discusses how 100 days totally changed his life, and ultimately helped his son.

“Some people choose to embrace the darkness. I choose to look for the light”

Over six years ago, Dave Cooke had hit rock bottom while trying to save his youngest son from addiction, and in doing so, Dave’s own life was out of control. Dave thought and prayed, “God just give me a heart attack so I can escape this”

Life had become just too much. Dave Cooke found it hard just to get out of bed.

One night while sitting on the porch, which he did often, he realized things had to change. Dave also knew nothing would change unless he did something about it, so he challenged himself to ride his bike one hour a day for 100 consecutive days. He wanted to start each day with something positive.

His 100-day challenge was not immediate. It took him a couple of days to get started, but finally Dave got his bike out of garage and just rode. One hour and 8 minutes later he finished day one feeling inspired and energized. Dave wrote some notes and waited for the next day.

Every day he rode and every day he journaled. Dave Cooke found himself becoming more confident, stronger. The more he pedaled and journaled, the more momentum he had.

Dave recalls how his son Brandon’s journey to addiction started by smoking pot in 8 th grade. Brandon then began struggling in school, couldn’t play soccer any longer because of his grades, chose different friends, and over the years, became a heroin addict. Brandon stole from his family, lived on the streets and was arrested.

According to Dave Cooke, more than 23 million people struggle with addiction, and the saying ‘My kid would never do drugs’ is just not true. He goes on to say that Brandon knew he was loved by his family, but like other addicts, his addiction was his coping mechanism he chose for his pain. Dave believes it can happen to anyone.

Dave felt like a failure. He earned his living as a business coach and yet he couldn’t change or coach his own son. It was devastating. He felt broken. He was not himself. He was failing to allow his love to show through.

Through the 100 Day Challenge, Dave was able to create healthy boundaries for his relationship with his son. It took him out of ‘rescue mode’ and gave him clarity. Dave was able to stop bringing his fears and doubts into his son’s situation. His mindset shifted. He became healthier.

Dave made his son responsible for his own recovery. Brandon is now 8 months clean and is doing the work to stay sober.

When Dave launched his non-profit, 100Pedals, he biked from Santa Monica to Detroit along legendary Route 66. An amazing journey with a mission. This ride allowed Dave to experience life in slow motion. The purpose was to show his healing, and to connect with others. While on his trip, people came up and shared their own stories of addiction. Soon Dave will be doing a second ride from Charleston to New Orleans.

Through this, Dave Cooke wants us to remember, “Love trumps everything…love trumps fear”. He reminds us all to surrender to love… allow yourself to love and to be loved.

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