West BloomfieldJune 21, 2012
Podiatrist bikes from Chicago to home to fight diabetes
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Podiatrist Dr. Scott Grodman gave his own legs and feet a workout this June when he took his bicycle on a journey from Chicago to metro Detroit.
Grodman, 50, from West Bloomfield, recently pedaled the estimated 315-mile trip between June 14 and 16.
But the trip was more than just exercise — it was a way to raise money and champion the cause of diabetes research. Grodman said he has spent more than 18 years raising money to find a cure for the condition, which has affected his teenage sons, Jared and Adam, from the time they were very little.
“Setting goals and completing them is a significant part of anyone’s life,” Grodman said. “And if I could take three days to accomplish just a small feat, I know my children can manage their diabetes during their lifetime.”
Fortunately for Grodman, working out and staying physically active is not a chore, but part of his active lifestyle. He said he once did a 100-mile bikeathon called the Tour de Cure on behalf of the American Diabetes Association.
But the interstate journey required a special mixture of logistics and physical training. Preparing for the trek means working out approximately four hours per day, whether it was cycling, weight lifting, cross training or using the elliptical.
“I do everything, just trying to stay in shape as we get older,” he said.
After using Google Maps to find a good biking route, Grodman was ready to go to Chicago and begin his journey. He had several reasons for picking the city as his starting point: He went to podiatry school there, and that’s where he met his wife. He said his wife also has family in the area, including a cousin’s son who has diabetes.
Throughout Grodman’s journey the weather was 90 degrees and sunny — just the way he likes it. As his path wound through Indiana and into Michigan, he hit stops along the way in New Buffalo and Marshall.
Sometimes the road ahead seemed endless for him as he visited many small towns. “Michigan has a lot of corn,” he said. “We saw some vineyards and a lot of deer and wild turkeys.”
Along the way, Grodman’s wife and two sons traveled in a support vehicle to bring him water, sports drinks and food. The sons joined their dad on the bike trail for the fundraiser’s final 30 miles. The family celebrated at their final destination, the Leo’s Coney Island in West Bloomfield, at 5:20 p.m.
Jared, 19, said he thought the bike fundraiser was a bold idea, and he was glad to ride alongside his dad and give him the motivation and a second wind. “For him turning 50, it was a great way to try his strength,” he said.
Adam, 16, praised his father as a “workout freak,” and said he was happy to work together as a family on the fundraiser. “The last 30 or so miles was just kind of a way to show our appreciation,” he said.
Grodman said he raised a grand total of almost $30,000 for the bike trip. While the number is short of his original $50,000 goal, he said the donations are still coming in. He added that the money would benefit diabetes research at the University of Michigan and Israel’s Tel Aviv University.
While he hopes the money will continue to fuel his dream of a cure, the trip has already brought personal benefits for him and his family.
“There’s nothing better than setting a goal as high as it was,” he said. “There’s nothing better than pushing your body to the limit.”
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