In 2020, I went through a tough divorce — I don’t know anyone who had a good year in 2020! I’ve been married four times and I thought my last wife was my soulmate. I have three kids and two grandchildren from my first marriage.

I’m 52 and now married to Tracy. She is “the one!” At least, I sure hope so. 

But I wasn’t feeling good. I’d stopped cycling — I used to race — I wasn’t eating well. I woke up one morning, went to get my coffee, and felt dizzy. Then later I felt like the life was being sucked out of me. I went to the hospital and they said I’d had eight to ten strokes. I had a clogged artery and they said it was a miracle that I was alive.  

I want to be around for my grandkids.

They are so cute and they love me to death. As a grandparent, you can often do a better job than you did as a parent because you’ve learned from your mistakes. I knew I needed to change my lifestyle and I really wanted to get back in shape, so I downloaded the Thrive app.

I’m cycling again and I ride my bike to work.

I ride 30 to 40 miles a week. I bought an e-bike and I still get a good workout, and sometimes I use my road bike. Cycling gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I’m trying to get other people at work to get on their bikes. I go for long rides on the Greenway Trail, there are beautiful creeks and I get a sense of peace. I’m not worrying about my bills or my work.

I walk my dog, Lola, who is small and thinks she’s big!

She’s always waiting when I get down the stairs and she loves me unconditionally. I just like being with her and watching her play. 

Tracy and I go for car rides and we make each other laugh.

I’ll do my interpretation of a potato face! At home, we’ll watch a little T.V., we both love Yellowstone. We’re enjoying each other’s company.

I love bass fishing on Beaver Lake because it’s all about focus and attention.

When I’m casting, it’s very precise. If it was super easy it wouldn’t be much fun. I’m in the Bass Fishing League and I like entering tournaments. It’s about the competition, how I can get the fish to bite, even though for me it’s catch and release.

I’m playing with our grandkids and I love making them laugh. 

I took my three-year-old granddaughter, Mari, out on my boat. She kept saying, “Go faster Papa!” She was having a great time. We’ll have family cookouts, where we talk and catch up. I make awesome mac and cheese and they all take leftovers home. 

I sometimes take naps, which I never used to do. I’m listening to my body.

Every chance I get, I listen to music, like The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Johnny Cash. I like a wide variety. And at night when my brain won’t shut off, I meditate, I’ll think of nice thoughts, like winning a bass fishing tournament!

I never used to take vacations and now I am taking time off 

It’s great because I used to be “go go go go” 24/7. We’re planning a trip to California to get together with my dad because he’s getting old. My wife will meet him for the first time. And my brother, who lives in Hawaii, will be there. We’ll all hang out at the beach.

My goal is to stay positive.

I try to cut out negativity and I don’t hang out with Negative Nancys. Last week when I completed my bike ride, I said to myself, “That’s pretty good.” 

My life’s not over yet and I appreciate life more than ever.

I’m grateful for my wife and make sure I don’t take her for granted. I hold her hand and open the door for her. The other day I knew she wasn’t feeling well so I bought her flowers. My best friend, Shane, passed away this year and it was a reminder to enjoy life and be thankful for what we have, because it may be gone in a second.

— Ron Cline, Neighborhood Market #2685, Bentonville, AR; $5K Winner

The Thrive Challenge is all about making small, better choices in your everyday life using the Thrive platform (on web or mobile) in whatever area you want to prioritize. Join the Thrive Challenge here and submit your story for a chance to win part of a $1,000,000 prize pool.