Saturday, November 15, 2014

Balancing Act

We struggle to balance our work/professional lives and our time away from the desk. We strive for a more financially secure life, often sacrificing personal freedom. These monkey wrenches thrown into normal routines cause rifts and cause you to get discouraged from your never ending journey. At least that's true for me.

Constantly worrying about what to eat or can I even afford to do it and finally I'm in a position where that's not even a problem. Took me a while to crawl out of the rut, but in financially secure at the sacrifice of being able to relax or focus on running. Typing that out, maybe that's the problem. I'm focusing way to hard and I need to let go and do what I intended to do and that's live.

Worrying is the thief of joy and living. I was so used to worrying about the future that I wasn't living in the present, and now I don't financially have to worry, but I'm so used to worrying. I'm still acclimating to my stability. I need more time and that's ok. Learning to be patient and humble is an ongoing process which I believe would not only improve ourselves, but the world as a whole, but that's a whole other can of worms.

Point of this post is focusing on how we as endurance athletes balance our lives in order to maintain sanity through training. Basically, how do we make time for doing what keeps us sane?

Speaking for myself, I love my job, but I need to decompress from the unwanted stress that comes along with it. That's where trail running comes in. You've heard me talk about the comparison to meditation and running. And if I want to stay sane, if I want to continue through life with a smile on my face and a positive mental outlook, I need to run as often as humanly possible. Ask my Ragnar team about how antsy I get when I'm waiting. I'd rather just be running.

Working 10 hour days, 5 days a week, it's hard to fit a run in during those days. And my two days off a week, I'm either beat or spending time with my kids. Where do I fit my runs in?! I find time, make time. I need the run. It's necessary for my well being. When I tell people what I do for fun outside of my busy work week, they are amazed by the miles I put in and wonder how I fit it in. Funny how people assume that there's not enough time in the day. And yes, I still make time for precious sleep.

My plea to anyone and everyone reading this blog post, follow your heart and instead of going through the process and waiting to die, get up and live. We are given "one life, one chance" so make the most out of it. If you're ever struggling to find motivation or need any sort of inspiration, I'll be there hoping to lend my hand and help lift you back up.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Running For Those Who Aren't Able To

If I start sounding like a broken record, I'm sorry, but this topic is really important to me. Helping your fellow man.... Let's discuss.

The running and triathlon community has given the power to countless amounts of people to overcome extreme adversity. And it gives the opportunity to those in a more fortunate situation to help those who would otherwise be unable to get back up. I know that sounds choppy and I am sorry, but bare with me here.

Organizations like CARE2TRI and BEST BUDDIES are giving the experience of a race to people that aren't able to without the assistance of others. Then you have stories like the boy who does triathlon with his brother that's confined to a wheel chair and needs assistance, sticking up for him and loving him. But helping isn't just for those with special needs, it's also for those who battle substance abuse, struggle with financial stability, or deal with depression. Through running, you can raise awareness for those less fortunate than yourself, but it also gives the tools and the power for those battling whatever it is life throws at them to overcome adversity.

I'm telling you, running and triathlon is so much bigger than the sport. There's a greater meaning behind it and unless you've experienced the sense of belonging and compassion that I've felt and hopefully given, then you'll still only see it as some form of competition.

When I talk about what I've chosen to pursue in ultra running and triathlon, people automatically think I'm crazy and write it off as grueling and idiotic, something they "could never do!" But I feel deep down inside my heart, my soul that this is something I want to do and I was meant to do. It's seriously a way to raise awareness and help people out. And remember, it's not about the distance, the pace, the time or PR's, it's about the experience.

I hope this post doesn't sound redundant, but I hope this post does what I intended, that is to hopefully inspire.

I run.

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Calling

This is taken from my Facebook post, but I thought I'd share it here.

"What an amazing experience Ragnar was. We all embraced the suck and endured the sun, ultimately came out of it with a different perspective on life. I'm a true believer of things happening for reasons and though I've spent practically my whole adult life wondering what I was put on this earth to do, I've found my place and I'm meant to run. This is my calling and through running I'm able to assist people in their journey, help those who need help and prove to the world that you can overcome anything in life as long as you don't ever give up on yourself. I'll take the weight off your shoulders and run far and long because that's my purpose. I'll be there with you on your journey and pick you up when you've fallen down, I will never judge you for the decisions you choose to make and I'll provide a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. I'm blessed and I hour you all know, every single one of you, how much you mean to me. Love you all. This journey hasn't been easy and yet I'm so lucky, fortunate to be where I'm at. I've met some amazingly wonderful people along the way. Thank you thank you thank you."

I promise to run for those less fortunate than myself. I promise to run to raise awareness, to spread positivity in this seemingly negative world. I promise to pay it forward, to smile, to live! I promise to never ever give up on those I love, to always be there when you need me. I promise to be me.

Funny how a simple trail run with friends and strangers can really bring things to light and help you focus on living.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

This Is All I Have

The title to this post has very little to do with what the text. But for some reason, those words found a way into my head and I needed to get them out in some form of writing.

The actual quote from Bill And Ted's is escaping me, but it goes a little something like this: "there's no place I'd rather be than right here, right now." Let that sink in a bit.

I find myself looking to the future or thinking about the past that I'll often forget to live in the present time which is hindering my growth as a person. And after my last few days, I'm awakening to the bigger picture. I'm seeing things in a much different light then before, appreciating things people and situations. That's not to say I didn't appreciate those things before, but I am starting to fully understand turn of events and so on. No one wants to endure suffering, but it's necessary to go through pain the way I did.

And without getting into personal details, I feel the need to share something with everyone. Now, I'm not one to air dirty laundry on the internet so my story may be a little vague. Stay with me, it'll all make sense in the end.

I was married close to 10 years. My ex and I tried and tried, but we eventually came to realize that we weren't meant to be together. Communication was broken so the way we separated wasn't the way either of us intended, but it happened the way it did. It was something I  have been asking for ,for years in my head but never did I expect it to go down the way I did. Part of me thought that being miserable was the way it was supposed to be so I accepted my marriage to be far from perfect. No one is to blame, we just weren't right for each other in that way.

I have always been faithful, honest, loving, caring so it hurt really bad when I learned the truth. But it was a blessing because now she's happy. See, a lot of people forget that everyone deserves to be happy and that you can't love someone who broke your trust. Here is my take. I will always love my ex, she's the mother of my two wonderful children and was a huge part of my life and my journey. It took me a long time to realize this and to understand it's ok to love someone and not be in love with them. Follow me? Anyways, I've wanted nothing more than for her to be happy and I'm glad she is.

The bigger picture though, through the hurt and confusion my ex and I have given everything we have to the best interests of our children or at least the best that we can give given the circumstances. They are now in a situation where two people love each other instead of two people who didn't talk. I have come to understand where they live around love is much more beneficial than non communication and miserable attitudes. This is not to say I don't miss my kids, I miss them every single second of every single day, but I have faith they are treated with the best love they can be given. My ex and her significant other are wonderful parents and though he may be the man in the house, he is not their dad, but he protects them and cares for them like any father should. I'm still dad, I still play a huge roll in their lives. It hasn't been and isn't easy all the time to accept and understand, but when I'm thinking clearly like this, I see the big picture.

My children are very blessed to have two parents like their mom and myself who tried to make things work, but aren't together anymore.... Sorry for the choppy sentence.....I feel like we get along better now and communicate better now that we aren't together.

During a drop off and pick up with the kids, we all witnessed another divorced couple doing their drop off. While holding their daughter, both parents were swearing at each other, cursing and calling names. The child was probably confused and sees that. That child loves both parents and will have years and years of confusion based on interactions like that. I get it, you're mad at each other and I'm no saint, but it's not the children's fault that you two don't feel good about each other. Leave the child out of your bickering. Be adults.

After that, I messaged my ex saying "I'm happy we aren't like that." Like I said before, there was anger and frustration, but we've always had our children's best interests at heart. We have learned how to talk to each other and I've learned to care and love someone through forgiveness. I forgave because I understood. It wasn't easy getting up and leaving my children behind and I still question of I made the best choice, but I truly believe I did. And I didn't leave my children or abandon them, I moved out of an unhealthy situation and I worked my ass off to provide a way better healthier life for the two of them. I'm learning to be the best dad I can ever be.

This journey I've been on has been rocky, treacherous and very difficult. But it was necessary. I've been blessed with meeting some wonderful people that are truly inspiring and motivating, kind and loving. I've discovered running and triathlon and that community alone has welcomed me as part of the family. Coach Frank has been like a father figure to me and one of the kindest people I've ever met and I wouldn't have been introduced to the S3 family without knowing my dear friend Mary. Meeting Charles and him inviting me to the men's group/bible study group and meeting some very helpful and kind friends there has been a godsend. Posting an add or what have you for wanting a real bed and learning more about my buddy Bill and how much in common we share. Tricia and Jeffrey and needing that friendship we all have, I'm so blessed. Tabitha and Carl are some of the most kind genuine people one could ever know. Just running with him has taught me so much about who i am. The list goes on forever and ever, but know that without the hell I feel I've endured, I wouldn't have these amazing people in my life. It's necessary that I was to go through what I did. I'm very blessed to have you all in my life, thank you.

You've heard me talk about family and the importance family plays in your journey. And though my children are my only bod l blood here in Arizona, the family I have here that aren't blood are the best family I could ever ask for. I have so much love for everyone that has help lift me up when I was at my lowest point. Thank you got listening to be when I need an ear, thank you for pushing me and teaching me to continue on when I wanted to give up. I am humble, thankful, blessed.

With tears in my eyes, flowing down my face, the immortal words from H2O come to mind. "My friends look out for me like family"