The last day or of 2014 is upon us! This year went by way to fast, it feels like yesterday that I was packing up my apartment and getting ready for a trip of a lifetime. The gratitude I feel right now is immense, there is a hint of sadness also. Sadness since it will be a year that will be hard to “top”, I don’t know why I would even think like that but the thought is there.
I have so much to be grateful for and so many people that are in my life to thank for the love and support, it is hard to comprehend. Over the past year I revealed to the world who I am as a person, how I think and act. Over the last seven years (after my divorce) I have been doing things that have gotten me out of my comfort zone. I started questioning a lot of things, my emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and educational well being.
I have been contemplating a lot of the things that got me to the place I am at today. I still feel that I have a long way to go with the changes and things I want to make and do. I received a text from my sister on Christmas that made me well up with tears, I am going to share it, I hope she doesn’t mind, I was kinda shocked at how she viewed me, since it is not how I view myself:
“Merry Christmas to an amazing older brother who when around makes me complete. There is always a sense of security I have when you’re present (must be a twin thing!) Your ability to believe and trust in yourself is an inspiration for others. Love you XOXO” We aren’t twins but a lot of people thought we were since we graduated the same year, I was held back in first grade, first grade is tough…
Her text made me think of the moments that helped me change. I am going to share some of the big “resolutions” I made over the past years, the ones that have really shaped me, there are many more but I think you will see where I am coming from.
The first thing I felt I had some control over was the way I ate, I say control because when going through my divorce it felt like my world was ending and there was nothing I could do. I didn’t like the way I felt and was on high blood pressure medication so I started researching food and nutrition, I started changing the way I ate and eventually got off the medicine. I couldn’t believe how good I felt when I started eating vegetables regularly, most of the “greens” were terrible so I started making “green smoothies” and drank my nutrition, my daughter loves it when I talk about eating healthy, ask her.
I started dating which was another interesting and at the time a very frightening experience, being with the same person for 14 years you definitely fall into very comfortable and complacent routines. Laugh at that statement, my manhood will probably be questioned, I laugh now but I was literally shaking the first time I “kissed” another woman, no worries I got over that fear. I dated some very wonderful and beautiful women during this time, however for whatever reason it didn’t work. I called the three years after my divorce my “dark period”, I was learning about myself and trying to figure out who I was as a person.
During this time I met a woman that challenged me physically, check Day 63, she used to watch The Biggest Loser, I remember talking to her on the phone during the season final, it was season nine, the contestants were running a marathon. I arrogantly said to her, if they all finish I will run a marathon, they all finished, Darius was the winner. My goal was to beat his time, her and I were going to run the marathon together in October the following year, I started training. By training I mean jogging every three days for about a mile, I realized my mistake, besides realizing how much running “sucked” there was no way I was going to run a “fricken” marathon.
I didn’t want to look weak to this woman, so I continued my “training”, in early April we ran a 5K, I finished but felt like I was having a heart attack the entire time, which made sense since I think it was to raise money for the Heart Association… A couple weeks later we ran the “Crazy Legs Classic” 8K for Wisconsin Badger Athletics, again I felt like my body was shutting down! Two weeks later she dumped me, I was heart broken! I made the decision to continue training, I ran the marathon in October, my brother-in-law said I looked like death when I was at the finish line. I was shocked that I finished, I didn’t beat Darius’s time, so I trained for another year and ran the marathon again the following year, I was faster but still didn’t beat Darius, I didn’t care, I proved a few things to myself.
I worked with a woman that traveled the world, I admired her fearless attitude, she was a “doer”, I wanted to see the world. Through her I learned of a place in India and a course called “Introduction to Buddhism”. It was in the Himalayas near the Dali Lama, I wanted to stretch my view of the world, I had gone to China for work a few years before, I loved that experience, but it was work. This new adventure was for me, I was fearful, I was going by myself to a place that was way out of my comfort zone, to learn about a religion, I didn’t understand. I had a support group of five people that I met with regularly, we discussed our ambitions and goals in life. They helped push me to change and with their encouragement I went on this adventure, it was a great experience, I met so many people that just go out and do. It opened my eyes to the world.
I continued running but gave up running races, I enjoy how I feel after two or three miles of sweating but I needed to get the rest of my body in shape, I joined a small gym and worked with a couple of trainers doing P90X for a year, I was shocked how fit I was becoming, I was enjoying things more. When the small gym closed I joined a CrossFit box. Another level of fitness!
When my Dad had his triple by pass, I was already in the mist of questioning my goals and objectives in life, his question was the tipping point I needed to act. I always have wanted to get my life in order and then present myself to the world, but it was in that moment that I realized that I was always striving to be perfect, at which I was failing miserably. I was never going to be and that outlook was getting me no where. The past five or six years had proved to me that I was capable of doing things that I thought were too hard or impossible, I just needed to start.
The stars aligned for me, there is no doubt about it, I lived a charmed life in 2014. I could not have done it with out all the support I received through out the year and being pushed the previous years, which helped me not to give up on myself, especially during my “dark years”. I will continue with my passions, I am not locked into just one thing that defines me, I love baseball and I will keep writing a weekly blog when the season starts, it is a great escape for me. I will be starting a new job on January 5th, it has been almost an entire year that I haven’t had a regular paycheck coming in, I am running on fumes financially. Not complaining at all, it was well worth the adventure.
I have a few things I want to do this year, I believe it will turn out, just believing is half the battle… I have learned the current moment is the most important moment, embrace it, life goes by way to fast. That bucket list everyone has doesn’t get filled by talking about doing, you need to go out and do. I need to thank so many people for the past year and years, I hope you all know who you are, I appreciate each and everyone of you.