I started writing this blog about 5 months ago when I decided to start racing again. Mostly, it was to keep me honest, accountable, and an outlet for all the raw excitement I felt about it.
I don’t feel like I have the need for that anymore. My life as I knew it exploded this past year and in the debris, I began to make it mine again. Tracing back the steps to who I used to be, I was amazed by how far you can travel from yourself in such a short time. We make small concessions about ourselves whether it be for a job, a relationship, or even something as simple as acceptance and the next thing you know, instead of being a shot of whisky, you’re as boring and grey as mop water.
I found myself looking at my past, the things I had done, the friends I had made, the sweat, the work, the goals, and the triumphs as ancient ruins of a life that had passed. The trophies and medals were relics of a time that my world had moved on from. There were plans unfinished, friendships damaged, and if I’m going to be honest, a large amount of shame. The people who really knew me, knew I wasn’t me anymore.
I think the friends who know you when you are at your best can serve as a mirror reflecting to you just how far you’ve strayed. It’s a sad thing to see, so isolating yourself feels safe. And if you want, you can stay there forever. I don’t suggest it though.
With the concessions we make, the goals we shelf, and not valuing our unique individual gifts, we build walls around ourselves. It’s a self inflicted prison that holds us back from ever reaching our potential and more importantly, living a passionate existence.
I think my training over the past five months reflects how much I’ve missed this life. Every morning, I leave my job (I work third shift), put on war paint, go to the gym for at least two hours, and test every ounce of myself. The difficulty of my workouts is staggering and they will only get harder over the next month. Everyone at the gym thinks I’m crazy. Everyone at the gym is right.
So here I am now, reassuming the life that I loved and so desperately missed when I left it. The hardest races in the world are once again looming, but more importantly, I have a renewed appreciation of myself. I’m a wise cracking, psycho athlete. I’m a flawed father who tries the best he can every single day for his son. I’m a loving brother, son, uncle, and brother in law. I’m a social butterfly who’s grateful for the friends I have, old and new. I’m a boyfriend, who now at the age of thirty-five, is starting to learn what a healthy relationship looks like. I’m a thrill seeker, a whisky drinker, a tattoo addict who routinely eats the hottest peppers in the world. I am me, scars and all, and it’s time for me to stop writing about it.
I have work to do.