Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If I’d only known

It was November of 2006.

I was on my bike and flying

25 miles in well under an hour

50 miles in well under 2 hours

Swim had been good

Run was acceptable

In the end I was 85th in the world.

85th place at the Half Ironman World Championships.

If I had only known

That was 4 years ago

If I had only known that…

Within months I’d be changing diapers and feeding babies that were not my own in the middle of the night

I would not do another triathlon for 2 ½ years

I’d lose my business and my house

I’d face bankruptcy

I’d break my leg

I’d become a YMCA Wellness Director for 2 years then one day be asked not to come back to work

I’d be banned from the YMCA

I’d fight back from a broken leg to get back to make it to the starting line of the Duathlon World Championships then crash going 30 MPH

If I had only know that I’d become an Ironman but miss out on completing in the most prestigious triathlon on the world because of a hurt neck

If I had only known that I’d end up penniless in a tiny apartment, divorced and alone.

Would I have changed a thing?



Because I am happy and in the end that is all that matters.

If I had changed one single thing I may have never met her…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We make choices every minute of every day. Some choices are mundane. What socks do I where today? Which shirt? What belt? Whatever. We make these choices over and over again without much thought to the consequences. For the most part the world is not going to end no matter what choice we make.

Some choices mean something. Am I going to break my sacred vows and end my marriage? That one’s going to leave a mark. More on that later.

We choice who we are. How’s that for important?

You read correct. We choose who we are. It is a conscious choice. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not one decision but a series on many decisions over the course of many weeks, months and years but we do indeed choose who we become.

Did you ever sit back and look at who you are?

Who are you?

You are the sum total of what you do, what you say, what you think, who you socialize with, who you don’t socialize with, the rules you make, the rules you break… you get the point. Added all together you get YOU. The things that I listed above are all choices.

You are the sum total of all the decisions that you make thus you are who you want to be. It is your choice. Do you not believe this?

I am a believer of changing yourself for the better. I believe that it is possible to look at yourself and say, “You know, I don’t like BLANK. I want to change in that area of my life. I no longer accept less than the best…” The details here can be just about anything. Your health, your body, your job, your friends…. your spouse.

What if your relationship with your spouse has gone from great, to acceptable, to less than acceptable to…. ? You get the picture.

Now here is the problem. How much are you willing to change? What DECISIONS are you willing to make to create a better relationship? What if your spouse is not willing to change? What if you finally realize that they are not going to change?

Some may call it a mid-life crisis. Is that what I had? Doubtful. What is that anyway?

I think of it as more being enlightened. One day you wake up and realize that the decisions that you are making on a daily basis are not congruent with the decisions that your spouse in making. It’s when this realization becomes clear to one or both parties in a marriage it is over. There is no turning back.

Call me cynical because I’m a guy that is recently divorced. That’s OK. I think it’s true. We choose who we are. We can’t be with someone who chooses to be the type of person you don’t want to be with. Period.

Of course this all come from somewhere. For years my wife would say or do things that frustrated me. In my mind I would think, “I would never do (or say) that”. Of course I’m sure that she felt the same way for a lot of things. There is give and take in a relationship. It is never perfect.

Since my separation I can see it so much clearer now. She says things that make me stop and say, “I made the right choice. I am so happy now that I made this difficult decision.”

I am reminded on a daily basis why I chose to leave my marriage.

I sure she feels the same way.

Was this the right choice? Today I say yes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why bother?

You really don’t need someone to help you with the dishes, laundry or the bills. Spend enough nights alone and you’ll find you really don’t need someone to sleep next you. Heck, you probably can get along better without a partner in bed to snore or steal the covers
Sex is nice but you can do that yourself also.

If you have a great day you can text your friend and get kudos. If you have a bad day you have lots of friends to lean on. If you’re grumpy you can even post to Facebook and one of your friends will be sure to brighten up your day.

You don’t need someone to complete you.

You don’t need someone to reassure you.

You don’t need a mate. You don’t need a spouse. You can do all of this yourself. You do not need to rely on someone else to meet your needs.

Vacations can be super fun with just your kids or vacations can be taken alone. Holidays can be spent with your parent or close friends. Friday nights can be spent with your besties. You can drink and laugh and carry on. You can do all this without a mate.

You do not need someone in your life; you can do it alone.

You can be strong and secure and you can take care of yourself. You don’t need some to protect you. You don’t need someone because you can do it yourself.

So why bother? Why bother to date? Why bother to think about a life with someone else? Why bother?
You don’t NEED anyone else.

Yeah, but it sure is nice.

It’s nice to wake up and feel the touch of someone you love and the warmth and safety they give you.

It’s nice to share your thoughts, fears, emotions and dreams with a love.

It’s nice to be in the arms of person that loves you and feels for you no matter what. It sure is nice.

It’s nice to look to have someone to talk to and lean on in moments when you are sad or vulnerable; yeah, it is.

It’s nice to look into the eyes of someone that steals your heart, capture them in a warm embrace and kiss them in a warm and deep kiss that brings you both to your knees.

Hmm. It is nice.

I am single but I do not identify myself as single. This is temporary. I do not need someone right now to complete me. I want someone. I will be patient but I know that life is better when you share it with someone. Again, I am patient. I am OK with being alone today but I don’t want to be lonely later.

I can call myself happy and content. That being said I can say with full confidence that, no matter what, I will take a chance on love. I will try to find someone to share my life with. I can be alone and I will be alone. This is how I choose to be now but not for ever.

Life is manageable alone. Life is magnificent with a partner. I’ve done both. I should know.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We are the Champions

Have you ever heard the song "We Will Rock You" and not heard "We are the Champions" immediately after. I never understood why but it is just the way it is. That is how I feel about the next two blog posts.

It was early this year when my dad's cancer took a huge turn for the worse. I took a solo trip north at the end of January to visit him. The following two blog posts were a results of that trip. They were originally published January 26, 2010 at I encourage you to follow that blog at well. It is my fitness blog.

I wrote these two essays at virtually the same time. I think of them as one. I re-publish them here because they are two of my favorites. They really have nothing to do with the Queen songs, by the way. Just the concept. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.

A fall in the woods (from Jan. 26, 2010)

I was coming to the end of a long run. A quick loss of concentration and I hit the deck like a sack of potatoes. I was in the woods off West Yarmouth Road in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. I may have been only a mile from my borrowed car, a half mile from the main road but I was a million miles away from my life.

A quick assessment told me I wasn’t hurt. I rolled over onto my back and started laughing. I was a little annoyed at first that I had fallen but then I was happy to be there and now truly living in the moment.

I’m in my home town visiting my ailing father. He’s dying from cancer.

In an instant I had gone from simply running to run to lying on the ground staring up at the trees LIVING IN THE MOMENT.

I took my time getting up. I noticed the deep blue sky. I noticed the upper branches of the trees swaying in the breeze. I could feel the biting 25 degree cold but I didn’t mind it. I noticed it and it made me feel good.

After a minute or two I popped up and finished my run with 5 minutes on hard running on the blacktop after running in the woods for an hour.

Seeing my strong and proud father stricken and dying from a dreaded disease is absolutely horrible. It’s so very sad. Having just amazing runs in the mornings made me feel a little weird. I felt a bit selfish. I’m 1200 miles from my wife and son and here I am out running instead of being with my father. It made me think a little.

I actually thought about it as I lay on the ground.

My dad wants me to be out running. He wants me to live. We have visited plenty and will more in the next few days. Today I spend my afternoon replacing windows and now I’m watching him sleep peacefully. Sadly his body is ravaged by the cancer but he is still my dad and that’s how I see him.

I try to learn from everything. I like to use little moments in my life to enrich me and those around me. From this experience I am going to take the positive because that is how I roll.

My dad is a great man and an amazing role model as a father and as a person. He has always worked hard and been committed to his 4 children. I am going to continue to try to be like my dad. It’s the least I can do.

At the end of this beautiful winter’s day on Cape Cod I am going to reaffirm to myself something very important. I am going to reaffirm that I will live life to the fullest and find joy and enrichment is every day and every experience. These experiences include hitting the cold hard ground like a sack of potatoes. Life is short. When we are living out our last days like my dad is what are we going to say about our lives? I want to spend the rest of my years on this wonderful earth living in the moment, appreciating my surroundings and living the best possible life that I can.

I’ll do this for my dad. I owe him that much.

Happen (from Jan. 26, 2010)

As I drifted off to sleep thoughts of my dad occupied my waning consciousness. I had marveled at the beauty of the seemingly endless expanse of clouds out the airplane window. I marveled at how the jet I was on could fly so high to simply be on top of the storms and wind below. It really got me thinking about my life, the world around me, and my dad.

My dad is dying. The truth though is that so am I. The truth is that so are you. We are all dying. At some point in the future the sun will come up. Planes will fly. Everyone will have jobs. Kids will be born. Presidents will serve. Rain will fall. It will be too hot or too cold. You won’t be here to see it. I won’t be here to see it and my dad won’t be here to see it.
You see the world keeps moving. The world doesn’t need us. While we all fit into the world in our own way with our own destiny we have to acknowledge that it will go on without us.
When I flew north 4 days ago I missed my connecting flight in Baltimore. As I walked up the concourse to my gate I could see “Gate C3” with an AirTran plane pulling out. My plane was leaving without me. There was another plane is an hour but that one just went on without me because I wasn’t there.
This life is like a big clock. No matter how much it seems like clocks slow down when we’re in the dentist chair, it does not. Time just keeps moving. The world keeps moving. There are no replays.
Dave Ramsey used to say “Don’t let life happen to you. You need to happen to it.” That is the message that keeps playing though my head as MY big clock winds down. Our time is limited so why not make the most of it.
Usually we get the “life is short” message when we experience the death or a loved one or the near death of yourself or a loved one. For most they just use the words and don’t apply the lesson. I’m trying to tell you now to apply the lesson. Our life clocks are ticking. Hear it? Tick tock.
Take your life TODAY and happen to it. Don’t accept things that you shouldn’t accept. You know what those things are. Stop putting things off this tomorrow. Dig out that bucket list and do number one THIS WEEK. Make a bucket list. Call your mom. Quit your job. Do something, but do it now.
Fill your days with passion, joy, enrichment, excitement and worth. What is your purpose? Fulfill that purpose.
I am a truly blessed person because I get all this. I try to fill my days with value but I’m often off target with how I spend my time. I, however, understand this and it’s ok. I’m constantly trying to make this better. I’m putting the effort in and that’s important.
Take your life and make it the life that YOU want it to be. Life like you were dying. Make each day one that you can be proud of. Build your legacy starting TODAY.
The words I have for you are these. You are dying. When the end comes what are people going to say about you? What are you going to say about yourself? Are you going to be someone who, like Trevor Shipley, fills a church so much so that people that come late to your service have to stand against the back wall because there are no seats left?
I hope to be like my dad as the sun sets on his life. I hope that your son or daughter says this to you: “I am proud and honored to have you as a dad. I love you with all my heart and I am the amazing person, husband and father I am today because of the example that you have set for me. Thank you so very much for being you and shining your light on this world. You are a great man and a true inspiration.”
If someone says that about you then you have truly lived.
Now just go out and happen to life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Confessions of an ugly guy

Hey ugly.

I’ve always been ugly. I was born ugly and have been ugly as long as I can remember.

When I was in 4th grade I started getting acne. It was just plain awful. I already had self-esteem issues regarding my mom and step-father viewing me as an annoyance rather than a child so the acne was like another nail in the coffin. My clothes were rags, I was unkempt, and in the lowest of the low “stupid kid” classes. I was 10 years old and ugly.

I didn’t help that kids made fun of me. I was known as “nigger nose” and “nigger lips”. It’s weird because there were a couple of colored kids in school and they didn’t seem to notice or care.

From a very young age I learned that I was ugly. This continued for years.

At some point I figured out that I had an aptitude for sports. I thought that if I was the best athlete the girls would like me and I’d be popular. This, amazingly, didn’t work.

For years my few friends were the losers in school and no girl would talk to me; it was because I was ugly.

I’ve figured out over the years that this wasn’t entirely the case but that doesn’t matter now. That is what I thought at the time.

My self-esteem issues sabotaged me at every step. I figured if I liked younger girls then they’d want to date me because I was “older”. Funny, that didn’t work either.

The high school years came and I still didn’t have a girlfriend; I was still ugly. Finally at the end of my sophomore year I got my first girlfriend. She actually liked me. I couldn’t believe it. After a while my mean friends (this was the late 80’s after all) convinced me that SHE was ugly so that didn’t last.

I still figured being a good athlete and liking younger girls would get me a girlfriend; still a bad plan.

As I got older still I had the same problem. I thought I was ugly. No lie. I was ugly. Why would a girl like me?

This became a real problem. I couldn’t talk to girls because I was ugly. Why would they talk to me?

Of course this has created many challenges in my life.

As I got older I developed relationships that weren’t good and healthy. Usually it was with women that I “couldn’t have”. They were either far away, or with another, or not wanting to date. Whatever the reason this is what happened. It just wasn’t healthy. Being ugly sucked. I was never confident in any relationship.

Then I got a girl pregnant and got married. She had only dated ugly guys. Her ex was fat and smoked. Other beau’s were druggies and losers. She always told me that looks weren’t important to her.

Yep, still ugly.

When my marriage ended I realized that there were good looking, wonderful women out there that thought I was good looking?! OMGosh!!

This is part of the reason that I have dated as much as I have.

I am an ugly guy. Today I am starting to realize that I have been living a lie. It’s not about me being ugly; which I am not. It’s about having low self worth; I am my own worst enemy.

Through my alone, soul searching time I hope to come to grips with all this. I think now I have seen the light. I don’t believe myself to be ugly most days. Some days though…

Thursday, September 23, 2010


NOTE: I wrote this just a couple of weeks after my seperation. When I wrote I was at a real low point in my life. This was from mid-June (3+ months ago)

Marbles. The blog post that I never wanted to write but need to write to help myself work through life's obstacles and to help you do the same.

We have all heard the expression "lost your marbles." Wow. It's great and it's my life NOW. Now is never the future though and my own advice is best headed internally.

I have not lost my marbles. I simply have been looking for them. One by one they return to where they need to be. A positive attitude is the magnet for the marbles. Let's bring them in.

There was a point last week where I felt like my bucket of marbles tipped and the marbles were just rolling away like I was sitting on a great big ball. It tested every ounce of my heart and soul. I'm working through it. It's hard.

I share this story with you for several reasons. I do truly live my life out loud and in a public way. Why should that just be the good stuff? I'll report to you the good races and the bad ones. Life is the same way. Good days. Bad days. Good weeks bad weeks.

I learn. You learn as well. Maybe together we can learn something from my situation.

I make no excuses. I lay no blame. I have allowed in one way or another life to happen to me. I'm doing my best. No more and no less.

Of course the major thing going on in my life is that I am separating from my wife of 10 years. This is a hard thing to do and the details I will not comment on out of respect for her and our own privacy. I can say that it hasn't been easy and it was a tough bridge to cross. The road ahead may be uncertain but there is a road ahead and I embrace it with all the courage that I can muster.

Two weeks ago I injured my knee. If you ask me the number one way that I identify myself I will tell you that I am a runner. To not be able to run for two weeks was difficult. One day last week the knee pain went away and I can run again. That road seems to be clear now.

Last Tuesday my laptop crashed. After a couple of trips to Best Buy then an hour long wasted road trip to South Orlando I put it into a box and sent it to Toshiba. I will never buy a Toshiba again. Yes, I do learn. I make bad choices, as we all do, but I learn.

Yes I lost all my data. Much of it was backed up but some was not. When I get it back I am going to have to re-build much of my business. I face the challenge with zest and enthusiasm. I am positive.

I was at the bank today and told the teller of my separation from my my wife. She, with all the sympathy and empathy of a good friend (and she is) told me to "keep my head up." It's very nice to hear my own words spoken back to me. It made me feel good. My head is up. Life is getting better every day.

As I open up about my struggles I hope that you look inside and admit your own challenges. None of us are perfect. Sometimes we become that bug and have to face the windshield. It's the circumstances that define us. It is the way that we react to them. I'm holding that thought dear to my heart as I start my life over again.

I have to remember that as I move into my apartment... 37 years old... suddenly single... with a new business in a tough economy. I am stronger than my circumstances. I refuse to be defined.

Last weekend I took my first road trip since my split from my ex. I do these trips by myself a few times a year so this should have been no different. It was though. There were periods of utter loneliness. Accepting externally that you don't have a home to go home to is one thing but really getting it presents a challenge.

As the Alabama sun was setting and the heat was dissipating I took a long walk to clear my head.

I thought about my life. I thought about how wonderful it was. The joy, the family, the friends... the wonder of it all. The future is so perfect. I thought a lot about how blessed I am to be in this skin in this time. I would never trade.

I thought about my pride and joy. My best friend. The light of my life. My little Colby-bug. My biggest reason for living. I know in my heart that his life is going to continue to be great. My separation from his mother is going to be hard. In the end though my Colby is going to be fine. His mom loves him and so does his dad. He is the most special human being on this earth. I am enjoying growing up with him. Seeing him only every other weekend and a bit during the week is going to be hard on both of us. He's like me: his heads up. He's ready for the challenge. I wish he was walking and talking with me that night; we are together always in our hearts. That's the important thing.

I though deeply about my career. My career that's basically on hold because I have a locked up laptop. That's OK though. My heart is where it needs to be. I am so profoundly happy and glad that I made the decision to follow my heart back into fitness. That is me. I don't act when I am coaching. It's the real and actually me. It is what truly makes me happy. My future is so bright and I am so happy to be doing this. I find joy is every part of what I do for a living. Of course I'm nervous about supporting myself with my chosen profession. Things work themselves out and thing will not be an exception. My head is so very high.

I walked on into the night.

Thoughts these days always go back to my dad. I feel so helpless being so far away from him. I know he's battling his cancer with all his heart. I got my fight from him. What a truly special and amazing father I have. A perfect example for me as I face life as a single parent for the first time.

I walked and walked and thought and thought.

I thought of some many things. So many friends. So many family members. So many that have offered help during these tough times. Some people that came into my life and quickly left but the footprints remain. So desperately wanting to reconnect but unable to. Some mistakes I've made have pushed important people away. The sad thoughts came in waves. I tried to push them aside.

I thought long and hard of why I was in Alabama. I thought of my gift as an endurance athlete. The inspiration and motivation that I provide for others is so worth it. I love racing and pursuing the dream. This is part of my life's calling.

My leg healed. My laptop will be fixed. These are temporary things.

As I walked on into the night my thoughts never went far from my wife. I was married for 10 years to a wonderful woman. She was an amazing wife. I thought long and hard about the reasons that our marriage ended. I can only say here that I am deeply sorry that that I am no longer going to be married to this wonderful woman.

Life will move forward. I am sad and have my struggles. As much I don't like to admit it I am human. If you have been following me for a while then you know that. This is a tough period in my life. Words or encouragement to the encourager are appreciated. Kind words and deeds are things that I need in times like these. Not expected but appreciated.

My walk ended with a cooling swim in the lake next to my campsite. My sleep in the hot and humid night was tough to find. Eventually the plug was pulled and I got my much needed rest. I am grateful for that walk.

I am also grateful for being on this earth. Times are hard right now but I am staying positive and keeping my head up.

Many of you reading this have had similar times in your life. Sometimes life just rolls on you like a series of tidal waves. You can understand that.

I am going to fight the good fight. I am going to explore this unchartered territory and make the best of it. If I'm not myself then you know why. I am human and I am struggling. This doesn't mean that I am not going to do my best in all areas of my life.

I have races to run. I have family to take care of. I have friends. I have my business. Life will not stop because I am facing the biggest challenge of my life.

I hope you read this out pouring of emotion and understand a little about me and my life. I put stuff out there not for sympathy but for understanding. I hope that it wasn't too much. This is not easy but it is the hand that I currently hold.

I'm picking up my marbles one by one. It's hard but its progress.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Speed Dating

When I separated I threw myself headlong into a “relationship”. Why in the world did I do that? To make things even worse it really wasn’t even a healthy one in any way shape or form. I was like 3 days post separation (still living in the house with my ex) and she was in a very similar situation. Looking back I can say that was stupid.
You live and learn.
The good thing about that is that I was very honest with her and her with me so we remain close friends today.
I’ve never liked being single so I didn’t want to be.
Of course I jumped into a new experience and soon as the “rebound” one was clearly over.
Then another; then another. What am I doing?
In the course of a couple of months I had dated 5 people that I had fun with and enjoyed dating but just didn’t fit the bill for a long term relationship. Then lightning struck and my heart became completely unavailable.
Now my eyes are open and I can see clearly; I still don’t see what I want out of life but at least I am viewing with a clear set of lenses.
Speed dating is over. I don’t want to be single forever but I am and I am positive about what this experience in going to do for me.
I have already learned some lessons. I think my overall theme of honesty has been key.
In my marriage I think that a huge factor to its ultimate demise was my honesty about my feelings. I could never express my true feelings to my wife. Over the years this eroded a once satisfying and fruitful marriage. I know this and have brought this lesson with me to the dating world.
I have been fantastically honest with the women that I have dated; sometimes to a fault. Regardless, I think honestly in the end will win over everything.
How can I prove that I have done this? All the women that I have “dated” in any way shape or form are all still my friends on Facebook. Also I still talk and text regularly with several. I am on good terms with all.
Would I have done things differently if I had the chance? I don’t know; maybe. Do I have regrets? None, whatsoever. Do I know what the heck I am going to do from here? Haven’t a clue.
Today I am patiently single and focusing on my son and figuring out what I want and need out of life. I run every day and I talk with my friends as much as I can. I send 50-100 text messages a day because I am a man of the modern world.
I am content today. Maybe I will learn to be more content tomorrow. Let’s see what the new day brings….


I went for a run tonight in the Emeralda Marsh. One hour with me, my running shoes, a bunch of alligators and my thoughts.

Tonight I thought of Becky.

I was always very close to my cousin Becky. We literally grew up together. I can remember looking forward to seeing all my family at holidays and summer barbeques but it was Becky who I most enjoyed spending time with. She was special. She was always the one that people wanted to be around. She was a really good kid.

When I went to college in 1991 one of the first letters I received in my little mailbox down stairs at my dorm was a nice letter on pink stationary from my cousin Becky. We always stayed in touch.

As the years went by and I was finishing college she was starting going through school herself. She was one of the first people that I had an “IM” chat with. I can still vividly remember sitting in my first apartment that I lived in after college chatting about each other’s lives and dreams. She was looking forward to finishing college and she had finally quit smoking. Life was good for her. She was going to graduate. The world was waiting…

Becky was a free spirit; a fun girl. I’m sure she partied a little bit. Maybe she experimented a little bit. She was an artist. This is what artists do. She was a GREAT artist.

Life had gotten busy for me. I was going to be a dad and was getting married. Becky was so excited for me. I was excited for her to meet my son; he was due arrive in a few short months. Life was full of joy and hope.

I’ll never forget the shock I felt when I read those words.

I was chatting with my brother Dan. His words that came on the screen are still seared into my consciousness.

“Did you hear about Becky?”

“No. What about Becky?”

“She’s dead.”

For a moment that stood still I read the line again and then again…. really? This…isn’t….

The tears came and they came violently. I wailed like a 2 year old. My pregnant fiancé tried to console me but she could not. I was devastated and beyond consolation.

I was 27 years old and I had never experienced death before. I was going to be a dad. I was going to be a husband. My cousin Becky was dead at 22 years old.

The next week was a blur. I went to work. I tried to function. I did my best. Every day I went for a run. I thought about Becky. I thought about the grief of her poor father who had to remove her cap and gown from the closet of her dorm room. Becky would never graduate. Becky would never have a kid. Becky would never get married. Becky would never…

The viewing and the funeral were the next week. It was awful. I remember embracing my brother Craig and my cousin Erin in a three way bear hug. We cried like there were unlimited tears.

We hurt so badly. We mourned for our lost Becky. We mourned for her parents. We mourned for ourselves.

I was the oldest of the cousins. The rest looked to me for guidance. I had nothing but tears to give.

Seeing her there in the open casket was surreal. She was there but her life was not. She didn’t smile. She didn’t say something witty. She didn’t give any hugs.

Her dad stood up and bravely gave a tribute to her memory. He was such a proud father and did such a good job. Sadly her little sister had run off with some guy and wasn’t anywhere to be found. She missed the funeral and didn’t find out that her sister was dead till weeks later. Becky’s parents stayed together for a good number of years but sadly they eventually divorced. It was such a sad time.

One day a beautiful, friend, cousin, daughter… is there; then one day she simply doesn’t wake. What a horrifically sad part of my life.

Becky Flory died 11 years ago today. I will always love her and hold a special place in my heart for her.

I miss you and think of you everyday Becky. Please take care of my Dad when he gets there. It won’t be long now…

By the way, Becky, my son Colby who was born just 3 months after you died is absolutely amazing. I am so sorry you never got to meet him….

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Lightning struck one day. I don’t know that I will ever be the same.

My marriage was over and had been for a while. I continued on as a mere force of habit knowing the day would come when I got the courage to leave or was finally asked to leave. I was unhappy and vulnerable. In some ways I had moved on already. I was lonely.

The lightning struck one day. She came into my life.

I look back now and shutter at the simplicity of it all. I didn’t even know her. She just appeared as a friend one day on Facebook. I don’t know why or how but it simply happened.

A fascination? A crush? Admiration? Whatever was going on we became close friends very fast. That was all it was but there was something there. A connection maybe? A verbal definition may or may not work. It was what it was. An appropriate friendship followed.

Then my marriage ended.

Were the two things tied together? Nope. My marriage had been over for a while and the entry of this person had nothing to do with it. She feared that it was so she ran and didn’t look back.

For 4 months I didn’t hear from her. She was gone and I moved on.

I went about my “single” life of course having no idea what I was doing. I dated because I figured I should. I did my best to adjust to my new life. As the weeks and months wore on I couldn’t get her off my mind. The women that I dated made me happy but not content. At the end of the day I still felt empty.

Then at 1:39am on August 29th she came back into my life via a Facebook friend request. Lightning struck again. The circumstances were a little different now; the playing field had changed. We were both single and could explore something. The “what” we at first didn’t know. I would soon found out.

What was a “crush” months before was now a complete and utter release of emotions. I fell for her with all my heart and soul. She is strikingly beautiful, long flowing hair, tender ,yet fascinating eyes that sparkle and glow. Lips that always smile; soft yet defined.

I placed her high onto a pedestal in my mind. I fell so hard for her is such a short time. To me she was the answer to everything. She was the one that could make me into the person that I wanted to be. To please her I would have to become a true champion in every sense of the word. I needed her. I needed her for me. I needed to be better and in her I saw the “me” that I always wanted to be.

She’d been hurt in the past. She didn’t trust men. She hadn’t dated in a long time but she let me in. For a while she let me in! We talked to the wee hours. We text and chatted and did all the things that two people do in a long slow courtship. She allowed me to hold her for a moment that I cherished. It was truly amazing. It was the fairly tail that I had always dreamt about. She was everything to me. In a few short weeks we had let each other in to each other’s heart and it was so amazing.

I was 100% smitten. This bolt of lightning had gone directly to my soul.

I was so honest with her. I tried my best. No lines. No promises; just words from the heart. This was my chance at the perfect woman for me.

Then one day she ran.

She wasn’t ready, too much complication, not enough heart…. the reasons didn’t matter because I was totally stunned.

She broke my heart and left me totally and completely hollow. We never even got to go on a date.

That is where I am today.

I was married for 10 years. I left my marriage and did some dating. Then she became my life and threw myself into that “relationship” 100%. My heart was broken. Now what? Where do I go from here?
The advice I got was to be single for a while and start a blog. I am doing both. Now as I make my way in this world I am going to figure this out as I go. We are all different and I know that to be true. What “rules” apply to me? What do I need to do to be “healed” or to be whole? I just don’t know.

The truth is that I want to find out. I want to be happy and content. I want to find a person to share my hopes and dreams with. I want to be whole. I want to be a good person. How does all this match up with a mate? I don’t know.

I just don’t know.


Of course I get the fun job.

What I separated from my ex my fantastic son (I use that term in jest at 7:46am) got to stay and live with her.

I am OK with that. I live in an apartment down the street. Since she has a job and actually makes money and stuff she kept the house and all. I’m good with that.

For the last 10 years I have gotten my son up and off the wherever he was going. Some years he went to a baby sitter (Thanks Carrie!!), some years he went with me to work, some years I dropped him off at school or daycare, sometimes I let him sleep alone (Shhhh.. don’t tell his mom) but now he gets on the bus at 7:47am. It is my parental duty to get his lazy butt on the bus every morning.

I’m usually pretty good at it. Today, however, I ….ahem… missed the bus. (Pun intended!)

I didn’t say that I enjoyed it.

I guess I do enjoy it in a way I because I do get to see my son every day. That is nice. I should consider myself lucky. My dad only got to see me one weekend per month. I see my son every day of the year. Why does it have to be in the morning….

Today is a perfect example. I get to their house at 7:15am after teaching class 6am – 7am. I come in, (I have a key. I do have a good relationship with his mom) shut off the home alarm, and find him sleeping on the couch. That’s great. I wonder how late he was up watching TV on a school night.

Anyway. I wake him up. Plenty of time to get up and off to the bus at 7:47am. I go back to my laptop. 5 minutes later he’s still sleeping. I wake him again. I repeat this process over and over again until finally its 7:40am and REALLY time to get up. Again, he missed breakfast. He gets it at school so that’s OK. He’s up and getting dressed.

7:45am he finds his shoes and starts to untie his laces. Of course he’s been told 5 million times to untie his shoes before he takes them off. I want him to do things himself but I help anyway because, well we have about 90 seconds to get to the bus stop.

He finally gets his eyes open and his shoes on. Out the door at the exact time the other kids are getting on the bus.

We missed the bus; first time this year.

So glad I get to spend this quality time with my little dear.

Then he comes up to me with a smile on his face.

Colby: Knock, knock.

Dad: Who’s there?

Colby: Owls.

Dad: Owls who?

Colby: Yes they do!

I guess he’s going to be a good kid after all. If only he’d wake his lazy butt up!


I love the new freedom of this blog. I can feel myself starting to open up and move forward with my life. I can feel myself becoming better. I can feel myself improving as a person as I search my soul and embrace what come out.

I received a text a few moments ago from a close friend. It was a response to a text I sent to her.

I said, “I am going to do the single thing for a while.” (Don’t you just love how I define “for a while”)

She replied, “It will help you learn what you like and just how to be “alone”….Eat, Pray, Love BUT man style.”

I am not even going to pretend to know what that means. I guess that I need to see that movie. It’s not the first time someone has mentioned that film.

This is not the first person to mention this alone thing to me either. It seems the “in” thing to do these days. Get divorced, start a blog and enjoy being single. I guess I have an open mind and can explore this.

I am searching for the meaning.

I hate being alone.

Maybe it comes from my youth when I couldn’t get a girl to go out with me to save my life. I guess the essence of being “alone” means being “single”. Yeah, that I don’t enjoy.

Why should I be single? Why can’t I date? Why should I sit at home in my barren apartment with no TV, no internet and no pictures on the walls? Why can’t I go out and enjoy myself? Why should I sit here and feel sorry for myself?

I don’t know.

Part of me can see why I need to take time. Part of me thinks that I don’t.

Has the dust settled yet from my marriage? Is there a manual that says how long that takes. A week? A month? A year? 2 years? I was the one who left my marriage so does that mean its less time. Am I READY to date? To have a relationship? Who says what is enough time and what isn’t?

I’m getting nowhere tonight. Perhaps I’m a little cynical for some reason. Perhaps I need to watch that movie and get back to this post.

I started out wanting to talk about being alone. I do hate being alone. I have rarely been alone since my separation. I have been pursuing something (someone) the entire time. Right now that is gone; the pursuit is over. As the hurt builds the loneliness takes hold.

For now I weather the storm of pain and emptiness. Maybe tomorrow I’ll figure out what the hurt is and what I should do about it. I need to figure out what is next in my life.

I stop writing tonight without making any ground. I stop writing tonight knowing that that hurt I feel is not from the loss of my marriage. It’s not from the loss of my wife. It’s not the loss of my house and my life. It’s all of that yes but it’s also a bigger loss. It’s the loss of her…

Before I go much further I have to write about her. To be continued….

Monday, September 20, 2010


There is an elephant in the room. He’s standing on my foot so I think I need to address him.

In order to write about where I am and where I am going I am going to constantly need to see where I have been. Being a single dad at 37 can only mean one thing: out there somewhere is a single mom who is the mother of my child.

Before I go any further I think I need to make something clear. This blog is about me. It’s not meant to be about anyone else. If you know me then you know my ex wife. If you want I’m sure it’s not too hard to figure out who this person is. I will not, however, mention her name nor will I mention anyone else’s name. If you know who I am talking about then cool; good job, you’ve figured it out. Please, out of respect for his or her privacy keep it to yourself. I will not use names in my blog.

I have been separated since June 3rd of this year. While it seems like a life time it is a relatively short period of time. I’m deeply saddened by this reality but I am excepting of it. The reasons are many and the hurts run deep. This is how it is. The details may come out a little at a time. For now I’m just give a brief description of why I am a single dad who was married for 10 years.

My marriage ended really on March 20th, 2008. This was the tipping point. Before this I was married with levels of happiness and joy and levels of unhappiness and misery. Until that very day the good outweighed the bad. That date represented the tipping of the scales. From that day until the separation happened it was simply hanging onto something what was finished.

That right there is all the details that I want to get into out of respect for my ex wife. Truth be told why this result came about is something that I still hold close to my heart. I want to talk more about it and I may but at this point I’m not sure.

As I make my way through this world I may or may not share more of the story of my marriage. I’ll have to see how it goes. Regarding my marriage I can say that we both didn’t do the things that needed to be done for a marriage to last. Who takes the most blame? There was a time that I would have said that it was 80/20 on me. I’ve had a lot of chance to analyze and I’ve come to believe that yeah, I was the one to blame BUT it’s not 80/20. Likely 60/40 is fair. She may say 90/10 but she would be wrong. It rarely works like that.

So there you have it. Recently single and making my way. I am still guarded but working towards some release.

I don’t know what I want really but I am searching. I am hurting in a lot of ways but hopeful in a lot of other ways.

I don’t know how to make my way so I’m here to try and figure it out.

At the end of the day what happened with my marriage matters but what my future brings is what really counts. That reality hasn’t been written yet. I think I’ll start today…

Making my way

I started my first journal in 1986. I have 5 of them lying around. Years and years of thoughts, feelings, emotions; the who I am and what I am. The words from all those years can well me up with emotions at any given time. Raw and uninhibited. Feisty and emotional. Nothing held back. Thoughts and ramblings of another time. I’ve lost that. I don’t write like that anymore.

Frankly I haven’t in many, many years.

I guess the change came when I got married in 2000. I didn’t stop feeling but I did start to hold back my emotions and my feelings. This in part is why I am a single dad now and not a married husband and father.

I’m sure I’ll write more about that at some point soon.

I love to write and I have been doing a lot of it on my other blogs. Increasingly though I’m finding myself holding back still. I can’t get back to the days of expression like when I was younger. I really enjoy a lot of the stuff that I’ve written recently and some of it has started to get back to the core of me. At the end of the day though I need to express what’s in my heart and on my soul. I need to get back to the days when I was 22 and was making my way and not knowing what was next.

Now I am at a cross roads in my life. I am 37 and single; beginning a new business and a new life. In a way I am embarking on a new journey of self discovery. I’ve had 37 years to figure it out and frankly I’ve failed. Now I am going to focus on this aspect of my being. Today I join the masses of bloggers. I am a blogger; and proud!

Where I go from here now… I’m not sure. Sometimes I’m sure my heart will poor out. Sometimes I’m sure my heart will close up. I am certain though that the world is out there for me. Happiness is out there. True contentment it out there. A mate is out there.

For now I am “Making my way” one day at a time piecing together the lessons of the past with the hopes and ambitions of the future.

The future is uncertain and in many ways so is the past.

Today. Now. I try and figure out both. Welcome to me. Welcome to “Making my way…”