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.