I am neither a fan nor a hater of October, though will openly admit to it being the time of year when I really spend some time reflecting and looking ahead. This is the month of my birthday, and as I get ready to turn 32 years, I have truly tried to look back on the last year, decisions I've made, accomplishments, misses, failures.. and all in all, 31 was a good go at it. Though, over the last month I've made some really tough decisions to try and hone in on the things that add positivity to my life.
It all started last October I suppose, that magic month, were I really took stock of my life at that point. It wasn't hard to come to the realization that I was working for someone whom I felt was a liar and a crook. I am a man of integrity though, and I held on for as long as I could, truly contributing to a business I knew no longer believed in or needed me. Quitting wasn't an easy decision, especially considering I had moved 2000 miles to work for someone.. but it was the right decision. Sometimes hind sight is 20/20, and the more I've learned over the last year, the more I learned that I had a moral and ethical obligation to myself, and to my family, to make that decision and move on. Morality, ethics, and integrity and far more important to me than a (underpaid) pay check.
I then spent eight months as a stay at home dad. The most challenging, yet rewarding, thing I have ever done in my life. Those days really make you think about how you're going to spend the rest of your life role modeling for another human being. I was tested in ways, mostly mentally, then I never had imagined possible. I told someone it was the hardest thing I've ever done, and their response was, "No way.. I've seen you run 100 miles," and it was easy to say, "Yeah.. but 100 miles has a finish line." I will forever be grateful for the time I had with my son, who in the end motivated me and helped me train for that Vermont 100 finish and regaining a level of health I haven't had in years.
I have served on the Regional Council for the Association of Experiential Education for about 2 years now. Since March, I have taken on the role of being the Regional Chair. Experiential Ed is my field, it truly is something I am most passionate about and helps connect the dots between race directing, running, my current work, and my future. However, at the end of the day, I'm finding it hard for my AEE role to add positivity to my life. Sometimes you need to cut the anchors of the ships in your harbor that are causing traffic jams or are simply sinking. So.. I've made the decision to cut this one, and at the end of the month, I will no longer be on the regional council.
In April 2011, I started writing for TrailandUltraRunning.com. Upon starting to write for them, I had an agreement with the website's founder that allowed me to write my opinions in an uncensored and unedited fashion. There are various reasons why I've chosen to no longer write for TAUR and I don't really need to get into it here. But.. it comes back down to integrity, ethics and morals. I can not ethically or morally write for a site that doesn't truly support my writing and provides "advertisements" for gear reviews. Therefore, I terminated my relationship with TAUR.
Sometimes, life gets away from us. I've really spent some time these last few months.. while I continue to heal Post Vermont and gear up for another run at something grande.. reflecting on the tougher decisions I've made lately. I'm someone who wants to be a part of everything and help everyone and truly embrace all that I can in my life. Maybe I do bite off more than I can chew, but the key is to really decide what my goals in this life are and focus in on them. I want to be an ultra-runner for as long as I can and for however long as I have the spark. I have a true career now where I feel cared for and appreciated. I cut the anchors of negativity and farce from my life, and let those ships sail on. I have an awesome family to tend to as well, and a race to direct in 2014. I have plenty on my plate.. let the ships sail out to sea.