Sunday, July 6, 2014

Self-Analysis and Staying On Course

Much has happened throughout the past week including a family vacation to Virginia and I have a lot of time to process so much in my life and today, I just want to flesh it out a bit. I'm definitely a photo hog and I'm not going to flood this post with countless vacation photos. I post more than anywhere on Instagram so if you want to follow there, I'd search for "rtrsbm" and follow. It's a public feed so anyone can search/find/follow. Overall, it was a perfect vacation where we used Williamsburg, VA as a home base and spent a day at Busch Gardens, a few days in historic Yorktown at their public beach, I sought out a few local craft brewers, another day at the Virginia Beach oceanfront and visits to many places we frequented during our many years living there in the 90s, and a day with longtime friends enjoying some BBQ and even Transformers in a BIG way in IMAX and 3D. Great trip...great recalling of memories..great new memories.
Feel free to click on for high resolution photo and save/share/make your desktop! (Va Beach Oceanfront)
I have considered many different things over the past week. One is my Navy career. As I approach the 17 year point in a career that began in 1991 (plus a 6yr gap), the decision on whether or not to retire or not will be here before I know it. I absolutely love being in uniform but roadblocks erected in my path as of late to return to a full-time in-the-fleet status has me considering all options. I have prayed heavily on this issue and like I told my wife yesterday, I don't want to get to Heaven one day and hear: "You prayed, I answered...why didn't you listen?!" (H)e has made it abundantly clear within the past month that I'm not to return to the fleet and that has been a tough pill to swallow. So, I will continue on my current short term (~4 more years) active duty stint and pray for future direction. Retire or continue within a reserve capacity...those are the questions that I'll continue to toss around. I am confident that my pursuit of the fleet has ended.

I've also considered a lot with regards to my running. I've been wearing the eagle of Team RWB (Red, White and Blue) but will be keeping that on the shelf for the time being. You'll notice the logo is no longer on my blog sidebar. While I have met new friends due to wearing the eagle at races, I'm at a loss as to what exactly Team RWB exists for. What are they "actually" doing? What good comes from me wearing it? Take the Patriot Runners, for example, out of Medina, OH. I've been wearing their jersey as of late. (here's a photo from yesterday's 22 miler where I stopped at the Veterans Memorial in Kent, OH) They are a non-profit that raises money for local wounded warriors. They literally take their funds and DO things locally for local warriors to help improve their lives and reintegration into life. THAT'S the kind of thing I want to run for, support and raise awareness for.  This is a constant and evolving conversation in my head and I'm sure won't end anytime soon. For now...that's where I am. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want the benefit, I don't want the focus...I want to be a cog in the wheel of something greater...make sense? I'm also still sponsored by Hammer Nutrition and Brooks Running so you'll always see them in one way or another.

Along the running vein, the year is half over now. I've run 6 races from the marathon to the 100K distance and set a few personal records in my 17th year of distance running. I honestly feel in possibly the best shape of my life. For the second six months, I am registered for the Akron half and the YUT-C 50K, both in September. On my racing calendar (see top of this page), you'll also see a 50K next month, a 50 miler in November, and a half marathon, too. I can't put a finger on it, but my desire to register for ANYTHING right now is zero. It's not a loss of passion to run...most definitely not. I am currently on Day 18 of my running streak and just wrapped up a 61+ mile week where 6 of those 7 days were on vacation. I can't wait to run in the morning and for no other reason than the pure joy of it. I bound myself only by time. If I have the time, I'm just going to keep on running and if I only have 45min, then that's what it'll have to be. Different routes, photos, sunrises, pouring/torrential rains, the birds singing...I just soak it all in and find real, authentic joy from it. For now, that's all I crave. My mind does drift now and then about returning to the 100 mile race monster. It's now been almost five years since my last finish. I haven't attempted another one since. I have kicked around the idea of returning to the Kettle Moraine 100 in southern Wisconsin next year for their 20th anniversary. It's a race where I can be totally anonymous and just run my race. The KM100 was my first 100-mile finish in June 2009 and I loved it all. No other 100 even has my interest right now. But I'm just kicking it decisions...just mental wanderings...

Every day, I make a choice to be who I want to be, serve whom I want to serve and love whom I wish to love. The only rules that I have to remember are that 1) It's not about me, 2) Make it about others and the joy will come, 3) Do what I love, love what I do, and have no regrets and 4) Forgive often, hold no grudges, and move on. From the Navy to who I represent when I run to the reasons I lace up everyday and what races I show up at...these rules are great to live by. Even this blog continues to exist (after almost shutting down countless times) because I impacted someone's life through something I did or wrote and they let me know...reminding me that even this is not about me. I mean, it IS about me but it's not. That's been my driving force for years now and still remains impact just one person and make a difference in their life for the better. Confirmations of this mission keep me going.

Before I say goodbye today, I have to share these two photos. When we went to Virginia Beach, we parked along the street far north of the tourist area. There is free parking and the beach is essentially empty. Perfect if you just want to smell the ocean air, listen to the waves crashing, and relax privately as a family. As soon as we put down our chairs, the girls were yelling about us coming to see something. They spotted a crab in the surf and it would move away with every movement towards it. I grabbed my Nikon and snapped several photos. These two are the best. The second one is right before it was pulled out in the surf and it's covered in bubbles. Cool, eh?! That little bugger moved fast!

Thanks for listening, friends. Have a fantabulous week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolute wisdom my friend.