Monday, March 7, 2016

Keep Moving Forward

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" 

It hasn't been easy. As a matter of fact, it's been anything but. Over the past few years, nine and change to be exact, I have felt somewhat invincible. But as it turns out, I am anything but.

For the first time in a long time, I found myself in unfamiliar territory having to deal with issues in a way I was, again, unfamiliar with.

Let me turn the clock back a bit to help make sense out of this.

I lived my life having to constantly deal with issues I had no answers for. More often than not, back in the day, I would just ignore said issues; let them work out by themselves, and then sulk over unfavorable consequences of such an approach. This seemed to be my modus operandi, I had lived in total complacency, believing that this was my destiny, the way things were supposed to be.

Fast forward to early 2007.

Unbeknownst to me at the moment, events of those days and times took me down a new path. One which I have traveled willingly and enthusiastically since then.

I have previously documented my entrance and participation into the endurance sports arena. I have become a marathoner and a 2X Ironman Triathlon finisher.

Up until late last summer, I had enjoyed my training and racing relatively injury free, other than normal and minor aches and pains that come with the territory, specifically the territory of added years and long training hours and miles, I had never been sidelined for any length of time. This is where the feeling invincible reference comes into play.

Every goal I had set for myself during this time, I met. Many of them scary as heck (who in their right mind swims 2.4 miles in a river?), most seemed unreachable and they were not easy to reach by any means. They required commitment, dedication and perseverance. The loftier the goal, the harder they were, as they should have been.

There's only one more race (still) left in my "must do" list for the time being. So following suit, I began perusing this goal. I set my sights on that finish line and planed for the journey ahead.

The days, weeks, months and miles passed as planned. Until the unthinkable, the one element I never planned for, because after all, I never had to. This one Saturday things didn't feel right, by Sunday I couldn't walk, by Wednesday I was laying on the MRI table and by Friday I had a diagnosis.

My plans were suddenly put on hold, things would not work out, as they had in the past, this time. I went ahead with my scheduled races, all three of them, but failing to accomplish my ultimate goal. This was tough; a hard pill to swallow.

Being the very transparent person that I am, it was also hard for me to keep this to myself. Except for those few friends that inquired, the subject was not discussed. For the most part, I did not want to make excuses for my short comings, I chose to address the issue in private and move on.

After a short thirty day hyatus from running, which allowed the injury to (almost) heal, I have resumed training. I will take a new approach this time. With the help of a very wise wife and daughters, as well as some very caring friends, I have come to realize that I may be an Ironman, but of Iron I'm not made.

I'm not sure where this particular leg of the journey will take me or how long it'll take me to get there. I do know however, that at least for the time being, I must Keep Moving Forward.

"Grandfather says this: In life
there is sadness as well as joy
losing as well as winning,
falling as well as standing,
hungers as well as plenty,
bad as well as good. I do not
say this to make you dispair, but
to teach you that life is a journey
sometimes walked in light and sometimes
walked in shadow.

Grandfather says this: Keep Going!"

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