August 24, 2014
Most every problem that I have encountered in my life has originated because of one or both of the following reasons, either me taking myself too seriously, or my desire to control the outcome of different situations. I read into what people say, or how they look at me, in an effort to uncover the hidden meaning of what they are “really getting at”. This often evolves into my trying to either be, or not be, whatever it is that I have concluded that other people think I am. Being that I have been a patient at a mental institution, and spent countless hours with various doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists, it has been uncovered that I am not, most likely, going to be the next great philosopher, or a great translator of mysterious Hieroglyphics. None of the professionals I have visited have ever suggested that I spend more time acting on what I perceive as reality, in an effort to better myself, or the human race, as a whole. The suggestions for living a happier, more fulfilled life have been verbally expressed in a multitude of ways, but have maintained a common theme. My favorite therapist of them all is a beautiful woman, mother, wife, and friend, who can relate to me in more ways than one. During a $100 per visit session, her recommendation was that I “chill the f*ck out”. I am your classic over thinker. Being that I cannot hold a thought longer than about 8 seconds, this can pose some serious problems. I have about a 200′ long gravel driveway, and I routinely walk envelopes all the way to my mailbox, before I stop and try to figure out what the hell I was doing, only to return back to my house with envelope still in hand. In my head, there is no situation that I cannot make worse. My modus operandi is that I take a $100 situation, and turn it into a $1,000 problem. There is no discussion that I cannot turn into an argument, or error that I can’t make life threatening. Basically, the solution to my problem would be a frontal lobotomy, or at least an extreme mellowing of the mind. I started practicing meditation about a year and a half ago, and I try to devote at least a few minutes of my day to it, but slowing down the wheels of the big septic machine between my ears can be quite the daunting task. I am the only person I know that can perform a relaxation technique, and end up having an anxiety attack. Often, I will interrupt my meditation to add things to my calendar, thus further busying my mind. I will have more on my plate after mediation, than before it. I am forever working on becoming more zen-like and attempting to go with the flow of life. I have not enjoyed much success, until just now.
On Sunday, August 17, I enjoyed an experience that I believe will forever change the way I look at myself, others, and the world in general. My running coach, Von Ralls, and a couple of his buddies were going for a trail run at Stanky Creek in Bartlett, TN. I invited myself to come along, but made it clear that I had no intentions of keeping up with them…as I am a one man wolf pack, and extremely slow. I had not run on trails before, and had no idea what to expect, but what I experienced was not only the longest run I had ever completed, but also the easiest, most pleasurable, and most significant experience I have had to date. I never dreamt that life could be so still, or comfortable. Being that I am 250lbs of primarily love flub, running generally hurts. It hurts my knees, feet, calves, and pride. It is something that I like to do, but seldom enjoy, if that makes any sense (If not, write your own f*cking blog). When running on the pavement, I realize that my prize is waiting for me at the end of the run. There is nothing for me to enjoy throughout the process, as it is usually so painful. This was not at all the case during my trail run. What I found was a peacefulness in nature, under the shade and seclusion of the trees, along with the cushioning of an all natural dirt floor. About two miles into the trail it occurred to me…. This was MY RUN. It was me and God, and he was showing the f*ck out. For once in my life, this was an accomplishment that had nothing to do with anyone else. My coaches opinions were of zero value, the opinion of my family, the thoughts of my friends, the times of my peers, and certainly not the data spewing from the snotty, bitchy lady’s voice coming from the MapMyRun app on my cel phone (who never says anything I want to hear), had absolutely no place on this trail or in my head. I have mentioned before, that the only thing I know to be Truth is that God is good all the time, and it was never more glaring than those 2+hours I was on the trail. For the duration of my run, it was ALL ok. Everything was right with the world. I knew that I was exactly who I was supposed to be, and I was even who I wanted to be (those two have never aligned). I knew that you were everything that you were supposed to be as well, and I could celebrate that. I did not feel that I was comparatively more, or less, fortunate, but that we are all equally blessed with a life of abundance. I knew that I was as good of a father to my children as I know how to be. I also had never felt so secure in my children’s future, that their lives were going to go in exactly the right direction that God chooses to take them. I was lightly laughing, and slightly tearing at the same time, and it was all ok. Coincidentally, I was also singing Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam”, cause I was lost as a muther f*cker. I was thinking about all of the bulls*it “stuff” that I have acquired in my house, my shop, and my life. I was taking inventory of all the material things that I have placed SO MUCH time into attaining, and so much worry into the possibility of losing, and it was laughable. I was able to take comfort in how little I really need to survive (while also aware that I was gonna be needing a couple of those things pretty soon, so i better get my fata*s un-lost at some point). It was, what I believe to have been, one of the very few moments of reality that I have truly been a part of. A time where I was seeing things for what they really are, and prioritizing accurately. Life was f*cking beautiful. No stress, no worries, no hate, no jealousy, no comparisons, no competition…only contentment.
I like to think that I can hold on to this feeling for some time to come. It was definitely as Spiritual of a moment as I have had. My hope for you is that, whatever you are doing with your life, it involves experiences as profound and comforting as the experience I had. If you are not, than please know it is out there. I am certainly not suggesting that trail running is the only way to peace, as I don’t know nothin about nothin. However, I do believe if you are not satisfied right now, it might be a good idea to try something different, whether that be exercise, church group, support group, bunko, or birdwatching. It has been my experience that change did not occur in my life by wanting to change, or planning to change. Iexperienced change by doing things different, and change occurred. This was a game changer.
I have decided to run the Stanky Creek 25K on September 14, and I am really looking forward to it. I realize that this is 50% further than i have ever run before, but I believe that God is in that trail (not in that creepy, religious uncle, that wants to corner you at the reunion, to see if you have been saved, kinda way), and i will be alright. I also know that God loves big asses, and he wants to see mine cross the finish line. I would love for anyone who might be looking to make the jump to come join me. Chances are, you won’t be the slowest, so long as I am there. Plus we can have some fun and slam some food when its over. Hell, we can slam some food while we are running the thing, if thats what it takes. Thanks again for all y’alls support, as I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and positive energy that you people have given to me.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,