Thursday, April 19, 2012

Still Finding My Way...

No.. I'm not lost in life.. but I've discovered.... OK, I continue to realize.. that I'm still very much trying to find my way. I often look back at the last decade of my life and stack up all of the major changes my life has been through over that time span. It's actually pretty damn staggering to think about. Ten Years ago was 2002. I was a recent college fail-out at the time, working in retail chains and living in my mothers basement. I had dyed my hair blonde, wore tank tops to show my tattoos and even had my ear pierced. I was a recluse at best, living life my way without a care in the world. But then something happened..

I guess after so many people begun to hold the mirror up in front of your face, you start to see the reflection better and better each time. No matter how much the view hurts.. you have two choices. Ignore the image, or decide for yourself if the reflection is going to change. So I went to Professional Wrestling School.. then dropped out of that. I then earned my Associates in Radio/TV Production and Broadcasting from a mediocre (at best) community college. I made a documentary film on hiking. I worked at an ABC News Station and then deliberately screwed myself during the interview for the salaried position. I was getting married.... and then I wasn't. I found myself back in College working towards a Bachelors..
I started running these crazy things called ultras, and bagging multiple summits on my "free" weekends. I ran across an entire state. I raised over $40,000 for local and national non-profits. I checked myself into a psychiatric ICU for depression and fear of myself. I was literally a danger to myself and all those around me. I spent two years recovering from the hell I put myself through. I got married. I graduated with my Bachelors and moved to Colorado. And now... I'm about to become a dad. My life is FULL of ups and downs.. in fact, my entire 30 years of existence has never not had an up or down. But no matter if it's up or down it's always huge... peaks and valleys.. like the downs are the deepest darks canyons and the peaks are everest. What do you think all this does to a man and his psyche?

Over the years... many of you have read this blog with a dedication I hardly understand. Many of you have seen a transition in this man's life and writing. I've been blogging since 2004 and in this space since 2007. That means, you've been reading this blogger for 5 years now. A lot has changed but most of all.. my life has been broadcast here.. for all of you to see, watch, and maybe even suffer through. So some of you long-term faithful few have really seen a myriad of change over the years. But then others of you... made up your mind long ago and have always read with disdain and the same initial opinion you created years ago.

Man... life is a crazy crazy ride. I really feel that at 30 years old.. I've lived more life, for better or worse, then 98% of the people I know who are my age OR older. I still sit and wonder though... when in my timeline did I become such an asshole? Why do people hate me so much? Why don't people get what I'm trying to say? What happened in my past that has made me such a jaded prick in this wild ride? This, essentially, is where I continue to find my way.

Recently, I became a contributing author of a website known as www.trailandultrarunning.com. I'm so incredibly grateful that I've been given the opportunity to contribute there. I look at it as an incredible challenge to continue to have my voice, make sense, and not sound like a douche when I write. I want to inspire people. I want to help people get outside and take those first steps towards realizing their true potential. But the biggest question I face on a daily basis right now is.. How do I do that without being me?

I seem to have a knack for being the polarizing figure. A lot (maybe simply some) of what I write in this space isn't really my true opinion at all. I write to challenge people's thoughts. To shut down the prospect of Group Think and encourage all to think outside the box. What have I learned through this process? That if you challenge people, you offer polarizing views, and say things in a way that you think is positive but is really just negative.. they'll think you're a giant D-Bag. I hate that...

I don't want to be a jerk, or D-Bag, or A-hole.. or any of the like. But I do want to continue to be real. I want to continue to offer that "other" opinion.. and celebrate EVERYONE for their abilities whether spectacular or simply mundane. I struggle daily with how to do that without being one of the aforementioned names. I'm not sure if it's possible.. for me.. to accomplish this. And thus, I'm at a crossroads in my life and trying to find my way.

Maybe at the end of the day.. I'm still trying to figure out who I am. What my identity is. What message I want to give and how to give it. I often think about just writing race and adventure reports in this space and nothing more. I often think about not blogging anymore all together. But... I think about my soon to be born son.. and what legacy I want to leave behind. Maybe some day he'll discover all of this on the internet and he'll read... and maybe he won't see me as a terrible man... but a man who dared. Who dared to challenge people, ask the tough questions, push the buttons... ... But maybe he'll also see the same many others see... A jerk with a big mouth.

So I'll continue to struggle with this. And this blog will continue to evolve as it always has.. and I'll continue to share my journey with you all. My reports, my videos. I'll continue to ask questions but try to find new ways to be more inclusive and less abrasive. I'll continue to evolve into a man my son can be proud of in years to come. But this isn't easy... it's the hardest work I've ever done. ANYTIME WE DO WORK ON OUR PERSONAL SELVES, IT'S THE HARDEST WORK WE'VE EVER DONE. So I ask the tough question... Why are people so impatient with each other.. their quirks.. their bumps and stubbles?

I'm still finding my way... I don't think we ever do.. the journey is long.. and i'm still running. If over the years I've offended you, or caused you anger or angst.. I apologize. I can only promise you that I'll continue to evolve, but will do so at my pace... which may not be your pace. I can only ask for your encouragement.. when I write or post something that moves you in a positive direction.. or makes you think differently. Perhaps through your example and feedback.. I can continue to mold myself into a better man and my writing into a better product.

Cheers
SJ