Sunday, April 12, 2020

Chances

Do you know that the chances of you being born are 1 in 400 trillion? That’s basically zero. To say that you are a miracle is not just a cliche or a cheap pick-up line, it’s actually true.
If you live you life remembering that every day I believe you would take every chance, every opportunity, and jump at every glimmer of hope that you see. You shouldn’t even be here in the first place anyway. Why live like there’s a tomorrow when you weren’t guaranteed yesterday?
Your parents met because of chance, your grandparents met because of chance, multiply that by a few hundred more generations and you see. Every small meeting, every glance across a room, every accidental bump in a crowded elevator is astonishingly significant.
Thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

New courses

Cheers from the UK.


Just because I moved to the UK was no reason for the rest of you to have a pandemic. Geese. I really don’t know what to say about the current global situation. It’s all a bit larger than my feeble brain to find words to express. Everyone is struggling, people are sick, people are dying. I’m keeping my optimism but I am also looking to help as many people as I have the power to. If there was ever a time for everyone to help someone else this is it. I just don’t see how this gets better if everyone doesn’t step up and do what they can.
The UK locked down last Monday after the Prime Minister scolded us for not abiding by the recommended distancing. That was a very nice weekend weather-wise so I can’t blame the Brits, I know I got out and saw as much of this area as I could. Now that’s all over, the Prime Minister has the virus and the streets are empty except for the security who will tell you to go home.
We are allowed to leave for exercise. So being a marathoner who was cooped up all week in teleconferences, I took full advantage and spent a few hours out running on Saturday.
My little island, Portsmouth, is the only island city in the UK. At least that’s what I read. The best thing I found about it though is the trail, or trails, that go all around and over it. Most of the trail runs along the coast which is wonderful for this ocean loving running. The wind yesterday was pretty strong so I fought it all along the southern and eastern coast. When I got to the north side the wind was broken by the 15th century battlements. No kidding. The north side also was mostly dirt trails which was lovely. I ran by many little ponds and there were actual swans on them. I couldn’t have asked for a better greeting from a new country than a rugged dirt trail along historic monuments while the swans enjoyed the sunny day. Hello England.
Turns out my little island is 14 miles around. I was hoping to get 20 but discovering all the new trails meant a whole lot more to me than getting a mileage goal.
I’m looking at another week of teleconferencing with all my new coworkers, most of which I haven’t met in person. It’s not the ideal way to get started and I fear I’m not doing well at it. But in true marathoner spirit, the spirit I’ve tried to live up to, I have to say I’m glad it isn’t easy. Grand memories aren’t made from sauntering along the perfect course in great weather. They are made from those times when the course is all uphill, or the rain just wouldn’t quit, or whatever other challenge stood in the way and we still managed to finish.
Good luck and stay safe everyone. I miss you all but know you’ll make it through and I can’t wait to read the stories once things calm down.
Thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Crossing the pond

Wednesday February 26th. “Are you still interested in an England job?”.

I thought about it overnight and early the next day I answered yes. Later that morning I sat at my desk working when my phone rang. By the end of that call I had a plane ticket to England. That’s how it started and on March 7th I took off from DFW to London.

I had a hundred reasons why picking up my live and moving it across the ocean was a bad idea. But I had one really good one. It felt right. 

I haven’t written publicly in a long time and that was on purpose. The last 4 years have been a roller coaster of emotions and happenings. Too many to discuss here and also, I don’t want or need to discuss them, they are mine and I’ll keep them to myself. But I will summarise a bit to bring you up to speed. Everything hurt and I was more alone than I’ve ever been. Thought that was bad but it turned out to be the best blessing I could have been given. Out of that pain I achieved some dreams and was forced to do things I never wanted to do. I lost some friends, but found the best one I’ve ever had. Me. 

I became real and vividly discovered all the aspects of my life that had been forced or faked. When there is no one left to act for you quickly wonder why you ever did that at all. I discovered that I loved my job and realised that even though it isn’t always obvious, what I do helps people. I realised I loved coaching runners and watching people work hard to achieve their goals. Simply put, I enjoy being a help to others. All my searching for other careers or passions was really an attempt to find that happiness I get from seeing others happy. I stopped searching for that in a million different ways and concentrated on making it happen through the things I’m good at. Do what you love and keep it simple. 
The last year has been the most content I’ve ever been. And I have never been content. Ive spent so much time ‘looking’ for contentment. I’ve spent so many years wavering, never been satisfied with anything. At some point, subconsciously, I just stopped looking and realised contentment was inside me. It was in my job. It was in my kids. It was in a weekend spent by myself running, having coffee, traveling, and just sitting with Willie. I could go to bed at 6 PM on a Saturday night and pull the covers over my head and watch a Civil War documentary or a Quantum Physics lecture and not feel like I was missing out on something better. That’s what I wanted and it was enough. I wish I could point to the moment I found it but I can’t. Sometime along the way it just happened and I looked around and realised everything I was doing made me happy and I could easily say no to the things that didn’t. That burning desire to always find the next thing that might satisfy my passion was gone. But gone isn’t the right word. It’s more that I had it. I had the passion. 
So I had my insides in order and my plane ticket to leave 2 weeks later. I had a house, a dog, a car, kids, and a million other things to worry about. But somehow I knew things would work out. I didn’t stress about those things. Ok, that’s maybe a lie, I did stress about starting a new job with people I didn’t know. But I didn’t freak out about how things would get by at home. I told the kids and they were both excited. My oldest son planned to move into my house and take care of it and willie. My youngest would come over to England once school was out. Everything fell into place quickly and easily. I knew this was right. It was to be my next chapter in life and maybe it was happening because I was now ready for it. I am the person I want to be and I am to be where I want to be. 

So here I sit looking out over the English Channel with a centuries old church behind me. It’s a beautiful sunny day and sailboats are coming in and going out of the harbour where I live now. We’re in the middle of a pandemic but the footpaths along the shore are full of people holding hands and just being outside. My new boss made me homemade bagels this morning and I ate them with some espresso while sitting on the waterfront quietly watching the waves roll in and out. I’m here for at least a year and am excited about all the travel I’m going to do once this pandemic passes. There are a million trails through old forests that I long to run and hundreds of new friends I haven’t met you. I’m completely alone but I’ve never felt so full and connected. 
Thanks for listening










Sunday, July 23, 2017

Wouldn't it

Wouldn't it be nice if someone or something could tell us we're going to regret what we're about to do?
Makes me understand the anguish that motivated poets and songwriters since the beginning of time.
One good psychic could have prevent it all. But then again what would we read?

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This day many years ago

Little moments change the world. Ask a simple question and see how the world can change.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Supplication

The hardest thing to accept is something someone wants so badly to give you because it's unearned. I was taught, and I have learned through life lessons, that you must work for everything good or at the very least suffer for it. That is a truth that's proven in the history of every great person I admire.
It's also always been an admirable thing. People admire and appreciate those that work hard and refuse to accept handouts. Rugged individualism is the foundation of America and I've aspired to live up to that expectation.
I spent most of my earlier life pursuing the dream of achieving a career I really don't deserve given my birthplace and intelligence. I relished in the act of overachieving by working harder than most. It's what I was supposed to do and it gave me purpose. I achieved my goal and have a nice career to show for it.
Somewhere over the last few years, while I was working a job that I wanted so badly for so long, someone changed the rules of the game or maybe I switched games and brought the wrong skill set. Once the career is set what's left? Like so many middle aged fools before me I put my nose to a grindstone and drank the CoolAide that everything must be earned only to realize after so many years that the things I really want, the things that truly soothe my soul, can't be earned. They have to be accepted as gifts. I think I know now why some people become bitter in their old age. They're feet are cemented in a believe that self-reliance leads to happiness. Seeing, but refusing to accept, the things that bring the rainbow in their soul because they can't be earned and how can anything good be unearned, right?
It takes amazing courage to step out of old paradigms and truly follow your heart. It's scary as hell even though your heart is screaming MY GOD MAN! CAN'T YOU SEE HOW GREAT THIS IS? Head vs. Heart I suppose. It's that fear that makes it so rare for some to actually do it. It's also that fear that makes the reward so great when someone actually does leave the past behind and start a new way of thinking and living.

Thank for listening

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today

Today is, and always will be, a great day.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Total Cliche

So really a marathon isn't about the destination. Hell, you usually end up right where you began so it has to be about the journey. And if you stop along the way because you're tired of the trip then you have failed. No matter how beautiful the sight or happy something makes you, you should always keep going. Actually looking for the hurt to continue because you know the reward is great at the end. There is no cliche ending in the real world. It's about the journey not the nice story that has a predictable ending.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The man I'll be

Someday has become an interesting concept for me. It lies out there beckoning but it never arrives. It just lies out there in the future happily taking on all my ideas, hopes, and dreams. But I never get, or have, to actually meet it.
All I've ever wanted, was to love you and somewhere deep inside me I still do. But it's time I stop believe that you're ever going to change. That man out in the future; that man who lives in someday is the man I love.
Someday I'll be the man I want to be
The man who is stable and dependable.
The man who sets goals and achieves them.
The man who desires more the love of small things than love as a thing.
Someday I'll travel the world by myself and write my stories.
Someday I'll maintain a stable emotional state and stop the roller coaster in my mind.
The man I will be is amazing! Perfect in every way that matters to everyone in my life that matters.
I took her by the arm and said don't leave me. Just give me time I'll be the man you've needed.
The time remaining to do this is running short. The runway ahead is growing short and the space behind is long and littered with debris from the man I don't want to be.
If you wait around awhile I'll make you fall for me.
That man who lives out there, the foreshadow of who I am today, will give you exactly what you need. He can sweep you off your feet with his words. He is charming and endearing. He will walk the world for you and never miss a step. He seeks challenges and methodically beats them down until the mountain they appeared to be is nothing but a molehill. He lives just beyond my reach and I've only touched him during a few momentary affairs when I was broken and off track and had nothing and nowhere to go. I lived those moments like real life dreams. I floated over this life and become the things I wanted to be because the chains of fear, anxiety, responsibility, had been broken if for only a moment. Eventually I woke from the dream and put my chains on again though. Feeling guilty for having taken them off. During those times I was that man. I was someday.
Thanks for listening

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A thought

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor E. Frankl