Return of the Runner

Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat.

Awaken.
Sleep.
Awaken.
Sleep.

Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat. 

Do not think.
Pray not to dream.
Think only of the moment, ignore tomorrow, hide yesterday, and believe in the seconds of breath that you currently have. 

Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat. 

Let your dreams die.
Let your imagination fade away.
Let yourself step into the truth.

Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat.

Awaken.
Sleep.
Awaken.
Sleep.

Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat. 


I would tell you that “I’m fine”, but instead I’ll simply share that I’m getting there. I’m moving. I’m breathing. I’m taking one step at a time, and I’m finding love again. Vulnerability does not feel as foreign or fearful, and risk does not seem as deadly as it once was. 

There are boundaries that I have found myself to live within; safety, necessary, and I am comfortable with those personal choices. It has meant cutting out, removing, and in some cases…even hiding from the life that I became so familiar with.

I am getting there. 

Just over a year ago, without any appropriate training, without a plan, and even without adequate nutrition; I signed up for a 6 hour race on the lovely trails of Clinton Lake in Lawrence, Kansas. The same place as my beloved “Hawk” races held every September, a home away from home with people I love dearly. Yet, instead of the summer heat, the horrific oak mites, and all things toxic from mustard packets to questionable choices of “should I really gamble on that watermelon slice?” only to become, “should I really gamble on that fart?”; I found myself in a frozen world of silence. January of 2022 brought with it silence, curiosity, and a calming chill that cooled the burning pain of a very tired life. 

There was no goal; only to move, eat a pancake, and see where my body and soul were currently sitting. 

Final verdict?

Photo Credit: Mile 90 Photography

I had fun. 

Nothing out of this world, nothing over the top, no “Ah-ha! I’m back, suckers!” Only some soreness, a few poker chips, and a deep breath of relief. The simple thought of recognizing that changes in life does not always equate that life must change. 

Some aspects are best left untouched. 


In other areas of life; change can be one of the biggest catalysts to breathe life and love back into an empty heart. In July I had the true blessing, something that I could not have ever predicted, of being able to marry an amazing woman. Perhaps, even after an incredible ceremony, what truly was beautiful love for me was the ability to get married, start our honeymoon, and still wind up at the High Lonesome 100 as volunteers. 

Nothing says “for better, or worse” like sitting on the edge of a mountain, dealing with substantial stomach issues, and finding uncomfortable ways to sleep in a Mazda…while also connecting back with those I love so dearly, and introducing everyone to the one I love the most (while also introducing her to the absolute insanity that is the ultrarunning world…I have no regrets).

While the joy of discovering something new was fresh for the soul, the residual impact of what once was still seared off bits and pieces locked away…I suppose a hidden window to a secret hole. 

I’m not here to say that all things have been solved, but instead recognized…and in some painful ways; accepted. 

Photo Credit: Mile 90 Photography

While, historically, I have found joy detailing the adventures in the Sawatch; the past two years proved to be…too personal? Perhaps it was crossing that threshold into an area of privacy that was between me and the trees, for only the one closest to me to discover? 

Regardless, in so many ways, I owe my own existence to the noon clap of thunder and the morning, gentle breeze over the Alpine Pass. Now though? To have that partner that is as curious about what is just up the trail, what is just around the bend, what it will look like just a few feet higher…

The belief that says, “Yes, you want it? I support it.” As reckless and illogical as any dream may be. 

Some aspects are best left changed. 


Now, routine slowly resides back into my own existence. It is not as rigid and set as it once was; there is a long run on the weekends, a few short runs throughout the week, a strength session each Tuesday…but mainly; there is peace. The opportunity to recognize tired as tired, hurt as hurt, and spending more time listening and less time sabotaging myself. 

It is my wife sitting me down to eat, especially when I do not want to because my watch said, “I was too slow”. Routine now includes myself not running alone; I have a partner with me for every mile, every week. She wants to be with me, and I love the company. In some ways it comes across as therapeutic. This old dog was able to be taken out just to enjoy the seasonal breeze on a cool, autumn eve. 

As much of my existence has turned into a painful routine of awake, sleep, awake, sleep, etc…I have learned that routines can be disrupted, changed, and altered. 

Nothing about the tethers to this planet are truly chains, instead they’re tied opportunities…waiting to be pulled apart at any given moment. Truly chances to fly, instead of fearing the fall. 

I have learned that all of this processing, all of these seasons, and really…all of this life takes so much time to begin to comprehend. Just the moment that so many things begin to make sense; that is the point of which disruption breaks through unphased. Slowly, there is a wondering, “how bad is an actual disruption? Is it what we fear, or is it what we desperately desire but are too concerned to lose to embrace?” 

In some ways, I suppose, it is a mystery. 


While not necessarily comedic, as in comparison to years past, this piece was merely an attempt to write again. Overarching, it has been a few years since I have sat down to write anything…especially from the perspective of the trail running world. 

This joy that the keystrokes bring?

This is something my heart misses. 

Pieces are coming back together, an orchestrated example of endurance in the most ironic way, and yet…this time?

We will take our time.

fly.

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