Thursday, December 4, 2014
Since my last personal blog post (those few Bring Back the Mile post took away some of my creative energy there for a while and still is to a degree. I have 1 big one left that will hopefully be ground breaking conversation for track and field and not the same old stupid complaining articles), a whole lot of nothing has happened in my life. That statement may seem oximoronic, but several months have come and gone and I quite honestly don't know where the hell they went. What was supposed to be a few weeks of rest from running, with just work without the burden of training, has turned into 3 months of dealing with a lingering hip injury and working a shitload of hours at work. I have had no outlet for self expression though. While all this extra work has meant more money in my pocket than I have ever had, but it's turned me apathetic and complacent. For the first time in my life I realized that money can make you happy, but not satisfied. It seems like being poor and scrounging by makes me hungrier and more eager to succeed. I've known for years that I go stir crazy when I don't have an outlet and goal for my energy, but I am just now understanding how being still is terrible for my body and spirit.
What has really shaken me up recently, is the thought of getting stuck in this life. Stuck making money doing something I don't have a true passion for, just because it's easy. This life of getting up everyday without creating, expressing, or making an impact on people's lives is disheartening. See running and coaching has always been a form of self expression for me. It's way more than just a sport to me. It's a way that I live my life. It's hard, it's fast, and a bit rebellious (and stupid) to still be chasing a childhood dream of Olympic Trials and Olympics at age 27 (nearly 28) without the major results one would expect from an athlete my age. But none the less it hasn't completely stopped me for some unknown reason. Cause I know that if I make it, that I can truly have a positive impact on this sport and others that struggle with anxiety, depression, or rare disease. In some weird screwed up way, it was way easier in years past to come back from one of my relapses with Wegener's Granulomatosis than it has been to get out of this mental depression. See when you know you can't spend the time you know is necessary to be as elite at what you love, it's defeating and a heavy mental burden to deal with day and night. For me, if I wasn't forced to be so caught up with work over the last 3 months, had more access to trainers and therapist, my lingering hip/groin injury would be long gone and I'd be back out there grinding towards my goals. That's the life of a sub elite or a complacent worker stuck at a dead end job. People, no matter their goals, have to work to pay the bills, but I have found myself working so much that I can't give passions or my personal life the time it needs. This drives me to insanity especially when I sit and think about it, so the last 3 months I have just taken to not dealing with it by numbing out at night with loads of Budweiser and other prescription drugs.
Without running or another tangible goal in my face, I have a void in my life of excitement on a daily basis. See when you are in peak fitness, training everyday brings a level of stimulation and exhilaration that can't be matched with desk jobs, drugs, and alcohol. Pushing your body almost daily to its outer physical and mental limits brings unparalleled mental stimulation. So to supplement that feeling I have found myself back to some of my old partying ways, carrying around 15 extra pounds and eating like shit. I have come to the realization that all these bad habits are my way of chasing a feeling, chasing a high. Though training to be an elite athlete and working a full time job is hard and a pain in the ass at times, it's exhilarating and gives me the sense of accomplishment at the end of a everyday. In some ways, I understand now why some people resort to physical deformation or injury in times of depression and anxiety. Anything to experience some kind of feeling or control, even if it is physical pain. That's why it's so easy for me to slide into drug or alcohol use. It's fun to be out on the town drinking the night away in all my favorite holes. It's also incredibly easy to numb out and not have to deal with my mind that can't find its off switch. The funny thing is I suffering from both anxiety and depression, 2 polar opposite mental conditions for myself. One of over stimulation, the other feeling worthless and under-stimulated. Both of these I am very susceptible to sliding between. In August, I was over worked, over trained, racing and traveling, moving twice, flipping my beloved Toyota 4Runner, and buying a new car. Then comes September, October and November with all work and no mental stimulation or physical expression, and now I am sitting in a funk on the edge of depression.
So what do you do when you find yourself stuck in a mental or physical funk? Well there are 2 solutions. One leads over the dark edge to depression, which happens more often than some people would like to admit. The other is turning around and fighting for change, which is almost always the harder route to start, but the more fulfilling in the long run. We all need that push from somewhere to make this happen. For me it's finding ways to take back control of parts of my life and demand time for my passion. I've also found a big leap or investment monetarily can help fuel that drive. Nothing like having your back against the wall to help you come out swinging and make better decisions. Make a drastic change in your life. Quit a job, move to a new city, find a new career, help people, or go on a soul searching journey. Do whatever you have to do to get yourself out of the F*&#king Funk or it will eat at your soul. If you let it keep eating at you then you will fall off that cliff, and that's never a pretty ending. So try and stop the slide before you find rock bottom. Take back control of your life and do what makes you feel the most fulfilled, not what brings short term happiness. Even if you aren't where you want to be right this minute, find a way to continually work for your goal, and that can help you find your happiness. Remember All Hope is Gone! You have been dealt a hand in life that is sometimes shitty, but it's up to you to crawl out and learn to be ok with the hand, and move on!
Till Next Time!
All Hope is Gone
Sunday, August 24, 2014
When momentum swings one way in life we always expect it to stay like that right? I mean an object in motion is supposed to stay in motion right? Or so I was taught in school. Well, if you haven't personally learned this yet, life is that force that acts on the outside jet and momentum. Blue Shoes was supposed to be just a small stepping stone for the year, yet it has turned out to be my best performance thus far. Looking back on the past several months strictly at training and racing schedule it would seem inexplicable how since early April that I haven't replicated or bettered that performance. The performance that was supposed to be an early season test. I mean I ran over 90 miles that week and was gearing up for upcoming steeplechase races. Not really how you properly prepare for a mile. Momentum can be just as quickly lost as it is gained. Over the next several races I lost all that good momentum and found myself out of opportunities and out of USA Nationals. But, luckily for me the Bring Back the Mile series has come to the rescue and given me the opportunities to continue to compete on the big stage for big prizes. They have helped reignite that fire. All of these races are giving me a chance to paint my story and hopefully give me the opportunity to inspire more people.
The months of May, June, July, and August have been a roller coaster both physically and emotionally. I have had some of the best workouts of my life and I have also slipped into deep depression and crippling anxiety with my current life situation. In the past month alone (in the middle of all the traveling, racing, training, and working) I have moved into the nastiest apartment that I have ever lived in (and I've lived in some dumps as many of you have visited), flipped my 4Runner for the final time (the Falcon is gone for good), and worked more hours this month than I have all summer. Not necessarily ideal training and racing conditions. It's these times that I have to remember to find my center in all the chaos. The lesson from all of this is that it doesn't matter how hard or good you are at pushing your body to it's limits, it's learning when to take a step back and know when to relax and stop forcing it. I found out my breaking point this week. I ran the worst race I have run all year, at the Michigan Mile in Flint, Michigan. It's the first time I remember finishing last in a race in years. My body reached that tipping point with stress. Trying to find a new car, a new apartment, and a better way to manage my work schedule with my training schedule all while still working, training, and racing proved too much. As my therapist warned me several weeks ago when this started... "You are on the fast track to finding your breaking point and ending up in the loony bin." So friends, family, colleagues, and strangers be weary of your breaking point. You never know how close you are to the edge until you cross it, especially in life on the Crazy Train..... To quote a few lines from the great Ozzy Osbourne..... All Aboard!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA
Mental wounds still screaming
Driving me insane
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words
Mental wounds not healing
Who and what's to blame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
Grandma's Mile hear comes the Crazy Train to town!!
All Hope is Gone
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The past few months have been a lot of transition in my life once again. It seems that everyone this time of year is dealing with these issues, whether you are going off to college for the first time, moving out own your own finally, starting your first job, etc... This time of year seems to always bread excitement, turmoil, anxiety and stress no matter what your move. Not knowing what lies on the other side can be scary for many people, myself included. But you have to embrace that change and take that step to get out of your comfort zone our you will probably never be able to chase your true dreams. All Hope is Gone means that you have to be willing to accept the fact that you may fail and be happy with your journey and struggles no matter the outcome. It is also about learning to find your center and your balance during the most chaotic times in your life. You must become the eye of the storm. Be the calm that is in the center or the storm will sweep you away.
If you are like me then you have found yourself swept off that edge more than a few times by that storm. This is when drugs, alcohol, and destructive behavior can lead you into those dark depths of the human mind and spirit. I have currently found myself there. The last few weeks of my life I have found myself out of control and out of my center of calm. I let myself get swept up in the chaos of life taking a shit on me and my family. Mistakes begin to happen when I find myself strung out emotionally and physically. In the last 2 weeks alone I have found myself in the nastiest place I have ever lived, with a landlord how is impossible to get in touch with to fix any of the broken things in the apartment (toilet, sink, shower, doors that don't lock, etc...), flipped my 4runner in my shitty driveway (that's flip number 2 for those who are counting- which finally totaled my baby), and dropped a tire of the rental car off the driveway. All of this has lead to a lack of sleep, frustrated living circumstances, and horrible athletic training. As I have stated before, when things begin to get in the way of my dream chasing as a runner, I get really worked up, angry and vengeful. This stress has manifested itself into my body to where I now have nagging injuries, horrible training sessions, and a body that is just worn out.
Despite all of this I managed to run one of the happiest races of the season this past weekend in Pittsburgh at the Liberty Mile. Being back in the pack of elite milers reminded me that I belonged there. Despite horrible training for nearly a month, lack of sleep, and a car wreck 2 days before the race, I was able to kick with some of the best milers in the country. I had many of them on the ropes until the final 100m, but that's when I believe the past month of stress finally caught up with me. Which makes me laugh. Initially I was mad because I had a great opportunity to finish 4th behind 3 of the best middle distance runners in the country, but then I realized how much shit I had put up with in the last few weeks and I laughed because I knew that had I been fresh and prepared better it would have been a different race. What was also beautiful about the race was I ran without fear for the first time all season and was so caught up in the amazing atmosphere that the people at Bring Back the Mile and the Liberty Mile set up for us. I lined up not knowing what my body could handle, but I didn't care I was going to help put on the show. All Hope was Gone! Whatever my body could handle I was going to dish out and I was happy with what I was able to accomplish because so many times in the last few weeks, including today even, I have wanted so bad to end my season. But I refuse to let this storm throw me off course.
No matter how far off course you find yourself or how deep in you find yourself in (it doesn't get much worse than having to find a new place to live and a new car all in the same week) you have to try and find your center of peace in the chaos. Realizing that there is no cause for all of the bad things and no one to blame will help you release those demons and find that peace with whatever shit storm life wants to blow your way. I wish I could stand here in front of you and tell you that I had beat this battle, but we all struggle and we all can find inspiration in others around us. Don't forget your dreams and fight like hell!
All Hope is Gone,
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
We all have our own identities. They can even change amongst different groups of people or different groups of friends. Each group has it's own delicate dynamic that each person fills, but this shouldn't ever prevent you from being you! Your personality might clash with others at times, but that's one of the things that I have learned growing up, some people just aren't gonna get along no matter what the situation. So you mind as well be you and be happier!
Social media and the internet has made it increasingly easier for people to truly express themselves (for good or bad). Which makes it increasingly harder for people to carve out their own identity. At times it seems as if every personality has been taken already. But we are all our own unique set of chemicals that can interact with the world in a unique way so be patient and find your way. With all the information and technology at our finger tips use your skills and personality to present yourself to the world and show your beautiful story.
I have recently found my loud, obnoxious self again and I couldn't be more excited. He was the guy that had a chip on his shoulder, the guy that backed down from no one, the guy that called people out, the guy that got in people's faces, and last but not least the guy that would say about anything to get a weird awkward laugh from people! At the end of the day this is all for my entertainment and for those around me. I love making people think, and I love making people laugh. I will go to any length to get under someone's skin and make them really question something they think is true. I also have no problem making and absolute ass out of myself to make others around me laugh. I miss laughing. It's something that has been missing in my life a lot recently and something that I need to work to spread. Laughing and excitement can give people a reason to laugh and give people a reason to care.
That's what I strive for in my own running career. Regardless of what races I ever win or lose I want to put on a show again. I miss being at the front of races making them interesting and entertaining people in the stands. I am excited to be back in some races where I will have the chance to be an entertainer and be me again! Our sport of track and field is slowly dying and it needs characters that aren't boring and aren't afraid to stir the pot. If more athletes made more noise and stood for something other than "hardwork" or "talent" then the sport might stand a chance at making a few more people care. Find your cause, find your story and tell it in whatever your form of expression! Inspire the next generation and this sport may stand a chance.... But you can't do it holed up in the woods 10 months a year and out of the "public eye" (message board, internet, social media...etc)
We all have shitty rough times in our lives that change us in certain ways forever, but we don't need to forget about all the different things that we have been during our lives. Those identities help create who your are, so don't leave them all behind. If you have found yourself unhappy and in a funk try to remember those times that you had when everything just flowed and you didn't have to think. Those are the times you need to strive to recreate and be yourself totally lost in the moment!
"All hope is gone"
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Over the past few weeks I have done a lot of reflecting (which isn't always very good for my anxiety), but it's hard not to when I look back at where I came from a year ago. One year ago at this time I had just finishing living the single worst month of my life (which is a hard list to top these days). I had just finished up my 4th round of chemotherapy, was battling depression, had decided (for the 2nd year in a row) that my body couldn't handle running at the elite level, hated my situation and surroundings in Rock Hill, lost one of my high school and running mentors (Coach J, I still miss your kind words of encouragement and I will continue train to be your Olympic Hero regardless of whether I succeed), was pill popping and drinking just to get through the day and attempt to sleep. I also started to develop anxiety because of all of the unhappiness, tension and toxicity that I was living in and around. Needless to say, I was a certified wreck of a person. I was in desperate need to do something to get me out of this situation and start healing, both mentally and physically.
I don't know how I have done it time and time again, but I slowly drag myself up off the matt and start swinging again. I was certainly a long way off from being healthy, but I was determined to get out of my shit whole situation continuing to spiral out of control. Looking back at some of the thoughts and lyrics wrote down during this time are seriously disturbing. I stumbled upon this one the other day that I had jotted down at some point during this time
"Do you know what it's like to not be able to live in your own head?
Your thoughts are corrupt and you can't trust yourself
I'm stuck in my own living hell, that I always create"
Obviously, these are uplifting words! But they tell a very surreal story of where my headspace was at during these times. During times like these I find it helpful to write down ideas and thoughts because of the extreme raw emotion that is readily available to create art. Many or all of these may never see the light of day, but many of them have potentials for songs or poems given the proper attention (for those of you that don't know I also dabble in music and have played guitar since I was 13). Picking up and reading these lyrics can instantly transform me back to the time and places they were written. They have helped preserve some of my emotions during critical pivot points in my life.
So when I arrived in Boone I was an absolute walking disaster and in desperate need of some relief from life! Once this tiny town hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains came to the rescue. I will forever be indebted to my friends that helped make it possible (Brian Graves, Chris Moen, Sody, & Mark Sullivan). Graves found me a job working at Westglow Resort and Spa and the boys let me sleep on the couch and share rooms while I gathered some cash and slowly pieced my life together over the summer of 2013. For almost a year now Moen has not just been living with me, but sharing a room with me! Wow!
The summer and rest of the year hasn't been all uphill though, and quickly came to a near deathly climax with my first real panic attack and being diagnosed with server anxiety, and depression. The remainder of the year has been a roller coaster ride of wins and loses personally. My life (and most people's live's) doesn't ever run in a linear fashion and the winter and spring have had their fair share of dark and light times. Including problems as recent as a month ago. Now though no matter the crisis, I am in a happy physical place now. I live in a place and with people that I can breathe in and relax, even if just a just a small bit. My situation here have brought many challenges, but that's life and what makes life worth living. This is the point of this particular blog.
No matter your current situation, you have to fight to find your happiness. It is sometimes impossible for that happiness to even remain in the same places and come from the same things. You have to listen, learn, grow and search to find your happy place. I am warning you though, it's hard to find, but that doesn't mean that you need to shy away. Learn to find happiness in chasing and pursuing dreams and goals. In fact, when you are chasing your goals you might find yourself sitting in your own personal hell. If so, that means you are probably on the right path! It means that your journey is worth something. It means that your goals matter to you. It means your life has passion and meaning. It means you may have failed, but the real happiness and winning comes from continuing sit and chase through hell regardless of the outcome or possibility of failure!
So chase like hell, fight like hell, and live with passion!
"All Hope is Gone"
Sunday, April 6, 2014
All Hope is Gone
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I know its been a while since the last post. In fact it's been way too long. Those of you that know me know I have a lot to say and never shut the hell up, which is part of the reason it takes me so long in between blog post. I can't decide where I want to go next. I need to find a time each week to just sit down and write because when I do that the best material seems to come out. Since my last posting I have finally taken that first step on the track. It was a whirlwind of a weekend filled with a plethora of emotions. Anyone that has lined up for a race knows many of these emotions: fear, doubt, anxiety, nervousness, excitement, joy, etc... All of these generally combine into the fuel that helps come race time. But some of these emotions can be utter devastating to performance.
Doubt and fear are the enemies of distance runners and athletes everywhere. They defeat you before the gun ever goes off. We all have had these emotions at one time or another but how you control them shapes your performance. I have throughout my career as an athlete always welcomed these emotions. They mean that racing is important and is a reminder of what is on the line. If there is no fear or nerves then you are not competing, you are out for a fun stroll on a beautiful morning. Competing to better yourself or your opponents, is why we all race. I have to be honest with myself and everyone. Over the last few years I have slowly lost bits and pieces of any self confidence I had in my abilities as an athlete. This is akin to a boxer getting in the ring thinking is going to lose. And if that is his mentality then he will surely get his ass handed to him by his opponent. Which is absolutely what happened to me at the JDL Camel City 3k and many races over the past few years.
Each of my relapses with my Wegener's Granulomatosis (and subsequent comebacks over the past 2 years) have proven both callousing and devastating to my confidence and ego. On one hand I have traveled and crawled back from the darkest depths of my own inner hell. Naturally a guy that has stared the possibility of death in the face 3 times now and told him to f**k off, would have loads of self-confidence. This resolve and hard-headedness has given me the knowledge that I can survive whatever dark places my life and goals take me, but has also chipped away at my risk taking skills on the track. Each time I feel like I have put more and more on the line to get back and in turn makes me feel I have much more to lose by failure. I have become so cautious to really putting myself out there like I have been capable of so many times over the years. I was never too afraid to put myself in races and in situations where I might fail, but over the last 2 seasons I have been truly afraid to try and fail because of what I feel I have invested. Realizing and admitting this to myself has been just as equally devastating and destructive to my confidence on the track. In high school and college I thrived on competition. I was never satisfied, always wanted to win and was willing to make you or myself reach your limits to beat me. Some of my fondest memories of my entire career are chasing down people in relays, or doubling or tripling at meets to score big points, which helped change the tides of meets. I wanted to win, not just for me but for my teammates, coaches, family, friends, and fans. I wanted the baton when it matter and the meet or race was on the line. The thrill of winning cannot be matched by any other feeling I know.
So now I have to put myself back together piece by piece. The physical part is slowly coming with training, but my mental edge has a long way to go. I know I have all the pieces somewhere inside my head, but like a puzzle they have to be put back together piece by piece. Several things have begun to help me on my journey. Just like an addict, the first step was truly admitting to myself I had a problem. For me, that took me finding rock bottom again mentally in December and January. The mind is a wonderful and dangerous place. It's funny that during this time I was able to find a darker place emotionally than 2 of my trips through chemotherapy. Here I am chasing my dream, in the place I love, yet I had lost almost all of my sanity and confidence. It took talking to my awesome chemo infusion nurse, when down for a check up, to realize that I really needed help emotionally if I was going to get out of this spiral. I had to not just want to change but had to find the help to change.
All of us have doubt's at times. Especially during times of struggle, stress, heartache and injury. So how do you get it back or develop it? Over the years I have been around a lot of elite athletes. One thing I have noticed is all of the super successful athletes have extreme confidence in their abilities. Which is what we all need to learn. It starts with baby steps. Finding words or phrases that can get you through a tough day or a tough workout can be one way to kick start the program. My recent phrases have been "don't puss out" and "unleash." One run at a time, one day at a time, one interval at a time. You keep fighting like hell and before you know it you will begin to trust your abilities. If I aim to tell a story with my running and my life, being weak and fearful on race day isn't what want to say. That's one of the points of this blog. There is more to me (and many other athletes) than a person that runs in circles with big dreams and goals. I want to be a testament to what talent and will power in each of us can achieve. We can't be afraid to unlock those desires and talents and chase them to the edge of our sanity. If you can find that mental edge and desire anything is possible. You have to be the one that wants to find out how bad you really want something and how far you are willing to go to get it! So dream big and chase hard because All Hope is Gone!
Monday, January 27, 2014
Despite being a very loud and outgoing person I often put up fronts to keep people at bay and very unwilling let out personal information. This has been a protective facade brought about from years of struggling through life with health issues, heart break, humility, stress, and to a degree my upbringing. Growing up in South Carolina you often have to wear different hats around different people. And heaven forbid you accidentally get caught wearing the wrong hat (or a 666 Energy shirt). So naturally I got very good at this, especially as I grew older. This facade has worked so flawlessly at times I have been shocked by some people's impression of me. But I guess that's the whole point of it. Anyways, I have often hidden deep pain and struggle from many of you. I actually get some sort of sick twisted pleasure from being able to tell people I am doing great when in reality I am falling apart physically, emotionally, or both. This trait has also lent me a powerful tool in separating out true friends from the fake in this crazy life I live!
Over the last 2 years many of you are aware (or not) that I have suffered 2 relapses with my rare auto immune disease Wegeners Gratulomatosis. Both of these relapses have occurred while I was living back in Rock Hill after spending nearly 3 years in Boone and other places. Having to move back home as a 25 year away from all my friends and the place that made me happy broke me apart emotionally. But I am also willing to do whatever it takes to continue my running career and be as good as I know I can be. Even if this means loses my sanity. Which has eventually happened.
Fast forward to this past July and all this turmoil in life finally added up and I suffered my first panic attack. While walking up the stairs at work I collapsed and couldn't breathe. For someone who was trying to make a 3rd come back as a distance runner I shouldn't have been out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. Over the previous few weeks I had had some symptoms that I thought were another sign of a possible flair up with my Wegener's, but little did I know that many of the same symptoms (chest tightness, numbness in my limps, headaches) are also symptoms of panic attacks. So anyways I immediately called my Mom and her and Dad drove up and got me and took me to the hospital in Charlotte. I was speechless the whole drive (which is completely unlike my loud foul mouth self). My mind had pretty much decided that I was dying. The Dr had told me back in May that if the rounds of chemo didn't work then he didn't really know what else to do. So I had convinced myself that I was legitimately heading to a final stay in the hospital and would more than likely be spending months there not hours. Well after a bunch of test and the ER talking with my Dr they released me.
Sitting in Dr. Brown's office the following week I was still convinced that I wasn't getting better and had made a turn for the worse after some semi promising feelings in June. When Dr Brown told me that all my blood work was beyond normal and that he thought that I was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. Which was a huge relief and a different scare all together. So he prescribed some Anti-Anxiety meds and sent me on my way. Those first few months on them proved very trying emotionally. As I physically got better I was emotionally checked out. I just didn't give a damn about things that normally bother me. I also seemed oblivious to many normal social cues. Some days I would be out running trying to pound my body back into some kind of shape again and I'd find myself walking for absolutely no reason. I just couldn't find that fire inside me to do anything. So many normal things just didn't interest me. This took a toll on some of my relationships. Luckily I have finally surrounded myself with the right people that understand my struggles and are there through it all no matter how much I have pushed on them. As a person that has grown up with skinny man's complex and always had this fire burning in the pit of my stomach to be great at whatever it is I do, it was hard for me to adjust to this care free Brandon.
I wish that I could say things have been all fine and dandy since acclimating to the drugs, but the reality is that my body has adjusted to them over time and I am at that cross roads of taking higher doses or figuring out how to control this anxiety that builds up inside me. Spending much of the winter so far alone in the cold mountains of Boone has fostered some of that anxiety again. I am my own worst enemy. It has been incredibly humbling and scary to learn that the things that have made me a semi successful athlete are also the things that could ultimately be my down fall of health. No longer do simple things roll of my back like they used to. They like to plant themselves in my mind and fester. Many would think that running would release a lot of these demons, but in fact its the exact opposite. If I am having anxiety issues it leads me to having worse runs because I can't breathe and know my body doesn't feel right, which in turns causes more anxiety. It's a vicious circle. Which lead to another panic attack on a long run in the snow in early January.
Many have questioned my recent tattoo of "All hope is gone" as being very dark and grim. When in reality for me it is beautiful. I've had to learn the hard way that my life isn't going to be easy, ever. Finding strength in hopelessness means that I am learning on a daily basis on how to accept groundlessness (the fact that life isn't stable and secure). Things happen that are out of our control, and there isn't always going to be a hand to help you up, you have to learn how pick yourself up and deal with the situations right in front of you. Sitting around hoping and wishing for things to be better isn't living and appreciating each moment and the journey to your unknown destination! We all have to learn to relax in the day to day struggles of life.
Till Next Time,
All Hope is Gone
Monday, January 6, 2014
So I have been playing around with the idea of a blog for several years now. Over the last several years I've read some blogs by runners and nonrunners that I've enjoyed. I've always felt that I have had something to say but struggled with a way to say it. For those of you that know me, you know I'm a loud and super opinionated person. It's hard for me to keep my mouth shut, and over the years it has gotten me in my fair share of trouble. Ive always had this strong urge to fight for what I think is right and speak up if I think others or myself are being treated unfair or misrepresented. That's why I'm writing this blog. I feel that runners get a bad rap. We have done it to ourselves quite honestly. We spend much of the year holed up going to bed early and training like a mad man. This lifestyle isn't glamorous but it doesn't have to be so mundane and boring to fans. Most runners have been taught to do the talking with their feet and be humble. Well that creates a lot of boring interviews and a lot of boring athletes. We can't all be like Bill Belichick. The sport needs more people like Usian Bolt, Nick Symmonds, and Ezekiel Kemboi that entertain people on and off the track.
With that being said, too many runners don't aim to stand for something or tell a story. I feel Prefonatine was great at this. He not only aimed to win, and win with style at that, he aimed to impress and tell a story. He stood for something. Everyone in this sport works hard. Everyone at the elite level is talented. What are you going to do to be different and separate yourself from every other athlete out there. Winning alone will no longer do that. You are seeing that with top athletes without sponsorships. And I know this fact has been beaten to death recently in the running community but most still aren't getting the hint. Elites need to figure out the story they wish tell and then find a way to tell it. Much like an artist chooses their different mediums, runners need to find their idenity and find a way to express it.
I have come realize in the last few years that my feet aren't portraying the story I wish to say. Through circumstances outside of my control (2 unfortunately timed relapses with my auto immune disease wegeners granulomatosis) I have trained my ass off for 2 years with almost zero results. So once again I am in the process of trying to pound my body into submission so that I can tell this story, the difference is this time I'm not just going to let me feet talk. I am going to use my other wonderful talent of gab to spread this story. This is what I want to say:
I am BHudg
As much as I try to fight it, it is who I am!
I'm a runner, a fighter, a lover, a hater, a teacher, a coach, a drunk, an addict a bitter old stubborn ass, a musician, a big kid, and above all else a life liver!
Over the last few years I have tried to quit being all the things above at one point or another. I have quit running, twice actually, I have stopped fighting, I have given up on love and shut myself off from the world. I have tried to be a kinder more gently person who forgives easier, I have wanted to walk away from being a teacher and coach of students. I have tried to give up alcohol and drugs. And I have even tried to find peace and stop living a roller coaster life like I do, full of drastic turns. But through all these changes and attempts I have learned that I cannot fight who I am any longer. I do all these things incredibly well. So why try to be something I am not? I have to do things my way, play by my rules, and live my way. I have found peace in realizing that I am who I am because of all these things, so why fight them! Embrace them and live life! As cliché as that sounds I've learned that working hard, doing what's right does not guarantee success and that life for people like me is going to be full of incredible highs and incredibly dark lows. So ride the roller coaster with passion and see where the journey takes you.
So that's who I am. This blog has no boundaries, much like my mouth doesn't know when to shut up. So I will cover whatever I want, say what I want, unfiltered! I am tired of trying to say things on a nice quite way! That's just not me! Till next time!
All hope is gone!