Most of my best thinking happens while I am out running. This morning, as random thoughts came and went, I recognized that I had been pretty quiet here and on social media for quite some time. I let the thought linger, and went to work questioning why. There was not an obvious answer. Though as the miles clicked by, I recognized that two reasons seemed to be the most likely.
First, I have been really busy. Some of you reading this may know, some may not, that I have a lot on my plate. I work full time as a partner in a busy orthopedic medical practice. By training I am a Physician Assistant, and being a partner is a rare thing for a PA in a physician ruled world of medicine. Our practice is relatively small, two surgeons, three PAs and 12 staff. It takes time to both practice medicine, and manage a practice. I am also a race director. Scout Mountain Ultras is my event, and with the help of incredible volunteers, we put together an incredible event that involves 400 runners participating in the 100, 50 or 21 mile distance. This spring we have been also been remodeling our house. It has been a multi year project but starting in November we went all in on a major renovation. Tanae, my partner, and I, did a significant amount of the work in an attempt to make it economically palatable and to do it the way we wanted it done. We had some great support from a friend who is a contractor, as well as occasional help from friends. In addition to work, race directing, midnight construction business, spending some time with family, and maintaining training for my career as a professional endurance runner, I have also been working on starting a new business. More to come on that soon….
The second reason I have been digitally withdrawn has more to do with a vacuum I seemed to have stepped in to after Barkley. After months of pouring my heart and soul in to preparing for that event, the outcome was good, but far from what I had hoped to do. I wasn’t sad or depressed about the outcome, but felt a bit rudderless. Our community has a bad habit of always asking what was next. What race, what epic challenge, what audacious goal, and I didn’t have one. I didn’t really even want one. I felt equivalent to burnt toast; too many irons in the fire and not one clear goal on the horizon. I was embarrassed to not have a good answer when I did interact with people, so instead of enjoying some much needed rest and shift in focus I opted to withdraw in to too many projects and isolate myself from friends and even family. It was easier to not show up, to just stay busy myself to the point of exhaustion. Instead of me living life, for the last several months I was pretty much letting life live me.
This path of withdrawal made me pretty miserable and led to a type of breaking point, or maybe better a decision point, though really a series of decisions. The result of which being the determination to no longer be a passive passenger on the ship that I had resigned to, and to take action to better direct my life. Part of that meant finishing some projects, getting some irons out of the fire. Tanae and I did a huge push to mostly finish the remodeling project, which coincided with the week that I directed Scout Mountain Ultras. It was incredibly exhausting, but it needed to come to a conclusion so we pushed so deep to make it happen. With two major projects completed it allowed space for sleep, thought, and dedication to a project that has been a long time in the making. I am not quite ready to let that cat out of the bag, but when I do, in the very near future, I expect it to have a very positive impact on the outdoor communities I am part of, and even more of one in my life.
To many, this post may come across as random ramblings, but to me it signals the first step of change. I love writing, it has been something that I have not given myself the time to do. Here, by making a commitment to you, I can publicly pressure myself to take the time to write and share about things I find inspiring or important. I am allowing myself the time and space to do just that. So, if you have stuck with me to this point in the post, know that I am going to be writing very soon on my new exciting business, thoughts on Barkley, gear that I have been loving this summer, the joy of reading Star Wars books, and thoughts on Ravens.
Until our paths cross,