There are two things that helped me get through life, art and sports. Art gave me a way to express myself and helped me to communicate with the world when I didn’t have the words. When I was a kid we moved around a lot because of my father’s job. By the time, I was thirteen years old we have moved twelve times and I had gone to six different schools between kindergarten and eighth grade. The hardest part about moving around so much was that I was constantly the “new kid” at school and never really found a place where I fit in. Sports gave me a chance to feel like I belonged somewhere. I was never great a star athlete, but I loved being a part of the team and pushing myself physically.
Growing up I played a wide variety of sports. My favorite was soccer, but I haven’t been able to play for years. After years or repetitively spraining both ankles I lived with chronic pain and eventually walked away from sports but still tried to maintain an active lifestyle.
When I first decided to pursue a career as photographer my focus was largely on landscapes. I would grab my camera and then go out to explore various hiking trails. At the time I was living in Colorado so there were plenty to choose from and it gave me a chance to get some really great photos. But in September 2012, I was finally able to get my right ankle fixed and was no longer living with constant pain. The doctor told me there was no chance I’d be able to play soccer, but I could at least start running again.
I attempted my first 5k in August 2013 and even though I wasn’t able to finish it I was hooked. I may not be the fastest person out there and may not be able to run as well as I'd like to, but it doesn't keep from getting out there and doing it. I've learned a lot of great life lessons through running too. Last year I tore one of the menisci in my right knee and then got rear ended a couple months later but I haven't let it stop me even though I had to take a long break to let the various injuries heal.
I know the only chance I ever have of placing my age group is when there is less than three people I love getting out there and competing. It's not about trying to beat the other runners either. It's just about setting a goal for myself, training for it and then crossing the finish line. Started this crazy journey back in 2014 and I've lost count of how many races I've actually done over the last 4 years every time I crossed the finish line it was a victory for me.
Yesterday was first 5k of 2018, and like many other races I’ve completed it wasn’t easy, but I did it I stay focused on my goal, simply crossing the finish line. I had the opportunity to cut out the last loop, like I saw others doing, but I kept going. Unlike most of the races I’ve done in the past I didn’t have the Garmin with me, so I wasn’t able to keep track of the intervals and distance. I didn’t let that stop me from running short intervals and kept my own pace the entire distance. I was dead last and hurting like the dickens by the time I finished, but proud of my accomplishment because I refused to quit. It's going to take some time I'm determined to get back to where I was and continue working toward my ultimate running goal, completing the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World in 2020.