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30 for 30

Today marks 29 years sober for me…but also for everyone who has participated in my sobriety over the years. For me…it is definitely an “it takes a village” kind of effort. And I am lucky enough to have a great village. So, I think it is only fair if everyone in the village gets to celebrate our accomplishments together. If you’re reading this, you’re a part of the village. So many people who inspire me in so many different ways…big and small….I wish I could write a thank you post about each one of you.

So, as I cross over the 29th-year mark, and the potential of reaching 30 years sober becomes more of a possibility, I began to think about how I would like to celebrate that moment. I briefly contemplated a 30-day family vacation to celebrate 30 years…I quickly determined that I was not sure my family could tolerate me…or my hilarious sense of dad joke humor for 30 days…

Some of you may remember that nine years ago I took off with my family on a 20-day vacation to celebrate 20 years of sobriety….we called it “The 20 Days of Joel”. In retrospect, I can also see that now seems a little selfish considering all of the people who got me there…..The power of hindsight can sting sometimes…

So, how would I celebrate the last 30 years with all of the people in my village who made it possible?

Hang with me….I’m getting there.

For me, the one constant through the past 30 years has been trying to stay as active as I can…but like any good addict…I’m usually all in….or all out…it has not been a consistent or perfect path by any stretch…and while the transition from all out to back in…gets harder with age…it is the journey I’m on.

In 30 years, running has been one of the most important tools that I have used to clear my mind, ease the anxiety…mostly self-induced…and help manage the ice cream intake.

I can usually mark the years of my sobriety by what races I was participating in…and the people who trained with me, ran with me, or came to the event…it’s rarely the specific race I remember…I couldn’t tell you any of my times… pace…courses…or finishes…but I can tell you all the people that were at each event. I think that’s the thing about life…all that really matters is the people who help you get to the starting line, support you along the way and are there at the finish line…no matter how pretty …or ugly…. the finish is. The people you surround yourself with are so important.

So, here is how I would like (us) to celebrate…In 2024, I am going to try to participate in 30 events …one event for every year sober. More than likely, the events will be ones that I (we) have participated in over the past 30 years….from 5Ks to 10Ks to some triathlons…to some USATF events, and maybe even climbing some mountain peaks. I am telling everyone in the village now…so that I (we) all have time to train...because I would love for any or all of you to participate in one, some, or all of them with me…again.

So lace ‘em up……first race is January 1, 2024….a 5K…pretty easy.

Thanks to you all…..I Love you!

Stay Tuned...or Don't

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