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Just breathe

Sometimes it’s hard to see things in the moment for what they are or what they will be. I can easily get caught up in an internal debate, wondering “Is this a good thing or is this a bad thing?”

Thankfully, the older I get and the further away from the last drink, the less time it takes me to breathe and realize “I don’t have to decide now if this is good or bad …I just have to accept that it is.” Imagine, I once thought not drinking would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me.

Most of the writings I do about recovery are thank you notes to people who helped me at some point along the way…could be a small thing that had a great impact, a kind gesture at just the right moment, or maybe a comment that ultimately inspired an action or maybe an inaction.

We all have times when a person does something and we know immediately that it will have a profound effect on us.

When Michelle and I first got married and welcomed Josie into the world, we were living in a rented apartment on Piedmont Park. Neither of us was making much money at the time and things were tight, sometimes uncomfortably tight. The first day I returned to work after Josie was born, my boss gave me a 50% raise out of the blue. At the time, 50% of not much was not much…but for Michelle and me, it was the difference between buying diapers or formula versus buying diapers and formula. I knew then and I know now, how incredibly kind, generous, and impactful that gesture was. That’s an easy one to recognize—one that gave us some much-needed breathing room and allowed us to worry about one less thing as new parents.

Sometimes a gesture’s magnitude may not be truly realized until much later.

Early in my sobriety, before I met Michelle, I dated a friend for just a brief moment. The relationship lasted much longer in my head than it did in reality, or for her. In the end, it hurt my heart a little bit. But she gave me a wonderful parting gift, the impact of which I wasn’t aware of at the time: she simply wouldn’t kiss me if I had been smoking. And since boys will do almost anything to kiss a pretty girl, I quit and it’s been about 25 years since my last cigarette.

The impact of this gift is more apparent today than ever as I begin to ramp up training for the 30 races in 2024. There’s no way I would be able to attempt this if I had kept smoking. Funny to think that life started preparing me for this goal decades before the idea ever came to me. Never underestimate the impact that people can have in your life…even if they’re only in it for a brief moment.

To Doug – Thank you for the raise and for letting me ride your coattail as long as I did, and for the lunches, the friendship, and all the good times we shared. I Love you.

To my friend – Thank you. I breathe a little easier today because of you… and for that, I love you (but not like that).

The 2024 event list is coming soon.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Stay Tuned…or Don’t

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