Crossing the finish line (49 secss)
Today is the one-year anniversary of the 5 KM walk that I did to raise $30,000 for the Terry Fox foundation. This was nearly a year and a half of preparation physically and mentally to accomplish this. A year ago at this moment Alex was stretching me as I was hearing people starting to gather outside. Ed Prichard was trying to keep me relaxed by being his usual humorous self. My wife was right there with ready to support me every step as she has the last 14 years. Alex and I spent two years training. Our first goal was to shed 60 pounds. Our second goal was to prepare for this event. You build a close bond was somebody that you spend three nights a week training for over twenty-four months.
My adrenaline was flowing strong. This challenge was not going to beat me. This challenge was going to be a stepping stone for the next.
What made the walk so special was that I was able to reconnect with a lot of people that I have not had the chance to spend much time with for a while. Individual lives take us in different directions and priorities. This day allowed us to align our directions and priorities if only for a few hours. The laughter and conversation help me forget the pain that I was going through each step of the way.
Completing the walk showed me and others that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. Looking back it also taught me the importance of having a fantastic support system of my wife, friends, and family. It is a moment I will always cherish. Not only the training. Not only the walk. Not only crossing the finish line. Not only experiencing this with friends and family. Not only doing this step by step with my wife. It's all of the above!
Since the event the journey has continued. This last year the journey has brought me and my wife to a new city, new jobs, new opportunities, and new lives. This has been an incredible struggle that exceeded the walk as it is pushed me personally and emotionally. I felt incredibly vulnerable at times. I second guessed my choice at times. However, it's opened a world of new freedoms. For the first time in my life I'm able to independently get around because of public transportation. I'm able to go to and from work completely on my own. I'm able to go meet clients without having to organize helpers to bring me. I'm able to go meet friends for a drink or for dinner. I'm able to run errands to help my wife. This summer has made this huge city smaller. (However, with the winter approaching it would dramatically impact my quality of life as I do not do well in harsh weather. Having this new freedom makes me appreciate summer more… And despise winter more.)
This year has also allowed me to walk barefoot in the sand for the first time. To snorkel for the first time. To enjoy places around the world with my wife.
This year has seen Alex move to a new city as well. His family added a new baby. Alex has changed careers. His journey still continues. Although we are apart...our bond is forever.
This year I had to say goodbye to special people. This year I got to reconnect with old friends. This year I got to build closer friendships with friends. This year I got to make new friends. This year I've had the opportunity to build closer relationships with family.
The journey has taught me so much more than achieving a goal. It has taught me The timportance of having fantastic people in your life. I have been purposeful in keeping relationships over the last year. I'm purposeful in telling them what they mean to me. After the popularity of this walk I have realized the influence I have on others. Be the person you want to be...live with mistakes not regret...struggle makes you stronger...
Luckily, Facebook memories and the amazing documentary that Edward Platero put together will always remind me of this special time. I'm looking forward to having another compelling event to bring everyone together. Life is a collection of these events. The journey is not always easy… But it is definitely worth it. What does next year have in store? Stay tuned… Because the journey continues.