Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Migration

December 7, 2012 1 comment

Howdy y’all!

If there is anyone out there still following me, I’m moving to a new blog and have new plans for blogging!

Find me at http://follownopath.com

Hope to see you there!

Mike

Categories: Uncategorized

Watch Out 2012

December 13, 2011 2 comments

Goals for 2012 coming soon. In the mean time . . .

Go get it!

Categories: Uncategorized

30 Years, A Retrospective

September 26, 2011 8 comments

Wow, has it really been two months since I posted last?  That’s unacceptable!  Of course, who knows if anyone still reads this, but we’ll go under the assumption that someone somewhere still does 🙂

While the last couple of months have been pretty eventful (not the least of which includes the last year of school, a new relationship, and the premature end of my 2011 race season), something happened on Saturday that will never happen again in my life: I turned 30.

I am an introspective man in general, but turning 30 has definitely had me thinking a lot about the past 10 years of my life.  It has been a crazy decade on many levels, and I gain a greater understanding of what I’ve gone through and what it means every day.  As an attempt to process that a little more, and share a little more of me with y’all, I am going to post over the next few days the top 30 things I’ve learned and 30 things I’ve done/gone through over the past 10 years (maybe at some point I’ll go a little further back and do this for my life 0-10 and 10-20.  Today, we’ll start with the top 30 things I’ve learned.

(DISCLAIMER: these are what I’ve learned, not what I think you should know/learn – please see no. 1)

(DISCLAIMER 2: If I am ripping these off from other places, it’s not intentional and I apologize. It’s because you/they said it and it stuck with me.  I’d give credit if I remembered where I read it.)

30.  Everyone should live overseas for at least a year.

29.  Scuba diving is one of the most humbling experiences.

28.  Life really does speed up the older you get (seriously, am I really 30 already?!)

27.  Letting yourself get out of shape is a horrible, horrible idea.

26.  Getting back in shape is really tough, but gives you a sense of accomplishment like few other things will.

25.  Don’t go looking for trouble.  Enough of it is going to find you without your help.

24.  A couple drinks can be fun, but don’t use them as a way to ignore what’s going on in your life.

23.  Embrace absurdity and awkwardness.  Everyone is weird.  Denying it is just foolishness.

22.  Raise a dog or two.  Man, there is nothing like a dog smiling at you and wagging her tail to make the worst day better.

21.  You, good music, and a motorcycle can make for some of the greatest mornings.

20.  Find hidden activities and events in every city in which you find yourself.  You really learn the personality of the city through them.

19.  Find something so beautiful you can’t breathe.  Whether it’s a Jordanian sunset, a Texas snow, or someone you love, be amazed and thankful you got to see.

18.  Be loud and passionate sometimes.  It’s fun 🙂

17.  Do a triathlon once.  The distance doesn’t matter.  It will change your life.

16.  The same is true for Crossfit.  It will change your life.

15.  When a family member is ill, move back immediately.  Don’t think twice.  Better to be there and nothing be wrong than to not be there and miss out.

14.  Don’t over plan.  Things have a way of changing in an instant (and some over time that we just don’t see).  Adapt with those changes.

13.  Sometimes people you don’t know and have only interacted with online can be as much of a community for you as those you’ve known your whole life.

12.  Read a book that makes you cry at least once a year.

11.  There are fears and there are FEARS.  From little ones like heights to big ones like rejection, they should be confronted and overcome.  It’s an ongoing process.

10.  Go big.  Even if you don’t hit the mark you can get some great stories.

9.  It’s okay to be weak.  No one is strong all the time, and weakness can be the best opportunity to see grace.

8.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  That fear can throttle your future.

7.  From the worst times of life, something beautiful can be born.  They say some things have to fall apart so better things can fall together, and they are right.

6.  Life can be tough, but it’s relative. Isolation just makes it worse.

5.   Be thankful.  Really.  It’s changes everything.

4.  You won’t be able to accept forgiveness unless you forgive yourself.

3.  The same is true for love.

2.  Family isn’t just blood, and trusting, while not easy, is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life (it is frightening though).

1.  I am mostly full of crap. If you get anything from this, it’s divine providence, not because of me 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized

The Phoenix

July 19, 2011 2 comments

I grew up loving mythology.  My favorite stories were of the Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes.  I loved learning about the belief systems of the ancients of all cultures.  One of the stories that I particularly loved, and still do, was the story of the phoenix.  You are probably familiar with this story if for no other reason than there was a phoenix in one of the Harry Potter movies.  The phoenix was a bird who lived for a certain life cycle (either 500 or 1000 years) and then, at the end of its life, would burst into flames and be reduced to ash before being reborn from the ashes to live a new life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately. Hope for me is that belief that things can be better, that redemption, that resurrection can happen.  Hope is that even when I’m reduced to ashes, something beautiful can be formed from those ashes.

Life is going well for me (with the occasional hiccup – see last week’s Portland race recap) 🙂  In the words of One Republic, “what’s there to complain about?”  One of the quiet realizations that I’ve had over the past 8 months is that I am kind of an optimist.  I wouldn’t have guessed that given the rather fatalistic environment from which I came, but surprisingly enough, I find myself believing the best and hoping for the best.  I was shocked 🙂

I came across a Latin proverb the other day, “dum spiro, spero.” It means “while I breathe, I hope.”  I really connected with that.  It’s that idea that hope is something so integral to me that it’s like breathing.  I don’t stop breathing, even when I have a bad breath.  I don’t stop hoping, even if hope seems lost, even if the world looks like ashes around me.  And hoping isn’t to say that I sit on my hands and hope for something to happen.  Hope is the fuel that makes me bolder.  It’s the engine that drives my dreams and goals.

It’s a hard thing sometimes.  I think it’s a simple thing, but not an easy thing.  Hope by definition can’t see the end.  It’s the belief that what you can’t see isn’t going to defeat you or overwhelm you.  It’s the belief that even from the ashes, something amazing, beautiful, profound, and life changing can arise.  It’s a stubborn thing too.  Hope keeps on even when everything else says to just give up.  It can be a little annoying at times, especially for a pragmatist like me.  My head says to find another course, that the path is blocked, but my heart and my hope won’t let me.  I guess maybe that’s part of why I didn’t quit on my race last weekend.  Maybe there was that fundamental hope and faith that the next mile would be better than the last.  I can look out now from where I am in my life and know that the next chapter can be great.  It will be great.  I know it like I know the sun will rise.  Again, that’s not to say I’m not happy with where I am, but I know that what comes next will be even better.

I can relate to the pain that the phoenix must feel when it’s reduced to ash.  I’ve made no secret of the pain I’ve gone through over the past year or so (and extending beyond that).  That is the past.  The ashes, the pain, the mistakes I’ve made don’t define me.  They aren’t who I am.  The hope is that there is something amazing coming (and in part already here).  From those ashes, anything is possible.

What will come?  I don’t know.  I know it will be beautiful.  I have high hopes 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized

Dear Grandpa

May 3, 2011 2 comments

I visited you today.  It’s been so hard to go see you.  It’s a beautiful day outside.  You’d love it.  It’s a “go to a Rangers game” sort of day.  A day pregnant with potential.  I told Chad that today is one of those days where you feel like anything is possible.  It belies the sadness that I can’t help but feel inside because it was three years ago that you heard me say “I love you” for the last time.  It was three years ago that my life changed because you were no longer in it.

I don’t know how to say everything I want to say to you.  I have been truly grieving your loss for the first time since you’ve been gone.  That was why it took me so long to go to your grave side.  I haven’t been angry and I don’t blame anyone – not you, not God, not even life – I just want so badly for it to be different.

Life has been so different from what I thought it would be since you’ve gone.  I lost my way for a while and have been fighting with everything in me to find my way again.  I have asked myself so many times if you would be proud of me or ashamed.  I know the answer even before the question because I know you loved me unconditionally, but the lurking fear that in failing in my marriage I failed you still comes out from time to time.  I just can’t help but wonder what would be different if you were still around.

You were the most important man in my life.  You never tried to be my father, you just loved me and helped me grow.  I loved sitting and watching baseball, basketball, football, golf, bowling . . . watching anything with you.  I loved going to opening day with you every year and sitting at IHOP and talking.  I still smile when I think of you at every baseball game cheering me on and yelling “one time now!”  I hate that the Rangers finally got their act together after you were gone, but smile when I think of how excited you’d have been.

And I know that’s why you aren’t really gone.  I know that the things you taught me and how you loved me are the reasons why even through the hardest time in my life I am finding more strength than I thought I had.

I want to be a man that would make you proud.

I want to be a man like you were.

I know it’s life and it’s the way it works.  I firmly believe that death isn’t the end.  It’s just not the same without you here.

I miss you so much.

This isn’t enough.  Words are too small to encompass what you mean to me.  But they are what I have.  The good in me is because of you.  The pain of losing you is hard, but the strength you helped develop is why the losses I’ve suffered won’t beat me.

Thank you.

Categories: Uncategorized