Four days ago I was a very different human than I am today.
I don’t say that lightly.
I feel and see such minute similarities between the man who last Thursday crawled out of bed and packed his bags to get on the plane bound for Phoenix, and the man who stepped back off the plane here in Utah once again this morning.
Four days ago, the man I had become wasn’t smiling when he crawled out of bed. He wasn’t happy. He wasn’t able to see life the way he has pushed himself to almost always view it, which was with sincere hope, and positivity, and excitement, and a truly unconquerable spirit.
To look deep into my eyes just four days ago, one would only have seen fear, and anxiety, and uncertainty, and the inner-workings of a man who had been more or less… conquered. It’s true. And I know it’s true because I could no longer even look deep into my own eyes any longer for fear of how much worse it might get if I took notice of the looming heaviness within. Any time I have looked in the mirror in recent weeks, I have seen only a stranger.
Isn’t she just the biggest bitch sometimes?
Just when you think everything is going right, and smooth, and that things will finally be okay, she flips you onto your ass all over again, laughs in your face, and says, “think again, dude. You have more to learn first.”
I just didn’t expect my teachers to be the very people I was leaving home to lead.
And a leader I was scheduled to be, like it or not, at the 2015 Arizona Tough Mudder.
In the excitement following our first Single Dad Laughing Health Club Tough Mudder (in Utah) last September, we officially organized three more Tough Mudder teams in the SDLHC, which would end up being much larger SDLHC teams than we had the first time around. Teammates would be joining us from all over the United States and Canada. All three of those SDLHC Mudder events were set to take place in 2015.
That was seven months ago.
Yes. Seven months ago I was confident after that Mudder. I was on fire. I was ready to lead anything and anyone, conquer any obstacle, and do whatever it took to help as many people as I possibly could to have the same incredible and life-changing experiences we had that day.
A few weeks later, when the London Tough Mudder tore me apart like a rag doll (I did it with my brother), I returned home to Utah embarrassed. My spirit bruised. And conquered.
After nearly two decades of fighting morbid obesity (at my highest, I tipped the scales at more than 350 lbs)…
And after a decade of trying to take the body that existed after my weight loss, and turn it into something that could at least slightly resemble athleticism…
I had somehow let myself believe I had made it to that place I had worked so long to reach. I let myself think that my hard work and my dedication had finally been enough. And I believed I could somehow keep up with my extremely athletic brother in London. Or at the very least not get my ass kicked.
But I couldn’t keep up with him. And the ghosts of my past crept in all that day. And more life-education was dosed out to me in heavy fashion. And my ass indeed got kicked. And I came home, defeated.