Shake The Dust

Standard

Mat Kearney released his next album called “Just Kids” this week. The first track is called “Heartbreak Dreamer”. The title of the track caught my attention and I listened to it first. Then found myself listening to it again and again and again. Here’s the track for you if you’d like to check it out:

As I listened to the words it dug up some feelings that I’ve been having right now. At the end you will hear a spoken word given by Anis Mojgani called “Shake the Dust”. I looked up the original on YouTube to find that there is more to the spoken word that what appears in the song.

With the announcement of my move to Texas it has produced a wide variety of emotions and reactions from people around me. I’ve experienced such wonderful positive messages from people and I have experienced the not so great derogatory and doubting comments from others.

As I listened to this song and this spoken word I just thought about the words “Shake The Dust”. Much of my life I’ve been the underdog and have been the one that people would assume would fail. Whenever I’ve made changes in my life I’ve had to own my decisions, hold my head high, shake the dust and press forward. This time is no different – I just have to remember that in life not everyone is going to support you and you just have to Shake The Dust.


 

Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

 

Be More Human

Standard

I saw this commercial over the last couple of weeks and you know what? It makes me miss CrossFit. It was around this time last year that I started an introduction to CrossFit group and then I took up training for a half marathon so I let CrossFit go in favor of being able to dedicate all my free time training for my half.

After I get settled in San Antonio I think I will go back to CrossFit. I think I’ll incorporate it into my cycling, running (and dare I say maybe swimming…). I not only felt stronger but I think it helped support my other outdoor activities. Plus since I know only a couple of people out there I might as well sink my free time into being active (we all know my waist and weight will thank me).


 

Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

It’s The Final Countdown

Standard

Da-Da-Duh-DaDaDa – It’s the final countdown!

Yes folks, this is my final week of work. I can’t believe that after Friday I’ll be done with my job and onto getting ready for my move to Texas. I feel like it was just yesterday that I made the decision and put my notice in and it felt like it would be ages before I’d be leaving my job and heading down there.

Not so much anymore! I was talking with some friends over the weekend and it hit me that this weekend that just passed was the last weekend I would be in Ohio. I have a close group of friends in Michigan that I plan on visiting next week. After that I’ll be back in Columbus for a few days before I pack up and begin the move!

The mix of emotions I’m experiencing are so hard to describe. Everyone keeps asking how I’m doing and I have a hard time responding because on one hand I’m super excited for the next chapter in my life and on the other am sad that this one is coming to a close.

So, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I begin this huge transition in my life!


Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

This One is for You Scott (@ThisDaddys_Blog)

Standard

I wrote this blog post almost a year ago today. A lot of people’s lives changed that day when my friend Scott (@ThisDaddys_Blog) was diagnosed with a brain tumor that we would later find out to be Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme. A year later and Scott’s doing pretty great – still healthy and alive as ever. This post has been sitting in my drafts for almost a year now and I figure today would be an appropriate day to finally publish it.


“Scott was rushed to the ER this afternoon after he was found unconscious in his office.”

I stared at my phone for what felt like an eternity and couldn’t move. This can’t be true is all I kept thinking to myself. I finally came to enough to ask his current condition. She then said, “They’re keeping him sedated. They found a brain tumor. I’m waiting to hear from Tracy after she talks to the doctor.”

This would be the point where I started shaking – got up – excused myself to my room and sat and called our mutual friend, Christopher. I barely remember the conversation. I know I told him what I had known so far and then just kind of hung up.

Thursday after work, I threw some random clothes and shoes into a bag and just got in the car and started driving. This drive felt like an eternity. I was talking on the phone, tweeting/Facebooking via the help of Siri and bluetooth, and praying like mad. The last two hours of the drive I did nothing but rotate from crying to praying (and sometimes both at the same time).

Minus a few stops for gas and food I drove from 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM and arrived at a hotel north of Atlanta where I could nap before I had to be at the hospital for his surgery that was originally scheduled for 7:00 AM.

I got to Kennesaw Hospital around 6:45 AM. I arrived in the ICU waiting room and sat gazing out the window. I was reliving flashbacks of the last time I sat in an ICU waiting room – the day Katy passed away. As I began to quietly lose it – one of Tracy’s family members walked in to greet me and sit with me until I could go back and see Scott and Tracy. I was able to keep it together and it served as a nice distraction.

After some waiting I was able to go back and see Scott and Tracy. The first time I saw Scott he was heavily sedated and had a breathing tube. I couldn’t bring myself to even really talk to him. It killed me to look at him in this state – considering the last time I saw Scott in person he was running around like a kid at Legoland in Atlanta. I prayed with all my heart that he would be ok and I wanted to believe it in my heart – but I’ll tell you that the last time I went through something like this things didn’t turn out so well and it left me doubting a bit.

Time passed and they started surgery. After we found out he was in surgery time began to pass at an alarming slow rate. Minutes felt like hours. I was tweeting updates to keep all of Scott’s twitter followers up to date on his progress and to keep my mind preoccupied.

Only about two or so hours into what was supposed to be a four hour surgery the phone rang. The surgeon wanted to talk to Tracy. So Scott’s parents and Tracy left to go meet with the surgeon. Again – these 20ish minutes they were gone felt like an eternity. We were all concerned – why did the surgery end so quickly? Was Scott ok? Was it worse than they thought?

When they came back and no one was utterly distraught it gave me hope that he was ok. They explained that they were able to remove the mass and that Scott was in recovery. They were going to attempt to remove his breathing tube and he should be back in his ICU room soon.

I can’t remember the last time I was that happy. It was like for the first time in over 24 hours I could take a full breath. My friend was alive and he’s made it through!

The phone rang again and it was the recovery nurse. Tracy talked to her and then started laughing – leaving all of us a bit confused. She hangs up and tell us that Scott sat up in the bed and looked at the nurse and said, “What the f*ck happened to me?” We all laughed so hard – Scott was back with us.

I was left alone in the waiting room while Scott’s parents and Tracy went back to see him. As I sat there I thanked God for hearing and answering my prayer (and the prayers of many others). I was lost in prayer when Scott’s parents came in to get me to take me back to see him.

“He’s in rare form” his mom said to me, “He’s not real happy that you drove down to be here.” I actually smiled because I would expect nothing less from the Scott that I know.

I come around the curtain and I’m greeted with, “What the hell man!”. I smiled and laughed. It was just so comforting to hear his voice. I spent the evening hanging out with Scott, Tracy and Scott’s parents (including going to dinner with his parents – they’re awesome people).

One of the most touching moments was when I saw Tracy help Scott sit up in bed because he was just tired of laying there and he was lightheaded and needed something to rest his head on. Tracy leaned over and Scott rested his head on her shoulder. Watching this beautiful exchange I feel like in that moment I saw what true love is. We make it out to be all these glamorous things but watching Tracy and Scott not only in this moment but throughout this whole process – I saw what true love really is. She never left his side and took such wonderful care of him. They’re so lucky to have each other.

2014-02-23 14.57.27What I witnessed over the next 48 hours was nothing short of amazing. I watched Scott go from laying in a bed post brain surgery to walking unassisted, eating full meals and having his drain tube removed. He was fully functional and was released to go home on Sunday.

My faith was deepened through this experience. God was faithful and Scott recovered through this terrible event and faster than I think anyone saw coming.

So for everyone who prayed for\sent positive thoughts for Scott – I thank you. Here’s a picture of Scott and me on Sunday right before he signed his discharge papers.

So that’s what I was up to last weekend. Just wanted to document it – if anything – to look back on in the years to come.

Later,
JM

The Beginning of Lent

Standard

Now, typically I don’t observe Lent. I grew up with an evangelical background so the churches we attended throughout my life never taught us about Lent or did anything to observe it. I’m sure I learned about it in some class but never really put much thought into it as I grew up.

As I’ve expanded my horizons in my adult years I’ve met several people who share similar religious beliefs as I do but they also observe Lent. Case in point, my friend Christopher uses Lent as a time to daily ask people for if he can pray for them and uses it as a time to center himself.

My prayer life has been a bit rocky these last few weeks because my routine is off (though I know that is no excuse and that prayer shouldn’t be just routine – but hang with me). So, I’d like to take Christopher’s idea and do the same – offer every day to pray for people and/or take prayer requests. I’ll then dedicate time each day to spending it in prayer.

I, however, will not be giving up meat on Friday. 🙂

So, if you have a prayer request – please reach out to me and let me know! I would be honored to pray for you.


Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

 

 

Please Excuse My Absence

Standard

I took the weekend and Monday off from my blogging challenge. To be honest – between trying to see every person I can before I move and the process of preparing to move cross country in one vehicle it has left me pretty worn out by the end of the day. Many days I was finishing my day around midnight to go to bed and get started all again early the next morning.

During my hiatus I did manage to get the 12 Home Depot HDX 20 Gallon tubs packed that I’m taking. Yes folks, I’ve fit my entire life into 12 tubs. One thing I learned from this process is it’s amazing how much junk you can collect. I spent Saturday and Sunday literally going through every item I own and asking myself if I really needed it/wanted it/used it. I managed to eliminate 5 trash bags of clothing and two tubs of stuff to donate/sell. After the initial shock of how daunting this process would be – I began to feel refreshed as I was eliminating useless clutter from my life which felt oddly freeing.

Now all that’s left is to clean up the other random odds and ends I have lying around and get some stuff sold. First time that I’ve ever been prepared this far in advance for a move (I’m typically the guy who is 75% ready weeks ahead and then is freaking out the night before and staying up until 4am trying to finish the other 25% before the movers arrive).

So now that I’m less stressed, I’ll resume my blogging. Until tomorrow!


Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

 

From Ohio to Texas

Standard

Columbus to Texas

So, one of the many things I’ve been working on is my actual physical move from Ohio to Texas. Logistically I will be hauling everything inside my Tahoe and will have the bike rack on the back with my two bicycles. I have two ideas around my trip:

Idea A – The Roadtrip

Since I’m not against some crazy deadline I thought about taking my time to see the sights as I travel from Ohio to Texas. This would afford me stops in several cities along the way. I could plan a slightly longer route but end up seeing some more of the country and getting to visit friends and family along the way (if they’ll have me).

The only concern I have about this idea is the fact that everything I have is in my Tahoe. Now, I have nothing worth breaking a window and stealing (unless you really want my clothes or a couple of picture frames… lol) but would be criminals don’t know that. Also, I have to have a safe place to store the bikes when I’m not in the truck…

Also, it would be during the week and people work… so there’s that too.

Idea B – Get to Texas ASAP

This idea revolves around the idea of getting up super early and hit the road and drive straight from Ohio to Dallas where I’ll be staying with some friends. Stops would include a variety of gas stations and Starbucks along the way.

After a nights sleep I’ll head out and get to San Antonio that same day (It’s only about 4 hours away).

This means I only have to unload the bikes once and the risk of my truck getting broken into is much lower. So I’d see less of the country and people but would be in Texas much faster.

I was hoping that writing it out would help me process it and while it helped some – I still don’t feel any closer to a decision. Would welcome comments or opinions!


 

Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

I’ll be runnin’ till the love runs out

Standard

Oh, we all run for something.
run for God, for fate,
for love, for hate,
for gold, for rust,
for diamonds, for dust.

So, here I am, literally running to the start of my second ever 10k trail race. It’s nothing but ice and I’m doing my best to not fall and bust my face before I even reach the start line. Even though everyone has started they so graciously let me start and I whip out on the trail to get started knocking out the 6 miles I have before me.

Well, much to my dismay, the trail never turned into a trail – it just stayed a rutted icy mess. I kept trying to figure out if it was easier to run or walk on the ice. I was all alone because I was late and my running partner had been injured so it was just me. I didn’t run into any running friends until mile 4 so I had some time to be alone with just me and my thoughts.

Somewhere between me being almost convinced that I was going to die on a downhill and missing my footing and putting my whole shoe into a cold creek crossing I thought about my running journey.

One year ago I was still inside at Planet Fitness running the couch to 5k program and dying the entire time. I would be stressing about Week 5, Day 3 where I would have to run for 20 minutes straight and completely unsure of how I would do that. I would pass people outside running (on dry pavement) and think that they were crazy for running outside in February.

A year later I’m outside, alone, in 40ish degree weather, running on ice and mud – and having the time of my life!

I went from never running a day in my life to running a half marathon by October. I ran almost 20 races last year of varying distances. If you would have asked me a few years ago if I thought I’d be a runner later in life – I would have laughed at you.

Just a nice reminder to never short change yourself – you can always do something you put your mind into and put the time into. I’m living proof of that.

Until tomorrow!

(The title and lyrics at the top are from One Republic – Love Runs Out)


Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

Who You’d Be Today

Standard

Katy and Me

Katy,

Today we would be celebrating your 36th Birthday. I’m sure it would be complete with a dinner or gathering of some sort. We’d be playing games and I’m sure discussing the latest music. We’d be getting you gifts that were unique – just like you were.

I wonder what your life would look like though if you were still here.

What would your wedding have been like? Would you have kids? Where would you be living? Where would you be working? What new adventures would you be embarking on?

Then I think of all the things in my life that might be different…

Would I have ever done Pelotonia? Would I have discovered my love of cycling? Would I be a runner? Would I be leaving for Texas? Would I be the same person I am today?

In your death – you changed my life forever. You inspired me to fight to find a cause for the disease that stole your life. You caused me to discover cycling. You gave me the inspiration and courage to try things that I never thought capable of. You had and still have such an impact on my life. You taught me that life is too short and isn’t promised to any of us. While I’d do almost anything to have you back in our lives – I can’t thank you enough being my friend during the time that you were on this earth and for leaving a lasting impact on my life.

You’d think that after four years it would get easier – and with some things it has. However, there are for sure times where it seems to just get harder. As I’ve traveled the world I always see things that I would want to share with you or bring you back. As I make accomplishments and achievements in life I want to pick up the phone to celebrate with you. When I’ve experienced loss I want to just meet you somewhere and just take a drive – no destination in mind, just drive. Now that I’m facing the biggest change and move of my life – I just want to talk to you about it and get that dose of courage from you where you’d tell me that everything is going to be ok.

Kenny Chesney came out with a song this year call “Who You’d Be Today”. I remember when I first heard it – I got quiet and just found myself lost in the song because it expressed a lot of what I feel about you. I often wonder who you’d be today…

So, Happy Birthday Katy. You’re greatly missed and will never be forgotten.

John


 

Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

The New City

Standard

Ok, so I’m going to admit – I’m a tad behind on my city research for San Antonio. I knew enough about the city that I made the decision to move there but I guess I never realized what else there is to research.

For example – I run and bicycle. I’ve been trying to figure out where the running and cycling stores are (and even further more who sell/service the bikes I own). Also around that I’m trying to find road running groups, road cycling groups, mountain bike trails, trail running groups/trails. These are all things I take for granted today that I will have to find once I move.

Here is another one – I get both of my vehicles serviced at a Goodyear Service Center – apparently they are a tad scarce in San Antonio. So now I want to get my truck fully serviced before I go so I can take advantage of the savings I get with my credit card and coupons.

I’m trying to figure out the Texas out of state vehicle registration process. I’m trying to figure out when I need to get a Texas driver’s license.

I guess since I’ve only ever moved across town I never had to think about all these things and now as I randomly think of them they come up.

So, if you’ve ever moved out of state (or Provinces for my Canadian readers) what are some things that you wished you would have researched prior to your move (or you think would be helpful to lookup/consider before you’re in the middle of your move)?


Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February.