Last week, while in Nashville for meetings, I went for a run on one of my old running trails. This one is special. It starts at the soccer fields at the Brentwood YMCA and goes all the way back to Crockett Park.
You see, when I first started running here it was 2005. I was going through one of the most difficult parts of my life and I needed to find a way to rebuild my life and rediscover who I was and who I really needed to be. Little did I know that this same little route would be the place that helped me start that journey.
I ran this route every tuesday and thursday morning for almost two years with the same group of people. At the time, I had only competed in one half marathon and wouldn’t even call myself a runner. But I seemed to really like it and I loved how I felt after a run. My mind was clear. I felt focused. I felt energized and ready to conquer anything that came my way.
It was on this road I took time for me. I took the time to process my life and the direction I wanted to go. It was here where I regained confidence in myself and changed the way I thought about life. It was here where I set goals and met goals. It was here where I learned more about my failures. It was here where I started to redefine me. And yet… I didn’t start out running this route with any of that in mind. I just wanted to run and get healthy.
What I didn’t know about getting healthy was it had less to do with the physical part of my life (although my body changed a lot) but affected the health of my mind and soul more than I could have ever imagined.
It changed me. Forever.
This road was also where I decided to get into swimming which led to triathlon and started the road to Ironman. A journey and accomplishment that took redefining me to a whole other level.
Sometimes we walk into situations thinking one thing and never expect to walk out with a completely different and better outcome than expected. It’s one of those little nuggets in life we get from time to time to inspire us to keep going in the right direction.
When I come back to Nashville and run this route, it’s always filled with great memories. Even the hard stuff I had to work through while running this route ends knowing I’m on the other side of it now.
Have I stopped changing? no. I continue on making small changes here and there. Always looking for places in my life to improve. I still have a long ways to go, a lot of miles to run and will continue to look forward as I go, but I never forget my past and where I’ve come from.