The Moment When Everything Changed

In 2005, I went through a divorce. It was heartbreaking… tough… and painful… for both of us. Today, as I look back over the years, knowing that we are on good terms and are very proud of where each other have come through life over the past seven years, I’m realizing I’ve changed a lot.

There was a moment when everything changed.

That moment that allowed me to become the better man I needed to be.

I realize the man that I should have been is now the man that I am.

It all started with a decision. A decision to not be that guy who lives in the past and pain, but a guy who acknowledges the past, works through the pain of loss, learns from it and figures out how to make the present a better story for tomorrow.

There was a moment when I decided to take a baby step that I never knew would actually change my entire outlook on life and cause me to live life in away that held no regrets. Even if I had made a bad decision… I owned that decision as mine and no one else’s.

This small step for me was simple at the time.

  • Find a group to run with.
  • Commit to a schedule.
  • Live everyday… fully alive.

I had no intension of doing any triathlons and would have laughed at you if you had asked me if I would ever attempt one.

But here I sit today. One Ironman, One marathon, Six half marathons and over 20 Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons later… a changed man.

Am I changed because of the races? NO.

I am changed because the process taught me many lessons about my life as it relates to determination and living in the moment of each day so that I can clearly look ahead at tomorrow.

I am changed because the simple act of running… even starting out with a couple of miles at a time, keep me from going into a deep, dark depression.

I am changed because the simple act of running gave me time to think through my life.

I am changed because the simple act of running gave me time to pray and to recognize what was going on around me. That which I had been missing… Life.

I am changed because moments like this come in small packages and snowball into passion, focus and determination to make life count.

These small steps have led me to be a better husband, a better man and a better friend.

So when you see me write about running, cycling and swimming… it’s not just about the fact that I love triathlon. It’s because I know you might be like me. You might need to do something that seems completely impossible to you. You might need to get out of your comfort zone and take a chance. You might need to get off the couch and do something… for you.

Want to be in a healthy place in life? Physically? Spiritually? Mentally?

Get outside. Go for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air. Notice the sounds around you. Think about those things you want to do and start with the first one.

You can’t take care of others or be in a healthy place in life if YOU aren’t healthy. But you can be… I wasn’t… but now I am. Seven years later.

It’s possible.

Want to know why?

Because if I can do it… You can do it.

One step at a time, One mile at a time.

Is there a moment in your life where it all changed or do you need to set that moment in motion? Talk to me.

Disclaimer

The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • http://www.smartgirl.de/schuhe Schuhe

    Thanks for the wonderful tips. Definitely useful for me.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Thanks for the Comment and I’m glad you find it useful:)

  • Chandlert08

    Spence, I am so glad I discovered your posts. Your words are very inspiring to me when I get into a stagnant rut.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Thanks. I really appreciate to saying that. Have a great day:)

  • http://twitter.com/SharleneSones Sharlene Sones

    LOVE it.  And many thanks for sharing what’s in your heart. Gotta go run now.. :)

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Thanks Sharlene. That means a lot means a lot coming from you. Just finished a meeting with Greg Ham and thought of you:)

  • Amy

    I started running right after my fiancée at the time called off our wedding. The Lord and I spent many precious moments together in nature– I chose trail running (instead of a treadmill), and God consistently gave me what I call “love notes” in the form of nature’s beauty and miracles.

    My theory was that the pain of a broken relationship was going to come out as tears or sweat…both still happened, and both were healing, but sweating rejuvenated my soul.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      It’s a painful process to go through but when you look back on it, doesn’t it feel good to have gone through it and know what it’s like to your soul rejuvenated by sweat? I’m sorry for the loss of relationship you had to go through, but God always shows up at the right time in the most unexpected places:)

      thanks for the comment.

  • Gina

    Thanks for the openness.  It has really given me something to think about.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Thanks for the comment Gina…

  • http://www.getnatured.com/ Allison B.

    I so agree with you. I left my corporate job in 2009 to be home with my kids. This was a HUGE adjustment for me and, in my frantic quest to find my “new normal”, I started running longer distances and doing triathlons. I love to run but not for running’s sake. I feel like I’ve finally cracked the code on what keeps me buoyant and a few miles on in my sneakers or on my bike- somewhere outside, keeps me at my sea level. Nothing makes me feel more unstoppable than doing things that I thought were impossible.  

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Ahhh… and it’s that unstoppable feeling i love at the end of a long work out or a great race. sometimes the new normal has discipline and good routine written all over it in a good swim, bike and run.

      thanks for the comment:)

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Great stuff, Spence. I decided this year will be about doing things that scare me and push me to be a better person; at home and in my business. You’re a great example.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Thanks Justin… I hope it’s a great adventure for you.

      • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

        I know it will be. Hope we can meet one day soon.

        • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

          Where do you live?

          • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

            Woodland Park, just down the street from Jon Dale.

            • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

              sweet! that’s easy! i’ll email about getting together for coffee.

  • Stephlchurch

    Beautifully told, Spence. Kudos to you for your transparency.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Thank Steph!

  • Chandi

    Love this post and so relate to it.  We had a miscarriage and child number 3,4, and 5 within 5 years and then moved states.  Running was the only quiet time and quality prayer time I had.  It changed me and gave me more than I ever expected.  I watched how becoming an Ironman changed my husband in similar ways.  I may never be an Ironman but I am a triathlete now too.  
    God bless you!!!

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      A miscarriage has to be one of the hardest things i could imagine and woman to have to go through. Those are some huge life changes. I’m amazed at how something like running can help people think cearly and give them the time they need to process life. 

      You say you “may” never be an ironman… that only means one thing. You are bound to try it at least once:) talk to you soon!

  • http://www.kimberliezakariantherapy.com/ Kimberlie Zakarian

    Thank you for the article. I went through a bad divorce and have had much loss this year. I have been dealing with depression and thinking I need to start running all week…praying to God to show me what is next. Kimberlie

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      Kimberlie… i’m so sorry for your loss. If i could encourage you to go even just one mile to start, it would be worth it. I think that’s what is next:) go for it!

  • Tim_Suttle

    It’s great to hear about your journey and eavesdrop from afar. I’m inspired by what you are doing & say my “amen” to the benefit of keeping schedule – mine is 5-7 miles a day, 5-7 times a week. Discipline in the physical seems to leak over to the spirit, yes?

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      thanks Tim… it’s great keeping up with you online as well. I love your huffington posts articles too. It’s crazy where life has taken us since our days touring together!

  • DerekDRobertson

    Great post spence. I need to get off my couch and take a baby step. Pray I do.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      You can do it Derek!

  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    Spence…this post embodies why I got into running last year. While I don’t share the same history, I do share the same motivation…to not be “that guy”, but to be someone who is striving to be “the man.” 

    Thanks for the vulnerability. 

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