20 Weeks Till the Race – Accountability, Transformation, and Pushing Through Comfort Zones…
20 Weeks Till the Race – Accountability, Transformation, and Pushing Through Comfort Zones…
As I sit here the night before the Hogeye Marathon my mind is on one thing…. running.
My relationship with running is certainly a love/hate relationship. I’ve completed 2 half marathons since 2008, a few 10K’s, and I’ve signed up and not completed probably 3 since then. The reasons vary for signing up and not completing events and those reasons include life circumstances, injuries, and excuses.
I have a history and a passion for pushing my limits of comfort and tend to sway to the extreme side of the pendulum in most every area of my life. That’s why cross country mountain bike riding/racing in the early 2000’s caught my heart, it’s why I’ve gotten in trouble at other points of my life, and likely why I’ve found such success as well at meeting goals. When something is in my focus in front of me, push hard until you drop out has been my MO. The middle ground has barely been on my radar and is something I’m acutely aware of in the pursuit of happiness and reminded daily by a Mayan tattoo on my calf representing the elusive state of balance that I keep working towards on a daily basis.
Why now? Why publicly create a blog category for the process? Accountability, transformation, and pushing through comfort zones that I know always end up making me a better person are the reasons.
If you’ve paid attention to the Solgave story since I left the US in early 2012 for that fateful meeting in London, then you know that boundary pushing and comfort zones being removed were a key part of the personal growth processes during my “Lessons from Abroad” year in Europe. Language, culture, resources that I had grown accustomed to and certainly took for granted were all were removed…. A deep willingness to leave everything behind to find out what lie within the core of my soul was what drove me. Pushed me. Inspired me. A core I had left buried deep within a decade, or more accurately, a lifetime full of “stuff.”
Those lessons and growth were well documented and paramount in the evolution of my spirit. I find myself pondering, or perhaps assessing a plateau of sorts…that space we sometimes reach during monumental changes where you forget to glance around and do a check in on yourself. New country for my wife and stepdaughter. New business we are trying desperately to launch with everything we’ve got. A baby being born late this June. A relocation from Sweden that involved the most intense few weeks of my life to get one horse north of the Arctic circle and another to Stockholm for their safety and well being.
My god…we had only been here 19 days when Sunniva and I took off for New York City to get our dogs safely back to the Midwest from Norway after a surreal journey in so many ways. We sold my wife’s Mikra for the second XXL dog crate as we fought to get the bunnies, dogs, and horses where they should go with animal safety and precautions so deep in our consciousness. Did it cost us a tremendous amount financially, emotionally, and physically? You better believe it, but as Solgave Animal Solutions is wired within the DNA…animals always come first.
90 hours and a big SUV road trip I’ll never forget and we got our dogs to Grove, OK with stops to see the arch in St Louis, NYC skyline, Philadelphia historic steps Rocky ran up, Graceland and more…
We then proceeded to hustle our way into the Grove Humane Society where Sunniva did some great work, and we adopted our first dog in the US, a pit bull named Jedi, that we fell in love with but could not keep after we embarked to Fayetteville to hit the ground running while momentum, passion, and that spark of madness were on our side.
I knew we had 100 days of good work together to establish SAS before Sunniva would be out of the biz mix entirely for 6-8 weeks with the baby but our dream of working together and both being involved in the child rearing/care meant this business was about family, was about love, was about everything that mattered to us.
So the whirlwind continued. We arrived in Fayetteville just 5 weeks ago and have successfully had our first “Community Pack Walk” that we envisioned on a walk with our own dogs over half a year ago in Sweden. We are working with the City of Fayetteville – Animal Services on a training/outreach program and doing our best to innovate/create/and change the way dog walking, pet sitting, and behavior modification is done in this part of the country.
Wow…what a ride.
Just writing this blog helps me appreciate how far we’ve come, and how much I love the passion and dreaming aspect of the union that Is Sunniva and I. We understand the sacrifices year one, we understand the risks, we understand what big dreams mean…if not for the strong and clear vision of the upper rings of the ladder that for us were so clear from the day we formed the Solgave vision over a year ago, I don’t think we’d be able to keep up our madness.
We desire to be the best dog walking, pet sitting, pet consulting, dog behaviorist based business in the US at some point…. BUT, there is a reason we are not Solgave Dog Walking and Pet Sitting. We know we’ll evolve into something more. Our heart is about healing. Our heart is about transformation. Our heart is about overcoming obstacles. We see a dog psychology center, a ranch for at risk youths, we see Solgave Consulting, we see things we won’t put into this blog because most think we’re crazy enough as it is, my point is this…these two dreamers won’t ever be complacent until we get into the healing center aspect of what Solgave is about.
We do take pride in our passion, knowledge, leadership, and experience with both humans and animals and humbly and sometimes desperately keep stepping towards the light that is our dream called Solgave.
Now, what does this have to with running? Everything.
Putting everything else first to get safely here, and able to put SAS on the map exercise has not been on the forefront of my radar yet. I blew a kneecap out on Christmas Eve as the extremist in me was doing great ruck sack training and just a week into an intense, but well planned 8 weeks when I got a surprise by the sheet of ice underneath the wonderland of new snow on Christmas Eve as we hiked down to the harbor by the fjord to take some shots for our new website.
Bad luck? Divine timing? I don’t believe in accidents or see things as setbacks, I have to see them as learning experiences so that recurring injury (kneecap has popped out a few times since a basketball injury in HS) was a chance to force a slow down physically and mentally prepare for the jump from Europe back to the US.
It’s also made me very cautious about training or doing too much the first 3 months of this year. One thing about age is we may heal slower, but we get smarter.
I know my body well enough to know two things right now. I’m in desperate need of a training plan and my knee is ready to begin a formal and dedicated plan of action.
So…to document a guy probably 25 pounds overweight (easily) I will give an honest and authentic glimpse into the soul of a man striving to do what only .1% of the world has done. Complete a marathon. I’m not a gifted runner at all, but I love the discipline about running. I would say that when in shape I have gifts on a bike, but not running. So why run? It only takes a pair of shoes, and the will of a person ready to step out door on many mornings you don’t feel up to it for 20 weeks straight.
I will post one blog a week for 20 weeks to share my thoughts on how my mind, body, and spirit are changing. I’ll be open about frustrations, highs, lows, and everything that comes with committing yourself to something in the public eye.
What I won’t do is not finish barring an injury. For 18 months now I’ve dripped, and bled authentic and honest living and documented most of it. 5 months of my life now does not seem like a long time (20 weeks until race day) and I hope to prove to those of you who struggle getting around that maybe if I can switch the gears again, so can you.
I have a baby being born late June and instead of seeing this as extra time away from the ones that mean so much to me, I see it as an investment in my commitment to my family. When in shape and disciplined with running or biking I know I need less sleep, I know I am more energetic, and I know I crave all the right things in life.
So I think I’ll have 19 more blogs to follow until early September to document weekly changes and there may be weeks I hate that I committed to this, but I know at this point in my life I will…
So this out of shape, 39 year old guy is set to slowly work towards a bucket list item. My first, and likely only, full marathon. In a perfect world, I finish this one event, have a nice mountain bike by then, and am seen enjoying the trails all over this state with a collection of riding friends. Until then, I get back into the mindset and daily discipline of just lacing up and stepping out the door as the plan in front of me says to do….
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”