Steep Cliffs Along “Shelf Road” Near Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Exploring the Unknown

Keep Pushing Forward

Sometimes the Best Times in One’s Life are those Tangible Moments Where Conflict Meets Resolve

Just a thought I had today while running 15 Miles. I achieved Personal Records in both my Half Marathon and 5k Run Time. Never give up the good fight!!!!!

3 Miles Accidentally Turned Into 9 Miles

My Track This Morning

Just doing my best to prepare for the Colfax Marathon in 6 Weeks. The Grind is Real but it feels therapeutic and soothing to the soul at the same time. Its as if my emotional well being has been enlightened by the energy created from the physical training. Its like creating the first tracks on an ocean beach at dawn; it just feels right.

Nothing Like a Waterfront Route

13.39 Miles along the Waterton Canyon Trail

There is something special about running through the splendor of nature, hearing the river splash, seeing wildlife frolic, and immersing oneself into that wild aroma of nature that can only be found where the sidewalk ends. The natural world just has a rhythmic power to sooth what afflicts us.

Thank You to my old AmeriCorps*NCCC Alumni Amigo for leading me to this phenomenal trail. The Waterton Canyon Trail raises 688 feet in elevation. It’s an easy trail for biking, running, hiking and horseback riding. From the trail head, the track goes 6.2 Miles to the Strontia Springs Dam. The trail does not end there; if one desires a longer hike, they can hook into the Colorado Trail and walk all the way to Durango on the other side of Colorado.

The Strontia Springs Dam was completed in 1983 and towers two hundred feet high in all its concrete grandeur. The colossal barrier uses water from the South Platte River to form the Strontia Springs Reservoir which diverts water to the Foothills Water Treatment Plant. Along with stunning scenery, there are Big Horn Sheep and deer of plenty which call the area home. Be aware, dogs are not allowed on this trail to protect the Big Horn Sheep.

“To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes Our Biggest Enemy is Ourselves

I did not want to get up this morning at 5 am to train, I wanted to sleep away any free time I had before work. 

I got up anyway

As my 11-mile run commenced, I felt sluggish, my legs were heavy and everything within me felt burdened with negativity. I wanted to stop before the run even began. I am a huge proponent of listening to my body to prevent physical injuries, but this was all about Mental Sabotage which originated within my own subconscious. I am two months out from running my first marathon and I will be honest; I am petrified of failure. It was only back on July 3rd when I started my fitness expedition, and I could hardly walk 20 minutes, let alone run 26.2 Miles. I may be getting rattled by this upcoming quest and my own insecurities are starting to degrade my conviction to succeed. Given my lack of motivation to work out, I had two choices; I could stop running and regret the decision for the rest of the day, or I could endure through the negative mindset and finish the training run so I would be better prepared for the upcoming marathon. 

I kept on Running, one step at a time, onward ever upwards        

Self-Mental Sabotage is real! I have never been afraid of arduous work, and I have the conviction to get things done, but I am petrified of failure, and I think my subconscious would rather not risk a challenge such as running 26.2 Miles because there is a real possibility that the task may not be accomplished. We all have fears that have the capacity to unravel our persona. It may be spiders, it may be the darkness of night, or scary clowns but there is only one way to rout fear and that is to take the good fight to that what vexes thee. Rosa Parks once said, “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”  With that quote in mind, I have decided that Resolute Determination will be the fuel pushing me forward through the rest of my training. The end of doubt will be the net result of this fortitude. 

I just kept thinking, “I will face my marathon Well Trained and will leave nothing on the table”

As I got further into the run, the dark stormy clouds which were holding me back began to scatter and I felt a sense of gratitude for being able to run this day. It’s such a gift to partake in a healthy uplifting endeavor that helps me become a better version of myself. Running is not easy, and I reflected upon the gift of having the ability to pursue a marathon at my age. Sometimes we need to get in touch with the moment were in and just ponder the ample tranquility of that particular space in time. When we can put ourselves into this reflective mindset and filter out the negative burdens of our past and purge the worries of tomorrow, we can find a sense of real peace if only for a brief period of time. At that juncture, I transcended my fear of failure and forgot about training for the marathon and ran for the pure joy of the moment.

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

Mandated Post 11 Run Selfie

Massacred A Rowdy 17 Mile Run in the Chilly Morning Darkness

Do miracles exist, I have always thought so; one just needs to open their eyes to see them. 8 months ago, I would have never thought it possible to take the fateful steps forward to achieve my goal to run a marathon. It was a goal that was just too far beyond my reach. Since July 3rd, I have remained steadfast in working my plan of exercise and healthy eating. It really comes down to making this long-term goal a top priority in my life. The end objective can only be accomplished with a million little victories which proceed it. 

This morning I started my route before dawn in the darkness of Night. There is peace to be found when exercising before the moon vanishes beyond the horizon. Somehow during this frigid jaunt, I ventured to run 17 Miles which is the longest I have ever run. I am excited to achieve this personal record, but the true victory is found in the consistency in work achieved to prepare myself to run this distance. At the end of the day, I would rather be stead-fast in my fitness activities rather than achieve just one single long-term goal. This is my way of saying that in many ways, the mission has become a lifestyle. Of course, the goal of running a marathon is still a priority objective but it’s been encapsulated by a faith that my newfound healthful existence will be an inherent part of who I am moving forward.

In honor of Seventeen Miles Run, here are a Few Facts About that Zany Number 17

  • A Haiku is a Poem which first line has five syllables, the second line has seven, and the last line has five syllables. The total amount of syllables in a Haiku is Seventeen
  • Malala Yousafzai was just 17 Years of Age when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her effort in advocating for the rights of young women and children to have access to education
  • Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States
  • It takes 17 Muscles to make a Smile
  • A Heptadecagon has 17 Sides
  • Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen wears the number 17 (Enough Said)

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” ― Octavia Butler

Running the Banks of the Colorado Via Austin

Over the last few months, I have found myself running in the cold Seattle mist, but recently found myself working in Austin, Texas. It’s a much different place then the Pacific Northwest but both are phenomenal cities. There are many differences between these two locations, but I have fallen for both, each for their own distinct characteristics.

Today I ran 15 Miles around Lady Bird Lake along the Colorado River within the magnificent cityscape of Austin. This loop path is like Fine Dinning for Runners; it is tasty, smooth and presents itself in a classy upscale manner. The loop is ten miles, but my marathon schedule required five more miles, so I complied accordingly. The lake itself is a dammed portion of the Colorado River. The trail traverses a safe, well-marked route up and back along both sides of the waterway. For those of us who hate running the same portion of the trail twice, this 10 Mile jaunt is a splendid ticket to traverse!!  I started off before dawn and it was a magnificent site to watch the sun rise along the historic Colorado River.

I only started my fitness journey back in July 2021, but I can say that this route really took my breath away (in a good way). I think for me, it’s the excitement of trying to find that perfect path to run, that makes the experience even more extraordinary. At the end of the day running is more about that positive mindset but I won’t deny, a visually stunning route only enhances the experience.

There is a ton of ugliness happening in the world today which can decay our healthy mindset. My suggestion is to stay the course and endeavor to achieve whatever goal you are working towards. If the current events of the day and or your internal struggles are dragging you down, reach out for help; people love and care for you. Don’t attempt to fight those battles alone. One last thought, I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is to serve others in need. Volunteering has been an important aspect of my life since Volunteering for two years in AmeriCorps*NCCC after college. During this time, I found true value in serving others for smiles. There is true power found in a Smile gained through heart felt service and its worth is limitless beyond measure. For all my friends out there, I got your back!!!

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”  ― Jana Stanfield

Reflections During an Early Morning Run

13.33 Miles Run this early morning upon the frozen snow filled ground. It was a chilly route, filled with icy thoughts. Normally I am filled with positive exuberance on my long run days but today each stride was burdened with a dusting of sorrow brought on by the events transpiring in Ukraine. War is nasty business and the reality of the madness happening in that far off land brings forth sadness, concern, and memories of moments of yesterday that I have not remembered in many years.

As I pondered the events transpiring in Ukraine, I kept reflecting upon the Poem, “Lancer” by Alfred Edward Housman. My heart goes out to all those soldiers and civilians who have been placed in harm’s way. My thoughts and prayers are with thee.

Here is the poem I referred to above. FYI, a Lancer is a soldier of a cavalry regiment armed with lances.


I ‘listed at home for a lancer,

Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

I ‘listed at home for a lancer

To ride on a horse to my grave.

And over the seas we were bidden

A country to take and to keep;

And far with the brave I have ridden,

And now with the brave I shall sleep.

For round me the men will be lying

That learned me the way to behave,

And showed me my business of dying:

Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

They ask, and there is not an answer;

Says I, I will ‘list for a lancer,

Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

And I with the brave shall be sleeping

At ease on my mattress of loam,

When back from their taking and keeping

The squadron is riding at home.

The wind with the plumes will be playing,

The girls will stand watching them wave,

And eyeing my comrades and saying

Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

They ask, and there is not an answer;

Says you, I will ‘list for a lancer,

Oh who would not sleep with the brave?

15 Miles Slaughtered in the Sloppy Wet Mud of Colorado- A Reflection on Missed Expectations

Last week I got up at 4am for my morning run and quickly checked my work email and saw an emergency that needed to be addressed and decided to jump into the problem, letting my planned morning run lapse into failure. I work out at 4am to prevent work and life conflicts but on this day, my well-intentioned plans were sunk. One missing run day was not the end of the world, but this missed training opportunity caused my good health mindset to splinter and crack. For the remainder of the day, I was genuinely upset for not making my marathon training the priority given it was 4am prior to normal business hours. At 630pm that evening, the workday ended, and I could have run but the negativity created throughout the day by missing my morning run just avalanched into another wrong decision to not make up the workout. Just a prime example of one unwise decision creating a new world dynamic that transcends into a new bad choice pathway. The next morning, I choose work over my run yet again, but this decision was much easier to make. Later that day I reflected upon missing two early morning runs and the ramifications of making such changes in my marathon training schedule. With one wrong decision, I was letting myself diverge from the quest of 26.2 miles and let my own mind subvert the fortitude that stands alone against the slothfulness that resides within me. At the end of the day, I am my own biggest enemy. The marathon will care little for my work schedule and lack of motivation, if I am not prepared it will suck my will to endure until ultimate failure prevails. How can I expect to finish 26.2 miles if I can’t even consistently stick to my training schedule? I was on the verge of letting one bad decision affect my good health and needed to rectify this mindset before it manifested into a negative trend. That night I ran but it was more than a workout, it was a line in the sand against a negative mindset.

With all this said, one must also not be too hard on oneself; life happens and none of us are perfect. Something I could have done better with through this process is to remember to give myself Grace over guilt. We are going to fail, we are going to fall short of our expectations, we are going to become disappointed in ourselves. Guilt only leads to self-hate and more bad choices. Grace leads to healing, to self-love and positive decisions. Without Grace, we can’t grow and can’t become better versions of ourselves. I could have done better in this space and it’s something for me to ponder for the inevitable next disappointment. 

Another lesson learned for me was about keeping the end game always in site and not let adversity sabotage what I have worked so hard to achieve. It’s unrealistic to expect that I will be able to stick with my training schedule 100 percent of the time. Workouts will be missed, and adversity will occur. The trick is not let these disruptions transcend into a self-defeating mindset. Your best defense against this is to always give yourself grace over guilt.

“Life makes fools of all of us sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you’ll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, it’s our own expectations that crush us.”
― Paul Murray, Skippy Dies