I believe that your past is a blessing to you.
It may not seem like it all the time. It is, as with most things, a matter of perspective.
20 years ago I was 21 years old. I was fit and fast. I was a Division I athlete with the lions share of my future in front of me.
As a runner it was easy to log 60-70 miles per week and run sub 26:30 for 5 miles. The sky was the limit. I was only going to get faster.
The questions and possibilities in my mind were amazing. How fast would I be? Who would I marry? What would me family be like? Would I be a good dad? What would my career be? What impact would I make?
The whole world was mine for the taking. What great things was I going to do?
My life was in front of me.
Then the years started rolling by.
In the blink of an eye I was 40.
A failed marriage. Foreclosure. Debt. Loss of a business. Injuries. The loss of motivation and drive to compete.
Where has my life gone?
20 years that were supposed to be spend building a dream life turned into.....
In turned into my life and there is nothing that I can do now but look back and learn from my experiences and appreciate the days that God has given me.
I can focus on the negative but I do not.
I look in the mirror at 41 years old and I see a champion. I am 10 lbs heavier with the half the body fat that I had a 21, So what if I can't run a 4:16 mile any more. I can run right around 5 minutes and most people at half my age can't do that.
I'm not going to lie. I look good.
I am a writer, an athlete, a husband, father and musician. I am changing lives. I am building a team of champions. I am an amazing husband to my champion wife. Whether this is appropriate of not I will say it....my wife is ridiculously hot and fit.
I am blessed for what I have and what I do not have doesn't hold me back.
I am going to be completely transparent and vulnerable now....
Sometimes I am a little sad. The last my 20's and 30's are gone. Are there things that are gone forever that I with I had back? Of course. Do I sometimes feel the emotion of "what if" or feel regrets for this or for that?
I am human. I have emotions and feelings. I have regrets and sometimes I take a deep breath and feel the pangs of sadness or what might have been.
Doing life all over again is impossible. Would I take back some of the decisions that I made? I would in a heartbeat. Do I sometimes have to tell myself that there is nothing I can't take back? Sometimes I lie in bed late at night and wish I could have a mulligan. Sometimes I wish I had a time machine.
Today at 41 I stand tall. I walk tall knowing that I have scars. I have dark days in my past and I may even have dark days in my future. My experiences have been a blessing because each one made me who I am.
I will never be 21 again and I will never again be in my 30's. At 41 I am blessed with amazing health and a future that is perfect. I am blessed with the ability to fight through the demons of the past that are always there but I am empowered with the thought that it is my choice to learn from them and not let them bring me down.
What brought on these thoughts on this hot and humid Sunday afternoon in Florida?
Two things and since I am being transparent I will tell you, my loyal reader what they are.
I have a friend of mine on Facebook named Mike Atwood. Mike was a rival runner when I was in high school and college. The first race I ran against him was in September of 1987 and the last was in the spring of 1993 or 94.
Mike posts pictures and memories from my college days all the time.
Today he posted a picture of a track that I have run on several times. The picture shows a track that has seen better days. It is still there but it has lost the glory and the luster of past years.
Kind of like the memories in our heart. You can still run on that track but it just isn't what it used to be.
This, for some reason brought out the emotions that I feel now.
The other is regarding a place that I used to live.
I moved to Conway, New Hampshire in 2000. I moved away in 2005 and I am saddened to say that I have never been back in 9 years. At the end of this week we leave for a vacation to Northern Vermont and I am trying to plan a trip to visit Conway.
I am sentimental and it is hard to be away from a place that I love for so so long.
The future is perfect so the last 9 years I can do nothing about. I will go back to Conway again just because I am nostalgic like that.
The memories that you have created, both good and bad, are true blessings. The good ones you hold close to your heart and you cherish. The bad memories you learn from and you grow from.
We all have a past and it defines the person that we have been. We also all have a future and it defines the person that we will become. They are two different things.
Smile at your memories. Smile at your future. Regret nothing and become more each and every day.
These lessons aren't easy but they are necessary.
Thank you for coming on this emotional journey with me today. I hope that I gave you a little perspective.
I am grateful for all that I have done and all that I am. I am also grateful for YOU. I am grateful because you have read this blog post. It means a lot to me.
Rick Copley, Your Best Fitness Coach
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