Happiness, it does not come in pill form, or served in a cocktail, it is not found in a race, or on a island, it’s not just one big thing, it’s all the little things put together. Happiness starts with you – not with your relationships, not with your job, not with your money, but with you. You must find what makes you happy, and when you have a bad day, find those things that make you happy and incorporate them into your daily life.
I know what you are saying, easy for me to say. But the thing is, it isn’t. I have never taken a single step in anyone else’s shoes, so I don’t know what is easy or hard for anyone else, but I do know that for me it took 10 years of destructive living before I found what works for ME, not anyone else but me. I was not always the man I am today, but my past helped shape me in who I am today, and the man I am today will help shape who I will be tomorrow.
I was raised in a foster care system, where I was told that I was nothing more than 20$ a day to that person, I was for the majority of my teenage years treated as pay cheque, as a job, no compassion, no sympathy was shared on me. Now I did have some amazing influences in my life, a local broadcaster came into my life as a mentor and soon a father, an emergency care worker who I believe is an Angel, she was a part of my journey for a short time, but in that short time she helped shape me in who I am today. Years later thanks to social media we were able to reconnect and I am forever grateful for her and her family for what they did for me. But unfortunately a teenager needs constant care, and part time influences where not enough to keep me focused on what I needed to do. I was easily influenced by the wrong crowd and I made unfortunate life choices that eventually ended me up behind bars. I was homeless at one time, sleeping on friend’s couches and on some nights in bus shelters. My life was so destructive that one night I was sitting on my bed with my head down looking in one hand a bottle of oxy, and in another a bottle of jack. I spent my rent money on these items, I was done with the pain of being alone. Seconds before I was to down the pain numbing bottles, my dog buster walked intot he room and sat in between my legs with his head in my lap, looking up to me, with his puppy like eyes I broke down. I’ve never cried so much in my entire life.
I thought how selfish of me, I am not alone, this animal needs me, he needs me to do the simplest things that bring him so much joy. I mean scratching his belly, feeding him, taking him for walks, tossing a ball, brings him so much joy. Why can’t I find similar joy in very simple things? SO I tossed the bottles, got a gig as a DJ for a new year’s event (that saved my rent) and I decided that I would give up booze as a new year’s resolution and run the 10k race. That night I passed up a few bumps from some “friends” and patron bottle service, as this was my first test. SO I passed my first test and started the year sober, 6 months later I ran my first 10k in sub 42 mins (exceeded my goal) and I haven’t been drunk since. Now I can have a drink here and there and not worry about my past coming back.
If you are looking for a secret remedy or an answer to your problems, I don’t have it, but what I can tell you is that the answer is out there, you just have to find it. I mean it took me 10 years, I didn’t realize that 2 years after that 10k race that I would later work for Spartan Race, I had no clue that 5 years after my first Spartan Race that I would be opening up a 6,000 square foot OCR training facility and I would say you are crazy that 7 years after my suicide attempt that I would be inspiring so many others with my words and actions.
Remember it’s your shoes, your choice and your life to live. Some of us don’t need to hit rock bottom to realize our true potential, but realize that where we are today is a direct correlation on where we have been, and I am firm proponent that to know where we are going is we must first remember where we have been, so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Life is an Obstacle course, and our happiness is the medal. Wear it loud and proud.
Now excuse me while I dance. As my dad always said, every day that we wake up is a good day to dance.
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team