In celebration of running: something that totally changed my life

Today I read a story about someone I once knew who met a tragic fate. It was a piercing experience, as a whirlwind of memories came back to a time in my life when I made some absolutely critical life decisions how I wanted to pursue my precious time on this planet, how I wanted to be as a person, and what I wanted to achieve. Nothing turned my life around in the right direction more positively and more purposefully than running. Everything seemed to change after I picked up this activity that I continue to this day, despite gaggles of injuries over the years (who cares). It is wonderful to look back at critical moments and realize, excellent choice. Well done.

My smart choice was getting my first pair of terrible running shoes and hitting the pavement (I ran on pavement for years) when I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school. All of this led to so many positive things, including being able to run across the Grand Canyon in September 2005 with an old UNC-CH grad school roommate, Jeff. Jeff did a rim-to-rim-to-rim (R2R2R) dash, south to north to south. I met him on the north rim and did an R2R. We lucked out and got a cabin just days before we were scheduled to run. We had perfect weather. Jeff and his family were gracious hosts to me in Flagstaff. And so funny to think, this kind of transformative event, with a phenomenal colleague, was the result of me deciding to do some smart things at the right time. Here’s to wisdom and rewards it may bring. Thank yourself for being smart. You may be smarter than you think.

Camera note: all of these are simple point and shoot photos taken with my consumer grade Canon digital. I punched up the contrast, a look I like. This post is more about the experience and emotions and less about the pixels and striving for art. (Click on each photo to see larger pictures in separate picture pages.)

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