We all have times in our lives when we hit a wall, or perhaps come to a crossroad, and aren’t quite sure what to do. Whether our struggles come from personal or career derived stress, or our current stress in
dealing with the fears of Covid-19, it is easy to get lost in all the emotions. The easy path is often sought by many, me included, so that we can just “move on”. The question I pose to you is this; “What would happen if we simply challenged ourselves to take a step back and make the decision to work on the foundation of our souls, providing us mental strength and perspective?”
As I sit here writing this blog, I am nearing my 53rd birthday. I have been in corporate America for 30 years in an industry that has had many ups and downs. From start-ups to public companies (where I reside now) I cannot even count the number of emails, meetings and business trips I have taken to further various causes. Additionally, my wife and I have raised 3 wonderful young men who will leave a positive impact on this earth. It has taken a lot of faith and grit to get to this point in my life. Even with
my accomplishments there was a major flaw in my approach. I never really made time to replenish my foundation, it was always for others.
In 2015, as I rapidly approached mental burnout, I knew I had to do something to change that. I knew I had to find an outlet that let me fix what was breaking inside of me. Enter OCR, or obstacle course racing, as an opportunity for me to grow. If you are not familiar with OCRs, you will likely understand what Mud runs are. A bunch of lunatics running around in the mountains, woods and mud doing insane obstacles and torturing their bodies. When I decided to do my first race, I was nervous and overwhelmed by all the folks who were laughing, crying, high fiving and hanging out together. What I quickly learned is that this community, made up of every walk of life, checked their titles at the registration tables and became one in the starting corrals. The power of being able to be yourself, and be accepted, without a worry about judgement instantly got me hooked on the sport. Additionally, what I have surmised is that most of us are in search of something, something to rebuild or complete who we are striving to be.
The OCR community has accepted me, as it does everyone, with all my flaws and imperfections and has given me the opportunity to find what I need to be a better person for myself, and in turn others. If sharing successes and failures, intimately, with total strangers and close friends doesn’t energize your soul, I’m not sure what will. There is nothing more powerful, mentally, than crying with someone who feels they let themselves down, had a major accomplishment in a race or simply crossed that finish line. So, I have found a channel that lets me reconnect with my soul, which has generated a ton of mental strength that now fuels most of the decisions and opportunities I face in life. There is literally no mountain I cannot move for you or myself! OCRs (mud runs) will forever be a part of my life. OCR is
definitely not the only channel that will provide this environment, but one that resonates with me. Mud by definition is “a soft, sticky matter resulted from the mixing of …”, which sounds like the makeup of most of our daily lives anymore. I encourage you to look inside yourself often, and if you see something that needs repair, do yourself a favor and seek that opportunity. If you want to try a race just look me up and we will make sure you get that opportunity.
I made the choice to step back and rebuild my foundation and that has helped me tremendously, the ball is in your court now!