New Beginning

My name is Joey. And I’m a runner.

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(That’s me. Warming up just before a race.)

Well maybe I should rephrase that… I’m an ultra runner. That means I do distances longer than a marathon. But really I hate to say that I’m an ultra runner since I am pretty new to the sport. I’ve only done two 50 kilometer races and just recently a 50 miler.

But I haven’t always been a runner. I did participate in cross country in high school. I say participate because for the people that know me, knew I didn’t really take it seriously and I was consistently one of the worst on the team year after year. I only received a letter my senior year because of the amount of years I took part, not because I was any good. Haha! But right after my senior season ended, I didn’t run again until years later.

I was a year out of college. I thought when I graduated with a degree, opportunities would just be thrown my way left and right. But since the economy was in the dumps, I struggled for a while to find a job. It was disheartening not to find myself wanted after having just graduated.

So after a year of basically doing nothing, I had to create my own opportunities instead of waiting on call backs. For some reason I had this intense urge to pack up all my stuff and just drive across the country and hopefully find something. Having just read the Alchemist, I thought my destiny would be revealed in front of me like an unfolded road map if I drove across the country. I was feeling extremely lost. I had no passion at all in life and I felt like I would discover my life’s purpose if I took off. I really thought I would be driving along and then all of the sudden I would know what I was gonna do for the rest of my life.

So I took the trip. Packed up all my clothes in my trunk and just went. I spent a good amount of time in Colorado staying with a friend. Eventually went out to Washington to stay with a few friends. Made my way to Vancouver for a short time and circled my way back. During all that, I was looking for my sign. But it just never came. After a month of being gone, I was just exhausted and made my way back home.

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(Hiking Eldorado Springs, CO)

When I got home, part of me felt like the trip was a waste. I felt even more lost. I went elsewhere to “find myself”, my passion, my purpose or whatever you want to call it. Little did I know I was just about to discover myself right where the trip began.

One day I just decided I wanted to get back into shape. That decision to take my first step was the beginning of an incredible journey, and it has only begun.

That was three years ago. It has been a month since I ran the 50 mile race. What’s crazy is that during the race I was telling myself and a guy I was running with “I don’t want to do this shit again!” Hours later, I was already thinking about doing another. Haha!

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(At the finish line of the 50 mile race. I’m on the right.)

I have taken the last month off to rest my body and mind. I am starting back with a fresh start. Like a new beginning. So for the next year and a half I have my races picked out with a 100 mile ultramarathon being my ultimate goal. It’s gonna be a wild ride, but I’m so ready for it!

This is my story and my journey to my first 100 mile ultramarathon…

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22 thoughts on “New Beginning

  1. ruaca

    That is so friggin’ awesome! Sorry that is exactly what came to me. Wow! I can’t wait. Thanks for sharing your journey…. I will follow it.

    Reply
  2. tanyab

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts so honestly. As someone who also hasn’t been out of college very long, I can completely understand the feeling of dread that comes with knowing how few good work opportunities are floating around, as well as the subsequent questions of what our purpose is. I ran my first marathon during my first year after college – most of my friends had gone to grad school and I needed something to feel accomplished about. Running is a great metaphor for life – it’s not always easy to get up and get moving but you get out of it what you put into it. I hope you enjoy Colorado (I’m a CO native!) and I wish you the best of luck with your 100 miler. That’s pretty amazing! I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures.

    Reply
    1. Joey Post author

      Thanks for reading! My stint in Colorado didnt last very long, as the story is about to reveal. But yeah, the beauty of running is that feeling of accomplishment every day. Having something to do each morning and something worth getting up to do. And I’m looking forward to reading about your runs across the big pond

      Reply
  3. Jeremy

    Completely enjoyed the read!

    I am currently training for my 3rd marathon with the goal of getting under 4 hours, and I have thought long and hard about making an ultra marathon part of my to-do list over the next couple of years. I know just how hard it is to complete a 26.2 mile run, so the fact that you ran 50 miles and that you are pushing for 100 is very admirable and inspiring! The time commitment and dedication that goes in to preparing for a distance race is serious business, and I am sure that the investment in your training for 100 is intense.

    I am looking forward to reading about your press forward to 100, and I will be a frequent visitor to your site to see how things are going. I am also looking forward to reading about all of the things that you learn along the way.

    If you want to read about pursuit of a sub-4 hour marathon, please stop by my site and check out this article: http://www.createyourleadership.com/11/post/2013/08/press-on-persistence-destroys-the-demons.html. I am documenting my progress along the way and would love for you to check it out.

    I have a 20 miler scheduled for this weekend, and when I get tired, I’m just going to think about the training that you are doing!

    Thanks again for your words and your work and good luck!

    Jeremy

    Reply
    1. Joey Post author

      Thanks Jeremy! I appreciate the kind words. I have an 18 mile run this weekend, so when I get tired I’ll have to remember you and many others will be going longer than me. Good luck with your run and with the sub 4 hour pursuit.

      Reply
  4. Dan

    The sentiment is familiar. After a series of unsuccessful attempts at prestigious jobs that I thought would line up with my abilities, I also felt a little unbalanced in the real world. Very similar to you, I decided one summer that I wasn’t getting any younger and that I might as well get in shape.

    Almost six thousand miles later, it’s an inalienable part of who I am. And the best part is, the journey continues. I look forward to reading your stories as you ramp up to the Keys.

    Reply
    1. Joey Post author

      Yeah I think a ton of people are sitting at a job right now wishing they were doing something else. They just are too scared to do anything about it. That and/or want to get in shape but for some reason can’t take the first step. What you’re doing is awesome and I can’t wait to read all the race recaps. I imagine your wallet takes a heavy hit with all of the traveling.

      Reply
    1. Joey Post author

      You too man! A co-worker ran Vermont as her first and only 100. She said she walked all the downhills and was able to finish strong. I think she did it around 20 hours.

      Reply
  5. fullmoonrunner

    This is awesome! I love how passionate you are about running and how much it’s brought to your life. It’s funny, isn’t it, how your story does actually mirror that of Santiago in the Alchemist. I look forward to following you on your journey to your first 100miler – all the best with that!

    Reply
    1. Joey Post author

      Yeah, it’s such an inspiring book. I read it at a perfect time in my life and it has made for a wonderful ride. Thanks for reading and can’t to read all about your running as well!

      Reply
  6. Leslie Schipper

    Yo go Joey! I love the book The Alchemist. It’s one of the few I can’t part with. Isn’t it amazing how one choice can change your entire path? Incredible we get the opportunity every day we wake up. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Joey Post author

      I always reflect on the choices I’ve made and think about the wild ride my path has been. A great movie on this idea is Mr. Nobody. I highly recommend it! It’s on Netflix.

      Reply

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