Yet another day in the park with very few other people has given me even more time to think. As I looked back as this summer and tried to come to terms with my time here ending shortly I was struck by just how much I have to be thankful for in these last few months. I have grown a lot, overcome challenges, established new routines to replace old, found a source of drive from within that I wasn’t sure was there before I left, and came to look out over the edge of this cliff that is coming up with excitement rather than fear.
I have grown more than I thought I would in these months. Since leaving Illinois I have had to reestablish myself in a new place, with new people, and find a place among a new set of coworkers. All of this has taken place while still trying to keep up with the changes in personal life that come when you lose almost half your bodyweight. I have found new friends, but also reestablished my individuality in ways that has been both good and bad. I have found myself happy being alone again, not needing others around me for enjoyment and actively seeking out time to spend by myself many times. This has been good, and it has been out of necessity in many ways. Without the comfort I have rediscovered I might have gone crazy out here. My life is quite literally dominated by work, working out, and being in housing. I don’t do much else, and before the opening of Sports Evolution Crossfit I worked out alone. At times this was a lonely existence, but while I did miss people I also learned to be comfortable alone. This is going to make my return all the better because I’m excited to see people who previously I took for granted.
Being here I have also overcome challenges and established myself in a new work environment. Learning the history of not one but two new parks was challenging, learning to do the living history programs and to work with people who I had little in common with was difficult but good for me. Coming away from the experience I can honestly say that I have made new friends, and feel comfortable moving to a new park and going through the process again. It has been a big help professionally and personally and will allow me to overcome many other parts of my professional development as I progress.
Lastly I started a new workout program and have seen huge gains in my life from it. I have had to teach myself new lifts, push myself past my limits when there was no one there to see if I was slacking off, and work day in and day out to get better. This past week has shown the fruit of that hard work, I have had a new personal record everyday of testing this week, many of them by a large amount. Things that I couldn’t even do before I came out here I can no do and do them okay. I look forward to getting back to Illinois and seeing the people who have been a huge part of this journey and showing them just how far I have come. At this point in the journey you have to take pride in all the little victories and to have a week of them has been huge. I’m really excited to see what happens in the next cycle of programming.
Overall I’m blessed, and this week has shown that to me more and more. Sometimes it’s easy to complain but when you look at just how far you’ve come it’s time to be a man and show some thankfulness even for all the hard times.