The Catalyst

This is the starting point. Where it all begins. It is the reason for you wanting to make the changes you seek. There is no growth and no light forming at the end of the tunnel until you decide ‘why’.

There was a time when I did not know my purpose. Maybe you feel that way. You aren’t sure why you are here. Hopefully, you certainly do not feel that your life does not matter. Because it does.

There is a reason, there is a purpose and there is a legacy that each of us can leave behind. Because you do not ‘see’ that now, does not mean it does not exist. It must be formed, molded, and cast into the fire for that strength to remind solid throughout time. You will not figure it out without pain.

There will be tough times. There will be barriers set in place, and there will setbacks. The mental resiliency that you develop is what allows you to smash through the barriers and carry forward. Life can be brutal, but it is full of so much fulfillment you do not even realize until you find the catalyst as to why you want to change.

Circa 2005-2007, I suffered. On the outside, it looked good, but we are all fighting a battle on the inside. I was angry for a myriad of reasons; most of which were unfounded and a result of immaturity. My mistakes were self-inflicted, and luckily, I am grateful to have made it out alive.

I sat up on a bench press, at 270 pounds, and I was winded. I was tired, from nothing. I was smoking a pack a day, drinking heavily in the evening, and working two jobs: full-time and part-time. You could get away with that lifestyle in your early 20s, but it caught up to me. I had lost a few friends to drugs and violence, and I had been in a job where I got yelled at on the phones constantly. It was negative, and I felt it.

I didn’t like where I was, and I certainly didn’t want to stay there. I was tired of losing.

I started following a friend to the track to start running. Yeah, running. Something overweight, gym-rats who smoke and drink too much don’t do. It began to fill the void. It gave me this new sense of strength that allowed me to overcome the smoking, it allowed me to not drink as much, and it certainly had me feeling a lot better after beginning to lose weight.

Several months later, I did the single greatest thing I ever. I signed up for my first race, the God’s Country Marathon, and I completed it. The next day I signed up for my next marathon, and the rest is history.

You don’t know what you are made of until you begin to try. You don’t know what you can accomplish until you put that foot up against the starting line. And you certainly won’t understand your worth if you continue to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. I made a lot of mistakes, and still do. It’s called life. You try to make more better decisions, than poor ones. But if you aren’t willing to step up and take the chance, then you can only expect failure.

I find there is one single thing that drives me. To know that one day, my final day will come. When that does, I want to know that I did everything I could to be the best father, best co-worker, and best leader I could in my community. But most importantly, I want to die knowing I gave the world my best shot.

How do you make the change you want to see? It begins with the catalyst. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there and know exactly how you feel.