The State of the Nathan Address: A Lack of Running and Loving

This is Boulder. It is where I work for three more weeks. Then I will be unemployed. Hit me up if you are anyone else wants a slightly above-average writer with a big heart.

This is Boulder. It is where I work for three more weeks. Then I will be unemployed. Hit me up if you or anyone else you know wants a slightly above-average writer with a big heart.

Editor’s top note: If you do not what is going on with the current influx of refugee children entering the good ol’ U.S. of A., you need to. This is a serious issue and will only keep getting worse if nothing is done. Here is a good article explaining it (please, please, please read and educate yourself on the issue): Go here! On to regularly scheduled programming.

Hello. Once again it has been over a half a year. And honestly, there hasn’t been a ton of depth to share. There are two reasons for this post. The first is because of a conversation I had a few weekends ago. I was in Jefferson City, Mo. celebrating a good friend’s wedding. Sunday morning I had a conversation with a mother of someone I grew up geographically close to and went to high school with. Her daughter is a Facebook friend of mine. We really haven’t talked since high school but she was forwarding my posts to her mother. Her mom thanked me at a brunch the morning after the wedding. No “where have you been?” or “I miss your posts.” Just a thank you.

The second reason is the state of my life. Let me tell you, I have slipped in virtually every aspect of my life the past half year or so. The roles I have messed up in no order (to my knowledge) are: employee, friend, Christ follower, son, brother, significant other, roommate, renter, athlete, blogger and probably others. All of this came together last night and led to a big low. And so before I continue, this is a fair warning, I am getting ready to go into a pity-fest. If you want, skip to the end. I definitely would.

Two years of trying to live a life as an AmeriCorps volunteer and have fun in a ski town has left me fatigued and broke. I now commute by bike 40 miles round trip everyday because I cannot afford gas or a closer place to live (Front Rangers, hit me up for a hike, bike or java!). I also cannot run so it is serving as my cross training. Financially speaking, I have made some horrible decisions.

OK. Gross. I cannot go on. Long story, short, I am in a weird place. With no one to blame but myself. But things have changed. First, apologies! I will not name names but those who have been wronged will know.

I am sorry for not responding to emails. Or phone calls. I have wronged people by not showing up or being responsive. I have squelched other’s love. I have refused to allow others to love me. I have stopped communicating. I have created strife instead of simply listening and being there for others. I have stopped taking care of myself spiritually and it has bled into other aspects of my life. And so it goes.

This is not a “everyone feel sorry for Nathan” piece or a “God is good and awesome piece.” Because, well, I don’t really know who God is right now. I haven’t spent enough time with God. But that is changing now. And hopefully it will bleed love into lives around me. It will.

If you are still with me and have gotten through the (slightly pathetic) monologue, here is the take away. I have grasped onto a lot out of fear. I have not reached out to others because of fear I have already hurt them and they don’t want to connect anymore. And last night as I was trying desperately to reconnect with the Universe, I realized fear and grasping onto seemingly safe and familiar things in our lives leads to selfishness, oppression, dysfunction and a shallow, meaningless life. Maybe others already know this. I just learned it. Now it is time to do something about it.

Editor’s bottom note: Life is gorgeous and things are really great. Everything will work out. and like a close friend told me last night, I have much to be grateful for. I just need to look outside myself and into those blessings. They are everywhere. Relationships, forests, cities, apple orchards, mountains, deserts, everywhere. I hope you take time to find yours today. I will for sure. I need to more.

The Redemption Run

This is my Facebook profile picture. I was probably smiling during my Redemption Run. In this photo, I am literally in the middle of a half marathon. Less than a mile later I had to pull over into the bushes to relieve some digestive issues. FAIL.

This is my Facebook profile picture. I was probably smiling during my Redemption Run. In this photo, I am literally in the middle of a half marathon. Less than a mile later I had to pull over into the bushes to relieve some digestive issues. FAIL.

A week ago I wrote about a cataclysmic run and promised the next running related post would be about a lovely run. Here it is. The thing is, there is so much to learn from a failed attempt. Life is full of failures. The run in the storm a little over a week ago was a failure in every way. What is the best way to shake a failure? Swing again.

Last Saturday, I swung again. When a couple of friends hopped in my car with me and left Steamboat last Saturday morning, it was cloudy. And foggy. And it looked like a storm was rolling in. Again. Determined for redemption, I asked them to go with me, drop me off and drive my car back to Steamboat.

We ended up about 21 miles outside of Steamboat and the clouds cleared. The next two hours was a blur of rivers, mountains, cows, farms, cyclists, birds, sunshine and quick miles. Despite a serious workout the day before, the miles flew. The heart methodically pumped like a piston. The lungs inflated and deflated like clockwork. And the legs powered up and over hills effortlessly. And the thought of the previous failed run on the very same road exaggerated the peace.

Bob Goff and I agree on a lot. We haven’t actually talked yet, and he doesn’t know it, but we think the same way. One thing we agree on is our God probably leads us into failure. And as Bob would say, it is better than OK. To fail, that is. Why? Because we get another opportunity. And another. And another. And we learn through failures.

“God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so that we can swing for the fences again.” – Bob Goff

The reason why Redemption Runs feel so good is because I remember how bad a failed run felt. When we pick ourselves up and swing for the fences again and actually connect, it is one of the best feelings in the world.

Failure. Take some time to think about the word. And when you have experienced it in your life. And know it is more than OK. It is beautiful. It is growth. It is learning. It is God’s Love.

What are some recent failures you have had? Have you gone on your Redemption Run yet? Will you swing for the fences again? I used to think failing was important, now I know failing is important but the Redemption Run is even more so. 

*Editor’s note: If you dig the Bob Goff quote and the vibe of this post, I HIGHLY recommend checking out his book, Love Does. Fair warning: It will change your life. Seriously. It will make you want to quit the job you have had for 15 years. It will make you want to write letters to friends and loved ones. It will make you seek a different, intentional life. It will mess you up in all the best ways. It will make you want to do stuff.