Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blast from the past

I had just finished running close to 15 miles yesterday...when I spotted my ex. Sweaty, sunburned, and smelling like chlorine still (I can’t get rid of the pool smell despite the many scrub downs), I had stopped in the gym to get some water. There he was with his mom, visiting from Florida. The two of us didn’t have the best of an ending with our relationship. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into detail on the who, why’s, and what’s of the past break up. I’ve learned my lesson on speaking bad about others and rambling online when I shouldn’t. But I will say that it was a nice encounter. 

Yup. Nice is a good word for it. 

He walked to the other side of the gym to greet me. I admit it was a little weird at first. He’s married now. I knew this through mutual friends, but the two of us haven’t talked for years. We shared small talk for a bit. The awkwardness wore off some in the chit chat. Then, just as quickly as it began, the talking ended and he went on his way.

And left me thinking.

Of course. 

It’s a great thing to run into someone that I was once in love with--someone that was at one time ready to spend their life with me--and not feel anything but pure happiness. Maybe I was still on a runner’s high when I saw him, but I couldn’t help but smile when hearing about everything going on his life and how great he is doing. 

I was reminded of how hardships, illnesses, losses, obstacles, and heartache make us stronger. How what  may seem like the end of the world is really just a new beginning. And when those that we love leave, more room is made for others to come into our lives. 

I started writing this post talking about an old break up, but thinking of all the times I had the wrong perspective in a difficult situation. I am usually a pretty positive person, but it’s not always easy to see the good when going through the tough times. Sometimes the best I can do is just trust. Trust that whatever it is that I may be facing in life--an illness, injury, or even a broken engagement--God’s got it all figured out already.

I’m in a great season in life right now. I’m off the Lupron, fully recovered, and getting stronger every day. I am finishing up 18+ hours of training this week (after my 4 hour ride and 30 min run tomorrow...woot woot!). I’m single and grateful that I get to spend so much time training when all my friends are busy with husbands and kids. I’m doing what I love. I’m incredibly blessed and happy.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but God’s got it. He’s got me. And that thought makes me smile. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard"

A few of my family and friends have been on my case lately about overtraining, convinced that the reason I was having continued bleeding for about 5 weeks was due to my high activity levels. Of course, I’m going to argue with them because I'm hard headed, stubborn, and difficult. I am going to point out the fact that I am transitioning off a drug that had me in menopause for 6 months...right after a surgery to remove a disease that causes internal bleeding. I’m going to say all these things, even though I know they only want the best for me. I know the only reason they are saying anything is because they love me--because they saw me sick for so long and did all they could to help me and stand by me. I wouldn’t have been able to complete the treatment without my amazing family and friends.

Y’all, please forgive me for thinking I've got it all figured out--but I really, truly believe this time around is different with my training.

Yes, I understand that high stress and activity levels have an impact on my hormone levels, but I honestly don’t believe my training is causing the excess bleeding.

And neither does my doctor.



I will admit that I do have a slight addiction to training. My workouts for the day are the first thoughts on my mind when I wake up...and the last thing I fall asleep to. If I could go 24/7 running, biking, and swimming--I would. No doubt about it.

I never thought in a million years that I’d be swimming, loving it, and training for a half-ironman. Six months ago, I would have thought someone was crazy just to suggest a sprint triathlon because of my fear of water...and lack of interest. I didn’t think I’d find such excitement in this sport. I couldn’t even comprehend the idea of loving to race and competing against others. Yet somehow, through coaching and encouragement, I have absolutely fallen in love with training for triathlon.

I used to just run, run, run for fun. I’d train for a marathon just because I enjoyed it. I had no point to my training but to go, go, go, and stop only when I absolutely had to. I would bike for hours as well--not for any particular reason but to have something to do that I enjoyed. I wouldn’t even map out my rides. I’d just take some cash, water, and my iphone and head out on my bike. Then 50, 80, 150, or 173 miles later...I’d end up back home. There was no method to the madness. There was no plan. Even though I’m a trainer, I failed to limit myself and set up structure in my work outs. It’s a lot easier to tell someone else what to do (or not to do) than myself. I preach rest and recovery, but I do have a problem doing it myself. Heck, even with an 18 hours of training scheduled this week, I’m still hitting up the pool a little extra for some “play time”. Just a little extra though...promise (half the time I’m just getting a tan and pretending to swim anyway).

So, after I have worried everyone to bits and pieces with my rambling, let me just say...



I know that I have gone overboard in the past, but I am not in that place anymore in my life. I have a reason for each workout and a goal to hit. I have a coach who limits my hours and plans my recovery days. I am no longer free to run in the morning for 10, 15, or 20 miles just because. As much as I hated this structure and being told what to do and when to train at the beginning, coaching has helped me in tremendous ways. I need to be told when to stop. I need to be told why I need rest and recovery. Yes, I already know the reasons, but I need someone to keep me in check. My coach is doing just that--and I’m listening...pretty much. ;-)

With all that being said, I agree that it makes sense why my family and friends are worried about me overtraining now. They know me. They know how I’m wired and how I push myself. They know my tendency to go until I can’t go anymore. When they hear about how I’m still bleeding, logically they think it’s because I’m pushing myself too much, too hard, and too fast.

I promise, I’m not.

I promise, promise, promise.

This week is a crazy 18 hours of training, but then I have a low week. My coach literally had a talk with me last week to prepare me for the drop in my training hours coming up. He was telling me to prepare myself mentally. Oh lawdy, I am definitely trying to prepare...while sucking out every ounce of this 18 hour week that I possibly can.

So, family & friends, I know that you mean the best. I know that y’all love me and want me to stay healthy, but don’t worry, k?

I promise I’m being good now. :-)

Oh...and the bleeding has stopped...finally.

Even after the 17 hours of training last week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lessons Learned

This morning, as I was going through some old boxes in the search for past school papers, I found an old journal of mine (See, I used to be smart about this stuff. I would write down my rambling thoughts in a notebook stashed away--instead of posting it all online). Flipping through some of the pages, I found a poem that a dear friend of mine had written years back. Travis, the author, was one of those guys who made every bad situation better, brought laughter in tears, and always had enough craziness to keep us on our toes...waiting for his next step. He was also a major encouragement to me after my first surgery. I received note after note from him--telling me that I was amazing, capable of doing anything I set my mind to, and beautiful. His words gave me smiles and hope--LOTS of hope--during a very tough time in my life. Months later, after I was back on my feet and recovered, Travis died in a motorcycle accident. I will never forget him and all the love, fun, and sweetness he added to my life--and so many others.

His poem, “Lessons Learned”, is exactly what I needed to read today. I hope it blesses you with some smiles as you read Trav’s words of wisdom, humor, and encouragement:

"Happiness lies in your own eyes.
No use in dwelling in sorrow.
Life comes at ya fast, so forget the past.
Today is yesterday's tomorrow.

Always show class and never your ass;
unless it involves drinks and a body of water.
When it's all said and done make sure you have fun;
but try to stay out of the police blotter.

Say what you feel and keep it real.
Don't look back and wish you had told them.
Just know when to talk and know when to walk.
Some words are best left unspoken.

You learn every day, sometimes the hard way,
but don't repeat the mistakes any longer.
Hold your head up with pride, push all fears to the side.
Each time you get up you'll be stronger.

In some lessons learned, bridges are burned.
It'll take time for them to be mended.
Still all the while, show them your smile.
Remind them of the one they befriended.

What really counts when it all amounts;
Are the friends you've made along the ride.
Whether near or far, no matter where you are.
You know they'll be at your side."

~Travis O'Bannon

Love you buddy. Thank you for so many funny and great memories. Miss you everyday, but I'll see you again soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Endo pain days are looooooooong gone!

I can’t stop smiling today. 

I biked 65 miles and then ran 3.1 right after. 

Remember that day when I was in so much pain and couldn’t move? The day I had to watch Kevin go on a 65 mile ride without me? I never would have thought about that day if Shauna hadn’t commented on the post a couple of days ago. But today, after my amazing bike ride, I realized...I had wanted to do a 65 mile bike ride that day and couldn’t because of the pain. 

Ahhhhh, that day is long gone! 

It’s amazing how God has taken me through the pain and sickness. I’m feeling so much better. I am so happy to be strong and healthy again! :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You’re Not Alone

I have been so hesitate to write much lately because of the embarrassment of having some people read my blog a couple weeks back. People who I made the mistake of writing about when I shouldn’t have--thinking that they wouldn’t be reading it--ignorant of the fact that any one can find and read my posts (whether I want them to or not). I’m still humiliated over the whole ordeal...and amazed at my own stupidity in the situation.

I keep fighting the urge to shut the blog down--to take every rambling post offline. I know it is better to leave it up so that others going through the same things I did can know they aren’t alone. I know that one of the things that helped me through my own surgeries and treatment was reading SIF’s blog, along with many others.

I wish this was a blog about food, or family, or running. I wish I wasn’t blogging about a disease--a very personal disease. I wish I wasn’t documenting every period, each moment of pain, and the realities of endometriosis and Lupron. I wish I wasn’t embarrassed about it all. 

Last night, I received a comment on one of my old post. It was just a little note, telling me that reading has helped her deal with this disease. That’s when I remembered that the pain is somehow helped when you realize that you are not alone. I also remembered how frustrated I was when I could not find any info on training and running on Lupron--and how I wanted to change that. 

I’m getting over my embarrassment in the situation--more aware of what I’m posting on line. 

Thanks for giving me a reminder, Shauna. Keep on keepin’ on, girl. You’re definitely not alone. 

*My never ending period of 5 weeks is still continuing. I woke this morning with a significant amount of cramping and bleeding. Not cool, but it’s gonna be ok. :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wicked Curveball

There are times in life when something apparently devastating turns out to be a blessing.

Do you know what I mean?

When I was left at the alter 4 years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d thank God for it. When another broken engagement and cancelled wedding occurred 2 years later, I never would have thought the heartbreak would be a good thing. Now, of course, I can look back and thank the Lord that I’m not married to either one of those men. But at the time, it felt like life had thrown me the most wicked of curveballs...and hit me right smack in the head.

When I had another surgery to remove stage IV endometriosis last fall, I never would have thought that God could make any good come out of it. Yes, I might have said he could--but I didn’t really think that this disease and treatment would be something I could thank God for. When I had to go through the months on Lupron, I never once imagined how it could actually be a blessing.

Yes, the obvious thought is that the Lupron is a good thing if it prevents the Endo from growing back (or at least slows the process), but that’s not what I’m getting at here.

I am healthy right now.

Very healthy.

I ran 13 miles twice this week. I swam countless hours in the pool and hit up a mile swim in the lake this week already too. I biked for miles and climbed up hills repeatedly the last 5 days. I lifted weights and did AB work like it was nothing.

3 months ago, I was “fit” to some people, but I was not healthy. I could run marathons and bike for a good amount of time, but I couldn’t eat or sleep. I was pushing with everything that I had just to keep my body going. I was struggling. I was weak. I was sick.

Since the last dose of Lupron began to wear off at the end of May, the changes in my body have been phenomenal. I am getting stronger every day...faster than I ever did in my training in the past. Yes, I had coaches that were a big part of my improvement in my training. BUT the way that my body has been responding in my workouts is incredibly different.

It’s pretty amazing, actually.

All the training that I did on the Lupron was a little crazy. Yes, I admit that. My doctor told me that he didn’t think I’d be able to complete the marathons and half-marathons on the treatment. He gave me the “ok” to train with the thinking that I’d quit due to the difficulty (as I was informed after my marathons).

Well, thank God that I’m too much of a stubborn ass to quit ‘cause all those months of pushing through sickness and training are finally rewarding me.

Lupron was a scary curveball for sure, but I don’t think I could be progressing this fast and getting so much stronger every day if I hadn’t been training while on it.

Does that make any sense?

Training through the treatment was the hardest physical challenge of my life. Now that I’m free of the pain, my training has been even better. Maybe it’s the surge of estrogen in my body that feels so amazing. Maybe it’s being able to eat, sleep, and push through workouts without being sick. Maybe it’s just realizing how blessed I am to be training again.

As crazy as it sounds, friends, I’m thanking God right now for the sickness and Lupron because of all the things that have come about from it. I have a new appreciation for the ability to move that fuels my workouts. Just the thought that I’m no longer in pain or in bed makes me happy. Often times, I have random smiles while I’m running, biking, or swimming because of how blessed I am to be training. I kid you not, I’ve found myself laughing underwater randomly.

I’ve got every reason to be smiling with appreciation for what I went through since last September because it has made me stronger, tougher, and better.

I never would have thought I’d be thanking God for allowing that wicked curveball to come my way, but ohhhhhhhhh...surprise, surprise...He brought something good out of the pain once again.

"You did it: you changed wild lament 
      into whirling dance; 
   You ripped off my black mourning band 
      and decked me with wildflowers. 
   I'm about to burst with song; 
      I can't keep quiet about you. 
   God, my God, 
      I can't thank you enough.”
~Psalm 30:11

Side note: I AM still bleeding (started my period about a month ago and it’s been almost nonstop). I am on birth control, but Dr. G is gonna find something that might work better. I’m not worried. I’m not in pain. I’m on a healthy diet and hitting up the supplements to help. I’m still incredibly happy. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life after Lupron

I ran a little over 13 miles today and it was soooooo easy. I didn’t have to push at all.

You know what else?

I sleep through the nights now. I eat any thing that I want without getting sick (although my diet choices swing on the healthy side quite a bit anyway). I wake up energized. I don’t have crazy, emotional crying outbursts. I’m not in pain. My skin is healthy again. My hair isn’t falling out in clumps. My boobs are back to a DD cup. My body feels strong. I don’t have anymore hot flashes. I don’t have anymore bone pain. I finally, finally, finally feel like myself again.

My last dose of Lupron was just over 12 weeks ago on April 11’th. The treatment was hell. I don’t want to make it sound bad, but there is no other way to put it. Lupron sucked.

It was like a really bad nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I spent so many days and nights throwing up, isolated in bed, and in pain. On top of the physical sickness, my emotions were out of whack. I wasn’t myself at all. I could tell that I was off. I knew it was my hormones being jacked up, but it’s hard to make sense of everything when going through it. I was a mess. A crazy mess.



I know that so many people are anti-Lupron and I can understand why. I would never, ever want someone close to me to have to go through this sickness and treatment. It would break my heart to see loved ones hurt like I did.

It IS a horrendous drug. It DOES make you emotional, sick, and irrational at times (ok....maybe most of the time). You will hate the treatment. You will hate the way it makes you feel.

But now that it’s over...

I haven’t felt this good in years.

I’m not saying Lupron is the answer because it’s not. I’m still having problems with bleeding now that I am off of it. I stopped the drug in April. I got my period again in mid-June. It is now mid-July and I have been bleeding for about 15 of the last 27 days. The pain is ok though. I’ve had some times of cramping and heavy bleeding (sorry for the vivid description, but it comes with the blog title), but the period cramps are NOTHING compared to the endo pain I used to get.

So yes, things aren’t as perfect as we thought a few weeks ago, but that’s ok.

I’m off the Lupron and I’m feeling better. Much better. My experience was hellish. If you are one of the few who followed along with me on this crazy journey, you know what I mean. I have posts about extreme pain, motherhood (nothing makes a girl rethink her life plans when told she might not be able to ever have a child), emotional outbursts, heart ache, menopause, prayer, and drama, drama, drama. The last 10 months of my life have been insane. The endo and Lupron have played a big part in all that--I can’t deny it.


I’m healthy. I’m happy. And I’m racing a half-ironman in 2 months.

Life after Lupron is going pretty dang well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Life has given me too many opportunities to make complete fool of myself.  Unfortunately, I seem to seize each one of these moments whole heartedly. 

I’ve had some things happen in my life recently that have proved this point even more. No need to get in a huff now, but I’ve definitely learned some hard lessons. God keeps reminding me to keep my mouth shut (and my typing fingers from documenting each emotional tailspin in my life). I failed to realize that this is, in fact, a blog that is published on the internet--open for anyone and everyone to see. I’ve moved past the stupidity of thinking no one would read my rambling words. I wish I would have been smarter. I wish I would have just let the chaos and loss in my life take it’s normal toll instead of pouring out my frustration onto someone and something that didn’t deserve it. 

I wish I would have stepped back, seen my own faults for what they were, and said, “nevermind”. 

I have a million other things to say, but...


It isn’t worth it.  Whatever or whoever I want to explain myself to would never listen to me.  I would end up getting myself into a situation that would effect me negatively and would have no positive effect on anyone.  Why would I waste my time and energy on something or someone like that?   

How many times have I allowed myself to get caught up in a battle that is not worth fighting? A conflict that is not my own?  How often do I dive into a situation that is none of my business, creating more stress and anxiety than I have the time or space for?

Am I the only one that feels this way? 


Save the energy for my family, training, God, and my job. I learned a valuable lesson from all this--that I need to be smart and pause long enough to think twice before making a foolish decision I would surely regret. 



I think I will stear clear of anymore unnecessary drama. 

And get on with my life. 

*But...FOR THE RECORD (and off the subject)...after being asked by 3 different people this past week where I got my boob job’s worth saying a few words:

Ummmmm, I have never had a boob job. 

The estrogen is just giving me back my 27 year old body. 


Enough said. ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am officially a triathlete!!! (Yes, it’s about darn time!)

I did it.

I finished my first tri.

It was a sprint. It was short, quick, and painless.

But I did it.

I’m so stinkin’ happy that I got over my fears in the water. Thanks to everyone that helped and encouraged me! I can’t wait for the next race!

With good friends after the race

My next big race is the Branson half-ironman. Kevin and I will be competing to show respect and gratitude for our fallen hero and friend, U.S. Army Pfc. Josh Jetton, on his birthday. 

Thank you for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Love and miss you, Josh.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I shut my blog down this morning.

I wasn’t going to keep it up anymore. I was going to have it off completely. I had made the stupid mistake in writing about someone, naming names, and believing that it really didn’t matter--that no one would see it. I couldn’t fathom that my blog would come up in the NWA community. I really believed that no one would read all my ramblings. I thought posting this stuff online was no big deal.

That I was safe.

I figured the only people looking and searching for anything that I write would be those that have endometriosis or are struggling with other sicknesses. I thought that maybe...just maybe...the right person would stumble upon my little journey with this disease and be given some kind of hope.

And maybe that is true.

But unfortunately, the wrong person stumbled upon my blog.

I made a mistake.

A really bad mistake in thinking that I was immune to the openness of the online world. I should have realized it when my google searches were going crazy with my nickname (which is not posted on my blog). I should have taken a clue that someone who knew me was reading. And I should have realized that everything I was putting out here could be read by anyone...anywhere.

I was stupid. And wrong. So wrong.

I apologized to this person, but it’s too late. The mistake has been made. The damage has been done.

I learned my lesson. A really crappy lesson on my part.

I went through and deleted any postings with this person or I changed the name. I made the decision to keep my blog up because I know that it is helpful to others who are struggling with this sickness. I am embarrassed at my openness and stupidity, but it would be selfish of me to keep my experience with endometriosis, surgeries, and Lupron to myself.

I just want to encourage and help others that are going through the pain that I went through. My blog isn’t that great. I’m not much of a writer and it shows. But I want other women to know that the journey of this disease isn’t all hell. That there are moments of hope and happiness. The drugs aren’t the best, but sometimes they help. I want to share that even on the lowest of days, there is always a better tomorrow.

And that even on 6 months of Lupron....running a couple of marathons is possible.

I’m not perfect. I’m a huge mess. I have so many faults that it can be overwhelming. I make mistakes by the millions. The thought of what I did makes me sick.

I’ve learned from this experience. I know better  now. I’ll be more careful about what I say and write because I know if the situation was reversed--and I was in their shoes--then I would be very hurt.

I doubt that this person will be reading this blog anymore seeing has how the relationship has ended, but if so, please know that I am incredibly sorry.

I’ve learned from my mistakes...the hard way.

My post isn’t just about mistakes. As usual, I’m baring all when it comes to my health problems. Today...I started bleeding really bad again. It’s been only 2 weeks since my first period after Lupron, but for some reason I’m cramping and bleeding more. I’m even on a BC that is supposed to keep me from having a period for 3 months...but it isn’t working right now. Dr. G wants me to come in next week to get checked out...again. I’m not worried, just bummed.

Trusting the Unknown

I don’t feel like God is with me right now. I feel totally lost and alone. I’m trying to get through, but I feel like I’m failing at it.

I have no motivation anymore. I’m so hurt that I don’t want to do anything. My suitcase is still packed from my trip. My car is still packed pretty much too. I don’t want to unpack. I don’t want to move.

I have a sprint triathlon this sunday. I should be excited, but I’m not. I should be happy to get to train, but I’m not. I should be trusting God and saying “whatever your will. whatever you want, Lord”, but I’m not. Instead, I’m upset, sad, and depressed.  I don’t see God’s hand in this.

Obviously, all that I can do is trust right now. There is no other option. Trust what I can’t see or feel. Trust that there is a God who actually loves and cares for me, even when I feel forsaken. Trust that there is some bigger plan, even when everything looks like chaos, and even when I lose someone that I love. So yeah, that is what I’m doing.


I have no choice.

‎"I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
 firm muscles, strong bones.”
 -Isaiah 58:11

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Finding Ways to Cope

My run went much better today. The crying has not been as bad. I found that if I talked with my family more, it helps a TON. So I’ve been on the phone with my brothers...hours and hours through out the day. We talk about Iron Chef America, Man vs Food, Professional Bowling, and Women’s college swimming. Random, unimportant topics that get us laughing and keep our minds off of other things. It sounds weird, but just being able to talk and share with them helps.

Yes, we talk about Josh too. Like today, we were talking about some older pics I found of Josh with our niece, Bella. Sweet photos of him teaching her how to bounce a basketball at 2 years old.

We talked about how he was going to be an amazing father to his twins. How we are going to be there for Alicia even more now. How much we miss him. 

It hurts, but it helps to talk to each other...ya know? It helps us to always remember him--and how incredible he was. It helps us to cope. 

~We love and miss you, Josh. Thank you for sacrificing your life for our freedom.

Obsession. Motivation. And Hope.

I didn’t want to train yesterday. I had a little swim workout and I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to bike or run either. I didn’t want to move, eat, or even think. I just wanted to go home, back to Florida, back to my family. I wanted to shove everything in my car that I possibly could and leave.

Do you ever have days like this? 

Days when nothing seems to make sense and it seems easier to just run away from it all. 

Or just quit. 

Quit work. Quit training. Quit trying. 

It’s rather pathetic, I know. I have just been so sad lately. And lost feeling. 

For my swim yesterday, I only completed about 400 meters of the 1000+ meter workout. I tried to keep going--I really did--but I was exhausted and emotional. I miss my brothers. I miss my sisters. I miss my friends. I miss Josh. I hate this feeling of knowing that he isn’t coming back. 

I know it’s going to get better. 

I know I’m going to get past this rough time. 

But dangit. dangit. dangit. 

I’m really hurting right now.

And I just want to leave.

Despite all the sadness that I feel, I still did some bit of a work out. I hit up an open water swim with some members in the tri group. Then I was able to bust out a bike ride with them on part of the course for the triathlon I’m racing this Sunday. I know that I love to train, but for some reason I really don’t care about it right now. I’m pushing myself to keep at it.

I’m obsessive and a perfectionist, especially when it comes to training. I realize that. Training is my life. It is all I want to do (usually). It is my passion. I live for my workouts and races. It consumes me. I think about it all the time. My days are ruled by it. My bed time, nutrition choices, and social life revolved around training.

That’s why today has alarmed me. To feel like I don’t want to swim, bike, or run is a huge thing. Forget the urge to pack up and leave--if I’m not training, I’m not living.

I <3 to Run

I’m not going to quit training due to the lack of motivation, depression, and fatigue. I know I can push through this. I got through the Lupron treatment--through the vomiting, pain, exhaustion, insomnia, and emotional hell of that medical treatment. I conquered it. I dominated that drug. I’m determined to dominate this rough time as well. I’m going to get past the sadness and turn it into something better. I have hope that I can improve and love my training again.

"A winner will find a way to win. Winners take bad breaks and use them to drive themselves to be that much better. Quitters take bad breaks and use them as a reason to give up”
~Nancy Lopez 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4’th in this unreal reality

I left Sebring early Sunday morning, drove through the night, and arrived in Arkansas at 5 this morning. I slept for about 5 hours before hopping on my bike for a 68 mile ride, then did a 3 mile light run to loosen up some. It was a good workout...but I’m exhausted, depressed, and I miss my family. I want to go back to FL. I want to be there with my brothers, Toni, and Alicia. I want to be there FOR them.

Today is the 4’th of July. A holiday that now means so much more to me. On the drive up, through a handful of states, there were Flags everywhere. Red, white, and blue decorations lined many of the streets and highways. Each was a reminder to me of the cost of freedom. Josh and so many others have given their lives for our country. Each flag that waved proudly reminded me of the flags held high to honor Josh when his body was brought back home. They remind me of what he gave--what he sacrificed--so unselfishly.

So many honored him. So many loved him.

I’m still processing it all. Even after seeing him and paying my respects.  Even after holding my family as they cried out for their friend and brother. Even after the week of saying goodbye in Sebring. I’m still processing. I’m still in shock.

Here in AR, it feels like I’m light years away from my family. It feels too far.

Toni, Me, Tom, and Josh sharing a family crazy moment back in the day
Happy 4’th, America. 

And thank you again to all those who have given everything for our freedom. 

We love and miss you, Josh.