XXXI: Released


It was tiny.
Dainty.
Quaint.
Dark.

It held one bathroom, two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen/dining area. There was one window that peered above the bed, it nearly two feet tall and it was the only source of sunlight in the entire building. The carpet was thin, and was anchored directly the concrete slab that had been poured. The kitchen had a fake plastic cover along the floor, there was a partially operating air conditioning window unit that also doubled as a heater in the winter. All the rooms were covered in artificial wood paneling easily from the ’70’s area.

It was tiny.
Dainty.
Quaint.
Dark.

I never slept well during the night in this small living compartment. Most night I would spend online in the second bedroom that had been turned into an ‘office’. I’d work on applications for high school teaching positions, and randomly Skype individuals who were also up at that time at night. At the same time my wife at the time would sleep in the bedroom. I’d crawl into bed around 3:00 AM, and try to sleep through the distractions until she got up for the day (usually around 6:00 AM), and then I’d sleep until noon or 1:00 PM in the afternoon. My life revolved around that small apartment. I didn’t see sunlight very often for the first six months, and frequently slept on the couch.

It’s startling to believe that, that experience was nearly four years ago. I remember the sheer joy I felt the day I left that apartment for good, packed up with MC and Jim, I was released from a prison that I had created for myself.

I’m not really sure why I’m reflecting on the memory, aside from the fact that some of the medicine I’m taking for this recent bug has caused me to be extremely restless for about thirty minutes after ingesting the pill (who knew). Darco is quietly sleeping in our bedroom as she’ll be getting up around 4:00 AM to get ready for work, and I’ll head back in after finishing this and get a good nights rest prior to heading back to work tomorrow. I still probably won’t enter the track again until Friday, just one day in the real world again is enough to drain me, I’ve learned this from previous experiences.

Something about being sick causes you to reflect. I contribute that to the drugs and the insane amount of free time that you find yourself having in the middle of the afternoon, sweat pouring off your face, and wondering if the world is still moving without you. It’s one of the first times in quite some time that I’ve taken time to just reflect and overall compartmentalize life as I know it. As I frequently joke with Darco, I’ve already lived three lifetimes already, so that’s a lot of memories that have to be sorted through, compared, and analyzed.

I’m peering out my living room window, watching the night pass, as I write this. I think back to quick engagements, steady faith, marriage, and everything that’s accumulated to the point that brings us to now. Darco and I had a very, very unique conversation today; tying back into “XXXI”, and some of the goals that we’re striving for. From cooking at home to other more extreme discussions, we’ve had several of them as of lately. We’ve grown weary and tired of the town that we’re currently living in, I’m pushing myself harder each day physically, and life is just changing. I’m noticing in the realm of, “I want to do this, this, and this…” no longer appropriately describes my existence.

My life is less cluttered and more structured:
-Faith
-Family
-Work
-Running

That’s it. I’m no longer interested in obtaining five million different ideas, concepts, or creations. I love my job, I love getting lost in cyberspace, and I love producing results. I’m growing more and more in love with the church that Darco and I attend, we’re part of a weekly church planting group that meets on Thursday nights, and I can’t express how much of a blessing they’ve already been. MC and Jim continue to churn through their own lives, while ensuring that we survive ours as well. Jim was recently offered a full time job at a local school district, and that in itself brought a lot of ease to the family. Some days I firmly believe that Darco is a bigger blessing to me compared to myself with her. I learn something new about her each and every day, and how she isn’t afraid to try new things. Just because an individual lived a sheltered life, doesn’t mean that they fear adventure.

Finally, there’s something about those shoes. A pair of shorts, a pair of shoes, my sunglasses, and I”m good to go. Whether it’s a few miles, a mile, a time trial, sprints, or whatever the case may be…I’m not even close to perfect, but nothing feels greater compared to moving in stride with my soul.

Faith, family, work, and running…they’re all connected to one another. Each is required to ensure that the other remains. Those are all four things I was drastically missing inside that small apartment four years ago. They are all four things that I’ll forever cherish close to my heart.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Canned


I’m coming to love Sunday’s, it’s the rest day on the training schedule, I always wind up outside of the apartment, and most likely we can be found at MC and Jim’s place a few miles south of the city.

Today, as has been the case for several weeks, MC has been in her ‘canning mode’ from the garden. Taking vegetables from the garden and sealing them up in glass for the year ahead. This includes mint jelly, basil jelly, salsa, and all sorts of relish. As Darco and I continue to strive for a bit of healthier (and financially conscious), we started to looking more into the canning world, especially with Darco growing her own tomatoes along our patio.

Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the random fun that went on in the Midwest…

XXXI: Pure Country


Wow…you really are short…

I warned her. I had warned Darco several times about my dad’s side of the family, the Daugherty Clan. This was always done in a fun, whimsical sense, but compared to her experience with MC’s family there is a stark, stark contrast between the two groups. MC’s side you go to brunch with…dad’s side…you get tattoos and talk about about trucks at the local honky-tonk.

I. Am. Not. Kidding. Continue reading

XXXI: Out of Sync


Today, as a whole, made absolutely no sense. It was some disastrous day, but man…it was a strange, very long one.

Note: Grab popcorn

Now, I love my job. It’s fun, exciting, and challenging. It is a job where I forget that, well, it’s a job. However, to access the office that is so dear to my heart it requires a 86 mile one way trip. Even with my lovely little Mazda3 that’s still a lot of ground to cover, nearing 180 miles a day. That means we, as a family, spend a lot of money on fuel. Continue reading

XXXI: Elite


Currently: Into the evening ritual that includes laying my feet upon pieces of ice for twenty minutes at a time. This can only mean on thing…
…story time.

While I’m stuck on the couch for the next hour-or-so, there was a story that came to mind that felt needing to be shared with you, the reader. A bit of a taste of what “XXXI” is about, its strange intent, ideas, and images. Sadly, it tends to revolve around one word that, over the years, I have grown to strongly despise: Elite. Continue reading

XXXI: Arkansas


I’m still recovering after a blitz of a three day journey. From departing northwest Missouri, to running through the beautiful mountainous area of Arkansas, to a quick peek at the progress in Joplin, Missouri three years after their tornado; it was nice to get out, get active, and in the end it was still nice to get home.

As goes travel journals, all of them are linked, connected, and everything else in between for your viewing pleasure.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Arkansas Part VI


Way too early…
Darco & I packed the blender just for this morning. I actually brought ingredients down for my morning protein smoothie.

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Not. Kidding.

After the smoothie, we checked out, visited the family, ate waffles, and left around 1:00 PM.

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Pack mule needs to eat.

Upon returning to Missouri, MC, Jim, and Darco talked. I fell asleep in the back for several hours. Two nights on hard beds and one race later and my body was spent.

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Ambient noise...

Once we arrived home. Darco & I crashed for a few hours before getting up, dressed, and ready for the opening of a new club in Kansas City.
One stop at Minskey’s Pizza later, and we were off to the club.

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So, so close...

However, as it turns out, VIP or not…you must be 21+ to enter. Darco is 20 for two more weeks. At 11:00 PM we left the city, not seeing the inside of ONE% Kansas City, and finally ending our trip in bed.

Currently, wife is asleep next to me, the dark one is asleep at my feet, and I’m shutting down myself.

Sleep…
Bed…
Home…

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Arkansas Part III


Made it…
But first.
A quick distraction at lunch. We were eating in Joplin, Missouri and I hijacked the road trip to show MC and Jim the area that was destroyed by the tornado a few years ago. I was there the day after, and Darco came a year later on a mission trip. I have two photos I’d like to share with you:

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Joplin High School: 2011

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Joplin High School: 2014

Absolutely massive new high school. It’s mind blowing to think that I once had a job interview with that school. It was so encouraging to see the ongoing progress for this city that has gone through so much.

Big thanks to Kansas City Bravery Clothing for an epic tank.

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Yes, thinking about the sun can burn my skin.

Darco and I grabbed our race packets down in Fayetteville (including a complimentary pint glass from a local brewery), and headed back to the family reunion.

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She's a cutie...

About an hour later I was in the back patio watching a fire, thinking about the race tomorrow.

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Now…after some quick grapes, it’s time for bed. Running comes early tomorrow.

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-D-

Mobile Minutes: Arkansas Part I


It’s that time of night. Running around cleaning and packing.

Darco & I are off to Arkansas with MC & Jim for the rest of the week. This is due to a family reunion…and a race at the same time. We’re taking the Mazda3 with us, it’s been thoroughly cleaned, along with some epic comfortable clothes.

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New floor mats!

I’m falling asleep, so…on the road tomorrow!

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


I suppose this should be over at God’s Not Fat, but I think it’s worth putting on this page:

As the weeks draw to a close for “XO”, I’ve started to do some mental and physical preparation for the next chapter. These past few days provided me with a good example of where the next chapter will go.

I have a tragic announcement; something that MC will gleefully enjoy. I just broke the news to Darco a few minutes ago.

Ladies and gentlemen…

I can no longer fit into large t-shirts. They are too small.
Too small in the back and the shoulders.

Let that sink in for a moment and you’ll understand why this definitely a “getyourpraiseon” moment.

-D-