#getyourpraiseon


The sky was grey, the air warm, and the atmosphere thick with rain in the near future.

I vividly remember the first 5K race I ever took part in. My ex-wife’s father was an avid runner; we’re talking about the distances such as half-marathon and marathon. At this point in life those were distances that made zero logical sense to my own cerebral cortex. Why would someone want to run that far? Why would anyone want to run, period?

The course, my first 5K, took place along the bluffs of the Missouri River in the state capital of Jefferson City, Missouri. Though it had been advertised as a ‘novice course’, it became clear along the steep grades that this course may be more towards the individuals of the…professional level.

It was a horrible experience. I walked nearly half of that course, and I remember the frustration of thinking how this family would judge, how I couldn’t catch up to the guy whose daughter I was in love with, how I was once a joke of a runner and that I would always be that joke of a runner.

I had dry heaves following this event.

My first 5K, in the rain, with a balmy time around 52:00.00.

***

The purpose of the story-within-a-story was to lay the framework of a tragic beginning relationship with an adventure that I would have never been able to predict. For the past 90 days I’ve been focused on one specific goal with training and health; running 3.1 miles (a 5K) under 20:00.00. The one consistency, whether at the gym, on the trail, or the road is that I log right at 30 miles of movement per week. I needed to create a base of mileage from which I could begin to focus on specific areas of improvement (speed, cardio, stance, etc…). Today was the 90th day of this project.

Today, at approximately 5:00 PM CST, I strapped on my shoes, running shorts, technical shirt, and took off for what I thought was going to be a brisk 6.2 miles.

I had no clue what was about to follow…

Mental Conversation: Turn right at the top of the street; go through the intersection. Stretch out the legs to get a feel for the asphalt. Breathing is relaxed, calm, and the strides are in line. No overpronation noted, not running on the sides of the feet. Keep the breathing calm. Focus. Music. Look for dogs briefly. Fix shorts. Turn right at the T-intersection, take a sharp right out onto the highway. Little traffic, hit the hill. Calm down at the peak and stretch out on the flat. The cows are running with me on the side of the road. Wave to cows. I think I started too fast. I’m moving too fast at the moment. No time to recover, keep stretching out the legs. Push up the incline. Feel the potential side stitch. Deep breath, raise the whole body with each breath. Corner is up ahead. Keep pulling through with long strides. Weather is nice. Wind is from the south. Sun feels nice. Gear feels good. Up the hill and turn right. Look for cars. Keep right, dodge left when able to see downhill. Let loose. Stop resisting downhill and let your body catch you. Pick up speed. Keep the momentum, stretch up the hill. Hamstrings are fine. No tightness, no tension. Keep breathing. Keep moving. Keep breathing. Pull farther up the hill. Hit the sign. Hit the sign, stop the clock. Hit the sign, 3.1 is met. Hit the sign, stop the clock. Embrace a 25:00.00-26:00.00 3.1 with success. That is success after a long week. Look at your watch. Glance down at your watch. No 26. No 25. No 20. 19:10. 19:10? 19:10!

Day 90 of #5under20 #getyourpraiseon Three months ago I started training with a goal. I wanted a 5K time under 20:00.00, and win a specific race. The race is still two months out, but… …THE FIRST SUB-20:00.00 5K CAN BE SCRATCHED OFF THE LIST! Note: -Path was asphalt -Wind was to my back -Very few hills But I flew! Walking back I couldn't believe the distance that was covered in such a short amount of time. Everything clicked. When I finished I was thinking 25-26 minutes, I had no idea that I had dropped 3.1 miles in 19:10. It's February, and Team @run816 starts next month. This only excites me even more on new, faster opportunity More–> www.filingthepapers.com P.S. Under 20:00.00 equals a new pair of @oakley glasses via @darci_daugherty #running #training #health #fitness #roadracing #trailrunning #findyourstrong #faith #fit #runkc

A photo posted by Shawn (@overcoming_ace) on

 

I have a goal. There is a specific race in a few months that I want to win; literally win. I doubt I can, to be truthful, but then again I never thought that I’d ever be in this position in my life. In six years of chaos, change, and ongoing struggles I’ve shaved off over thirty minutes from that first 5K on that rainy day.

God is so good for allowing me to move my legs every day in this crazy life. So many things I could look into the future from my past self and not be overly surprised of taking place, but running? The concept of muscle movement in a form of worship to God is something that I would have never imagined.

I hope that this is only the beginning of something incredibly beautiful.

-D-

XXXI: Memories Become Fragments


Peace.

One of the first ‘rules of blogging’ is to not apologize to the reader when it’s been some time since you’ve last posted any thoughts on your own blog.

Honestly, I’m not sorry.

I would apologize, but doing so would mean that I’m regretting the time spent with students, time spent with my wife, and time spent…well…living life. It’s almost supernatural to consider how so many vivid memories become nothing more than just fragments of a bigger picture. Turning down the trail, a mile under my belt already early in today’s crisp morning, I tried to think back on the motivation that propelled me to run for so many years.

I couldn’t envision it. I couldn’t remember it. I couldn’t grasp it. The once horrific onslaught of guilt and corruption no longer could be found in my veins. Truly, I’ve been cleaned and purified.

I haven’t written because I moved on with the life that I still have, and I’ve in turn walked away from the life I once had. Nights of sorrow are filled with days of life. Days of frustration are filled with nights of peace. This is the best I’ve slept in nearly twenty years.

Is it alright to just claim the ability of healing and redemption? Is it alright to forge life on dreams? I’ve never felt so reckless in my life like now, and I’ve truly loved life no more than currently in this strange state.

Shopping for light bulbs? Sure!
Splitting wood for the fireplace? You bet!
Grading papers while the sun spills through the window? Wouldn’t want it any other way!

I’m curiously fascinated by Darco’s take on my desire to always run against the grain of the socially accepted. Moreso now because there are so many things to this life that I’m 100% good with. I enjoy living in the suburbs, running to the local coffee shop, and spending the evening with my wife. I’m happy that we don’t try to conquer the world after a day full of work, and I love waking up to the light peering through our windows each morning.

It’s not even the point of thanking God for getting me out of once was; it’s about thanking Him for what He’s currently provided me with. Nowhere can I find Jesus suggesting that we hold onto the scars of our past, I can only find the encouragement to learn from them. I don’t read about accepting eternal guilt, I find lines and lyrics of embracing eternal grace. Why…how…could I negate the works of my Father when He’s completely revolutionized my life? Not once, not twice, but everyday that I continued to find breath.

What I didn’t think, or even envision in my own life is that revolution spins around more besides just a divorce. I thought for years that, that was going to the pivotal moment of my life. My defining moment of the legacy that was left on this planet.

Can I tell you the one thing that I’ve learned since grasping that thought?
A divorce is only one piece of the entire puzzle of one’s life. It doesn’t define anything about the individual, it’s merely another struggle to overcome, accept, endure, and embrace when trying to figure out your place on this blue dot we call home.

Darco accepts my weird scars, but she also doesn’t let me get away with using them as a crutch. A divorce five years ago doesn’t dictate if I can do dishes tonight or not. It doesn’t excuse specific spending habits in the bank account. It doesn’t justify hostility and negativity towards other humans. It’s merely a point in time.

Can I be honest with you? Part of the reason I don’t write as much on this page is because there isn’t nearly as much to share. So much about clicks, views, likes revolve around dramatic, traumatic experiences. I don’t have them to share. The cat got a cold and I think I have a few cavities, but that’s as crazy as it gets. After living some of the strangest chapters of my life already; I’m just fine with admitting that life in the view of the world’s perspective is rather peaceful.

I’m alright with conforming and not fighting against God’s desire and plan.
I’m alright with just embracing the naive, novel idea of peace.

-D-

XXXI:Taste & See


It’s all because of Facebook and its memory feature. It, in some ways, can be that painstaking reminder of the life that you left and the life that you’ve currently chosen to live.

Curious of the random image from five years ago that came across my social feed; Darco and I dived deeper into the world of a time when we didn’t know one another. Through the past posts of five, ten years went by. Resulting in at least one prior post on this day from FilingThePapers.

The story revolves around one of my journey’s with Subway. I traveled deep into the southern part of our region. I went back into the town that I called home during college and enjoyed sushi for the first time since my divorce earlier that year. There’s so much to be thankful for, as illustrated in the post.

However the writing of the past doesn’t even compare to the undeserving manner that my soul currently resides in; in this strange euphoric realm that allegedly is referred to as ‘life’.

As strange as it sounds, I try earnestly to forget the world that once was. I purposefully try to forget about people, events, actions of the past in hopes of allowing scars to become hidden. I love waking up in the morning, forgetting that I’m divorced, that I had a life before this one. I’m not sure if that’s the Christ-like attitude to have, but the present is so much clearer, wonderful, and truth-be-told it’s so, so much sweeter.

I wrote in that post, from four years ago, a simple verse that I recalled at the time of biting into the most emotional piece of sushi ever…

Taste and see that the Lord is good…
-Psalm 34:8

Jobs have come and gone, apartments have disappeared with friendships, and lifelong connections have grown like the licking flames in this evening’s fireplace.

I have tasted.

He is so good.

Darco and I sat on our living room couch tonight, staring at our fireplace while the cats laid in front of the mantel. Toasty, warm, and safe. It was one of those moments where words weren’t even required, because everyone was at peace within the house. Last night Darco and I spoke more about the fact that there’s nothing deserving in the lives of ourselves that should allow us to be in this house. There’s no reason that we should enjoy a fireplace at night and the country sun during the morning. She shouldn’t have an amazing job that she loves in the coffee shop, and I shouldn’t be able to enjoy walking into a classroom every day.

Too many times we stare into each other’s eyes wondering whose lives we’ve taken over. I was alone and she was lost; how did we come to this moment?

There’s no equation, logic, or solid answer. It’s only God. How on earth could I stand before the multitudes and foolishly try to answer with any other key? How could I state that my hard work has equalled this moment of tranquility? I can’t!

Whether it’s sushi from four years ago, or a fireplace tonight, I will never be able to express how glorious my God truly is.

-D-

 

Mobile Minutes: Odd Flavors of Dreams


I just woke up. I had been asleep solid for six hours, that’s pretty good in my book.

Being trapped in a nightmare the whole time? Not so much.

Of all random dreams; one’s involving an ex-wife are just strange in today’s world.

Being on some mission trip with one and their spouse? Even stranger.

That was my nightmare. Along with being told by the spouse why I need to forgive, accept responsibility, and move forward in life.

You know the best part of that nightmare? Selfishly? Darco was in that nightmare, and she was gorgeous.

Waking up to her silent, sleepy body has never felt so nice.

I’m going back to bed now.

-D-

XXXI: Old Friend


Hello old friend.

Life slows down for no one; this is the concept that I’ve learned to embrace over the past week, month, and year. Interestingly enough, this time a year ago I was asked by an administrator if I’d stay, as a sub, for a teacher-in-service day at the school that I had been a substitute teacher in for a few weeks. Continue reading

XXXI: Running Out


Another step.
Another minute.
Another goal.
Another mile.
Another dream.

I’ve been considering giving up the ambition of running. I haven’t hit a wall, I haven’t been dealt too many injuries, and I’m not really on the verge of burning out.

I’m just tired of being my own fuel. Continue reading

XXXI: 4 years, 37000 views, and many lifetimes later


I can hear my wife sleeping. She’s been asleep for nearly three hours now. Six hours ago she arrived back into the United States from her first international mission trip. As you could imagine, she’s rather tired. I’ve checked on her a few times, but she’s just sprawled out on the bed, soaking up the air conditioning, and peacefully asleep.

Not too bad for four years of reliving life.

It dawned on me a few days ago that I had passed the yearly anniversary of the founding of FilingThePapers. As much as I hate cliches, life really does fly by when you’re having fun. I went ahead and popped back to this time in 2011. On this day; I had began the process of collecting my belongings down south and awaited my new life up here. Honestly, I could have never predicted the life that was waiting for me. I’ve made business, failed business, hired, and fired. I’ve had bills caught up, and I’ve ran the risk of having my electricity shut off. I was single, I was alone, and I was angry for so long. Continue reading