For a while, I had been thinking about going on a “fast” of sorts. I needed to clear my head. I had been thinking of this for several months actually. One of my roommates had recently broken up with his girlfriend a few months ago and we spend a lot of time on the front porch smoking and drinking and talking. He was a French citizen and spoke broken English. I was an American citizen and didn’t speak any french. The solution to this issue was alcohol and smoking. The more we drank and the more we smoked, the better able to breach the language barrier that stood between us. Inebriation helped us climb the wall of linguistic differences that stood between us. It was beautiful. It was mad.
There are likely some people reading this blog that are disgusted to learn of my hedonistic tendencies…yet claims to be a Christian. If you are one of these people shaking your head at the nauseating trash that I write…may God have mercy on your soul. You will never know the incredible joys of eating psychedelic drugs while reading the Psalms in the high desert at sunset and spiritually connecting with a bobcat who has embodied the presence of our Lord and sits on ledge looking down on you as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death through boulder formations and desert washes. Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Try it…you just might like it.
Needless to say, I have consumed more intoxicating substances in the past couple of months than I probably have in the past year. Even before the recent unexpected breakup, I was contemplating taking a break from these things in order to clear my lungs and clear my mind. However, with the events that had been occurring, it was much easier to continue on with these already established habits than to add more change to an already tumultuous time in my life.
By the time Step 7 rolled around and I read, “Sometimes it’s hard to do the right things because we haven’t quit the wrong things yet. Today, I want you to make a “quit list.” What are 3-5 things you can quit doing today that will open up more time, energy or hope for your dream?” I took this as a sign. I knew I was receiving guidance that it was my time to essentially shit or get off the pot. A few weeks passed on the pot before I mustered up the willpower to actually take the proverbial shit and get off of it…
Read into that statement however you will, but the career change and the subsequent travels seemed like an appropriate time to engage in a healthy, positive and beneficial change. On top of the desire to make a change, my training had come to a halt during the months of June and July as well. I had only gone for 7 or 8 runs during that time and spent minimal time on the skateboard. Since my marathon in April, I focused less on my diet and exercise and subsequently gained about 15 or 20 pounds.
Aside from the health benefits of training for a marathon, I grew to enjoy the structure that training for an event gave me. Running also gave me the rush that I have come to learn and love over the years. Endorphins, regardless of how they are released into the system have a significant impact on how we feel and behave. I’ve experienced this in many different ways throughout the years…more frequently over the past few years through the “runner’s high” and “adrenaline rush.”
I will never view alcohol and drugs as being a bad thing. They become bad when people lose the ability to impose control over their desires. When we allow external circumstances or events to control our emotions, we lose the ability to focus our attention on our dreams. Step 7 was simply part of a greater reason to allow me to realize this fact. I am pleased that while I am a bit delayed in some of these steps that I am still moving forward as a part of The Start Experiment.
I write this blog to share the experience of the Experiment with you. While I have strayed from my original goal throughout the past 20 days and will ultimately complete it some day…it will likely not be complete in the next 4 days as we come to the close of the 24 day Start Experiment. Personally, these 24 days are simply the gateway to living my life in a completely different manner as I START to escape average and walk the road towards AWESOME.