Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reflection & Resolution

I've had many days to reflect on my journey through life over the last 7 weeks while recovering from heart surgery.  During this time not a day went by that I didn't think about how fortunate I am be surrounded by a wonderful family and life long friends that have lifted me up and inspired me through a challenging time in my life.  It's impossible to thank everyone, however I truly appreciate all the emails, calls, visits in the hospital and prayers. 

 (Reece & I in 2005)

As I reflected on everything I took the time to check out all the old pictures that truly warm my heart with amazing memories.  Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words.  When I think about my son Reece and the fact he was born 6.5 weeks early I think about how fortunate we are to have this amazing little man in our life.  He spent 4 weeks in the NICU and then came home on monitor for the first 3 months.  I learned as all new parents do there is nothing like hold a baby on your chest and falling asleep.  

Reece, Scooby and Barkley 2005

 (Reece at 1yr)

This is another picture that always makes me smile when I think about all the love he's brought into our life.  He was an relaxed baby that was always smiling and laughing.  A baby's genuine laughter represents all that is good in life.

Reece and Tristin in Hawaii 2006 


(Reece & Tristin 2006)

This was Reece's first trip Hawaii. We've already decided he needs to go college at UH so we'll have reason to come visit every year.  Who knows we may end up back in Hawaii someday full time?

                  (Chicago Marathon 2006)

This was an amazing family trip to Chicago.  I was fortunate to be part of the New Balance Global Centennial Team which provide an all expenses paid trip to run the Chicago Marathon.  The entire experience was like a dream come true as I had trained for 6 months and I finally ran under 3 hrs!  After 3 previous attempts I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon in April of 2007.  I'm so glad I was able to share this with Tristin, Reece and my mom.  Thanks for all braving the frigid cold and supporting me!
                      (Team Blaze members at the Turkey Trot 2007)

This photo is significant it represents some of the special people in our lives that have become good friends, enjoy having fun and triathlons!  It was almost exactly one year after we thought we were having another child only to learn that life doesn't always make sense.  We not only realized we weren't having another child as planned, but instead my beautiful wife and wonderful mother to Reece almost died in the process.  This was probably the most helpless I've ever felt in my life as I watch my wife go from 100% healthy to being admitted to the hospital with unknown complications related to an internal staff infection that wasn't responding to antibotics.  Tristin was so brave and courageous as she had to have multiple surgeries and staying in the SHMC for 6 of 8 weeks.  Unfortunately, we learned we could only have one child, however the positive result was finally Tristin was healthy again.  It made us both realize how fortunate we are to have Reece.  I will never forget the support provide through all our Team Blaze friends!

IM Canada 2008

Ironman Canada was my 3rd IM distance adventure since 2004 and provided a great family trip to the beautiful Penticton BC.  Tristin, Reece, my parents and Team Blaze friends all came to Canada too, so it was great to have an awesome support team!  If you're looking for an amazing, unique and challenging IM course this is the race for you!

Reece's first bike race Sept. 2009

Chelan Triathlon (July 2010)

This picture represents another special weekend where Tristin and I raced a triathlon together after I was told I could/should never do another triathlon again after being diagnosed with a heart condition.  I had strict order I had to let Tristin set the pace, so after the swim we rode and ran together!  Reece also compete in his first kids triathlon and rocked the bike with no training wheels!  This had to be one of the highlights of my summer as we camped out for the first time as a family with other Team Blaze athletes and families!

October 2010

During my year of bumps in the road Reece was such brave and helpful little man. He would always try to make me feel better. Wow, how he has changed over the last 5 yrs!  Tristin was always there to lift me up and help me sort through my life changing before me.  I now look forward to all life experiences and memories that are in front of us!

(Reece  & I running together in Coeur d'Alene on January 1st)

I'm so glad I have picture to represent my first run back after heart surgery.  As many of you know I have passion for my family, exercise and helping others achieve their goals.  I feel blessed as I look forward to 2011 with unlimited possibilities and experiences ahead. 

I recently went back to my follow up with my heart surgeon and cardiologist to hear the great news that all the test indicate that I'm headed in a positive direction!  Now I just need to regain my fitness and mojo for exercise as I'm out of shape!  Oh well, one day at time as I'm just blessed to be free and healthy again!

What are my resolutions for 2011?

I'm not sure.  I'm still sorting through my new found freedom to live my life again and enjoy it one day at time!  I know that I won't take my family, friends and health for granted. I'm happy to report I've now complete my first week of light exercise and I feel great!  I plan to continue to look for ways to give back and inspire others! 

Here is one great group I'm working with in 2011 called Ironheart Racing Team.  I really want to try to use my situation as a way to encourage early detection and testing to raise awareness with athletes of all ages regarding healthy heart living!

Live life with no regrets!  Remember to enjoy the journey!

Thanks for reading and supporting!