Friday, December 29, 2017

2017: Year in Review

In preparation for writing this post, I spent some time reading past years' recaps.  Unfortunately this one won't be as cheery as those other posts.  2017 was easily one of the most difficult years I've ever endured, so let me begin this recap by explaining why.

On February 6th of this year, my wife Stevie told me she wanted to end our marriage.  For the record, I did not cheat on her, or abuse her, or lose all of our money gambling, or anything like that.  She simply fell out of love with me, and there was nothing I could say or do to dissuade her from her decision.

It was pain like I've never experienced before, even worse than when my mom passed away unexpectedly 11 years ago.  I won't go into too much more detail other than to say I'm still not over it.  I've spent the past year in a stupor of heartbreak, anger, depression and shame, with no end in sight.  This, coupled with the endless legal wrangling and the general logistics of a divorce, has left me utterly exhausted from the struggle of it all.

I rarely get this personal and downtrodden on my blog, and am only doing so now as a gentle reminder:

I'll try to stay positive and mention some of the good things to have happened in 2017.

I did a surprising amount of traveling, for one.  In February my son Neale and I flew to Minnesota to spend a long weekend with my sister and her kids.  It was a surprisingly warm few days, so we were able to spend a lot of time outside, and Neale got a lot of quality time with his cousins whom he doesn't get to see as often.

Neale with his cousin Matteo in a park near St. Paul, MN

In April I boarded a train headed north to Boston for my second and most likely last Boston Marathon.  I went by myself but still had an amazing weekend nerding out over running with running celebrities and fellow runners.  I met U.S. Olympians Jared Ward and Shalane Flanagan, I quaffed pints at the Cheers Bar, and of course participated in one of the greatest traditions in sports history on Patriots Day.

Moments after finishing the 2017 Boston Marathon

In June, just a few days after school got out, I led a trip to Germany for the third time.  This was my biggest group yet - 14 students and one other chaperone.  We spent time in Berlin and Munich on an itinerary I built myself.  I do believe everyone involved had a good time, and may have even learned a few things along the way.

With some of my students outside of the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin

In July, Neale and I flew west to Minnesota where we stayed with my sister again, then my sister, my sister's 4 kids, my sister's German au pair, Neale and I all piled into a rented, 29 foot RV and headed to Utah.  I love a good road trip, and I love the great outdoors, so seeing so much of this country at the ground level in addition to all of the national parks we visited, well, I was in my element.  I'm not sure how much of this trip Neale will remember, if any of it, but I do hope I have planted the seeds of wanderlust deep in his soul.

At Goblin Valley State Park in Utah

In August, one of my best friends from high school moved from New York City to San Antonio, Texas, and I helped him drive the U-Haul there.  We drove through Hurricane Harvey in Eastern Texas and had to detour around Houston, but made it safely to San Antonio a few days after leaving, and had a few days in San Antonio to tour the city and drink and eat plenty of Tex Mex and Margaritas.

With Paul outside of the Alamo in San Antonio, TX

These two road trips brought me through five new states to bring my total up to 48 on my quest to hit all 50.  The only states I have left now are Hawaii and North Dakota.

On Halloween, another good friend from high school got married in Las Vegas, so I flew out there where she got married at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel.  Everyone dressed in Halloween costumes for the ceremony and reception, and it was definitely the most unique wedding I've ever been to.

With Amy on her wedding day

This is, of course, still a running blog, so let's talk a little about the running I did this year.  The streak continues on; I hit my 4th streakiversary in November, and am still going to this day, but I didn't do many races this year.  I only managed six:

  1. Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k
  2. Love Run Half Marathon
  3. Boston Marathon
  4. Broad Street Run
  5. Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10k
  6. Haddon Township Turkey Trot 5k

The only one that was new to me was the Love Run, which I thoroughly enjoyed and may sign up for again this spring.

I only ran one PR, which was 1:07:46 at the 10 mile Broad Street Run in May.  I had a great time doing that race and may sign up again this spring as well.

So there you have it, dear reader.  My 2017 in a nutshell.  I'll leave you with the following video, an enchanting version of "Learning to Fly" from the late, great Tom Petty.  After the year I've had, this song has become a bit of a mantra for me.  Here's to a great 2018, and let us all continue learning to fly.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there! I had a somewhat similar heartbreak (engaged, not married and no kids, but together for 9 yrs) and it wrecked me. Running was a great source of comfort, as were my family and friends. But there was no getting around the pain, I just had to grind through it. During that time, a friend told me, "when one door closes, another opens...but it's hell in the hallway." Happily, my new door opened and I found a wonderful man. We've been married for 6 yrs now and looking back, he is a far better fit for me than the one who broke my heart. I wish for you all the best in 2018 and that a new door (whatever that happiness might mean for you) will one day open for you, too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...