AUTHORS NOTE: Originally published April 2021.
You’re a kid.
You're awkward, sad and lonely struggling to find your way in the world. Eventually you do because you have to.
Then the helpless childhood years turn quickly to early adolescence and you discover girls. Just as quickly you discover that girls don’t like you because you are goofy looking, weird, you have early onset acne and you just don’t know how to communicate properly.
Life at home is tough. You have little brothers that your mom likes more than you which just adds to your sadness and loneliness.
You find sports and you learn to explore because these things make you happy.
Then at 14 you make a change and start over.
You move two states away to live with your father and discover something new: hope.
You learn how to get along with peers better. You excel at sports. Your home life improves and, for the first time in your life, you are defined by something real and good and powerful because you realize that you have the ability to run well.
You work harder than anyone else and you become a state champion.
You have a purpose and a vision and you fight with every once of fight that you have to become a school record holder for the one mile run.
You are happy and you are proud.
But life always changes and so do you.
You graduate high school and go to college.
You go back to the same challenges you had as a kid. You struggle to fit in. You struggle to have quality relationships. You struggle to find a girlfriend.
But, as you always do, you fight with everything you’ve got. When you graduate college you have a degree and you have some successes as a runner and you have a girlfriend.
Because your need for exploration and competition is so great you change your life yet again by moving across the country to live and go to school in Colorado.
The same challenges you had all your life continue to follow you. You have trouble with relationships and keeping a girlfriend.
You learn heartbreak. You drink too much. You explore like you’ve never explored. You go into massive debt. You struggle to find your way.
Three years in Colorado teach you many life lessons and you return home to New England with a masters degree but single and no real plan.
Then you do what you’ve done for many years which is to go to work with your dad.
Lucky for you the one thing in your entire 24 years has been and continue to be your dad.
Then life happens. Life happens quickly.
You get a job. You find out your girlfriend is pregnant. You move to the mountains.
You turn 30 and, while you seen happy, you aren’t.
You love being a dad but can’t seem to be a good husband.
You had a job but couldn’t be fulfilled so you open a gym.
You work hard and try your best but you just can’t seem to be fulfilled because your purpose never really appears to you.
You move to Florida and try to start over again with your wife, your son and your stepson.
You try to start a painting business but you fail and end up again in massive debt.
You try to have a successful marriage but you fail and it ends in divorse.
You lose your dad to cancer.
You fall in love only to have your heart broken.
Then there you are.
You’re just 37 and you have nothing. You are single, sad, lonely and broke. All seems lost and you think your life is a failure because it is.
Then, in an instant, the girl of your dreams walks through the door.
Then you get married and start growing a life and growing businesses together.
Then a business called The Fit Life Meals (no Empower Meal Prep) grows from an idea to a massive business that changes lives.
Then, on April 22, 2022 you turn 49 and you realize you well into the second half of your life.
You look back at your life and wonder…
“What have I done?”
“Who have I been?”
“Am I making a difference?”
You get sad when you see all the failures and all the sadness. You inadvertently focus on the challenges and the many times you fell.
You lower your chin because you know you failed so much and were such a disappointment to so many.
Then you realize something.
You realize that, while never perfect, you always did your best and you’ve made a difference in the lives of many people.
Then, like stepping out of a dark shadow and into the sunlight, you realize three things.
You realize that your son is a nuclear engineer in the Navy. While you can’t and don’t take credit for his success, you know you played a part and you are proud beyond words.
You also realize that the business that you and your wife started from scratch is absolutely killing it. It’s making money, it has an amazing local reputation, and it’s helping people to live better.
Then you realize one last thing.
You realize that you somehow managed to win the heart of a girl named Teresa who has forever changed who you are. She makes you a better person, she grounds you, she stands by you, she supports you and has partnered with you for 11 years through the good times and bad.
You are humbled each and every day to call such a beautiful person your wife.
You have had so many life experiences to get where you are and you realized that, on the day you finish your 49th trip around the sun, you are blessed beyond words.
Then you realize that you are only getting started!