Same Race But Much Has Changed

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11

IMG_5282CRUEL JEWEL 108- REPEAT

In two weeks I will once again stand at the starting line of the Cruel Jewel. This 108-mile ultra that occurs deep within the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest of Georgia was the most difficult race I had faced last May. In addition to the extra 8 miles the race director added from the normal “Century” run and 33,000 feet of climbing, I somehow got lost and added on another half-dozen miles for fun. Based on these obvious challenges, it was no surprise that it took me over 34 hours to finish.

Why on earth would I do it again? That would be a fair question. However, as I wrote in my race report last year, I learned more about myself and what my body and mind were capable of here more than during any other event. Based on this and a nagging desire to know what I was capable of if I had stayed on course, drove me to sign up once again. Another reason I decided to tackle this course was the hopes that it may help prepare me for my next adventure in August, Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc. UTMB is a race that traverses 3 countries around Mount Blanc in Europe and is even more brutal, given its longer climbs and higher altitude.

(see amazing views from the course in the video below)

NEVER SETTLE –NEW COMPANY

I want to be challenged in all areas of my life. I believe we often learn more when we face adversity and take on difficult responsibilities than when we can coast on cruise control. This is true in other areas of my life and resulted in my recent decision to leave the company I had worked at for the last 12 years collectively. It is a great company with wonderful friends but where I was no longer being challenged. Some may find comfort in the security of a big company but I know I have so much more to offer and knew that it was time to make another professional change. Less than 2 weeks before running the same race, I will start my new job. Much like at the start of the race, I know there are many factors that are within my control. However, there are many which are not that I must adjust to in order to succeed and thrive. I am excited for this next adventure and look forward with anticipation of what may lie ahead.

FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT –  CHURCH

A year ago I also made a very difficult decision to leave the church where I had come to better know Jesus as my Lord, my Savior, and my friend. I served as an Elder and was deeply involved. I felt comfortable there with many good friends, a beautiful building, and wonderful music. These were all reasons that made it difficult to leave but I knew in my heart they were also not reasons to stay.

Unlike running or working, I have come to understand that my faith is the foundation for every other aspect of my life. Given the commitment to my faith and desire to be in an environment that would challenge me and help me to grow in a manner consistent with the teachings from scripture, I made this difficult decision. I have no doubt a year later that it was the right one. I still miss many things about my old place of worship but I am blessed in my new church home to be inspired each week in worship with wonderful and consistent teaching.

NEVER EASY

I have heard it said that the right decision is often the most difficult one. This has been true for me in many areas of my life, and as a result, I will continue to pray that each decision I make on the race course or in life is the right one. Even when things do not go according to plan, I must continue to put one step in front of the other and press on toward the goal to do what is right for my faith and family.

IMG_6067

Last Summer in Hilton Head

THANK YOU

It means a great deal that you have taken the time to read this. I have not been writing as much as I’d like and I am unsure how much I will be able to in the future given the new job. However, I look forward to continuing to share my race reports and other lessons that I have found helpful.

 

God Bless,

Nick

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About rxnickrun

I am a Christian, Father of 4 wonderful children, Husband and Passionate Runner. I hope to help others experience that running can be a powerful approach to strengthen their Faith and improve their fitness.
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6 Responses to Same Race But Much Has Changed

  1. Awesome Nick! Totally agree that we must keep challenging ourselves, not only in life, but in our faith as well!
    Blessings,
    Lori

  2. dcsperbe says:

    Enjoyed reading Nick! Love the thinking to embrace change. Best of luck with the run and job.

  3. robbie says:

    Hi Nick! By the time you read this Cruel Jewel will be over and I hope that it was all that you were looking for. I admire your passion and persistence and dedication. I only learned recently that you left for another position..change is good 🙂 I will miss our hallway conversations but I hope to see you at local races (of a much shorter distance!!) Know that I wish you only the best. Good Luck and God Bless always. Robbie

    • rxnickrun says:

      Thank you Robbie! I haven’t been on since before the race but can’t thank you enough for your kind words and support over the years.
      We will definitely stay in touch and hope to maybe see you on the 4th.
      Please keep in touch and thank you again.

      God Bless, Nick

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