I can’t even……
So many things going on in my little world……. right about the time I decided to just take a blogging break and write for me, I wrapped up the #AtoZChallenge and sort of just hung around the blogosphere wondering what I should do next. Well, for those of you who are my Facebook friends, what I should be doing probably seemed really obvious. Problem was, I just wasn’t really willing to sit down and write post after post about the same workouts I rotate day after day.
My biggest hangup wasn’t me in the photos, but rather where the photos are taken. You all know by now that the photo makes the post. My living arrangement is not photogenic at ALL. So I am trying to figure out how to change that.
But there is this something….
I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone. It was just time. I was just looking for new friends and people to hang out with because even though I have a lot of friends, I don’t have a lot of friends here in MI; but the ones I do have are pretty amazing. I thought, for a while, I was going to go back to Oklahoma but there are some things that are keeping me here in Michigan and others keeping me from Oklahoma. It only seems natural that I stay, since all of my family is here. After spending most of my life in Oklahoma, I’ve come to appreciate having my family close by now.
Something changed my mind….
I talked to a few people and in time, most of them/me ghosted. I did meet a few but nothing clicked. I know I am pretty unconventional compared to some, extremely open minded, and very unique. It can be hard to find others with the same outlook on life.
I had actually planned to share some of the funny “Making Friends at 40” stories but everything started to happen so quickly and now they are all stuck in Draft mode.
I went all out and stepped out of every comfort zone I had. I reached out to old friends I had met when I first moved to MI and of course, I get to see my bestie all the time now.
Life is changing, full speed ahead, and for the better!
This guy right here though – who will now be referred to simply as “J” to respect his privacy (on FB : ‘book boy’) – crashed in to my world in the oddest way. What started as an online connection turned into a month-long flurry of text messages, finally followed by a meeting, really pushing the book project, creating a website and forming a business. (Whaaaaaaaa??) He’s just been a constant source of inspiration, motivation and smiles. He brings out the best in me and I don’t even think he realizes it. (and that’s okay, because until recently, I don’t think I even noticed it until it was pointed out to me) He’s been a great cheerleader; cheering me on, day-after-day. That will mean more to me than I could ever put into words to tell him.
If he knew I even took this pic at the library while we were working on our super secret book project, I’m sure he’d probably give me a what-for 😉 Especially since as you can see from the blur, I was trying to be sly as this was the second time we met and my besties (hey girls!) wanted to make sure he wasn’t Dexter chopping me up into a million pieces to study my blood splatter later.
He’s been working on his project for about 4 years. Me? Oh, since February.
While others look at him and think “what in the world?” I look at him and see a man with a beautiful and strong soul who works tirelessly, relentlessly and selflessly night after night, day after day. J has been given a gift in life. He could have walked away many times, but he never has; even when he didn’t know what to do with what he had. For that he is amazing.
But, the topic, it’s a hard one to carry on your shoulders. Lucky him for crashing in to me. 😉 For those of you who always comment on how bright my smile shines….wait…if you ever get the chance to see his…mine dulls in comparison.
Not everyone has the guts to chase after what makes their heart beat in life.
These last few months I’ve seen him break down walls and find his voice. Not only that, we’ve built him a platform to share what he knows. So, what started as an online connection – “hi, how are you? Want to help me with my book?” turned in to a full-on writing project and business partnership. When his first post went live, I couldn’t stop smiling for him. I still can’t stop smiling. It is an amazing thing when you see someone finally have their voice. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this project.
But, with that sort of mind work, one has to make sure they take care of themselves.
I mean, you all know that, right? Especially me, being on this new journey in life and all.
So, hit the trails we must.
That means new shoes we need.
We were super stoked to get these Nike Wildhorse 3 Trail Runners.
Nike Wildhorse 3 in Blue for him. Nike Wildhorse 3 in grey and pink for me.
While we both had high expectations for their performance, Michigan weather hasn’t been so kind to us these last couple of weeks so getting outside to take pics has been met with soggy grass, rain-soaked dirt trails, and giant mud pits.
I can say, the shoes are awesome in the comfort department! But, the fit department for both of us is less than stellar. I usually wear an 8-9. It is rare I need a 9. Shoes stretch and a 9 ends up being too big. I was told that these shoes ran a little small and to pick the half-size up. So, we both did. For me, no matter how thin my socks were, the shoes were still a little snug. You see on the shoe where the material ends and the toe protector begins? Well, that area, you can feel it rubbing on your toe. Runners toe is already a pain in the ass, I don’t need anything to add to the nightmare.
J did get a chance to test out his shoes before the torrential downpours. He’ll he told me that the shoe is really comfortable; I don’t think he had the tightness that I had, but he did go up a half-size from what he normally wears. His problem was that for his size, he felt the shoe wasn’t supportive enough. He hikes and runs the trails and ended up with some big toe pain. Also, he believes he stepped on a rock and it caused some swelling in his foot. He was in a bit of pain, poor guy. Felt bad for him. But he does where them out and about; so they seem to be great for that.
We know running trails can be problematic from time to time. But, if your shoes offer substantial support, rocks shouldn’t be a problem. After hearing about his issues, I felt that I wasn’t even going to bother finding out if the shoes would stretch out and form to my feet. I decided to send mine back and try another Nike product. I’m actually thinking about the Fuel band since my Jawbone UP has bit the dust and I am undecided on whether I want another UP band.
For J we picked up these Hoka Men’s Challenger ATR2. We’ll let you know how well these work out for him. 😉
Running, hiking, backpacking. Trails, sidewalk, tracks. Whatever you do, tell us. Share your favorite shoe. We think we know what we are going to try next, but I’d love to hear about your favorite shoe! Sound off in the comments below.
PS- It’s good to be back y’all. I’ve missed you.
Robin Masshole Mommy says
Glad to have you back. I am glad that you have book boy in your life. Sounds like he was just what you needed.
Thank you Robin! He makes me laugh and laugh some more. We have a lot of fun hanging out.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
I LOL’d – literally LOL’d – when I read your title. That sounds like me. “We’re going on a hike today.” 6 hours later. Pizza and a movie is just as good…
Hahahahahah Stacie, I do that more often than not 😉
Betsy Segars says
I love hitting the trails but unfortunately don’t do it often enough. I will say I’ve been on trails with trail shoes vs shoes that weren’t made for trails and I could tell a huge difference!!
I LOVE hitting the trails to walk / backback. But, I am not much of a trail runner. My running hits the treadmill or the pavement. That’s okay though, I get two pair of cute shoes 😉
I’m so glad you’re making a real connection like that! It’s amazing where we find the best relationships, isn’t it?
It really is!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m glad to hear you found someone to connect with! We don’t need someone to be happy, but it is just nice to have someone that we enjoy spending time with!
No we sure don’t! I was doing well on my own these days…. but let me tell you how MUCH he makes me laugh! #Priceless
Liz Mays says
J sounds like an awesome person! It’s great that you guys are able to work together so well!
Thanks Liz! It’s been a lot of laughs and smiles.
Annemarie LeBlanc says
Happy for you! My hubby and I are best friends. It is really great to have someone to talk to about anything and everything. He is my almanac, my wikipedia, my history buff. I keep on telling him that I can’t believe how smart he is, but all he says is, “No, I am just full of useless information.” LOL. Who knows, maybe when we’ll get to that point when we would enjoy hiking too.
That is awesome!
Hiking is awesome, especially if you really enjoy nature and being outside!
Catherine Sargent says
It is great to have you back. J sounds like a great guy. I have always thought that you will meet the right person when you least expect it.
Thank you, it’s great to be back! 😉
Beeb Ashcroft says
I’m really hard on shoes, and relationships. I love to work so there aren’t many that share my passions. I tend to walk really fast. I don’t mean to, I think it’s just because I have so much I want to accomplish that I just can’t do it fast enough. This tends to wear shoes out very quickly so my favorite is anything that lasts longer than a month 🙂
I’m always working on something…and that can be a problem for some. I totally understand! I’m guessing my past relationships speak for that LOL..oh well. I’m doing just fine 🙂
What a great connection to have and work on, I love those shoes. I need new shoes badly that are supportive as I will be hiking a lot this Summer 🙂 Good luck in this next venture 🙂
Brandy these might be good shoes for you. Worth checking out for sure. I’m hard on my shoes and wear the tread pretty quickly.
It is so wonderful to read a post about how someone is really excited and happy about what is going on in their lives…I couldn’t help but smile while reading this post. Wishing you all the best, wherever the trails take you…
Awwwww thank you Amanda!! While some things in life might not be where I want them to be, I have come along way since my life shifted last fall. And I am thrilled for that progress! The future gets brighter and brighter every day.
Ryan Escat says
So glad to hear that you are inspired and Mr. J could be really something special to you! Keep those feet on the trails and by the way, those shoes are so nice!
You never know, he could be! I’m just glad to push through that dreaded writer’s block. I hate it when she visits.
I also love hitting the trails, but I’ve been too busy lately. Hopefully, this weekend I can go trailing again.
I hope you do too!
Rebecca Swenor says
This is a great post and I am so happy for you. It is amazing when you realize what is in front of you. He sounds amazing and it sounds like you work together, in every way, very well. It sounds amazing that you both inspire each other. Hitting the trails together is indeed a great idea because everyone needs a brake from work. I love your Nikes and his as well. They both look great for hiking.
Thank you so much Rebecca. We’re a barrel full of laughter, that’s for sure! I break is always welcome, especially when the weather cooperates!
Lindsey Paris says
Welcome back! I’m glad to see you are seeking happy and getting with it! I look forward to seeing where your photos take you.
Thank you so much Lindsey! I was so happy when I visited you and saw your pics. I felt like I had been away forever!
Seattle Travel Blogger says
Wow, good luck with your journey and congratulations on finding someone who inspires you and helps you chase your dreams/brings out the best in you.
I agree it is so difficult to move away from an area that has family.
You have lots of guts in doing both moving away and finding someone in cyberspace (an oldie but a goody word, right?).
It is also a lot more difficult or at the very least different, making friends in our 40’s.
Those are really nice looking kicks! We haven’t tried hiking yet. I would love to try it though. Hopefully, one of these days.
Karlaroundtheworld | Karla says
That’s sweet of you to relive your memories with that guy. As for those pairs, I want them! Especially the Wildhorses, I searched for them online and the design really fits my extra-curricular lifestyle.
Melissa Dixon says
Sounds like you are on the verge of an incredible journey. Everything seems to be falling in place for you, that’s awesome!
I’ve made some happy, scary, exciting changes in my life in the last year to chase what I want. It never gets less scary, but the rewards are so amazing!!
Love the shoes! I love hitting up the trails. I think it’s great for family bonding as well. My girls always have fun on the trails.
Jacqui Odell says
I love those shoes! They look so cute and comfy. Glad you are back. Try to take it easy and relax. Better yet keep hitting the trails 🙂
Ann Bacciaglia says
These look like great hiking shoes. I love to hit the trails with my family on the weekends.
I should really use my running shoes for their initial purpose…running. I bought them hoping they’d motivate me, but it didn’t exactly work. Need to up my game!
Honestly I love all the sneakers. I love the bright bold colors and I need a new pair of trail running shoes. So glad I’m came across your post. Good luck with your new journey!
Tonia @TheChattyMomma says
Congrats to you. Sounds like you two work well together. It’s nice to have someone that motivates and inspires you to do awesome things.
I was just thinking the other day that Nike is the only brand I’ve had in my life since high school. I haven’t been in high school for a very long time. 😉
Jesica H says
Everyone needs a good “book boy”! Happy to hear you are back and running in some kick butt shoes! I love Nike, been a fan sense I was a wee!
Heather Lawrence says
I love hiking! We haven’t been in ages but you have inspired me to get a new pair of shoes and get lost… somewhere in the mountains where I can see waterfalls and glaciers.
Those are some pretty awesome shoes. I gotta get a few pairs for the boychild.
Glad you were able to take a break and focus on you. Welcome back, your writing even looks happier
Thank you so much Christie, that really means a lot.
Travel Blogger says
So interesting. i used to live in Michigan (grew up there) and moved to Florida. But I’m back often to visit family and its one of my favorite places – as long as it’s summer or fall. haha
Travel Blogger says
So interesting. i used to live in Michigan (grew up there) and moved to Florida. But I’m back often to visit family and its one of my favorite places – as long as it’s summer or fall. haha Sounds like book boy is exactly “your person.” Best of luck!
Such a small world! I have some family and quite a few friends down in FL! Michigan, while it does take some getting used to the winters, is full of natural wonder and beauty. For a nature freak like me, its perfect.