AJW writes about losing and then regaining running in his life.

By on April 29, 2016 | 12 comments

AJWs TaproomAfter 48 years of life I have come to realize that there are few pleasures greater than getting something back after you’ve lost it. Losing can be so sorrowful, so depressing, so definitive, that having the chance to get something back, having that golden opportunity to find again that which you’ve missed so much, can be at once rewarding and humbling. And, it can help us to be reborn.

I am living that experience right now.

I am a runner again. A year ago I could barely walk. Now I am 11 weeks away from running the Hardrock 100 Mile and I have 1,000 miles on the year. I can’t explain why, or how, or even what, but I know I feel more alive than I have in the last five years and I have gotten back what I thought I’d lost forever.

We lose things all the time: parents, friends, children, those are the most devastating. But for many of us we simply lose our way. Some of us lose hope, others lose joy, and still others lose love. And in those losses, both big and small, we learn, we grow, we evolve. We become more hopeful and we become more whole versions of ourselves. We become, at the end of the day, more human.

I went out for a run today. It started like any other run. I was a little cranky at the beginning and waiting for the charge to kick in. After about 15 minutes I realized it was hot, I was sweating, and my water bottle was back in the car. I also realized that I was running. And, I was happy. Content. I was just me being me.

An hour later I got back to my car and my full water bottle I’d neglected to take with me. I took stock. My spirits were high and my soul was higher.

“I once was lost but now I am found.”

On Saturday I am returning to competition. It’s not Hardrock, I still have time to get ready for that. This weekend is the Promise Land 50k, a great, simple iconic race in the mountains of Virginia that stands as a test piece for me as well as countless others preparing for summer 100 milers. It’s that time of year to put it all out there. It’s a time to lay down some rubber and see what sticks. It’s a time to ask, where have I come from and where am I going? It’s a time for resurfacing.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Cigar City Brewing Tropical Heat Wave Wheat AleThis week’s beer of the week comes from Taproom favorite Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. This brewery has been consistently pumping out great beers and this week’s pick is no exception. Cigar City’s Tropical Heatwave Wheat Ale is simply an amazing beer. Not cloying like many wheats, this beer is calm, sophisticated, and crispy. Like most people in Florida.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • What have you lost in life and then found again? Can you describe what that process was like for you?
  • And when it comes to running, have you lost your way with the sport, but somehow found your way back? Can you share your experiences?
Andy Jones-Wilkins
finished in the top 10 men at the Western States 100 7-straight times. He's sponsored by Patagonia and Drymax socks and is iRunFar's editorialist.