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?

There are 2 comments

  1. Nicole

    Thank you for putting into words the feeling of being able to return to running after injury. The feeling of being oneself can be lost when you are not able to do what you love. After two herniated disks left me with no strength or feeling in my left leg, and being told that running may never be a possibility again, I spent countless hours with PT, massage, swim, and rest. The green light to run again came after 6 months. Just the other day I took my longest post-injury run and I could not hide my smile the entire time. I found my me again! I’m glad to be back!

    1. Doug Brandt

      Herniated disk for me, too. Three years of sciatica. Walking hurts. Doc wants to do fusion. No way!

      Glad you got through it Nicole. Gives me hope. Glad, too, that you are running again, Andy. Best at Hardrock!

  2. Ryan

    One of the better Taproom articles I’ve read from you!

    Also, enjoy that climb up Apple Orchard. Seriously. It’s beautiful right now.

  3. Nelson

    Thanks, AJW. So glad you are back. Especially each time I run with my group, I know that this group of people, this distance, this location, this set of snacks, will probably never be repeated again. So, I try to enjoy the day for what it is, and consider it something really special. We should never, never take a single run for granted. Each run is a simple gift we have been given. Here it is; it’s yours; enjoy it for all it’s worth. Because, there’s no guarantees that tomorrow our circumstances will grace us with another such gift.

  4. Dave Yeakel Jr

    My return from hip resurfacing (with Dr. Gross) in December of ’13 and completion of Hardrock last summer left me on a high for months. What I learned during injury and subsequent surgery/recovery is to never give up your dreams. Your return to Hardrock will be sweeter than most if not all your prior events. Congrats on your return and I look forward to following your stories for many more years.

  5. Hillrunner50

    Congrats on coming back, but I am confused. You tout this weekend as a return to racing but didn’t you just run a 50k a few weeks ago?

  6. Andy M

    Congrats on the Promise Land finish. Hope you’re feeling well now 2 days post.

    Love the “resurfacing” double entendre ;)

  7. Justin Hooker

    Great article. Kinda reflects how I felt out there at Promise Land 50k this weekend. Not coming off injury, but still suffering from a sinus infection. I was miserable the entire 34 miles, but also happy to be able to play in the mountains.

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