You don’t have to worry anymore, it’s ok, I’m gone now. Today is the end of a chapter I need to close… I must learn to say goodbye. I cannot erase the stories of the past for they live in my heart and my mind. The wrinkles on my face will share the pleasure and the pain… and with every look in the mirror I will be reminded of the smiles and the tears of my past.

The trail has been long and dark. I have seen many peaks and many valleys. My path has been filled with wrong turns and new directions. With every step forward, I have found a new direction and as I step on the trails today, I will begin a new chapter of life with a future full of unknowns.

In the pursuit of not dying, I found a life worth living.

My destiny was to die by the time I was 35. At 4:00am Saturday morning, when the shotgun goes off, I will have fulfilled my destiny. The person you know will be gone.

For some there will be sadness.

For others there will be happiness.

For most the events of the day will go unnoticed.

I have spent countless days and nights wondering how to deal with the chaos of the past several years. I have hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

I have loved. I have lost. I have hated. I have been hated.

Worst of all, I have been misunderstood.

I have a story inside of me I can’t tell.

The truth lays at the surface yet must remain inside.

What most people hear, think, see, feel, and believe is based on perception.


It is long overdue for Gary to be swept from the memories of the world. I have burned bridges, caused problems, created negativity for long enough. I can no longer carry the burdens of my past. I only have the energy to lay the stones of my future.

To my family: I’m sorry I’m gone. It was never my intention for the outcome to be this way. I promise I was only trying to improve myself, so you didn’t lose me too early. In the end, the outcome was the same. I wish things would have turned out different. I take full responsibility for the changes and I will eat the consequences of my decisions.

To my friends: Isn’t it weird how day by day nothing seems to change but then one day we wake up everything is different? I wish we would have had a fight, maybe we would have understood what happened. Drifting is the worst part, we woke up one day and the distance seemed too far. The separation was very natural, but it doesn’t hurt any less.

To any one who has loved me in the past: I’m sorry I left you. Please know this is not your fault. I hope there are no hard feelings. I want what is best for you and I know I create more problems by being a part of your life. All I ever wanted was to get healthy, so I could spend more time with all of you and in the end it was my decisions that caused the distance. I am so sorry. I do know you have already moved on and I that gives my heart peace and my mind ease you no longer miss me.


Of all the outcomes and all the scenarios I saw for my future, being where I am today and seeing where I am going in the future never crossed my mind.

I’ve seen many ends to forever’s.
I’ve seen many beginnings to never should be’s.
I see a future ahead that is only just a dream.


I woke up in my apartment a year ago to write my suicide note…

I was broken. I was lonely. I was depressed. I was drunk. I had alienated anyone who had ever loved me.

I took a step forward. I followed it up with another and then another.

Slowly I inched forward passing each failure with another step forward.

Many months went by… I started to be happy with my decision to stick it out and try again.

It has taken me a year to figure out why I’m still here.

I have learned I hurt many people on my journey. Many hearts have been broken. Some tears have been shed. Few have wished for me to stay around.

I spent over a year stuck in the middle between my past and my future.

I fought the demons of leaving my past.

I felt the guilt of changing.

I feel the fear of a future full of unknowns.

I have spent many years shedding the weight of my physical being… yet it has taken longer to shed the mental weight of my past.


I cannot live in my past anymore. I have dwelled on the past for long enough.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions… Everything has a price.

You must be willing to pay double the price of your ambition because success is never as easy as we make it out in our mind. I always knew I was strong enough to physically pay the price of my ambition, but the mental price came with a much greater price tag than I ever dreamed.

I found the price of ambition is everything you are and not a penny less.

We must give up everything we are today to become the person we need to become to get what we want tomorrow. Today… today is the day I take the last step out of my past and first step toward my future.

For so long I was running away… running from my life…

At 4am the shotgun will go off and I will head down 6th and Harrison with a nothing but a dream in my mind, hope in my heart, and a smile on my face. It will be the first time in my life I have the courage to take on the challenge ahead. It is the first time in my life I truly believe in myself.

Today I am at peace.

The events will unfold as the universe has designed and I will accept the results as they come.

What is meant to be will be.

Today. Today I get to enjoy 100 miles in some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.

I will spend 100 miles being grateful for the opportunity.

Today. Today I get the opportunity to begin again. For the first time in my life I feel like I’m moving toward my future rather than away from my past.

No matter what happens today, the future is unwritten, and I get to hold the pen.

“My Victory isn’t crossing the Finish Line. My Victory is taking the next step after I want to quit.”
-Gary Stotler

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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