Real talk about 2019…

Real talk about 2019…

I see everyone posting their “top 9” from 2019 and how great their year was… and then I realized I have talked to some of these people in “real” life and I know what their year has really been like. Yes, they had some great wins but it is the losses they forget to mention on social media. Here’s the real talk about my 2019 and what it has taken to survive the year and somehow still be moving forward.

I totaled my car in December 2018 leaving a place I shouldn’t have been headed to a job I hated… when I received the bill for nearly $5,000 it was shortly after I quit a job that was stealing money from its members. Without a car and stumbling through a failing romantic relationship, I journeyed out looking for a step forward.

I found some light as I bought an awesome 1995 Geo Prism on Craigslist. I spent every dollar I had (all $742 of them) as I drove away at 4:00am. I started a part time job at the most immaculate athletic facility I’ve ever seen with the opportunity to meet and coach people through life change on a daily basis. Although the money is slim, at least I have the opportunity to do what I love and impact people in a positive way.

Much of the spring was spent dwelling in my own sorrows and burying my head in books and journals trying to survive. As May came, I passed my personal training test and acquired some additional certifications in behavior change. I lost my apartment in the process of pursuing a dream only I can see.

The summer came and I found a roof over my head as I sold my soul and I buried myself in running. I ran through the mountains of Leadville to avoid the reality of what my life had become. I was financially broke and spiritually empty as I looked for a sign from the universe. As I stumbled and crawled, I somehow survived as I continually moved forward through the night.

My one last love came and went without a fight as I barely missed my big buckle in Leadville. I received everything I needed to feel when the last bit of life was sucked when I saw the emptiness of Hope at mile 96. I realized there was nothing worth selling my self-worth no matter the price I received. I woke up from a nap and took the leap and moved into my car for a while.

For a couple of months I lived out of my car behind a Wal Mart in Denver. Many nights I cried myself to sleep trying to figure out what I had become. Eating breakfast at random hotels just for some warmth and coffee opened my eyes to what I had missed out on. I was numb from the pain and I realized I had given up my dreams to chase a childhood fantasy. I lost all I was to fulfill some insecurities and allowing something else to have control over me.

A big break came when I bought an old RV and found my first true home I’ve had all year. Although it doesn’t have heat and some nights get cold, at least I can live and let be. Over the past few months, I have come out of the fog to start feeling the pain and follow the process to heal. Although 2019 was not what I wanted it to be, I wouldn’t give it back for the world. I have learned many lessons this year and I now have no fear because I’ve seen the worst I have possibly seen.

For all the highs and the lowest of lows, I have stayed off the booze and found a new piece of me I didn’t know existed. I have followed my habit of growing every day and as I move into 2020, as it is the first time in years that I have no fears because it really can’t get much worse from here. I have a roof over my head and warm food in my belly but most importantly, I have a clear mind and a full heart to move forward into the future.

This year has not been my best and might be close to my worst but at least I can speak of the truth. I don’t want to hide behind the “top 9” just to compare my wins with others. I’d rather be the real me than compare with you because I know I’m not that cool anyway. There will come a day when I’ll just have to say, the hardships is what gave me the strength and courage to take the step out of my comfort zone and toward my dreams even if they only have value to me.

I wish you the best as the new year begins and I hope you remember just one thing. Although the wins are cool to show the world, true character is shown when you are vulnerable and real. You can show me your wins all you want, but it is in your losses I care. To know the depths of you is to see how you respond when you’re broken and busted climbing the mountain that seems to never end. I’ll watch how you respond as you move forward or quit and whine, and with that I will ever know. It is who you are in the face of adversities that shows me the depths of your soul and the person you really are.

If you are looking at what everyone shows, remember what is behind their words… the pictures may say it is all here to stay but we must know it will someday be taken away.

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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