We are all going through a challenging time right now. There is a lot of uncertainty. Our daily routines have been disrupted and our way of life is turned upside down. The one thing we all need to remember is that we are all in this together and we need do what we can according to our means to look out for each other during this time.
Here at KRNaturalPhoto I feel very fortunate in this moment as this business is still my side hustle and I have my day job to support me through this. If there is something I can do to help support a member of my community out there during this time please reach out and get in touch with me.
After years of being a vegetarian I finally made the leap to eating a vegan diet. Being vegan was always the goal anyway. I simply lacked the confidence to go all the way in the beginning and for years after. After being vegetarian for years and not really missing meat I realized that I was really just making excuses for not being vegan.
Taking on a vegetarian diet really helped me get myself to a level of fitness and health that I had never been in before. But, after being used to it for a while I began to get complacent. A big part of wanting to be vegetarian was about being healthier and eating healthier, but now I was eating lots more cheese and dairy than maybe I ever did as an omnivore.
Often in the early months of each new year I write about how the pursuit my goals went from the previous year. Then I subsequently write about what my goals are for the new year. And when I write about my goals I always write about two separate lists of goals. I list of goals was for my running goals and the other list of goals related to my photography. I am not doing that anymore. There are no longer two lists. There is only one list and really there is only one goal and every other goal is a step along the way to achieving my most important goal.
I have been a photographer for a long time. During that time I have had a lot of successes. I have been published in print publications. I have sold artwork in galleries. I have had solo art exhibits. I have photographed community events. I have sold race photography. I have done portraits. However, all of these successes have come as I worked on my photography as my side hustle. Always splitting time between a full time job and often school and then running when I found that much needed outlet.
In many ways 2019 was a really good year. 2019 was also a year I faced some significant struggles. I am sure this is the same for many of you. The good is always mixed with the bad or so it seems. I spent the year struggling to find balance in a lot of ways. I set PRs and accomplished huge goals I never dreamed of in some arenas, but struggled with actual physical pain like never before as well that held me back in a lot of ways. The pain and challenges I was experiencing cascaded and I am sure impacted my mental health in some negative ways.
So, I am going to take some time here to talk about my mental health. In a lot of ways I have been very fortunate. I have been relatively healthy both physically and mentally. I have seen others go through much worse than I ever have. And I think that is part of what makes mental health a difficult topic for me to talk about. I have not suffered through what I know so many others have, so some times it feels like to complain would be to do a disservice to everything they have experienced.
Why run 100 miles? Well, it’s really hard to explain. The reasons are buried deep inside me and seem clear, but those same reasons are very hard to put into actual words especially into coherent thought out sentences that would seem sensible to most people. When most people hear that you are planning to or that you did run 100 miles they get this look on their face that indicates they think you might be a little nuts. They generally are kind about it but express that they can’t understand why you would do that. It is even hard for other runners who share the same love and joy of running that you do to understand. How do you explain why you would do something that is so foreign to what seems to be the natural state of human existence? Why would you put yourself through that?
Every time I take on new adventures I learn things. The bigger and more challenging the adventure the more you learn. The first time I took on an ultra distance run, I was alone on the Finger Lakes Trail, I learned a lot. Now taking on a much different more complex challenge I stood poised to learn even more.
When you set off to go on any type of adventure ideally you have a plan. You make the best plan you can to try to have the best outcome you can. You also try to think about what you will do if things don’t go according to plan. Think about back up plans and contingencies. I don’t think you want to dwell to much on that because you want to focus on being successful not dwell on possible failure or challenges. But at the same time you want to try to be prepared. It is a bit of a balancing act.
If you told me that my adventure would begin with a 6+ hr drive each way to meet two dogs and possibly, just possibly adopt them if all went well, I would never have believed you. But that was what we did and that is how Josie came into our lives. It was one of the best days of my life.
Josie fit right into our home, our heart, and our lives. It really could not have gone any better. Her story was almost like a fairy tale. She came from a sad situation and thanks to other kind souls who look out for dogs she made it into our lives. She quickly adapted and fit into our lives.