10107521834_a3c512942b_c

Late 2011, I was less than one week away from ending my own life……It took a couple of perceptive people to realize something had changed in me and they had the courage to approach me.   They ensured I got the help that I needed and I am here today because they chose to act.  It has been a challenging process to climb my way out of the levels of depression I sank to.  I still climb and press forward on a daily basis, but now I know I am not alone.

Looking back, I can now see that I ended my own life many years prior.  I chose nothingness over life.  I was satisfied with just eating whatever tasted good, playing videogames, watching TV, and sleeping.  The acceptance of that life being “happy” or “normal” took me down the path of obesity, misery, depression, and nearly into the grave way too soon.  That life, and I use the word loosely, was MY “couch”.  The place I resided instead of actively being on the path of life finding true happiness through experiences…I will call it the “Trail”.

Over the last couple of years of counselling, I faced difficult realities of my past, as well as my present, and realized I had to make the decision on my own to live a life with purpose.  It was my obligation to find my passions and go after things to fully experience life.   I could have played it safe and picked an easy task, or activity, but I decided to dream big.  I decided I will hike the Appalachian Trail……and then I looked up what the Appalachian Trail “is”…..and I nearly said, “F&#% that!”

Here is a short summary of the Appalachian Trail from http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about-the-trail The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.

Instead, I said, “F&#% it, why not?” Sounds like a blast for a guy who once weighed in at 375 pounds doesn’t it?……a genuine hell on Earth of a good time.

What I didn’t realize at the time of choosing the goal is how fitting it is to summarize our lives.  Life is a long journey.  Life has many ups and downs.  Sometimes pointless ups and downs “PUDS” are added.  (Inside joke to hikers……especially AT hikers)  Sure, we can get off the trail any time we want.  (I nearly did in 2011)  We might get taken off the trail by external things like bears, injuries, or poor preparation.  (In real life it could be car accidents, murder, etc.) But staying until the end allows you to live the whole journey.  This is what drives me to hike the AT in 2016.  This is why I have started getting in shape physically, mentally, and financially.  I must live and I must finish at my appointed time.  I need the tangible experience to remind me to stay on the trail whenever life starts to suck.

I decided to chronicle my journey in a vlog/blog format because I want to try to encourage others to get off their “couch”.  Not necessarily a literal couch, but that place of redundant mediocrity you are now stuck in.  I want you all to find your “trail”.  I don’t care if it is taking up knitting, poetry, MMA fighting, running 5k events, or deciding to wave and smile at strangers……..whatever your “trail” is, go for it!  I want to document my process so you can see that my words are not empty.  You will see me as I am from today on.  You will see me struggle through ups and downs and still press on to complete my “trail”.  Putting myself on camera is a huge struggle right off the bat. It is my honor to share this journey with you and I hope you too will be inspired to go from “couch to trail”.

More to my story…

http://www.couch2trail.com/march-15-2014-more-to-my-story/

Updates
http://www.couch2trail.com/updates/

Any media who would like to discuss my journey, please use the above address or contact me on the Facebook page or email www.facebook.com/couch2trail

Couch2Trail@gmail.com

10 thoughts on “The Beginnings…

  1. I am TRULY BLESSED to have bumped heads in BOTH of your paths. You have always been the most sincere and caring person. You are all ears when it comes to listening and when you gave this blog, I read upon it and it made me realize that I, myself, have to get off “THAT COUCH” also. I’ve been dressed for a couple years now, hiding it with a smile. Now I found this blog and you, I have faith and hope that I will make it through my journey, just as you did.

    Thank you for being the big brave person that you are. It takes alot of courage to, not o lyrics create a blog, but also share your experience with others that have not “woken up” amd miss out of future opportunities. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    You deserve a standing ovation.

  2. There’s something that I would like to share with you after reading your story.
    Its been 1 year now since I’ve been depressed and stressed because I broke up with my bf. Everyday I woke up cursing myself thinking why he left me.
    I stopped interacting with friends I stopped going out, stopped doing everything, In fact stopped talking to colleagues at work. I just couldn’t sleep at nights and I couldn’t do anything. I visited my doctors and been through counseling. Its like I almost ended my life.

    But trust me, today when I read your story, It sounds so similar to me. I never thought that life goes on. people come people go but life never stops. Your story is very very inspiring to me.. ‘ couch to trail ‘ . You made me realize that Time never remains same, so why should we ?? Get up move on , find your goal and do something for your own life. No one is the in charge of your life but you yourself.
    You made me realize that,
    we should never lose hope because of what we are going through right now. Move on. God is in control of our life. With time all our pains, worries and troubles will be replaced with happiness. They are temporary and we will get over them with time. Don’t think of giving up right now because soon we’re gonna be the happiest person.

    After I read your blog, I decided now, I will continue with my studies and become something in life.

    Trust me, I had cried when I read your story. It seemed like I’ve written my own story.
    I want to thank you from heart for inspiring me and my life for better, And wish you all the best for your future.

    Love you.

  3. It is a great privilege to know who you are and to know you are a truly great “True” friend. I remember to this day how we met and beyond that a great friendship formed. You have shared some of your personal life with me, as I have also shared some of my personal life with you. I enjoy our talks on a daily basis and also seeing how things are going on your end. It would feel odd if I didn’t because it has become a force of habit and possibly a little bit of that trail of which you speak. I am glad we’re friends and it’s a friendship I want to have around for a long time. Take care my friend and God Bless!!!

  4. You TRULY are an inspiration. Your words are touching because I KNOW they come straight from your heart. It’s rare that you find someone with such determination,strength and bravery and I’m lucky to have you, who possesses all of these as my friend. I also would like to say that I appreciate you sharing this journey with all of us because I know very well it would have been easier for you to NOT do that. The fact that you are just shows even more so how loving and courageous you are. Love ya buddy and I will be following you through this journey 🙂

  5. I am proud to call you my friend. I have seen you in those ups and downs and I have seen the monstrous strides you have taken to reach your dream. The determination to keep on fighting and working towards your dreams shows something in you that I don’t think you knew you had in your when we first met. It shows that you have courage and you are a hero, you are your own personal hero for saving a life that needed you the most and that was yourself. You are also a hero for showing that no matter what life throws at you having courage and self-motivation can always overcome. I want you to never lose that in yourself and I am with you 100% of the way and will help whenever I can. Thank you for being a true friend and a man of courage and strength.

  6. I am in awe of your bravery and determination. I am going through my own personal challenges and this page is a huge inspiration to me. Thank you my friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *