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What I’m Thankful For This Year

This has been a year full of negative stories in the news, unthinkable tragedies, and a Presidential campaign that has left this nation even more divided than it was before. However, on this day, we as a nation gather with our closest friends and family to celebrate each other. To appreciate what we have, understanding not everyone is as fortunate. Negativity is replaced with positive vibes that will, or should, carry us through the rest of the year. Oh, and we eat a lot of food that we would normally ignore the 364 other days of the year.

I am spending this day reflecting on all of the good that happened to me, and am choosing to share those moments with you in the hopes that you will do the same to those around you. After all, stopping to think about it, this year hasn’t been that bad at all.

Becoming a Marathoner

The year started with an ending of sorts. I had spent all of 2015 training for my first marathon, and January brought an end to that journey. When I started running a few years ago, I never envisioned running a marathon. I had no desire to. The idea of running 26.2 miles seemed reserved for crazy people. Well, at some point, I became one of those crazy people, and running a marathon became my ultimate goal.

That goal was realized during the Walt Disney World Marathon. The fact I could cross this item off of my list at one of my favorite places made it extra special. Add in that I shared in this moment with some of the most special people in my life, made it extra, extra special! I don’t tend to get too overly emotional, it’s just not my nature. However, as I neared the end, knowing I was going to finish, and knowing that I would be running into my wife and child before the finish, I started becoming overwhelmed with emotion.

After finishing, getting my medal, and hanging out at the finish area with the best post-race beer ever, I remember a very quiet moment in the middle of the very loud, party-like atmosphere. I accomplished a goal I once thought unattainable. I knew my life was never going to be the same, in a good way, and I was as inspired as ever to make some bigger changes in my life. Which led me to….

Changing Careers

Nearly 20 years into my adult-working life, I was playing it safe. I was doing what I had always done, and it was comfortable. I had reached a cross roads, however, and started questioning where I was going. I wasn’t happy with my work/life balance, and I didn’t want to keep missing out on important moments in my family. I forced the issue, and went into a field that I knew nothing about: banking.

I find it laughable that I am in a position to educate people on their finances, when I have never been able to manage my own. I also can’t believe it took me this long to find a company, and a job that I don’t dread going to every day. I went from being a leader in my field that knew what he was doing, to a leader in a new field with no clue as to what he is doing. It’s a very daunting and humbling experience, but one I am so thankful for the opportunity to do.

Joyful Miles

My road to the three other ladies that you meet on this blog is pretty well documented at this point. Making these strong, new friendships has provided so many memorable moments in just a short amount of time.  We ran a marathon together, traveled to Philadelphia for the Broad St 10 Miler, and ventured out to the left coast to enjoy the Disneyland Half Marathon together.  The fact that we get to work together now to blog, vlog, podcast, and whatever else Laura wants us to do, only enhances our connection. I know our journey together is just starting, and there are so many more adventures in our future, and that is something that I am really looking forward to.

Growing Family

My wife and I were very fortunate to be able to add to our family this year. We were already blessed with a healthy, loving, cute, just all-around awesome little boy that completely changed our lives (for the better…..mostly) three years ago. This past October, we were lucky enough to have lightning strike twice when we welcomed our second (and definitely last) son into the mix. I like our little family, and try to appreciate every moment. I can’t believe how my oldest has turned into such a little boy, seemingly, overnight. Kids really do grow up too fast. Although, I need them to grow just a little bit quicker so they can ride all of my favorite rides with me at Disney World.

Those are the highlights from this past year that I will be thinking about as we enjoy this Thanksgiving. What about you? What are you thankful for this year? We’d love to hear all about it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go earn my dinner by going for a run. We only need one Butterball tonight….

About the author: Robert is married to a wonderful woman, Lauren, and father of two very cute boys, Seeley and Silas! As a total Disney nut who loves to travel, he started running to get in shape, but now he takes vacations so he can run races with the other crazy Joyful Miles ladies! He also loves useless trivia and has a vast knowledge of TV. Go ahead. Ask him anything about Seinfeld!

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