For those of you that have read anything I have posted over the last year, that ups and downs I have had and finishing the 340 I have noticed something in the past month and a half. People are recognizing me through what I have written and photos that have been posted. Through my entire life, I have never been interested in sports at all, especially competitive sports. It just was not thing. During the 340 we would pull into checkpoints and people would come up to me thanking me for the boat I sold them, or they would praise me for the weight loss I had. I have never felt anything like this before. I have to say it feels good but I don’t know how to handle this microscopic amount of fame I guess you could say. After all, all I wanted to do was get healthy and do it while doing something I love, Paddling. Hell, it feels a little bit selfish for writing a post like this. Over the past few months, I have been interviewed by my hometown newspaper, and by Phil White, an Emmy Nominated writer and contributor to SUP the Mag. The owner of Jarvis Paddleboards out of Austin even called me to do a short documentary on Shane and I. It’s crazy and I am not even remotely the athlete that I want to be or should be …… yet. One thing is for sure, I am promising myself to stay as humble as I can as things change for me. Too many people get caught up in fame and tend to lose track of who they really are when things start to get big for them. Every person that I have been interviewed by I have told them one thing, and to me, it is the most important thing. No amount of money or fame in the world can change the fact that if I can make a change in ONE persons life then everything I do will be worth it. I don’t want to be rich, I don’t want to be famous, I just want to paddle and introduce as many people as I can to the awesome world of SUP. That one person that looks at me and tells me they can’t stand up on a paddleboard because they are too heavy is going to get the same response from me as Shane Perrin gave me, “Never Say Can’t” and “Bullshit, get your ass on that board”. Yes, it is painful at first, your feet kill you and you fall off countless times, but, as long as you have it in your head to get back up then you will succeed. There is a saying in the paddleboard world that is pretty simple and to the point “Keep Standing”. There is one thing in EVERYONE’S life that can make a change in them for the good, mine happens to be Stand Up Paddleboarding.

That one person that looks at me and tells me they can’t stand up on a paddleboard because they are too heavy is going to get the same response from me as Shane Perrin gave me, “Never Say Can’t” and “Bullshit, get your ass on that board”. Yes, it is painful at first, your feet kill you and you fall off countless times, but, as long as you have it in your head to get back up then you will succeed. There is a saying in the paddleboard world that is pretty simple and to the point “Keep Standing”. There is one thing in EVERYONE’S life that can make a change in them for the good, mine happens to be Stand Up Paddleboarding. To others, it may be fishing, running, climbing, riding bikes or anything that gets them up and active.

There is always going to be people that doubt you in life, they are going to say you won’t be able to do this or finish that, you know what, let them say it because I can tell you this from experience, it feels pretty damn good to wipe in in their face when you finish something you put your heart and soul into. Just the other day I was waiting at Olive Garden here in Springfield “Cheat day, Shut Up”  and a gentleman seen my truck with my paddleboard on the roof in the parking lot and he literally turned off of the main road to come up to me and tell me how awesome it was to see our 5 man paddleboard finish the 340 and how he has read my blog post’s and seen my pics of the changes in me in the last year. We talked for about 15 minutes only to find out he was a 340 veteran and a few years prior he was unable to finish the race because his tandem partner got sick. He explained to me how bad it hurt to be unable to finish the race that year but the following year the drive in him took him all the way to the finish. This man really made me feel good about what I am doing and it lit a fire under my ass to keep pushing to better myself. He even spoke of how bad he wanted to finish the race during the day but his timing lead him to finish at night and he did not get to see the last few miles during the day so a few months later he paddled from the last checkpoint to the finish line just to see what it was like during the day. I am not the only person with a story, this man’s story was pretty cool and there are much more like it. This is also why I am in love with this sport, this small family of people striving for one goal, to finish and better themselves.

I really don’t know where I am going with this story except that as I write more, post more, and get out on the water I see people recognizing me for what I am doing and it feels really good. And to the people that talk to me about my new path in life and tell me they are impressed or proud or motivated by it……. THANK YOU. I started this journey to improve myself in honor of my mother but, it is so much more than that. I am doing this for myself so I can live a happier and healthier life, I am doing this to show people that even a lazy ass lake junkie can get off his but and improve his life. I am nowhere near where I want to be with my weight loss but, I am right where I want to be in this sport. Slow and steady and as Rod Wellington says “Smiling”.