Story 16

Moving Forward with Purpose

Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

I have pretty much always been into “fitness” – from sports in school, to the military, to lifting during college. I started running shortly after my father passed away in 2013. I always told myself it was to clear my mind and give me some alone time to think through whatever was going on. Turns out, that really wasn’t the case.

I have always had friends and acquaintances – family friends, school friends, and work friends. Some felt like brothers, but through no fault of mine or theirs we all drifted from hanging out every day to the occasional text on birthdays and holidays.

I was raised in the Catholic faith, and later we moved to a non-denominational church, and eventually, I went my own way altogether. My “faith” consisted of the occasional prayer, discussions with my wife and her family, etc.

I was EH’d by Mickey and some other Toledo PAX during a 10K at Macqueen’s orchard, the last of a race series. I looked up F3 and thought it would be a cool way to work out, but I only went skin deep and then waited a couple weeks to post.

On October 23, I made my first f3 post at “the Gauntlet”. The workout was tough, but I also saw something I wasn’t expecting – a group of men busting their butts, working together, talking, laughing, busting balls – and right then I knew this was more than just a “cool workout”. I knew it was home.

As I continue to post, I continue to figure out what I was running from (Sad Clown Syndrome – and that is not a race you can win on your own), what had happened with my buddies (they were NOT big
enough grains), and what faith really means. I had discovered the “Problem”, and more importantly, I now have hope and faith that I can combat it. F3 has done more for me in these short, dark, cold months than I can hope to repay. The fellowship/brotherhood that can only be forged through suffering, celebrating, and praying together is irreplaceable. The simple act of sharing our hopes, fears, and prayers with no judgement and realizing how many of us share those same feelings and emotions is an almost indescribable feeling, but the best I can do is say it feels like a part of me that has been missing has now been replaced.

The impact goes beyond the AO’s and the COT (circle of trust) though – so much further beyond. At work and at home, so much of my thinking has been remapped towards acceleration that it is noticeable to those around me. My boss and co-workers, my wife and kids have all gone so far as to mention how much I have changed.

When you realize work isn’t your purpose, that your wife shouldn’t be your best friend (but something significantly more), and your kids are a part of your legacy so it is YOUR responsibility to show them how to become HIM’s… it’s like you are seeing the world in a whole new light. Time is a valuable and finite resource – we each only have what is allotted to us.

I used to slog my way through each day, only feeling the slightest bit of hope and manliness when I was grinding out a long run or lifting weights, but the feeling was fleeting. As soon as I returned home or to work, it was gone, baby gone.

The feeling of finding that missing purpose, of losing yourself in the gloom and being around other men who are equally finding that purpose and accelerating themselves is something every man should have in their life. Every day is now an opportunity to work towards that purpose, to improve myself or my relationships with my wife and children. To work towards leaving a legacy that serves them. It is not something to be afraid of, it is not something to pass up for a couple hours of sleep. Once you have that, you will never look at life the same.

I showed up on October 23rd looking for another “cool workout.” I left with a newfound sense of freedom, fellowship, and ultimately a new outlook on life in general.

Josh “Woodstock” Brown

Check out other #Miracle stories.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.