I’ve got several ideas that I want to write and they all fall into a subheading of Taking Steps,

So here we go.

This morning I took part in the 6th annual Fort 4 Fitness.  I did the 4 mile version along with about 4,000 others.

The entire event this weekend had over 10,000 participants and this was my first year.

Here’s how it came to fruition in my life.

In February 2013, I decided to leave my job at a couple of radio stations that I had worked for, for nearly a year.   I had a few offers and took one away from broadcasting and turned my life upside down.

I work for Shindigz.com as their eCommerce Media Specialist.  That’s my formal title,

Social Media Magician is my fun title, because I am the one working behind the scenes on our the social media  including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, our blogs, and other channels on our multiple brands.

Taking this position was a big step into full time social media work, but it also was a big step in multiple other changes too, that I’ll write about one day.

Shindigz has made a commitment to helping and encouraging their employees to live a healthy lifestyle.  And the young lady whose desk is to my immediate left, Christy Phend is one who leads by example.  Shindigz offered to pay 50% of the registration fee for Fort for Fitness and Christy encouraged myself and 3 of my co-workers to join her.

Shindigz also has an onsite gym and free access to a personal trainer twice a week.  In April I began working out and started to see weight loss and strength gain.  I was prepping myself to take part in the Fort 4 Fitness 4 mile race.  My diet changed too, eating lots of fruits and veggies during the week for lunch.

One day while working out with our trainer I noticed my vision was suffering.  I thought it was just overexertion, but noticed over the next few days that I was seeing “floaters” in my left eye.  I had a series of appointments with an eye doc and he noticed that my prescription was unstable.  My wife and I did some research and discovered that I was probably suffering from some form of partial retinal detachment in my left eye. What was disturbing was the eye doc had not heard of the connection between the two, but my trainer had.

My work outs had to stop until my eye healed and stabilized.  Which it is still doing.  So my exercise routine is more moderate but the change in my diet continues as I have kept the weight off and continue to shrink at a slower pace.

Fort 4 Fitness, one of my original goals for getting healthy was coming up. So I continued to take steps to prepare and stay active.  Earlier this month, I lead a team of volunteers though my old neighborhood to do a community survey.  We went door to door to about 125 homes.  I figured that we put in a good 3  miles or more that afternoon.

Yesterday, Friday,one inner voice was telling me, you’re not ready for this.  The other inner voice said, take those steps anyway..

I set my alarm and woke up at 6 today. decided to pack 3 bottles of water and a bottle of Diet Dew in my jacket and shorts pockets.  I also grabbed an apple in case I was feeling hungry.

On my drive downtown, I ate some chicken, and drank some Diet Mt. Dew for breakfast.  It was a  chilly 50 degree morning in the predawn hours as I parked about a 1/2 mile from the start and made my way to join the thousands of others.

As we were waiting to begin I spoke with a few others who had friends, family or co-workers doing the run/walk with them.  I was doing it solo.

The first mile I played a little game of alternating between pacing myself  & passing others.  There was one old guy who was about 10 yards ahead of me and I used him as my pacing guide as he was also doing some passing.

But at about the half way point I struck up a conversation with a man who was from Africa and I lost track of the old guy.  I think we passed him but I’m not positive about that. Then in the final 3/4 mile I walked with my friend Andrew Hoffman and his family.

Andrew heads a local organization called Neighborlink which has spread for our community to other cities. These conversations took the focus off of what I was doing and the 4 miles just became a path we were all taking together.

The race ended at Parkview Field, the home of our local baseball team and when we crossed the finish line and suddenly we were standing still again, I realized it was over.

It all began with taking a few steps:

Steps to change jobs,

Steps to take part in a fitness program offered by my employer,

Steps to change my eating habits,

The decision to continue a healthy lifestyle, when I could make plenty of excuses to quit due to my eye problem.

It even involved the decision to set my alarm and get up and go on Saturday morning instead of backing out.

Each step we take in our lives is one we decide to take, just as each step we don’t take is also our own decision.

My encouragement to you is simple.  In your life, keep taking steps.