I grew up in small town USA, a little town of 500 people in rural Minnesota. Minnesota has long, cold, dark winters and seasonal depression and anxiety have always played a factor in my life. I didn't have the best or easiest childhood as my dad passed away at a young age. Although I had many people in my life who loved me and supported me, something was missing. I struggled on and off with mental health all through my youth, struggled to find my place, and to find what I was passionate about. I had always been active and loved the outdoors and sports. Unfortunately in my freshman year of college basketball I suffered an injury that required surgery, this is when my substance abuse battle began.
After almost 9 years of fighting my battle on my own, I went to treatment, a 30 day in patient program. There were people from all walks of life there with all sorts of different problems and addictions. I knew this was it and things needed to change. I had a wife and a daughter who served as my daily motivation to get clean and stay clean. On a cold December night only a few days out of treatment I decided I needed another outlet, I needed to relieve some stress so I went for a run and I've been running ever since. A year and a half later I am running ultra marathons and preparing for a 100 mile race this summer. I get outside every chance I get whether it's behind the camera, running, or shooting my bow. I have a new love and profound respect for the outdoors, they have helped keep me grounded in what really matters and served as a great tool to aide in my recovery.
I want to show my girls that although life can be tough and beat you down that you can get back up and keep fighting the good fight. I want them to be able to look up to me and be proud of their Dad. I hope to show them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and put the hours and effort in. Nothing in life is easy but there are a lot of things in life worth it. I encourage everyone to find out what it is that they are passionate about, and do it, unapologetically. Life is full of things that pull us in different directions but if you're lucky enough to have people and things you love, you're lucky enough so set your priorities and keep them straight.