Fear, Excitement, And the Unknown: Here We Go

August 5, 2016 By Tom

let’s do this

There’s a moment where, on the brink of success or failure, you know that your own history will be made–one way or another.

And once you’ve been in that position, there are few other moments in life that will compare.

I’ve experienced it as an athlete, and now; I’m staring down the next 71 days realizing that whatever happens, it’s the most significant block of time in my professional life.

Five years. That’s how long I’ve been working to build Nine13 to where we are at today. Heartbreak, success, failure, achievement…it’s been the most wild ride to get to this moment. It’s led to opportunities that three years ago, on the brink of closing because of lack of support, a bitter fight with co-founders, and in the middle of a divorce, I couldn’t have imagined. This year, 8 months in, has been one that has shaped me through the highs and lows that I’ve faced…that have been played out publicly and personally and in the media.

On December 31 of last year, as I was sitting with Denver in her hospital room, we were talking about what we both saw 2016 bringing for us. We talked about hopes and dreams, what we wanted to accomplish over the 12 months that lay ahead. About the victories we both knew we would experience and being prepared for the failures we would incur along the way.

“2016, it’s going to be your year. Nine13 is going to look a lot different as you turn 30. You’re going to kick ass.” she told me in the typical way she said such things.

Damn, I wish she was here to see this now. All those crazy ideas of mine that she helped turn into solid business plans and approaches, I can’t take all the credit. She pushed me to get to this point, sometimes relentlessly, but it got me here.

It’s been a hell of a year. And I have a feeling the next two months will continuously redefine what this all will mean to me as I move forward. Growth in the healthcare industry, growth from the foundation world, growth from the corporate world: it’s going to mean more kids riding bikes. It’s going to mean more staff. It’s going to mean growing pains. I can’t believe the support I’m fortunate to surround myself with, the love I have in my life, and the incredible experience this has all been.

Why 71 days? Well, between the amount of announcements, the finalization of deals, turning 30, a few vacations scattered in, the start of the new school year…and on day 71, October 15, carrying the Indiana Bicentennial Torch on its final day journey here in Indianapolis.

And, honestly, because, the song 16 Days by Whiskeytown (and the much better cover by The Clarks) has lyrics that have often resonated with me over the last few years. So, something seemed symbolic about writing this with a focus on a day count.

I got sixteen days
one for every time I’ve gone away
one for every time I should have stayed
you should have worn my wedding ring
I got sixteen days
fifteen of those are nights
can’t sleep when the bed sheet fights
its way back to your side

I’ve spent my whole life getting ready for the next couple months, let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride together.