Running Reflections: Looking Back and Looking Forward

October 12, 2015 By Tom

I went for a run today, something I haven’t done in a while as I’ve been wrestling with some back issues from my fractures. It was a slow and ugly 5 miles with Blink182, Reel Big Fish, and Allister pumping through my earphones. To get myself excited to run, I did something I rarely do, I headed downtown and used the beauty of our great city to inspire me to dig in a little bit harder and push myself just a bit further.

it worked.

As I’m enjoying a day off thanks to fall break, it was a great way to mentally catalog the last few weeks and prep for what lays ahead over these next three months. It was great to see the sun and blue sky reflect on the JW Marriott, to run between the lunch walkers on the Canal, and to utilize the always amazing Cultural Trail for people watching.

this photo is from 2006 and I laugh thinking back to assuming I had life figured out

I feel like I’ve been retelling my story of winding up in Indy multiple times recently. The fact I never expected to wind up here or the fact that Indy as an option for college really didn’t cross my mind until well into my senior year of high school or the fact I moved here at 17 years old to start at Marian with never remotely expecting to stay in Indy after graduating. The reality that I went from elite level cyclist and national champion to seriously injured 23 year old with no idea of what to do to figure out what was next in life. It all seems funny looking back on how all of those small things intertwine and led to the exact moment of standing on The Circle catching my breath after that run. Love, loss, life, death, dreams, visions….they all connect back to standing in the actual center or Indy and the breathtaking view I was taking in.

I was asked recently, “what event in my life would I change or do over?” and of course, that’s a tough question. There’s the really obvious things like making sure we didn’t get on that damn bus or not waiting nearly as long to start fresh without co-founders at Nine13—but it’s hard to start playing that game without realizing that the butterfly effect and its home within chaos theory would change the outcome of everything else and change where my life is currently at.

But, it’s a question I’ve been wrestling with a lot over the last couple of weeks.

yup, a good chunk of the Speak Easy crew at the holidays last year

On the flip-side, there is one thing I do know for sure–if I hadn’t walked into the Speak Easy back in March of 2013 I have absolutely zero idea where I would be today. It’s been my office, the building blocks for Nine13, a home when my home felt really big and lonely in the early days of the divorce, and became my Indy family in ways that I never expected. relationships have created best friends and romance, and a the end of the day…it’s been what has kept me grounded above all else here in town.

Be it The Circle, the Speak Easy, our new Nine13 office, or my deck with a beer—this whole city feels like home, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.