I went to a skatepark in Dumbo, Brooklyn this morning. There were only a few people when I got there but it quickly started to fill up. While I'm usually cool with meeting people and hanging out, today I wanted to be alone. So I took off after a few runs to ride my bike into the city to skate the LES Park and visit my pals at Mark Fisher Fitness Bowery.. 

A flat tire blew that plan. I was bumming. 

I walked my bike to the closest subway station. The York Street F. 

As I walked my bike to the track, I was reminded that this was my local stop for a short time. When my marriage ended in 2012, I lived with my buddy Mark for a few months as I got back on my feet. Mark lived in a sweet apartment building in Dumbo. Having recently gone through a breakup of his own, Mark had a room open in his place and I was getting tired of couch surfing and carrying my pillow and sleeping bag everywhere. My room was originally used as a storage space. My air mattress fit perfectly. I was pumped to have a stable spot and to be roomies with my longtime friend. We lived about 4 blocks from the York Street station. 

Mark has been a brother for a long time but the biggest help he ever gave me was taking on the role of OK CUPID MENTOR. Aside from my ex, I had never been on adult date in my life. Here were Mark's 2 big tips.

1. Never go below 75% match. Anything below that is a roll of the dice. 

2. Be sure there's always a full body picture of the person. This isn't to judge a person's appearance but to see if they are comfortable with themselves. 

I bring this up because thanks to Mark's tips, and by breaking rule 1, I met Kim on OK Cupid. I had moved into my own place in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn by the time I met Kim online. She was a 73% match but was hot, had lots of ink, a bulldog, loved horror movies and New York Hardcore music. You bet your ass I rolled the dice. 

I wasn't looking to find a girlfriend. I wasn't looking to bang around either. I wanted to meet cool people and see where it went. 

Then I met Kim and knew on the second date that I was never letting go.

I also knew that I wasn't letting go of the Fitness Industry. I am ever so grateful for the people and opportunities that have come my way. What most of us inside this field know, is that the struggle is real. It is a constant mission to help people and make a living while doing so. We work hard at this. 

Bringing us back to today, bummed with a flat tire in the train station, the journey I'm on feels very real and present. The progress is undeniable. Kim is my wife. She's a Holiner. The kids are doing great and growing into better humans than I will ever be. Our home is the best place I've lived in. 

Kim and I have been together through the loss of family, friends, pets. Career highs and lows. This is now a linear upward arrow friends. We are all on a rollercoaster. 

Today was a great reminder to embrace the journey. This is where we grow.

We also need to take a moment to appreciate our accomplishments. It's so easy to see the things we haven't instead of the glory we have. This is where we allow ourselves to breathe. 

Thank you for being a part of this. By reading this you are a part of my journey. Big hugs to Mark. 

Happy 4th of July!


*It should be noted that Mark's OK Cupid magic also lead him to his awesome girlfriend Gina a couple of months before I met Kim. Homeboy is like Gandalf with that app.