Sept – 15th 2011

I sit at my computer on the eve of the anniversary of loss, that impacted so many people related to the University of Wyoming and its track and field program. It has been ten years since we lost our Cowboy brother in a single horrific act on the part of one selfish individual. Over the last decade the thoughts of my lost teammates come and go from my mind as the chores of daily life takeover the most pressing thoughts of the day, but then they return. The faces of friends, the smiles of teammates and the stories of a great times in my life.  Over the years I have struggled to speak about the friends that I lost that night, I think that it was that I lost so many at one time… I have struggled with the idea that the Universe could take eight young souls from us. Why did they have to leave us so soon? Why did they have to go all together? These are questions that I have asked the darkness when I lay alone, struggling to see the reasons that lay behind the actions of the conscious universe… There were even times that I lost faith in the whole plan because it just didn’t seem to make sense to me anymore. Ten years ago, I was with friends and family spending the day living life, enjoying a Sunday at an amusement park… it wasn’t until I was driving home that my girlfriend at the time got a hold of me, explaining the tragedy that happened…I felt empty and broken, how could I have been having such a great day when others that were so close to me could be broken and lost? I didn’t realize the impact of the guilt that I felt and the pain until years later…in fact it wasn’t until this year that I returned to a park…Ten years it took to get me back to something that others don’t give a second thought. Yet for me, it is an instant reminder of the loss of friends and brothers….
And today it was a crashing realization that it is this life that we are here to celebrate, there are questions that we can never answer during this existence and the plans that the Universe has for use will be explained when we are ready to understand. A friend spoke to me today about the importance of ‘being’ the importance of existing in this time, this life, this moment. We must always work for tomorrow but if there is one thing that we must understand, is that we must live for today. Love for today, enjoy for today… This flood of memories has given me a moment of reflection and a charge of strength. A sense that we are here to grow, to share, to experience to exist and this life is not to be taken for granted but rather it is to be celebrated. We spend so much of our time worried, wondering or afraid of a dozen different variables that we feel are going to affect us in a dozen ways, but in the end these fears and thoughts are the shackles that keep us tide down from reaching our greatest potential while we are here…and I really do mean while we are here because some things in this life are not designed for us to understand. I know so many people reading this today can understand the feeling that I have been dealing with for the past decade, and on some level I have lived shackled afraid to make moves in my life even if it is on a subconscious level.  Decisions that you don’t even know you are making because, they are coming from such a deep part of your soul…From within the base of your existence.
It is often a topic I speak about when I talk about achieving personal greatness, and in doing so becoming a leader in your given world. Often people see me speaking of athletics because it is the medium that I often use the most but to be honest this applies to all areas of life. In an increasing world of scrutiny I see more and more people cowering away from the light of opportunity or potential because of falsely placed social constraints that they believe could negatively impact their life. So many people, good people, strong people often pass the torch of leadership on to someone less deserving because of the fear of judgment in this life, the fear of failure and the concern of negative social opinion. Being a leader is not an easy task, you become the point of focus for many. The decisions that you make are evaluated by numbers, where as when you are a face in the crowd you became percentage of the whole. If you are the leader of 10 people in your office you receive the evaluation of 10… If you are the leader of 100 you receive the attention of all 100 people, where as they the people  in the crowd will maybe receive 1:100th of the attention of that leader.  So as you can see this is a difficult place to sit, to be the focus of many… To have to stand before the crowd, to have to speak on behalf of those that cannot find the strength to speak for themselves, but I place this charge with you because there is no certainty in the plan that has been laid before you, there is no way to predict the length of your experience on this earth, only the quality of which you experience it.
We cannot undo the past and even though it can be hard to move past some of life’s most difficult challenges, it is important that we lift our heads every morning when the sun rises. We honor those that lived and shared this life with use by continuing to live ours with passion, drive, love, energy and furious gusto.
Cody this is for you….

Categories: Written Word

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